Saturday, July 27, 2019

Trapping Red Squirrels

According to Mr Internet, the key to making a common, wooden rat-trap into an effective trap for red squirrels is to add some points to prevent the squirrel from pulling out.  You can see the points sticking out a 1/2" in line with the words "THE ORIGINAL"  The other key point is to funnel the squirrels in over the front of the trap. Squirrels, as agile as they are, are likely to come in at angles that preclude the trap making a kill-shot.
The opening of the hardware cloth shield is bent inward to force the body of the squirrel to center over the front of the trap.

Baited with a half of a pecan and a few dabs of peanut butter for scent.

Another view. The hardware cloth shield pivots on some roofing nails. The next iteration will use deck screws and fender washers.

A slightly different view. The top of the shield is 4-1/2" high.

All squirrels are attracted to leaning poles, especially when the end that is on the ground is near short grass. I suspect they like running up poles in preference to pushing through tall, ground vegetation where predators might be lurking. I salted the leaning pole with three dabs of peanut butter, one high, one mid and one low. The top of the pole rests in the crotch of a walnut tree.
I need to control my red squirrel population. Last year they destroyed 90% of my pear crop. They did not eat the pears, just the seeds.

I also have some hazel nuts that I intend to harvest. I can use nets to stop the blue jays but nets will not slow down the squirrels.

I expect that I will need to go through three iterations of the trap set-up before it works well. That is part of being successful, to expect failures and to have a plan(s) to make changes to remedy short-comings.

Bonus picture
This is one of my coffee drinking buddies. He likes to fish. Michigan prohibits the sale of game fish. Tom gives them away. Last week he gave away sixty pounds of channel cats.


  1. Good luck with those, it will be interesting to see the 'final' product! And that would be some good eating, thin sliced filets, proper breading, and deep fried!

  2. I find that poisoning them with lead pellets works better.

    Either hot gasses or compressed air (if you need to be quiet)....Either way works better than traps. Seldom do they get away, either.

  3. I have pretty good luck on red squirrels with a .22 pellet rifle but that takes time to stalk them! I suppose 110 conibears might be too large. I don't know about eating trapped squirrels in summer since they don't bleed out, I'd at least give them a good kosher salt soak.

  4. Wow, if my grandfather and uncle had seen this things might have been different at the family farm a little north of Vermontville just across the county line on E State Road. The house was surrounded by walnut trees. Till grandpa moved there full time they wintered the house. One year squirrels filled the attic with walnut husks. He declared war and every male with a gun was expected to do their part. I attended Olivet College and often rode a bike there on weekends. I used a 22 short gallery pump rifle poorly. My cousin would wake me every morning with his 20 ga gun. He killed many more than I did. We never put even a small dent in the red squirrel population.

    1. I walked by your Grandfather's house last July.

  5. Replies
    1. Catfish were last week. That is a 28", Northern Pike. Sometimes he brings walleye. He is an equal opportunity fisherman.

  6. Catfish is half of 'redneck surf n turf' the other half being BBQ. Either pork or brisket. It's considered a prime meat in east texas. Good stuff if wild caught. Farm raised is ok too but wild blue cat is premium eating.

  7. Try a bucket trap ?


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