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Trapping muskrats using a muskrat slide set is a great way to use a #1 or #1.5 foothold trap for muskrats.
Also referred to as a climb out set, this set targets the trails or "slides" a muskrat leaves behind as they enter and exit the water.
These slides are a great place to trap muskrats because they're easy to find and you can place a foothold trap right in the middle of the muskrats path, increasing the odds it will step on your trap.
The set also doesn't require the use of any bait or lure.
Some people choose to use a bait or lure, but it's not necessary.
Just a well placed foothold in the middle of the slide is enough to do the trick.
To begin, locate a muskrat slide.
The slide will look like a wet, muddy area going up on the bank that's been matted down by the muskrat coming out of the water.
This slide is created by the muskrats when they leave the water and enter the bank in search of food.
Once you locate the slide it's time to construct the set.
A #1 long spring trap or a #1.5 coil spring trap works well.
I usually prefer the #1.5 coil spring because of the added weight and strength of the trap.
The heavier trap will easily drown the muskrat as it attempts to swim, and the added strength will increase the odds of holding the occasional raccoon or mink.
Begin by placing the trap in the water at the base of the slide.
The trigger pan should be about 1 inch under the water.
Set the trap firmly against the bottom of the lake so the trap does not rock back and fourth, and secure the trap to a stake in deeper water.
Why stake the trap in deeper water?
When a muskrat steps on the trap the animal instinctively retreats to deeper water to escape.
Once in deeper water, the weight of the trap will drown the muskrat.
A tangle stake is sometimes driven into the ground in deeper water as well.
The tangle stake is used because the traps chain will get tangled around the stake and prevent the animal from returning to shore.
The tangle stake works well on muskrats, mink and occasionally a raccoon.
Once you have the trap securely fastened to the stake you're done!
The muskrat slide set is a great way to trap muskrats.
You can make the set in just a couple of minutes and the set gives you the opportunity of trapping other popular furbearers like mink and raccoon.