John Bissell outlined 4 principles for best practice trapping, emphasising that old school traps are still good, if each trap set is maximised and being fastidious around each trap:
Select trap by targeting the predator: e.g. Use DOC250 for multiple species such as ferrets and hedgehogs. DOC200s for stoats, only.
Place trap where predator is likely to interact with it / where predators are likely to move: i.e. along lines, edges, rivers, ridges, roads, bridges, culverts, tracks, creeks.
Clear trap entrance / Dig up fresh earth around trap entrance.
Catch attention of predators with baits/lures. Use baits that drip blood!
Try scented lures e.g. Ferret matting, Connovation’s “Lure It” spray and stoat paste and smearing a dead ferret around the trap.
And try visual lures e.g. eggs, golf balls or ping pong balls.
Change your baits.
Make it easy for the animal to die e.g. file/smooth mesh entrances to DOC250s.
Check set-off weights e.g. 100g (rats), 120g (ferrets).
Oil the springs and top of the treadle and set-off the DOC250 trap (several times).
Use lightweight electric drill with appropriate bit-pieces to unscrew trap covers.
Use long-nose pliers to place meat bait safely.
Keep blood off the trap plate.
Use small grubber to clear vegetation from around trap (at least the entrance).
Tweaking of traps and recording and reporting of catches is not yet covered.