If you’re a beginner like me to the trapping world, you have to look around the internet to find out how to go about getting things ready for hitting the water to harvest some furs. One of the Up North Journal staff members and myself recently took up trapping and we just got our conibears ready for the upcoming Michigan water trapping season.
Since muskrats, mink and other water critters are not sensitive to human scent, you need not worry about going through the whole boiling, dying and waxing process. We purchased a liquid called “Speedy Dip”, this product makes it simple to dye and coat your traps for the water.
Before we used this product we first needed to get the grime and oil from the traps that was on them from the manufacturer. I simply put all the conibears into a bucket of water mixed with about a half cup to a full cup of salt. This salt water mixture breaks down the oils and gets at the metal to start the rusting process. I then laid out the traps to air dry which also put a rust coating on them. This rust layer helps the metal take the dye that you are going to apply to them.
After laying out a day or so, you can then mix your Speedy Dip according to the directions. The brand we used called for a quart of Speedy Dip mixed with one gallon of Gasoline, make sure to use in a well ventilated area! After sloshing around the traps in this solution for a minute or so, pull them out and inspect them to make sure you have full coverage on your traps. Next hang them up for another day or so to dry, that’s it! They are now ready to use to catch those pesky critters!
As a side note, make sure you have chemical gloves on when placing your hands in this solution! Rubber gloves will break down and so will anything made of thin plastic!