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Set Making

I have mentioned briefly how to make the some of the sets I mentioned  earlier now I'll explain shortly how to make them in greater detail and some time provide pictures.

The first set that must be explained thoroughly is the dirthole set. Probably the best dirthole maker was Charles Dobbins. As a trapper during the fur boom he had to make variations to the dirthole since everybody was using it to catch the wild canines. These variations are better than the original dirthole and were used more by Charles than the standard dirthole I'll explain below.

The first step to make the dirthole is to locate or place an adequate backing to prevent animals from working the set from the side or from behind the set. The next step is to to dig out a trap bed and to place the trap and bed it but do not cover the trap pan, when digging a trap bed or dirthole try to keep all dirt on your kneeling pad or near the bed t prevent spooking animals and place all dirt in a sifter for later use.. The next step is to to dig a hole that is at least 4-6 inches from the trap pan and an inch to the right for fox or 8-10 inches back, 2 inches to the right  for the coyote. This hole should be 2 1/2 to 4 inches in diameter and sloping at a minimum 45 degree angle and a foot deep or shallower if unable to dig that far down. The next step is to place lure, bait or urine at the set however you feel is practicable. The last step in making the dirthole is to sift dirt over the trap so that it is completely covered and there is a slight depression over the pan and blend in the set if you feel blending is needed.

The variations to the dirthole and presentations of it are numerous. One popular variation is the "Old Indian" set or step-down set. Here, I'll give credit to Herb Lenon. This set is made by cutting out a "v" shaped bed for the trap just wide enough in the opening of the "v" that a set trap will fit inside, the bed should be  2-3 inches deep. At the apex, where the "v" closes, dig out a dirthole so that the upper lip of the hole meets the top of the ground, make sure your "v" is long enough to give the trap a hole the same distance apart as mentioned above for making the dirthole set. Place your attractant in the hole and sift dirt over the trap so that, again, that there is a shallow depression over the pan. The set will give you a perfect paw catch 95% of the time. It is advised not to blend in this set.

Other variations include two of more dirtholes to be made. The simples of these is the double dirthole set. This set is made the same as the standard dirthole except that there are two holes dug instead of one and still using  one trap. Use the same placement as before for the trap and use different attractants in each hole.

The next set that I'll explain is the flat set or scent-post set , here again Charles Dobbins was a master at this. This set uses gland lures or urine and is placed on some kind of backing that stands out. This could be a natural object or it could be something you move there like a fire-blackened piece of wood. Dig out a trap bed using the same trap placement as with the dirthole. This time, you must blend in the trap pattern with whatever natural materials that would help to hide the trap pattern. There, after you cover the trap, blend it in, you got to place a mound of dirt a couple of feet upwind of your set to keep animals from digging out your traps, you most also do the same with trail sets.

Now lets move to some of the water sets. The best set that is made, except for blind sets, is the pocket set. This set is made by digging a hole about 6-8 inches back into the bank about 18 inches deep at a 20 degree angle. Set your trap in front of the hole and just a bit downstream to catch any muskrats or mink that come swimming by. Place your bait in the back of the hole where it can be kept dry.