So looks like we may get a trapping season, I don't like having a 48hr check which really puts a damper on things, even a three day check on coyote traps around here won't pay the gas.
But lets talk about gear, I currently run heavily modified #2 and #3 Bridgers, Northwoods and a good number Monties, top of the line coyote gear that I've seen turned into a pop can by a wolf if staked down.
Thinking the #4's would work if I used enough chain and a well built drag, gotta keep the gear coyote friendly so there is some money made on each check but not release a wolf.
So what's in your trap box???
"Pain is weakness leaving your body"
Its a HUGE step up to a reliable wolf piece of Iron. MB750 Wolf from Minnesota Trappers Supply is a reasonable cost trap, ( @$ 29) offset reinforced jaws and a baseplate attachment and swivel are the standard. Craig O'Gorman a pro trapper (Broadus, MT) who also has modified more traps for long term use than most, has a Modified Bridger # 5 coil (@$30) for Wolf, Mt Lion and Beaver. Many of the BEST big beaver traps work fine for wolf if rigged with heavier chain and in the right arrangements for anchorage and drags as a backup.
Other better long term traps-
Sterling MJ 600 if the chains are upgraded, they are a bit small but will hold a wolf.
LPC Traps in Texas - Roy McBride, who took over the Newhouse patent as I understand, makes the finest of all according to the Ex USF&W Predator trappers here in Idaho. I have a few of these and they are indeed fine.
Manning #9 Alaskan
It is imperative to have near center base plate anchoring, not out on a spring or to side of baseplate. You can weld on new baseplates, new big D Ring, Get at Minn trapline or other place, They have a website.
Chains need to be 7mm or # 2 twisted,, Wolf test pulls have exceeded 775 lbs!!!
The best chain anchor / Drag setup can work for BOTH, Buy bulk chain- Minnesota Trapline has all the chain, swivels, misc connections and can even make chain setups for you.
8 to 10 foot chain setups, BIG Drag at end, 3 swivels, one at trap base one in middle, one @ 1 foot ahead of drag, weld all swivel connections and any others also. Ogorman has the best wolf drags, made to NOT tangle in the chain, and are very heavy as needed.
The preferred method in open country is to anchor with earth anchors, with longer depth depending on soil, with a larger ring or connection at 30" from the trap and a link. The idea is to hold the wolf close and keep his foot under him as it tries to pull forward, and has no room to get a run in any direction, bury the drag and chain under the trap and you have backup when or if they ever pull the anchor out. This is the method most used by the Idaho based Ex Predator Control men, they have a lot of experience. Of Course you can attach to a log or something else also, but wolves have been known to go MILES with improper drags to hold them back in open country.
Idaho had a required Wolf trapping class to get the license, It was extremely informative even for seasoned trappers like myself. Im surprised Mt is not doing the same, or I have not heard that yet. It was only $8.00 !!! at the Fish & Game offices statewide.
Good luck to all you trappers in Ol' Montan' I lived there and trapped for many years, Too bad they wont let you use snares like in Idaho, but maybe next season.
Ogorman has wolf lures and bait, He has NO website 406 436-2234 he has a great catolog, It costs but is worth the info in it alone. He has special products and lures for his past students only, I was one in the mid 70's. His general line is excellent, he gives his students an edge.
Minnesota Trapline Supply has a website and they are great folks to deal with.
I'll be sending 20 to 30 rigged big traps to a buddy in the Bozeman area this summer for his efforts to try Wolfing.
God, Guns, Guts and the American Fur Trade MADE America,-- lets keep it all
Kids that Hunt Trap and Fish - Dont mug little old Ladies! Take em outdoors and teach em' for life.
Is it strictly leg hold or are snares allowed? Coil spring traps have better reaction time allowing for better catch. Longsprings being slower will allow more toe catches or misses. Sets on snowmaching trails going through a brushy area work great in combination with snares. The bad thing about trail sets on a snowmachine trail is having someone follow your trail and spring all your traps, either accidently or purposely. I met a trapper who managed to get 12 wolves in 1 set with a combination of a trail set and several snares placed in the brush on both sides of the trail. He caught the alpha female, who normally leads the pack, in the trail set and the rest of the pack just milled around in the brush not knowing what to do.
