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Trapping principles:

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.

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