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Thread: Possum Trapping

  1. #1
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    Possum Trapping

    Hi guys new to the forum.

    Been soaking up as much information as I can through the search for possums. I'm looking to start doing it 'hard out' as I cant get a job. I realise I might not get great results to begin with but I'm hoping by the time Winter comes, trail 'n' error and some great advice from my new friends (you guys) will eventually pay off.

    I'll set the scene here: I stay on a decent piece of land in a valley (350acres). I'd say 250 acres of it is thick bush. As far as I'm aware nobody has hunted possums on it in the past 15 years. I am willing to work every day of the week if I need to. But will comfortably do 6 day weeks consistently because quite frankly, I'm bored as hell.


    I've done a fair bit of research on the web and most of my questions have been answered however I still have a few more if anyone would be willing to help a brother out. Don't feel you have to answer all my q's any help is greatly appreciated!


    1. I understand it's hard to tell because it will always vary but in general, is the land I have big enough to sustain me till the end of winter. Taking into account the fact that the land has been untouched in a long time. I'm looking to eventually have 100 traps going at once. (Would it ever be worth getting more or am I getting carried away here?)

    2. What kind of quota should I be aiming for here or realistically expecting to catch? 100 possums a week? More? Less?

    3. Should I be plucking or taking the skin when using as many as 100 traps? What would I be getting for a skin and is it worth the extra time/effort?

    4. I have heard that some buyers don't like the belly fur or the tail fur in the same bag as your good fur. I have spoke to people that do it recreationally and they normally seem to chuck it all in one bag and get away with it.

    5. Do I need to declare my earnings and will I be taxed?

    6. Is it worth keeping as much fur as I can until the price's of fur are at its peak for the season? Are the buyers generally ok with that?

    7. If the condition is good am I quite safe to be buying second hand ground traps?

    8. Are there any tree species that possums seem to favour over others?

    I'll leave it at that just now don't want to be too much of a pain in the ass with all the q's!! But honestly, any advice/criticism if you have the time, will be super appreciated.

    Going out on Wednesday for the night with a spot light to get a feel for the place and to find places where there may be higher concentrations of possums. Will probably do this a few times, in the daytime as well. Will keep this thread updated with my results for anyone else looking to get into it.

    Scotsman
    FatLabrador and Sh00ter like this.

  2. #2
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    Iv always put the first small part of tail fur in the bag, you will see the rest is coarse. You can sell the coarse tail fur as well but keep it seperate, it's worth less.
    Belly fur is fine, nobody has moaned about it to me.
    There was a picture of a wheel floating around it had which trees the opossums were in, at which time of year. But I understand it to be whatever tree has buds out. Someone else might have a copy of it.
    Your probably best to talk to your fur buyer first, let him say what he likes, or what pays the best. I think if you get a nice top grade skin, he should explain the grades, your better to skin that one. It could be the difference between $7 of plucked fur, or $20 of a top grade skin.
    My old man used to dry skins on a nail board, but I think you can store them in a freezer now instead, rolled up.
    Waiting for the fur price to go up is just business, everyone does it unless they need the money.
    If you start making big bucks, yes ird will want some. The buyer will ask your name, I think that's all. I think it's up to you to declare it.

    Iv been out of this for a while, I can't remember all the details, but maybe this will help. Good luck.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the advice mate, much appreciated!

    Going out tonight with the spotlight and an air rifle, will post my results on here tomorrow.

    Cheers

  4. #4
    OPCz Rushy's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum and good luck to you in this venture.
    scotsman likes this.
    It takes 43 muscle's to frown and 17 to smile, but only 3 for proper trigger pull.
    What more do we need? If we are above ground and breathing the rest is up to us!
    Rule 1: Treat every firearm as loaded
    Rule 2: Always point firearms in a safe direction
    Rule 3: Load a firearm only when ready to fire
    Rule 4: Identify your target beyond all doubt
    Rule 5: Check your firing zone
    Rule 6: Store firearms and ammunition safely
    Rule 7: Avoid alcohol and drugs when handling firearms

