Fournier, Gaetan. 2011.Canid Trapping and Management PIGEC: Safety and Wildlife Conservation Educational Program (PESCOF). Federation des trappeurs gestionnaires du Quebec (FTGQ). 160 pages.
Canada has been one of the international leaders in developing trapping best practices for trapping. This fact is understandable given that its trapping heritage spans all the way back to the 17th century with the French fur trade.
Canid Trapping and Management is actually an advanced course. It assumes that readers have already undergone the FTGQ’s basic trapping course. Nevertheless, the book contains enough detail that anyone with basic familiarity with trapping will not feel too overwhelmed.
The text divides the training into five chapters. After explaining the goals of the training in the introduction, chapter 1 reviews the biology of foxes, coyotes, and wolves. The biological information is not complete, however, as Fournier only focusses on biological information important for trapping success, such as marking behavior, sign, habitat selection, diet, etc. Chapter 2 reviews equipment and its preparation. Great attention is paid on foot traps designed to meet international humane standards as well as how to set some of the more unusual traps. Two of the traps mentioned, namely the Belisle Selectif and the Rudy Redwolf, I had never heard of before. Snares and their parts were also discussed in great detail.
Chapter 3, Attractants, was the most valuable chapter in my opinion. The level of scientific detail contained in this chapter will dispel any thought that more lure must be better. Readers will learn why urine is so important as well as how to identify quality urine. If nothing else, this chapter will save canine trappers plenty of money by reducing the misuse of lure. Do-it-yourselfers will find the description of lure preparation and suggested recipes helpful.
Techniques for the capture of canids is presented in chapter 4. Fournier spends a lot of time on site selection as well as proper bedding and positioning of traps. The chapter is fairly balanced between the setting of foot-traps and snares. The suggestions on using traps in deep snow to take advantage of canid behavior is particularly noteworthy such as the hillock method.
The book concludes with skinning and pelt handling. The level of detail is remarkable. The author explains how to avoid common errors (green stomach and freezer burn) along with a review of fur grading. While nothing beats hands-on experience, the text and photos in this book are a close second.
It is difficult to find sufficient superlatives to describe this book. Though contains a few typos, the quality of the layout, artwork, information, and photos make it well worth the price. I believe this text presents a standard that American trapping organizations should seek to match.
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About the Author
Stephen M. Vantassel is a certified wildlife control operator who helps individuals, businesses, and agencies resolve wildlife damage issues through training, writing, expert witness, and research. His latest books are the Wildlife Damage Inspection Handbook, 3rd edition and The Practical Guide to the Control of Feral Cats. He can be contacted at wildlifecontrolconsultant at gmail dot com.
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