HOLMESVILLE — When trapper Joe Young targets raccoons on his trapline, he likes to appeal to the animal’s sweet tooth.
“Bait runs the gamut from fish oil to Froot Loops and strawberry Jell-O,” said Young, who gave a seminar on trapping raccoons at the Oct. 17 Ohio State Trappers Association Region B (eastern Ohio) Fall Meet at the Killbuck Valley Sportsman’s Club. “Personally, I like to use honey buns. I’ll get some day-old buns and cut them in half and stuff them in a PVC bait holder.”
In this day and age, raccoon trapping isn’t profitable as a pelt only brings $2, but it’s a necessary management tool to keep the population under control. In fact, raccoons are the most abundant furbearer in Ohio. And for Young, he says keeping it simple is the way to go when in comes to accomplishing your goal.
“There’s a lot of ways to catch a raccoon,” said Young.
The dog-proof Wolf Creek Diablo trap is a popular way to catch raccoons in urban settings, as it preys on the animal’s inquisitive instincts. Young likes to bait his Diablo with cat food, and when the raccoon sticks his hand down the tube to get the bait, it goes off.
“It’s actually based on the ancient Egyptian monkey trap,” said Young of the Diablo trap. “The monkey reaches in and grabs a stone and then can’t get his hand out.”
Young said using snares is a good way to target paths that coons are taking to and from corn fields and river banks. He suggested using six-inch loops, six inches off the ground, with a deer stop to avoid catching the leg of a whitetail. He uses No. 9 or No. 11 wire.
The river bank pocket set catches raccoons searching the water for food. Young likes to cut the bank back to give the coon a path to follow. Then he’ll cut a “pocket” into the bank and set his trap an inch under the water. Back in the pocket he’ll use cut up carp or catfish for bait.
Cutting away the bank isn’t a deterrent as Young actually notes that “fresh mud will actually attract a lot of animals.”
Outdoor correspondent Art Holden can be reached at email@example.com.