Well you asked so here goes . If money is no object , get J.C. Conners Jake traps or else Sterlings. There are alot of traps out there but these you buy , treat , USE or set out. OThers take some adjusting and modifiying if go SERIOUSLY after yotes. Everyone has there own ideas and what works for them. Bridger nbr 2 and 3s also work. I would suggest offset jaws onthe Bridgers.
I would buy some BMI 4X4 Speacials. I'm not sure if they come with off-set jaws from the factory or not. I took the jaws from some Victor 1.75 off-sets and put them on the BMI's. They fit just fine. I use a double stake swivel and have not lost a single coyote that stepped in the trap. Worm
All offsets do is allow trap levers to come up higher on jaws and some lock in. Bridger does have offset jaws.. With trap levers being higher up on jaws it keeps a stronger grip on paw of canine. If using a four coil trap it is advisable to have wider jaws to absorb extra power four coils put into jaws coming together. Four coils are advisable for traps above nbr 2s when trapping with wider jaws and possibly heavy soil conditions.
I'm confused. No offense, but how can the levers move up higher on the jaws when basiclly the only gap is a section in the center of the jaw and not all the way across the jaws. This is espeacially not correct when you weld in an off-set between the jaws. About the only way I can see getting the levers to come up higher is to remove stock from the outside of the jaw.
The BMI traps I mentioned earlier are great traps, but they can cause a lot of foot damage. With off-set jaws there is a gap so that while the foot is held firmly there is sufficant space in the jaws to avoid breaking the bones in the foot and in turn creating less foot damage. These are only my observations and are by no means set in stone. Like I said, I don't mean to offend anyone. Worm
If the jaw were not offset and a coyotes paw were in it, the jaws would be furhter apart than if the paw was held between jaws with a 1/4 to 3/8 inch gap. This is for a factory offset.
Welded offsets do infact hold the jaws apart and in some cases prevent the levers from coming up the entire way even without a paw between the jaws. Now it is possible, as mentioned to hollow grind the lever side of the jaws to permit the levers to travel higher and thereby effectively reproducing a factory made offset.
The net effect of either offset is, in theory, to reduce foot damage as per Worm.
Now I understand. I have been looking at the situation from an empty trap point of veiw, instead of how it will function with a coyote in the trap.
Wackyquacker is right, with the off-set gap the levers can move up higher when a coyote steps into the trap because the offset allows the trap close more completely than without the gap. I have learned another lesson in this trapping game. Thank you Wackyquacker. I guess I just needed it to be explained to me in better detail. Worm :grin:
Maybe this is a good time for me to ask what advantage "high levers" have on creating a better grip. For sake of argument, lets leave the offsets out of this question, and simply compare a high lever reg jaw to a low lever reg jaw. I, for one, see no difference with the exception that a high lever would be easier to set and more difficult to bed. I had a guy state that he didn't want to buy my Northwoods because they were low levers, and it didn't really make sense to me on a non-offset trap. He isn't alone...many guys insist that a high lever gets a better hold, which in my opinion is simply wrong.
In my humble opinion, I would think that the higher the lever can go, the tighter the jaws will be and also make it harder for the critter to be able to work on its foot, as they would be in the way (the levers) and closer to the animals foot. To my thinking, if you have low levers theres the possibility that the critter will be able to inadvertantly step down on the lever there by decreasing the holding power on the jaws and maybe pulling out. Of course animals don't reason like humans so I could just be blowing smoke. Worm
My back hurts and this is the only chair that seems to help...so I'l throw a possibility out. Say you have regular jaws and low levers. Now you want to or have to offset the jaws let say by welding. This mod will lower the levers even more unless you were to also releave the lever side surface of the jaw. This lower lever position would / could weaken the holding power of the trap; yes? no?
Try this, put the blade of a large screw driver between the jaws and twist the handle. Note if there is any downward lever creep, i.e., the jaws are opening a bit. Now put a very thick something (maybe the shaft of a large screw driver) between the jaws and twist. Did you notice any more downward lever movement? At some point of spread in the jaws you will fiind that the levels begin to slip.
I really haven't tested low levers vs. high lever side by side. However, I have to offset traps and for that matter perfer offset jaws. It has been my experience with, for example, 1.75 victors, a welded in offset of 1/4 inch allows for lever creep to the extent that I feel that it is necessary to grind relief on the lever side of the jaw allowing the levers to come higher and thereby lock the jaws.
I guess that some may perfer high levers because they feel they lock better especially when they have a big something in the jaws.
