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#175040 - 01/16/02 06:31 PM need help with otter set
adkmountainken Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 12/24/01
Posts: 84
Loc: the Great Adirondacks
i recently set a 220 for otter on a good trail coming from the water and going along a wall back to another body of water. i positioned the 220 between the wall and a tree where there were otter tracks going through. i conceled the trap with beech leaves and twigs.when i checked it the next day i could see the tracks where the otter walked down the trail to my trap then went left around it. i had guide sticks and brush blocking that route but he went right through it. i'll try to post some pic's (hopefully tim can) so you can see what i mean. any ideas? i have never caught a otter before and i would love to get this smart feller!!!!,
adirondack mountain ken




[This message has been edited by Tim Behle (edited 01-16-2002).]

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#175041 - 01/20/02 09:59 AM Re: need help with otter set
NCndeed Offline
New Member

Registered: 01/18/02
Posts: 12
Loc: S-Central, NC
I've prefer the 330 for otters, the 220 may be a bit small and might have represented something more of an obstacle to your otter (got a 20 lb'er week before last). Conibears must be 50% submerged in NC so my sets are in the water. One thing I noticed was that while the beaver tend to lumber through the conibears the otters seem to shoot through them, so for otters I added two small set screws to the top of the trigger to allow for increasing the sensitivity of the conibear for more effictive catches. Otters are powerful and tough as nails.

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#175042 - 01/20/02 04:22 PM Re: need help with otter set
Dusty-n-Alaska Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/10/01
Posts: 40
Loc: North Pole Alaska
NCndeed says: I've prefer the 330 for otters ... Otters are powerful and tough as nails.

I have heard this quite a bit. Otter ARE tough critters, but tend to seem more so when caught in 330s. As far as I am concerned, the 330 is NOT an otter trap. The jawspread is too big and it hits them too far back. I have had otter power out of 330s, and have never caught an otter in a 330 that went quietly. Conversely, I have lost only one otter in a 220, and that was my fault--the trap had weak springs--and have caught several that didn't fight much at all (280 is also a good otter trap). That said, I don't trap in the water and imagine the 330 would be a fine otter trap if they are going to drown soon after being caught.

ADK: Its a bit hard to tell, but maybe you are concealing you trap too much. I seldom try to force otter through a small opening as it seems you have. I just plunk the trap down in the trail with maybe a couple support sticks--alternatively, nail a suppot bracket (made by berkshire?) on a stick/board, set the trap on that, and just set it in the trail. They don't seem to notice the trap itself (my conibears are painted white-Krylon white primer) as much as they notice tight spots-especially if they have experience with traps in tight spots. In that particular spot I would probably have just set the trap beside the tree, especially since it looks like there is another tree growing close enough to choke that area down (and they are used to going there), and not worry about hiding it at all. I think the open space (even with a trap setting in it) would be less frightening than the pile of leaves/sticks that you have used to conceal the trap.

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#175043 - 01/20/02 04:53 PM Re: need help with otter set
NCndeed Offline
New Member

Registered: 01/18/02
Posts: 12
Loc: S-Central, NC
Dusty
Not to argue with you, you probably know alot more than I do about otters. My specialty is beaver. I experienced the same problem you mentioned with my first otters but, as I mentioned, by increasing the sensitivity of the 330 I got clean catches. You've also got to be extremely careful in setting them (they'll bite you).

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#175044 - 01/20/02 07:41 PM Re: need help with otter set
Dusty-n-Alaska Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/10/01
Posts: 40
Loc: North Pole Alaska
...by increasing the sensitivity of the 330 I got clean catches...

Most factory conibear triggers, as you have obviously noticed, leave a lot to be desired. Paul Dobbins covered this in the TPC a while back. I have modified all my conibears (even my marten/mink traps) to fire with minimal trigger movement. This has made quite a difference in how fast otters are killed, especially with 280s. I just don't set 330s specifically for otter-I had a couple bad experiences, and decided it wasn't for me. If it works for you, go for it--I know of several trappers who set 330s for otter, I'm just not one of them. I just wanted to point out that 330s aren't my idea of a good otter trap.

How big are the otters there? Interior AK otters are quite small--maybe 20lb average, although I don't usually weight them. Otter in SE AK are at least half again as big, and some are just BIG--I know of several that stretched over 7' nose to tip of tail. I wonder if a 330 works better on larger otters, as I suspect yours are?

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#175045 - 01/21/02 03:56 AM Re: need help with otter set
NCndeed Offline
New Member

Registered: 01/18/02
Posts: 12
Loc: S-Central, NC
LOL
I would guess a 330 would probably be best for a 7 ft'er.
I guess it's all relative, around here a 20 lb'er is a nice otter. They do run bigger but not THAT big (and not very often).
I would definitely want a clean catch on one of those SE AK amazons.

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