STAKES, EARTH ANCHORS OR DRAGS
Depending which part of the country you are from, fastening your traps has been debated face to face, written or otherwise as much as any issue, if not all. I myself have a variety of some sort of all the anchoring systems in my trap arsenal that I have found to have a use for some time throughout the trapping season.
Rebar stakes 12″ to 15″ long work well for my area. Double staked is necessary here in the Northeast because of the coyotes. Its not uncommon for me to catch a big male coyote in the 50 to 55 pound range over the recent years.
Personally, I prefer the earth anchors, the flat arrow type (so called Disposable) and the bullet type with 15″ to 18″ cable hold well. After I learned to always make a pilot hole before sinking the anchor I switched to the earth anchors almost exclusively. It is very important to remember to give your earth anchors a pull test to insure its ability to hold. As far as removal of disposable anchors I had a friend make a anchor pulling tool that works well, pretty much just a large stainless steel fish hook with a foot. I have also used a pick ax to remove them, and the winch on my wheeler pulls the stubborn ones.
More than one time while trying to pound stakes or even earth anchors I’ve encountered a extra large rock or some other obstruction. So drags are the way to go as long as the target animal gets hung up quickly. I’ve used drags successfully over the years and keep several traps rigged with drags and a long chain, five feet to ten feet isn’t too long.
Variations to all the above fastening systems can be used depending on the ground you trap, and all the debate in the world won’t satisfy every trapper until he finds out for himself what works best for each individual situation.
Bits and pieces by JES 🙂
(John Stempien is from Sweet Valley, Pennsylvania and is a guest contributor to H2 Tackle and Outdoors)