I do not see why high vs. low levers would be more or less difficult to bed. When the trap is set aren't the levers in about the same position?
I agree with wackyquacker. I beleive that the closer the levers come to a 90 degree angle from the base of the trap the more locking/holding power they will have. I also agree that if I were to weld in an off-set that I would remove stock from the outside of the jaws so that the levers would move about the same if not more higher than they were before the weld was put on. Worm
My preference for coyotes is the Sterling MJ 600,there are alot of places I won't set one for fear of someone "lifting" it.My main trap for coyotes is the Bridger #2 ,I use the standard chain lenght.I have caught lots of coyotes with this trap and not had one pull out yet.I tried the offset #2's and I got to much foot movement,ie cutting.I like the #2's because of the pad or just above the pad catch you get,the jaws are round and smooth.I know lots of people laminate and 4 coil.I tried doing that and I didn't like it,just my preference.you might try some offset and some regular and see what fits your style best.
I love my BMI 4X4 Speacials, but this year I'm going to try some modified #3 victor dls. I'm going to hand grind off-sets, laminate the jaws with #9 or #11 wire (inside) and install base plates. Ray Dowdy has already made the base plates for me to my spec's. Naturally they will be center swiveled. Some will be set up with double stake swivels and some will have heavy-duty 2 prong drags on them. Has anyone got any advice on this type of set up? I proablely should have started another post, hope I'm not stepping on anyones toes. Worm
Why inside lamination? Seems to me that outside would work. I would go with the #9 or 3/16 wire. Remeber that the increased weight and surface will be slower and more easily retarded in heavey and freezing soils.
I have all my dbls on drags and all are stock other than welded offsets to make them legal. If I were to modify these I would base plate to get the center swiveling and for go the laminating.
I have a bunch of laminated traps all are coils which I boosted by four coiling. Bending dlbs is a bit less precise, I think.
The reason for the inside laminations is to try and keep the critters from chewing on their feet. The possibility of catching a red fox is always present and a #3 is a big trap on a fox. Also because the #3dls trap is at the legal limit on jaw spread and I would rather have a little lee way. I do a lot of my trapping for predators in the valley's and river bottoms, where the soil has a lot of sand and I've not had to many problems with having traps freeze down except during really hard freezes. Southern Ohio winters aren't as cold as Northern Ohio winters. When I lived up north my season was usually over by the end of December. Down here I can usually trap until the middle of January without having to use anti-freeze.
I plan to wax my traps to help them operate a little smoother and to also give me the option of trapping later in the season with anti-freeze. All of my #3's were used for beaver trapping so I didn't ever coat them in wax. I use snares all season long, but use them a lot more when it starts freeze every night.
I might go ahead and have the off-set welded in like you mentioned you did to your traps. This will save me a lot of time and energy.
You said all of your traps were set up on drags. Do you do this because of set preservation or is it just a better way to hold the catch. The drags I have are to big for fox to be able move and they usually have the set all torn up. Of course coyotes are worse when it comes to tearing up a set. I myself like to double stake my sets so the coyotes will be there the next day. Double staking has actually kept a thief from stealing my trap, he got the critter but not the trap. Worm
I started with offsets ...state law. Now I've found that, especially with the wide offsets of some factory traps I have very little foot damage. There is a lot if difference in oppinion and experience with offsets and foot damage. If you don't have to, I recommend a complete study. I'll still offset mine.
My #3 dbls are the same jaw spread as my #2 coils; or dang close but what ever your state regs are. I've had so little foot damage do to chewing, and that was a cat, that I don't even consider it. I don't have Reds, try not to catch the Grays and Kit fox and have absolutely know experience with *****.
I use a lot of drags. Set preservation is really a side benefit for me. I mostly drag to get the catch hidden and / or not worry about stakes pulling. The critters seem in better shape on a drag...they head for a tree if there is one; shade, springing hold and some thing to chew on.
You've got to wonder about remakes after reading the forum threads. With a drag you have "fresh" soil to put a soiled trap into unlike a staked set where everything smells the same. Conventional forum wisdom says you probably will be better off using a clean trap in clean dirt. Well I've been putting draged traps back in remakes since I started and on very few instances do I ever notice a problem. Go figure. Let me say this, just a few weeks ago I had such a set. After a remake, a coyote visited the set and didn't show the decencey to step on the pan. It rained that night / next day. At the next check the trap was dug at. The actual particulars are hard to know but, when it was dry no diggy, wet diggy. This is, at least, consistent with increased olfactory sensitivity associated with moisture.
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