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by Bill Frank from Texas
Remakes are perhaps one of the biggest concerns for canine trappers. After a day of making fresh sets its agravating to find a possum in your yote sets the next day. That perfect, subtle location is gone, those weed clumps are no longer there, and your perfect set is just a circle in the dirt. Some people, as a matter of course, just pull that trap and make a fresh set nearby. Others remake the set exactly as it was. Some remake it into a different type of set, and some pull and use the same trap at the edge of the circle. Mine are simple. I generally make 2 main types of fresh sets: flat sets and stepdown sets. I also use the trail set a little, but that's just a flat set made in a trail.
Stepdowns: I have found that I have a lot of success in stepdowns remade back into stepdowns. My best remakes over the years have been in stepdowns. Some of my stepdowns have taken 3 or 4 coyotes in them over the years, so I always make my stepdowns back into stepdowns.
First, I clear out the stepdown bed, which is usually pretty easy to do. I just scoop out the duff and use it as guides, or if there is too much duff I just toss it to the side. Almost without exception the roof of the lure hole is gone, so I have to import a new roof. I don't waste too much time looking- a flat rock, a dirt clump from a plowed field, a dug up weed clump turned upside down- all work well.
I relure every remake but make no effort to use the same lures. I like the different types of smells and I believe it adds to the set. So I make a stepdown, much like the original, in the middle of the catch circle. I mist the entire stepdown pattern with urine.
Flat sets: My flat sets are pretty natural. Occasionally I forget the EXACT location of the set- I know within a few yards- but until I catch something or I pull them they often blend in so well that I'm not QUITE sure where the trap is set. In a field with a bunch of bare spots and dust circles blending is much easier. Most of my flat sets take advantage of color lines of dirt or grass with subtle guides and subtle locations. No way can they be made back naturally, so I don't even try.
What I do is take all the duff in the circle and use that to make a walkthrough set. I take 2/3 or so of the duff and make a pile about 2 or 3 feet long and maybe 4 inches high. I do this so that it is in a "bow" shape- think of the bow with the hand grip by the trap and the tips curving back away from the trap. I put this where the original backing (or color line) was.
The other 1/3 of the duff I put where the trap guard was. I make this pile much smaller and less defined.
I then relure at the two corners.
The area between the two duff piles is smoothed out creating a walkway through the set. The rest of the circle is left as is. Where the trap is set, I like to crowd the duff piles in tight so the width of the walkway is about 1 1/2 times the width of the trap.
If droppings are present from canines I might use one by the trap dog but usually leave then scattered around the set. If I have another trap close by I sometimes add a fresh dropping to it but seldom pick up and take droppings of the site.
On these sets I mist the entire walk through set with urine.
If a set is too muddy or impossibly beat up, I'll pull the trap and make a fresh set using the same trap. In this case I use the edge of the catch circle as a backing and make a sort of fresh remake.
Another killer remake is smoothing out the catch circle and find a good clump of grass 12" or so tall, dig it up and "plant" it in the middle of the catch circle. Then I set the grass on fire and let it burn for a few seconds and put it out with a couple of squirts/mists of urine. Make a flat set there using burnt grass as a backing. Jim Brooks taught me this burnt grass method years ago and I have found it very effective.