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I am taking on the task of writing a blog.  I will write at least one a month and in some cases more.   Some of them will be completely current and some will be a little more random in terms of subject.  My goal is to help everyone become a better trapper.  And quite frankly, I will be learning too.  Sometimes writing things down gives you a little more time to develop your thought and perspective on your subject.  I hope it is helpful and as always I am open for comments, suggestions, and constructive criticism.  Thanks Charlie Masheck
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December Lull

Dec 26

Written by:
12/26/2015  RssIcon

     Trapping success is affected by many variables; time of year, weather, level of experience, competition, etc.  Some can be dealt with some cannot.  One factor that occurs every season that we can't control is what I would call the "December lull".   This primarily applies to coyote and coon. 

     The explanation for coon is pretty simple.  'Coon spend the late summer and early fall months getting "fattened up" for winter, this allows them to "lay-up", "not run" or in other words stay in their dens for extended periods of time.  This can vary from a few days to a couple of weeks.   On a normal year, when the weather breaks this is normally the time when the coon "run" or move.   Considering the unseasonable warm weather we have experienced this season we have not had the advantage of "warm ups" after a cold spell.  When it is mild, it is a little more difficult to predict when the coon will actually move.

     Coyotes take a little more explaining.   In late fall (normally sometime in November) the pups disperse (or leave) from their family group and go out on their own to establish their own areas.  For the most part they are just hanging out, trying to figure out their next move or where they will take up residence, better described as home range.

Since their home range has not been established, gland lures which translate to territorial lures are least effective at this time.  Here again the mild weather has an adverse effect on coyote movement.  Another factor that plays into this early to mid winter lull is deer season.  Most of us trap in areas that experience high levels of deer hunting pressure.

The mass amount of food this provides for coyotes through: gut piles, dumped deer carcasses, etc. adds another negative dimension to attract coyotes to baited sets.

     Many trappers start trapping this time of year, the fur is prime and deer season is winding down.  As I stated earlier, some things we can't control and some things we can.  The awareness of the things we can't control helps us through the more challenging times. 

     Clearly, fur can and is caught this time of year.  Knowledge is key and ultimately is one of the biggest factors for success!    

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4 comment(s) so far...


Re: December Lull

The mild weather seems to have an effect on coons especially hard in the areas I trap. Simply put I can usually fill up my DPs in these areas but this season is sporadic at best. Coyotes seem to be non existent, which I think is good, maybe we will see foxes again out in the rural areas and not just in town. Beaver are plentiful and easy, as are rats. Mink are well...mink.

By Stephen Ford on   12/26/2015

Re: December Lull

Charlie I hope you and yours had a good Christmas and a happy prosperous New Year. This un seasonably warm weather has not helped the raccoon in my area as the distemper went through and killed off a large amount of them. Cold weather usually slows down the advance of this disease and we have not had any yet.

By Stewart Frerotte on   12/26/2015

Re: December Lull

Hey Hoosier guys,

I just finished watching every episode of the show for the second time and have learned so much. This is my first season trapping and I have a question about wood stretchers. How essential is it to have a board that is a 1/2" thick? I do not have a planer and my boards are 3/4" thick. I'm guessing the thickness won't matter unless I plan on selling my pelts?


By Mitch Setterman on   1/25/2016

Re: December Lull

If you don't plan to market your skins, the thickness of the board won't matter.
When selling skins the better the product the better the price- 3/8" or 5/16" would be an ideal thickness.
Mitch, glad to hear you enjoy our show and that it has been helpful.
Charlie Masheck

By Charlie Masheck on   1/26/2016

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