The mink is has most luxurious fur
of all the major furbearers and is always in demand despite fluctuations in the
fur market. For the beginning trapper this is their third milestone in trapping
after the first muskrat and first coon ( I caught three coons and three possums
before I caught my first muskrat). I attribute most of my mink
knowledge from Tom Krause, Charles Dobbins and the writers of F-F-G magazine.
Compared to the raccoon and muskrat, the mink
leaves very little sign in the way of tracks and dropping for us trappers. The
secret to finding prime mink habitat is you have to understand their behavior.
You have to find places where a small, serpentine animal be looking for food
while trying to avoid being eaten in the process. One thing that gets many
trappers is that they believe the mink along with the coon are water but this
is not entirely true, mink and coon are land animals that frequent the water
and many times these animals are taken in land sets.
When mink are hunting they are usually up
against the side of the bank or other object in the water. Places where it
would be a good idea to set your traps are under undercut banks, where the
stream gets real narrow, the bottom edge where the bottom of the body of water
meets a near vertical bank,where bent over grass forms a a funnel, the list can
go on forever.
The best mink sets are blind sets. The reason
for this is since most of the time the nose of the mink is under the water its
hard to draw a mink off its line of travel short of a brick wall. Another
reason is that there are more raccoons caught in baited sets for mink than
mink. If your in one of the states that don't have any time limit to check
traps and your running a mink line and don't check your line every day, in a
way that is a good idea if running a mink line, raccoons don't stay in trap and
cooperate and usually still alive when you come back. Many times you can make
an underwater pocket that is guarded by a conibear, the freshly dug hole is
irresistible to a swimming mink and undetectable by the passing coon and the
lowly trap thief this set is as effective if not better than the baited pocket.
When you do make the baited pocket make the no larger than the set trap and
place the trap in the mouth of the hole. When you do use a baited set the
pocket set is the best and if your just want a mink make the hole or put the
bait in a spot where only a mink can get to it. So remember to be a successful
mink trapper you have to be very precise on your location and put your trap
right where a mink would be forced to travel.
After you made your catch on mink its time to
skin and put up the fur. Next to the fur, the glands of a mink.These glands are
a real valuable attractant for other mink and also a real good lure for canines
in dirthole set and the meat of the mink is another attractor to the canines.
Have fun .