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 and reed parts. Wonder which species did that – mink or muskrat?
Looking for more tells – I inspected the high parts of the west bank – and by pushing my walking stick into the berm, determined that the muskrat dens were more extensive than I’d first imagined. About 50% of that bank, it seems.
Unfortunately, it’s been impossible, so far (but I keep learning more – so we’ll see) to find access holes among the reeds in the water along that bank. The reeds are just so dense – cannot see tells, and I’d have to just get lucky, to find the hole – by poking between reeds, virtually every possible inch of access under the water amongst the remaining reeds – that’s why I’m sticking to the SW den for my trapping for now, as it is is reed free.
Yesterday morning, Sunday, the trap over the entrance to the SW den was gone – apparently it had snagged, but not killed, a mink or a muskrat – and said animal took off with the trap attached. Ouch. Wonder which it was.
So yesterday, I put another #110 trap over that same underwater entrance. And staked it down much better this time … there’s a chain attached to the trap, with which to stake it down – I’d been using a short 1/2″ thick twig pushed a few inches into the mud on the bank (half measure). This time using 3′ x 5/8″ x 7/8″ pine stake pushed about 12″ into the muddy bank (full measure).