Can anyone tell me what the rationale is behind not using snares, but allowing leg hold type traps. I know nothing about trapping, but the little I've heard over the years it seems the snares are more "humane". Is it just BS political haggling/and perception or is there an actual reason. Thanks.
For Harper, Idaho used an extensive training all day class with specific requirements for Wolf Snares, including diverters and loop stops to help avoid Elk and to some degree deer also. I lived in MT and have enough friends and contacts that I would believe Idaho has a better grasp withing the Fish & Game dept on the wolf issue than does Mt at this time. Snares are more efficient and more can be set and in the time of the seasons we have here, it is wet, rainy, freezing, thawing which is tough to trap in, Snares are far more forgiving and effective. Mt may want to see how trapping goes in much more average open country, than here in North Idaho. I would also think the "antis" may be in fact more against snares also because of effectiveness. Montana has a stronger environmental wacko population and I have heard that there are People in the Mt Gov. wildlife groups that are friendly with them. Thats my read on that issue. They may get it next year if yearly harvest reflects trapping does not do enough by itself.
Speedo- MT Gets NO snares for the coming season, Thats not good and I feel for the MT Trappers. Idaho did train every trapper for a license however, and I dont see where MT is doing that. Snares were covered well in the class and examples were available and setting snares was done in most classes. Idaho used much information from the Alaska Trapper Association and their video and book, which are excellent. Snow machine setting is tougher down here for just the reason you stated, unless you have private or gated country to do that, your sets would be run over continually in most areas. The set you mentioned is excellent and non use of snares makes that set tough. I agree in general on the big coilsprings, however the LPC Traps are so strong, they are as fast. I dont recommend any other longsprings. The jaw hinges on the LPC's are incredible. Pan tension is the key to good paw catches for wolves and most other animals. Here in N Idaho many wolves hang out in steep timber and travel to where elk and deer are or go to. We have a particularly average wet / freeze thaw and changing snow conditions in most areas. Trappers could have done better here with a little earlier start on the trapping season. But I think they wanted to keep the trappers out of the "woods" while hunting season was on. Montana will be easier to trap wolves as far as the terrain and weather goes. They are drier and colder which helps.
It will be interesting to see this fall, how it goes in Montana, I wish them the best.
Looks like there will be classes for wolf trapping in MT as well. I do a lot of snaring and honestly I don't know if it's a bad or good thing not having that option, a lot of damage can be done with snares, they are a lot easier to get non target catches and they are lethal. My snares will lay a coyote down in seconds, they hit the end of it and that's usually where they are laying and I re use the snares, leg holds a guy can release or just plain avoid non target catches with ease thus publicity!!! My favorite sets are leg holds in combo with snares, you can really add to your catch when canines start circling a trapped animal!
The trapping of wolves has been on going here but it seems to be the least effective means, I was talking with the gov trapper and his experience has been you get one shot at them per area, if you connect that's your one shot on the pack period and they will pack up and move 80 miles. The guy that got me into trapping still puts out a lot of steel for coyotes and he's very skeptical about trapping doing much due to the fact he's only had two in ten years that he's had to have FWP take care of, not good odds for as many traps as he has out and he does it full time.
The #5 Bridgers modified seems to be the most economical trap for the job, I've held several lions in my #3's since they are full mod but some of the wolf tracks I've seen are about the size of the jaws so I'm more concerned about getting a good catch vs having it flip up and snag a toe.
Any pictures of good wolf drags? I used to get a good bit of stuff from Craig and Dana, my last order has lasted a long time since I haven't been hitting it as hard, the older I get the less appealing checking traps till midnight after work sounds
"Pain is weakness leaving your body"
I am not sure what your legal jaw spread width will be but, I have a pile of the TS-85's. Well after a bunch of mods it has just under a 9" jaw spread and plenty of power! So something to consider if your looking for a big jaw spread that wont break the bank. I hooked them up with 10' of 5x chain and a trailblazer from MTP. In the end it was my snares that did the trick. Got to love cable. 5/64 1x19 with a filed cam loc, senneker 750 BAD, Senneker kill spring and the trigger. LIGHTS OUT, not one wolf ever even tore up the location! I just built the a bunch more with 1/16 1x19, that I'll be testing this season