  5. #5
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    Thanks mate

  6. #6
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    It's a hard call on whether there is enough land for you till after winter, if there are high numbers you may be able to stretch it out ok. Depending on how many possums you are catching I think a 100 traps would be more than enough. My brother-in law and I trapped a few years back and during winter (shorter days)and I found around 50 traps was a good day and got you back to camp to prepare dinner etc. A younger fit person should be able to do a few more. You should be able to catch in at least 50% of your traps so 50 traps should get 25 + a day once again in high populations 50 traps might catch 40 + possums. Don't lift your traps to soon as some areas will catch for weeks eg on runs or feed trees, etc At least three fine nights min and if still catching keep them set.
    Work the ridges , spurs and gullies to get max coverage, and use plenty of lure to draw the possums onto your lines ( a hand full of flour lure with your flavor should be smeared down the tree where you will set your trap, this acts as a scent and visual attractant. Possums love Totara and Kamahi they are also suckers for pine when they bud usually July/ August but varies in different areas followed by Willow and poplar. Buy setting on ridges and spur ridges you should have there natural run areas covered.
    Good luck it's great trapping possums and it sounds good when you walk up your line and hear that chain rattling ....money in the bank.
    Woody and scotsman like this.

  7. #7
    Member Boaraxa's Avatar
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    do a we test run in june see what the skins are like & what you get for them but July & August would be the pic

  8. #8
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    Suggest you contact NZ Fur Council for fur buyer contacts and also Google search possum fur and skin buyers. These people will give some advice. Keep your investment to a minimum until you properly evaluate populations and markets. Be prepared to look for additional area.

  9. #9
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    Thanks guys for your sound advice. Much appreciated! That's a good shout woody, I've gathered about 20 traps right now free of charge. Think ill use them for a week or 2 to see what returns I get before I buy some.

  10. #10
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    UPDATE

    Ok so went out last night, maybe a bit earlier than normal for a night session. Was pretty disappointed as I only managed to bag 3 possums and didn't cover as much ground as I'd hoped to of, although probably seen about 10 and could hear many more (I swear the gun was off). Most of the time was spent on the flats or walking along a good path at the edge of the bush. I did manage to persuade my friend to trek into the bush with me and we walked about for about and hour and a half circling an area. Didn't see a single possum in there! It consisted of pretty much the same kind of tree, relatively long and very skinny with bits of bark flaking off and leaves right at the top. But to look on the bright side at least I learnt that there isn't a lot in that spot!

    By about 2am a thick mist had came down and made visibility pretty difficult not to mention our spot light ran out of battery so we started eeling as the land owner asked us to get him a few.
    There also wasn't a moon last night not sure if that makes any difference?

    I found one area which I marked with a bit of tape where I feel it would be worth setting a line to test at least I seen 3 I think all pretty close together and I could hear some in the background.

    I want to go back out tomorrow during the day to cover as much ground as possible while searching for fresh possum runs and anything else that indicates possums.

    Cheers

  11. #11
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    The air rifle might not be off, there pretty tough critters. I think your a bit under gunned.
    It would work OK point blank, if stuck in a trap.

  12. #12
    Member nightshooter's Avatar
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    some thing to remember when useing traps is they must be checked every 24hr.so you need to think about that when putting out your line,you will be slower checking them with skining and trying to stay on your line etc.i know this from personal experience

  13. #13
    Member Boaraxa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightshooter View Post
    some thing to remember when useing traps is they must be checked every 24hr.so you need to think about that when putting out your line,you will be slower checking them with skining and trying to stay on your line etc.i know this from personal experience
    That's easy as your not doing any skinning until the next day pluss dong 1 carry it until you can get a bit of a dead possum party going on , helps u remember whats what as well rather than have coons hanging here n there remember they need to be cold when you skin them in the winter maybe they hang for 3 or 4 days is fine !, spotlighting from inside the bushline is crap especially if they have been spotlighted B4 they go to the tree top game over , but no matter what spotlighting you do make sure ur looking directly overtop of the light like a sight as sometimes they are inside the tree if that makes sense if ur spot light is down by your wast & ur just wanging it round you may not see there eyes..if your serious get your poison licence much easier carrying a tube of past & lure , 2-3 days latter skin, in-between skinning you can do some prefeed lines , bait stations can be really good only downside is if there are good numbers they can fight over it leave a few windows in there pelts but these days sadly probably not your biggest worry iv found in recent years is a total lack of coons anywhere carnt even remember the last time I ran 1 over ...good luck

  14. #14
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    We were always taught that night shooting in native bush is about 10% effective due to the canopy cover, if you can get in under the canopy and look up it can be more effective. Bush edges along grassed areas are good spots to check. I have spent many thousands of hours spot lighting and have found you can get good results but you have to work the area carefully and not to quickly as sometimes it's just a glint of an eye that gives them away.

  15. #15
    Member stug's Avatar
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    Keep receipts of your expenses and see if you can find a cheap accountant so that you can claim back your expenses.

 

 

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