I think I want to do something like this:
I’m not sure how to place the bait, though, and I’d love to hear any other pointers on how to most efficiently trap squirrels. I’m currently having trouble with squirrels getting into my field corn crop, but I’m hoping to trap them with black walnuts as bait placed in the trees along the nearby woods edge.
I have found it is better to build a wire enclosure (3 sided box) with the trap guarding the entrance than to try and bait the triggers. Sunflower seed and a glop of peanut butter tends to be a good bait.
What is it you don’t like as much about baiting the trigger?
When you use the wire enclosure, where do you place it? I want to find a way to place it to reduce the chance of bycatch.
You typically get a lot of sprung traps with squirrels if you bait the trigger. Trap in front of the cage, make the cage slightly bigger than trap so when it fires it doesn hit the cage. You can notch the side of the cage so that the spring will slide into the notch and then the trap will be inside the cage opening. Bait inside the back of the cage. Conibears are designed so that the animal has to travel through the trap to fire it.
Bend one of the wires to 90 degrees to the other so that it holds the bait on the other wire. I use a dremel tool to drill a small hole in the bait walnut for wire insertion.
Once my grey squirrels have seen another squirrel strangled in such traps they seem to avoid them. Right now I"m having good luck leading them into coon traps (they shy away from smaller traps) with sunflower seeds and peanuts. Drown the captured animals- they are too squirlly for me to get a good shot with a high powered pellet gun and the process becomes gruesome and cruel. Their high metabolisms make drowning quick (perhaps not by their sense of time).
Of course, your squirrels my have different behaviors- even the same species vary widely. You can experiment with suggestions, but don’t expect the same results. Also, you tend to only kill the personality types geared to your methods of execution- behaviors are tied to inherited personality- even in squirrels. Until I got a shotgun, my squirrels used to run up trees to get away from me, but in their DNA there must be the potential for both tree climbers and ground runners when they panic. I killed a lot more of the climbers so now most of my squirrels are ground runners.
All animals adapt so we have to also to keep up with them.
Your squirrels are smarting than mine. I went out this morning to check my tube traps and had a caught grey squirrel sticking out one end and another grey squirrel was all the way emerged in the other end eating what was left of the peanut butter bait. At first I thought I had caught two!
I’m averaging 3 to 4 a day here. Makes one wonder where the all come from? At least the foxes are eating well.
Im having good luck with conibear traps inside a box made with a 6 ft long 6" wide fence board
Costs less than $2 for the wood and the traps are pretty cheap. I got these round ones but i think the #50 trap would be better and is cheapet. I close off the box ecspt for a 2" hole. Bait with peanut butter. I put thr trap pretty far back in the box and mount 5ft off the ground to reduce nontarget captures. None so far. The best part for my neighborhood is it looks like a bird house!