Kept seeing light tan earth in SW corner of pond bottom, sprayed out in a widening arc from one point near the pond edge. Telltale sign of muskrats. But, look hard as I might, I couldn’t spot the muskrat’s underwater access hole. And therein lies the heart of this tale … the hole was just above water level. With light brown soil leading from it, for 2-3 inches to the water’s edge – where the underwater plum begins. This accessRead More
A mink in the trap this morning. Found it out of the water, with the traps chain looped about the stake several times. Larger than the first one. Did it struggle out on its own? Or were its mates pulling on it? That’s 3 muskrat, 2 mink and 1 unknown to date.
Pond has been quiet – in that each day it looks the same as it looked the day before. In other words – the muskrats have not been active. Are they gone? Or just laying low? No new broken reeds. No half chewed bits of reed floating about. The surface holes to their dens have not been repaired. And they have not been used in over a week either. Nor have their underwater entrance holes shown signs of use. AndRead More
The muddy ground crunched this morning, underfoot, as I walked the hill, down to the pond. Winter. And the pond was skimmed with a thin layer of clear ice. Water was clear too. Quite stunning, looking through that clear still ice, down into the cold silent pond. No surface motion disturbing the view. The trap set over the SW den’s underwater entrance was still in place. But – the opening to mink’s access hole … that had been snugged up with detritus – grass andRead More
Nothing in the trap this morning. And … the mink made access hole above the SW den looked unused, as did the tan colored muddy muskrat slide on the pond bottom, fanning out from the front of the underwater entrance hole to the SW den – that also looked unused. Are they all gone? Minks and muskrats? We’ll see. The trap’s still there, set, under the water, covering the SW den’s entrance.
Trapping – this morning, found a mink in the trap – it had been trying to enter the muskrat den through the underwater entrance, which of course had the trap set over it. I noticed too, that the hole above the den, was still in use, and had been tightened up – it was smooth from use, where the first day I saw it, it was just loose dirt. So – was the mink using the muskrat den? Anyway, IRead More
Today – my first muskrat … caught in the trap I’d been focusing on, set on a hole to the den on the SW side of the pond. I’d reset it yesterday, pushing it down firmly into the mud in front of that entrance. And at noon today, when I went down to the pond, there was a muskrat caught in the trap – it’s butt sticking out of the hole. Obviously caught as it was entering the den through that hole. Do not know how theRead More
Ahhh – found the other muskrat den – in the NW corner, by the reed hutch, which seems to have been opened up by whatever. I found it by following a stream of water from the pond, which should not have been, into the bank – stuck my cane in, wiggled it about, and lo and behold – there was open space inside my pond bank, above the water level. I’ll get em, said the hopeful trapper. Sooner or later.