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Each set you make should be selective.

  • Each set should target a specific furbearer.
  • Each set should have features that help prevent the capture of pets and other non-target animals.
Avoid non-target captures

To make selective sets and avoid non-target captures:

  • Choose the sets and traps that are effective for your target animal. Restraining devices let you decide whether to release or dispatch the trapped furbearer.
  • Use your knowledge of furbearers to place traps in optimal locations.
  • Use sticks and rocks to guide both target and non-target animals. For example:
    • Place a "jump pole" above cable devices to force deer to jump over the device.
    • On land, place a few small stones at the set to encourage the target furbearer to put its foot on the trap.
  • Use bait, lure, and urine responsibly. Use items that will attract only target animals.
  • Choose traps with the proper size, speed, and strength to capture the target animal. Adjust pan tension to avoid non-target captures.
  • Set traps in remote locations. Avoid trails or areas used by people, pets, hunting dogs, or livestock. Avoid trapping near houses, buildings, or urban areas.
  • When trapping on private land, talk to the landowner. Find out who else might be on the property and when they might be there. This can help you avoid problem times and/or locations for setting traps.
  • When trapping on public land, take appropriate precautions. For example:
    • Avoid trapping in areas where many hunters are running dogs.
    • Use submersion trapping sets only.
    • Make sets in the evening, and pull or trip them in the morning.
    • Set fox traps in open fields or pasture land (hunting dogs will be in or near fencerows and brush).
  • Place traps properly in relation to baits and lures. For example, proper placement of the trap at a dirt hole set will help prevent the capture of dogs.
  • Bend the triggers on bodygrip traps to make them selective. For example, when using large bodygrip traps for beaver, the triggers can be shaped to allow otter to swim through the trap. Beaver, which have bigger bodies, will still be caught.