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I have heard the old timers talk about low water years and how the rat trapping is the best it ever is and then nothing the next year. Well it happened.

Last year I put up an outrageous number of rats, they were all pushed into the river systems as we had dry conditions with a high lake (reservoir) level. It was like shooting fish in a barrel. Now this year I have spent two days looking for rat sign; not one bed, run, chew house or even track. I put out 48 test sets over 8 miles of waterways and not one rat in two days. And this is looking from a boat where I can scan every inch of shoreline. Last year I would see 20-30 rats a day jumping of humps as the boat would come around the corner, this year I was pretty lonely motoring up and down the river.

Now the question is what did this? Did they freeze out last winter as water levels dropped? Did the ones that made the winter starve out as vegetation changed with low/warm water conditions? Or did they group too tightly and disease grab ahold of them?

Either way it was weird to hang 200 rat traps back in the shed without them ever seeing water.

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Overconsumption and overexploitation of a resource. As Infamous hip-hop rapper, Young Jeezy would say, "you're a trap-star." You trapped 'em all!

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Ya but we are talking about an entire region, 20 miles each direction is a void of rats except those in tiny farm ponds. Last winters sled trips through the area showed enough rats they kept the water from freezing around the houses...and not one or two houses but hundreds.

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Same here in otter tail county on the river. 100's of houses last year. This year i have counted 3. Many of the ponds that were loaded last fall are bone dry right now.

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same here in southern mn. i thought with the creeks and ponds dry where there is water it would be full of rats but very few. instead of moving did they just die off?

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I was wondering about how this year would be on rats and beaver. During last years winter months I saw more rats on dry ground and crossing the road than every before. When they are on dry ground I bet it's pretty easy pickings for all the predators. I've also never have seen as many beaver lodges dry to the point of being able to look into the lodge enterance holes. I havent started my rat trapping yet but had alot of froze over pushups last year. Good thing they do breed like RATS! ha

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I called my fur buyer today and told him I need some rat seeds so I can plant them for next year.

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I haven't checked much area, but I've got an eight acre pond/small lake that adjoins my property, and no rats in there either. First time I've ever seen that. There's always been a few, at least.

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Pretty spotty population this year. Even where there is water there may or may not be rats.

Strange.

I've had some spots going great, but just as many still with habitat with Zilch.

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  • 2 weeks later...
jigginjim

What are you guys using most for catching your rats? I tried floats but they seem to wise up to them quick. Some of the areas I know have bank rats but finding the run-way is easier the find the needle in hay stack. Running colony traps are almost out, Conibare traps seem to need the same runs as with the colony trap.

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I play the numbers game. Evey hump, bump, run, chewing, turd pile, floating anything gets a 1 1/2 trap on a drowner stake. I hit two small section for three days, every other day I leap frog one set line leaving the otter and mink sets behind as I push further and further back into the bush. Once ice comes on (two weeks normally) I go after houses and runs...mainly where they are making tracks on the ice. This off course is now by land as I don't own an ice breaker boat even if I do think so from time to time.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The lake I live on has more muskrats than I've seen in years. Before it froze over you could look out on any calm morning and see several of them floating around. Lots of houses along the shores too. Many of the small ponds are bone dry. Those left moved to our lake!

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The lake I live on has more muskrats than I've seen in years. Before it froze over you could look out on any calm morning and see several of them floating around. Lots of houses along the shores too. Many of the small ponds are bone dry. Those left moved to our lake!

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  • 5 years later...
5 hours ago, LymanPreston said:

Rats are a potential danger to almost everyone.

 

Yeah, they are talking about Muskrats, not sewer Rats!  But Welcome to the forum.  😅

Have you checked out the Trolling thread? 😉

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  • 1 month later...
  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Builders
monstermoose78
On 9/20/2018 at 7:37 AM, leech~~ said:

 

Yeah, they are talking about Muskrats, not sewer Rats!  But Welcome to the forum.  😅

Have you checked out the Trolling thread? 😉

Says a troller 

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leech~~
2 hours ago, monstermoose78 said:

Says a troller 

 

Wow, I am certainly getting beat up over on this side of the fence today.  On month old posts and mostly by the mods oddly. ☹️

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