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The Flat Set

by "Bic" in Central PA

There is no doubt that the Dirt Hole set is the most widely used set on a k9 trapper’s line . It is a highly productive set which can often cause a trapper to develop tunnel vision and overlook other productive set types. One of these overlooked set types the Flat Set.

By definition, a flat set is just that, flat. It has no hole dug into the ground to hide bait or lure. The set isn’t flashy with exposed dirt for eye appeal. All that is required to create this set is an object to be used as a backer. As with any set, it needs to be located where the K9 are traveling.

To make this set, select an object to be used as a backer. It can be a rock, piece of log, root or other natural occurring object of your preference.  (All pics can be clicked to enlarge).

Dig your trap bed so that your pan will be located about 6” from the backer for fox or 10” from the backer for coyote. Be sure, as with any set, that your trap is bedded firmly and has no wobble.

Then cover as you normally would. After you have done this, blend in the dirt pattern so the set looks natural and undisturbed. Be sure to leave the dirt directly over the pan slightly lower than the surrounding area. A little bit of guiding will help him place his foot where YOU want it.

The next step is to apply your lure. Because this is a curiosity type set, use a gland based lure formulated for your targeted species. Apply the gland lure to the base of the backer on the side that the trap is bedded on and just above ground level.

Flat sets are great to use in conjunction with other set types. When I find sign that is worthy of setting, I prefer to make at least two sets that that location. One set may be a typical Dirt hole set. I’ll call this set the “primary set.” Paying close attention to the prevailing wind direction, I will move 8 to 10 feet downwind from the “primary set” and locate my secondary set. This “secondary location” can be a great spot to install your Flat set. Often when a K9 comes into the “primary set” he will cautiously circle down wind of the set to better survey the area before committing to the set. During this circling ritual, he will pass near the less suspicious, more subtle Flat set. A Urine post is another great set to use in this situation as a secondary set type. Often, this is where the trapper will find his catch while running his line the next morning.

So, remember to keep some of these other set types in mind when you're laying steel. You just might increase your catch rates and pick up a few doubles in the process.

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