Video Review: Animalistics: Trapping Winter Coyotes with “The Animal” Darin Freeborough. Animalistics Outdoors 2010. Approx. 2 hrs.
Readers of this column should be familiar with the name Darin Freeborough because I have reviewed several of his coyote trapping videos in earlier articles. Like the others, this one does not disappoint. Mr. Freeborough knows how to present information in a manner that is not only informative but entertaining too.
After a heart-pumping introduction, Freeborough explains that this video will discuss sets used during the late-fall to the end of the season (probably end of February). He says the number one rule is “Keep the traps working.” This is a challenging rule to follow because the changing conditions of freezing, thawing, and snow require different bedding conditions. Nevertheless, Freeborough says you can keep your traps working during the chaotic weather of the late season if you prepare and are willing to put in the work.
Freeborough divides the late season into 5 different types of trapping conditions, namely freezing at night, cold all the time, ground frozen solid with little snow, snow, and frozen all the time with snow. He then provides sets that are suitable for each of those conditions. The important thing to take away is not so much the sets, although they are important but knowing how to select the right bedding material to match the trapping conditions. Freeborough explains when to use salt, peatmoss, buckwheat hulls, hay and grass, and waxed dirt. Interestingly, Freeborough rarely uses waxed dirt because “it is too expensive.”
If you are looking for a video to show you how to make your sets so that you never have to re-bed them as conditions change, then you are looking for the wrong video. Freeborough is too honest to sell that kind of story. He says quite frankly that you should never set more traps than you can remake on the weekend.
Readers should know that this video focusses only on using footholds. Freeborough spends no time on snares or cable restraints, probably because those devices weren’t legal in Pennsylvania at the time his video was made. He quickly reviews the types of footholds he uses and the features he likes in each. In addition, he reviews the tools he uses on his winter line. Given the number of shovels, I suggest that trappers have strong backs or use a vehicle.
Freeborough does break up the focus on coyotes with a couple of clips showing a caught fisher and bobcat. Each were released, but I wish he had explained the importance of using a catch-pole carefully when dealing with bobcats. Bobcats, as well as other felines, can sustain life-threatening injuries if you cinch down too hard on a loop wrapped around their neck. Though they look like they are fine (as they run away), they might die later. I think Freeborough demonstrated care but adding a voice over explaining his actions would have improved the learning experience for viewers.
The visual and audio quality of the video is superb. It is apparent that Freeborough employs professionals in the production process. If you want to keep your footholds working during the crazy winter months, then this video will help you accomplish that.
The video costs $34.95 plus 10.50 shipping (P.A. residents add 6% sales tax) and is available online at http://coyotevideos.net or by mail at Animalistics Trapping Darin Freeborough 20 McKinley Ave. Warren, PA 16365; 814-730-6104. Make checks payable to Darins Nuisance Control.
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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