Book review: New Age DP Coon Trapping Methods and More! By Leroy Renno. Mifflintown, PA: Juniata Valley Trapper Supply, 2013. 64 pages. $11.95.
With the rise in the use of encapsulated-foot traps, also known as dog-proof traps (i.e. DP traps), it was good to see a book discussing the ins and outs of their use. Mr. Renno hails from Pennsylvania and has years of experience with these traps which he shares in this easy to read book.
Mr. Renno begins by a quick review of raccoon behavior. He discusses the raccoon’s intelligence, reproduction, and weather-based activity in order to set the stage for explaining the use of DPs to catch raccoons. Next, Mr. Renno describes the fundamental elements of the DP traps. Though he has only used the Coon Dagger, Duke DP, Sterling Griz, and the Trapmaster (RC Best Modified), readers should know that the information is applicable to all the various types of DPs on the market today. I appreciated Mr. Renno’s candor in explaining that though designed for raccoons, DPs can and do capture other animals. He rightly cautions readers not to get overly confident about the species specificness of these traps, particularly around built up areas as the trapper will likely be in a for an unwanted surprise. I was surprised to see that Renno doesn’t believe that these traps need to have a push-pull trigger. Readers should hear him out before rejecting his comments.
After describing how to prepare your new traps for the line, Renno discusses the three ways he uses to anchor the traps. Having used DPs this season on my own trapline, I would emphasize the importance of making sure your quicklinks are wrenched tight, should you decide to use them at all. In my opinion, split rings are a more reliable choice to secure DPs to cables.
The last section of the book details Renno’s fur handling techniques, which he claims will increase your fur check by 20%. In surprisingly brief terms, Renno takes you through his process from equipment to skinning, to fleshing, to stretching, to damage repair. Images, though black and white, are clear and helpful in illustrating his points.
It was Renno’s description of the various sets used for DP traps that I found the most significant. Sets are critical because the DP has to be properly mounted/placed into the ground in order to provide the resistance necessary for a raccoon to fire the trap. He shows how to make sets in water and frozen ground. Nor does Renno overlook the difficult question of baiting. He discusses his baiting choices as well as methods for protecting your bait from the ubiquitous mice that are available to steal it.
In sum, Mr. Renno has provided trappers with important information on how to incorporate DP traps into your trapline. I think readers will appreciate his humility and brevity with words.
Copies of the book are available for $15.00 ppd from the author. Make checks payable to Juniata Valley Trapper Supply and mail to 251 Maple Lane Mifflintown, PA 17059. Otherwise call 717-463-3624 and pay with a credit card.
About the Author
Stephen M. Vantassel is a Certified Wildlife Control Operator (CWCP®) 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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