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How To Use Live Traps

Raccoon Trap
Live traps are a safe and humane
means to catch, transfer and release
unwanted animals from your
land and buildings.
Click on the tabs below for more information
on how to use live traps
Live Trap Tips
Features of the GEMPLER’S live traps

There are several styles of live traps available, including single-door traps, rear-door traps and collapsible two-door traps.

Single-door traps
There is only one spring-loaded door at the front of this trap; baiting, setting and releasing the animal are done through this single door. This trap is simple to operate and safe to use around children and pets.

Rear-door traps
There are two doors on this trap – one in the front and another at the rear; baiting and releasing the animal are done through the sliding rear door, while setting can be taken care of through the spring-loaded front door or the rear door. This trap allows for quick access to bait and set it as well as safe release of the captured animal; it’s ideal for aggressive animals. The rear door is equipped with a double latch and security lock.

Collapsible two-door traps
These traps generally have the same features as the rear-door trap, but they are designed to fold down to a more compact size for convenient transport and storage.
Target animal and trap size

Here’s a general guide on which size trap to use to capture
the desired animal:

Target animals Trap size Single Door Item Number Two Door Item Number
Chipmunks 15"Lx5"Wx5"H 145532 Not applicable
Chipmunks, rats and red squirrels 18”Lx5”Wx5”H RHV18 72818
Rabbits, skunks, gray squirrels and large rodents 24”Lx7”Wx8”H RHV24 72824
Small raccoons, skunks and opossums 30”Lx11”Wx12”H RHV32 72830
Large opossums, raccoons and woodchucks 36”Lx11”Wx12”H RHV36 72836
Large raccoons, foxes and coyotes 42”Lx15”Wx18”H RHV42 72842
Bobcats, foxes, dogs and jackrabbits 48”Lx15”Wx22”H RHV48 72848
Large dogs and coyotes 60”Lx20”Wx28”H Not applicable 72861
Extra large dogs and coyotes 72”Lx20”Wx28”H Not applicable 72872
Tips on trap use and placement

Before setting the trap, find out if any local laws prohibit the trapping of the target animal. Consider the type of animal, the time of year and potential risks involved in trapping it.

Wash the trap with soap and hot water before placement. Always wear gloves when handling the trap and bait to avoid transferring human scent to either.

Set the stage before setting the trap; scatter samples of bait in the immediate area of the trap. If animals enjoy the appetizer, they will be more likely to enter the trap for the main course.

When considering where to place the trap, think about the particular species. A successful trapper knows the habits of the target animal, including what they like to eat, where they look for food and the trails they use.
Baiting techniques

Use baits or lures that will encourage and entice the target animal into the trap while discouraging others from poking around it. Spread a small amount of bait right outside the trap door so the animal can get another taste of what’s inside. Place the bait under the trap pan so the animal will have to work a little harder to get at it and make it more likely it will spring the trap mechanism. Always bait the trap before setting it.
What bait to use with what animal

Here is a general bait guide for various animals:
Animal Bait
Cat Fish, meat or cat food
Chipmunk Peanut butter, popcorn, grains or sunflower seeds
Dog and coyote Dog food, meat or bones
Fox Chicken entrails, prepared scented bait or mice
Gopher Peanut butter and bread
Martin Meat scraps or chicken entrails
Muskrat Apples, carrots or parsnips
Porcupine Apples, salt or carrots
Rabbit Fresh vegetables like Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, lettuce, apples or bread
Raccoon Fish, sweet corn, crisp bacon or marshmallows
Rat Peanut butter, cheese, grain or sandwich meat
Skunk Chicken entrails, fresh and/or canned fish
Squirrel Peanut butter, sunflower seeds, oatmeal or bread
Weasel Fish, fresh liver or chicken entrails
Woodchuck String beans, corn, lettuce, peas or apples
What to do once you’ve got the critter

Always use extreme caution when releasing, transferring or moving a trapped animal. Wear heavy leather or padded gloves, a shirt or jacket with long sleeves, and long pants to help protect against being scratched or bitten.

Some animals will quickly bolt out of the trap, while others may be slow to leave; when exiting, they may flee the area or turn on the person who released them. Trapped animals – wild or domestic – can be unpredictable, so be prepared for any response.

It is important to release a wild animal in an appropriate habitat, one that provides sufficient resources for it to survive.  Contact local natural resources personnel to determine where that is. If you have trapped a domestic animal, contact the local law enforcement office or humane society to determine your course of action.
Use baits or lures that
will encourage and
entice the target animal into the trap while discouraging others from poking around it
A successful trapper knows the habits of the target animal, including what they like to eat, where they look for food and the trails they use.
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