If you’re reading this article then it’s fairly evident that you’re at least considering turning to the adaptable Muskrat for your trapping needs. This semi-aquatic burrowing rodent does offer an interesting new experience for trappers that have only restricted themselves to more traditional burrowers such as rabbits or weasels; primarily because of their amphibious nature.
The fact that you can just as easily trap them in the water as on land gives you a lot of options for the kind of trap or trapping method that you can use. This article aims to provide a very basic and general description of the best types of muskrat traps, in no particular order. Each of these traps (also known as “sets”) will be explained in much greater detail in their respective articles; feel free to click their links if any of them catch your fancy.
keep in mind though that Muskrat traps will vary depending on where you are planning to go trapping along with the season. Some traps have been proven to be better than others so you might need to try a few different things in order to succeed. Also note: Make sure you check for what seasons your state allows to trap in as you don’t want to be out illegally trapping.
Types of Muskrat Traps:
- Spring Run Muskrat Set:
- Muskrat Runway Set:
- Muskrat Slide Set:
- Muskrat Den Set:
- Muskrat Board Set:
- Muskrat Float Set:
Named more for the location of the trap rather than the trap itself, a spring run muskrat set is any kind of trap (usually a foothold or body gripping trap) that is located in the narrower sections of a stream that flows into a larger body of water. These spots are usually frequented by raccoons and mink as well, so spring run traps can easily be modified to catch those animals too. We consider this to be one of the top muskrat traps to use due to how versatile it is.
The muskrat is a creature that doesn’t really do very well with covering its tracks. They usually leave deep furrows or “runways” in the shallow parts of the stream that they most frequent. Body gripping traps deployed at these locations are quite successful at catching the creatures.
In the same vein as the last set, the muskrat slide set also takes advantage of the rodent’s complete lack of concern for its own trail. The spots where the muskrat officially earns its semi-aquatic descriptor are usually quite distinctive and these “slides” that link water with land are ideal sites for your traps.
Once you’ve located the muskrat’s primary abode, it should feel quite natural to set a trap at the place it feels most safe. Muskrat den traps are even more appealing than the others because they do not require the use of lures or bait. All they need to do is simply swim on in and they’ll be trapped in no time. Some trappers find this to be one of the top muskrat traps simply due to the ease of trapping it offers. Assuming you actually find a den though thats suitable for the trap.
These sets take advantage of the harsher segments of winter when the water over the muskrat trails has frozen over. One would nail both trap and bait onto a narrow wooden board and plunge it into the earth under the ice at an incline (after cutting out a small hole in the ice, of course). The closer the board set is located to a muskrat trail, the better the trap works.
Muskrats must be the surfers of the animal kingdom because they seem to enjoy riding floating logs and other detritus. Setting traps on these “floaters” can be an interesting way to trap yourself a muskrat, even if this particular set is somewhat challenging to get right.