Smart Muskrats

Smart muskrats …

Well, I had nailed their entrances with the new trap sets yesterday – BUT – sometime during the night, they saw their entrances blocked, and rather than trip the traps, they dug an escape hole out the bank. Further, they had turned the newly set trap sideways, so they could continue using the old entrance apparently – and I’m guessing they did this from outside the hole, by pushing on the handle.  They had also dug a new underwater entrance 2m from the ones I’d successfully blocked with the traps.  Smart muskrats.

Muskrat Update

Lowered the 110 trap near the old sink – as I noticed that the brown mud trail was refreshed, and it seems to spew from under where the trap had been – so now it’s blocking the bottom of that hole – I’m betting I get something.

Also, regarding the reed hutch at the back NW corner of the pond – it had freshly gnawed roots laying on top of it – right next to a new opening into the top of the hutch – it’s big inside.

And … I noticed mud extruding from the outside of the bank within a few feet of the hutch – explored that – and it led into a tunnel in the bank.

So, someplace new to set some traps – and an improvement made to my last trap set.  And, I’m getting better at reading muskrat signs – they’re days are numbered, perhaps.

Full Measure

No muskrats yet – enough half measures … today … full measures!  So, this morning, I put on the boots (see pic), stepped into the muck … and found two muskrat holes, there may be more … and placed a 110 trap front of both holes.

Muskrat hole found, trap set

Found the muskrat hole, finally.  And set a trap …

Showing top of 110 trap, with two support sticks. Hole is in bank to right of trap.

At least one of their holes, at any rate.

It is in the part of the pond where the banks are highest, providing dry dwelling space to the little varmints.  The tell was lighter brown pond bottom leading to the hole.  It’s a few inches under the surface of the water, about the diameter of my fist.  The muskrat(s) ate up so much vegetation, it’s finally possible to find their stuff.

Glad I found the hole, cause the hut I found earlier has an abandoned look to it today.

So, I grabbed some scrap wood, to tie the trap down.  And I set the trap, and tried to place it over the hole, which was on a sloped bank, making it harder.  But, the trap’s there.  And, hopefully, the muskrats will use it.

Some pics of the trap, the yard, the pond, Boris the cat, and Kathy’s Bee Patch.

Barn Foundation Still Wet

Just checked behind the barn.  Still wet.  Even with the work Rob and I did on the side shed and the driveway apron.

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Rob looking at the new floor jacks we put in.
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The side shed, with the newly leveled roof. Center still not down yet.

Which means, some of the water affecting the barn foundation comes from a layer of earth 10-12′ below the barn’s driveway apron.  (It is a 3 story barn – 2nd story is level with the driveway.)  I would need drainage tiles down there in front of the barn foundation – or more practically, inside the barn, just behind the front wall.  Here’s what it looked like last winter …

water, frozen, pooring out the barn door
some boxes, frozen hard
Will it ever work again?
I used it this last week, by the way. After some TLC and some starter spray.

Author tgreen Category Work

Muskrat Reed House Found

After looking for 4 weeks, I finally found the muskrat’s dwelling.  Made of reeds, as I’d suspected – due to the massive reed damage in the very back of the pond.  The muskrat’s been destroying so much vegetation, that I could just see its hut.  Some pics of the pond and the reed hut.


Muskrat wins – so far

One water lily remains.  It’s the one closest to the dock, and the canoe moored to that dock.  A canoe which was only recently put back into the water, and allowed to swing about on it’s mooring – out over the closest water lilies.

I think that canoe had been acting as a sort of scare crow for the water lilies – cause when I beached the canoe a few weeks ago – the water lily destruction began in earnest.

Hopefully, we’ll have removed all muskrats by next spring.  It is my plan.  Nothing less is acceptable.