Dog-Proof traps solve a lot of problems with non-target animals.

New technology is the norm. As the years slip into decades, the innovation march continues to accelerate expotentially. Even centuries old pursuits, comformed to tradition and the we-always-did-it-this-way perspective have been impacted. Trapping, too, is caught up in this.

Foot-grippers have been the mainstay of trapping. Back in the middle of the 1900s, Frank Conibear invented a body-gripper, the Conibear, which instantly changed trapping otter, beaver, muskrat and some land animals forever. Thus, we had foot-grippers and body-grippers.

From about the 1980s on, various dog-proof trap designs hit the market. These DPs have been refined and are now the go-to trap for a huge number of raccoon trappers. DPs are to coon trapping, what body-grippers are to muskrat trapping. They are a game changer.
What is so special about DPs?

First of all, DPs have a round opening just large enough for a raccoon to reach through with a paw. This size eliminates dogs, coyotes and most fox. Their large paws keep them from reaching into the trap. That is the first plus.

Secondly, once an animal reaches into a DP, it must reach down to the bottom to get the bait. Most animals will reach and push down. That’s about it.

The triggers on DPs are near the very bottom. The bait rests just under the trigger, or with some baits like marshmallows, are speared on the trigger itself. The trigger on most DPs will only set off the trap if pulled upward. That upward pull is easy for a raccoon, but pretty difficult if not impossible for most other animals.

A few DPs are made with push-pull triggers, triggering with either up or down motion. These can be triggered by more animals than just raccoon. For this reason, I recommend only the pull-type if coon are your only target.

If coon fur prices are good, say over $10, I consider them the money fur in Pennsylvania. Raccoon are found everywhere (even in the cities), have high populations, and are easy to catch.

Right now, the price on coon is low. This has made their populations climb even higher because of lower trapping and hunting pressure. Thus, nuisance control of raccoon has increased. They are hard on corn crops, den in buildings, eat food set out on porches for pets, and transmit round worm, distemper, and rabies.

Whether trapping coon for fur, nuisance control, or both, it is always fun. Ringtails are a worthy challenge. The best way to pursue them is with dog-proof raccoon traps. Modern technology has brought coon trapping to a new level. •