I have used foothold traps exclusively for years, but decided to expand my horizons a bit and add a dozen Duke dogproof traps into the mix this season. Besides the obvious advantage of cutting down on non-target catches, my main motivation for trying DP's is to keep my 'coon line running after the weather hits that freeze-thaw seesaw. Keeping footholds freeze-proof can be done, obviously, but I personally find it to be a pain in the butt. A self-contained, above ground trap offers many advantages when the weather goes bad. So, that's part of my plan for this season.
Here's a Duke dog proof trap out of the box:
Here's another view:
One thing I like is the sturdy stabilizing stake on the bottom of the trap. After anchoring the trap from the chain with a rebar or cable stake, the trap can simply be pushed into the ground and stabilized in the upright position. The springs are VERY strong on these traps right out of the box. The trigger inside the tube of the trap is activated by being pulled, so bait is placed on the trigger itself and/or below the trigger at the bottom of the trap tube. These pictures show the trigger within the tube and the trap in the set position:
The only modification I made was to shorten the chain and add a mid-chain swivel. I don't see the need for so much chain on the stock trap, and you can never have enough swivel action to keep the 'coons from twisting out of the trap or damaging a foot. Here's my slightly modified trap chain:
I'll post some results once I get these traps in action. I'm waiting until mid-November until our Pennsylvania raccoons are prime. If you have any tips or experiences to share regarding these traps, I'd love to hear from you!