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Cable devices use a loop of cable to catch a furbearer by the neck, body, or leg. They can be used on land or in water. The two types of cable devices are non-powered and powered.

Cable restraint

Non-Powered Cable Devices

Non-powered cable devices use the animal's forward movement to catch the animal in the loop.

  • These devices may be used to catch larger furbearers such as the beaver, fox, or coyote. The animal is caught by the neck or body.
  • A sliding lock is used to form the loop of cable. This lock is either relaxing or non-relaxing.
    • Relaxing locks slide in both directions along the cable. If a trapped animal pulls, the loop gets tighter. When the animal relaxes, the loop stops tightening.
    • Non-relaxing locks slide only in one direction. If a trapped animal pulls, the loop only gets tighter. The loop does not relax if the animal relaxes.
  • These devices should include a swivel that allows the loop to turn in the same direction as the animal. This prevents the cable from twisting or kinking.
  • The device should be placed in an area where a trapped animal will have freedom of movement. Make sure the animal cannot tangle the cable on brush, fences, or other objects. The animal should not be able to reach anything it can climb over and then be suspended with its feet off the ground.
  • Cable devices must be used very carefully as they can trap livestock, deer, or other non-target animals. Devices with loop stops or break-away locks can help avoid this problem.
    • Loop stops can be used to prevent the loop from opening or closing more than a certain amount. A maximum stop prevents the loop from opening enough to accommodate the head or body of a large non-target animal. A minimum stop prevents the loop from closing enough to hold the foot of a non-target animal.
    • A break-away lock can be used to allow larger animals (such as deer) to break free.

Powered Cable Devices

Powered cable devices use springs or another mechanical device to close the loop of cable.

  • A foothold cable device is similar to a foothold trap, but it uses a cable instead of jaws. The cable is set in a loop. When the furbearer steps on the trap pan, springs are released and the loop tightens around the animal's foot. A stop lock keeps the cable from tightening more than a certain amount. This allows smaller non-target animals to escape.
  • A kill-type powered cable device has heavy springs. These springs pull the cable tight around a trapped animal's neck or body, killing the animal.