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Blinkers

Fenn traps

Hi all - haven't been on here for ages (and been smacked across the wrists too     ).   Anyway, thanks to a certainly Bodger person, we are now in the possession of 2 Fenn traps which we now need to learn to set (have watched YouTube videos endlessly this eve) and get 'em out there.    

Reason????  Some             Mink/stoat/polecat has been theiving our hens on and off for the past 3 years and then last Saturday night came and took another two, but this time severely wounded another 2 and removed a good deal of feathers from a further 3.    Poor birds were all sooooo traumatised.    Sick to death of trying to dodge the       thing now.... hence the traps.

Will keep you posted  
Woodsmoke

Setting them's a piece of cake, as long as you remember NEVER to let the safety off with your finger!!! Use a twig or something similar?

You'll also need to make sure you have them in a tunnel to minimise the chances of a non-target species getting killed in them (it's a legal requirement) I've got one just outside that I'll grab a pic of to give you the idea if you've never set one before
Woodsmoke

Here you go  

There's a knack to setting them, but it's not difficult. You just need to make sure you're decisive when putting the safety catch on.

Here's how I've got mine set up



When setting the trap, it's easiest (I find) to hold the trap in your left hand, use your right thumb to fully-open the jaws, & flick the safety on with your left index finger (don't worry about setting the trap plate at the moment. Just make sure you have the jaws open, & the safety catch latched properly)





Now's the time to place your trap where you want it. Make sure you have enough slack in the chain to place the tunnel over the top without setting it off though.

To actually 'set' the trap, leave the safety in place, but push down on both jaws and make sure the tang is lying over the bar beside the safety. The safety will clear the bar, but will still be effective. Here's the knack! You need to keep the jaws compressed enough to let the tang drop slightly, then lift the trigger plate until it engages with the tang. The spring's then only held by the 'notch' in the trigger plate against the tang



Now you can release the safety catch. Again, don't EVER use your fingers!!! These things are nasty buggers, & they don't know how to say sorry. Once is enough to cost you a finger or two  

I use a twig or something similar to disengage the safety



Then it's a case of covering the trap with your tunnel, & hoping you have a result!





Hope this helps?  
bodger

Stu  
Woodsmoke

Cheers Bodger  

Couple of things I forgot to mention! When setting the trigger plate, even though the spring is only held back by the tang the safety will still prevent the trap from closing if it trips prematurely. This is why it's so important to leave the saftey in place until the very last moment.

Also, you can set the sensitivity of the trap by varying the degree of engagement between the trigger plate notch & the tang.

And possibly most important, DON'T lubricate the trap at all. Just make sure it's relatively clean & free of crap. Pay special attention to ensuring the safety is free to move with little or no effort, though
bodger

Its also suprising how many people think that you have to bait a Fenn trap, when you don't.
matt the rat

Great advice and great pictures.

Just one comment; that trap is placed in the tunnel the wrong way around....
Border

matt the rat wrote:
Great advice and great pictures.

Just one comment; that trap is placed in the tunnel the wrong way around....


Matt can you explain what you mean by the wrong way round.

I use run through wooden tunnels very similar to WS's and I normally just set fenns, not thinking about which way I set the trap, as you don't always know which end vermin will enter.

Maybe I have missed something, that I would be beneficial to know, never to old to learn a few tricks from a pro.
welshboy

I thought the same as Matt- It is the wrong way round to me as well.
If you think of the jaws closing they should be closing at 90 degrees to the target rather than the 180 as shown in the tunnel.
Maybe I have got it wrong but that is the way I set them.
horace

How can it be set the wrong way round when it,s open both ends
Border

Jep...... see that now, yes, I always set them same as you WB, 90 degrees to the run of vermin.

I'll put it down to a heavy night last night, and a senior moment when reading Matt's post this morning.
welshboy

Ok imagine you are a rat you would enter the tunnel and the trap jaws would close one towards your face and one from underneath/behind.
The jaws should close sideways.
Thats my 2p worth but I stand to be corrected.

edit Oops Border replied in meantime
Woodsmoke

This is how I've always set them. Never given me any problems.   I suppose it does make some sense to have the traps 'side-on', but practically every rat I've had in the traps has been hit square around the ribcage. I just have it in my head that there's a risk of catching the animal around the flank or back legs if it tries to leap the trap
Blinkers

Cool....thanks guys....still a bit tentative about setting it the first time - its now knowing how much pressure to expect from the jaws once the safety catch is off and before flipping the trigger into the slot.   {{Note to self - be brave and just do it     }}
Woodsmoke

It's a quick trap! Once you've got it set, just get the tunnel over it quick sharp

You'll very quickly get the idea though. If you leave the safety on, you can have a poke at the trigger plate with a stick & this'll give you an idea as to how sensitive it is. You can adjust the sensitivity (to a degree) by how much overlap you leave between the tang & the trigger plate.

The most important thing is not to be too tentative when opening the jaws. Give them a good steady pressure, & get the safety on as soon as they're open.

Once you've done it once or twice you'll find it a piece of cake
Darren

folks welshboy is correct
bodger

I've always set Fenn traps across the run too.
Woodsmoke

Darren wrote:
folks welshboy is correct


Not saying I'm right & everyone else is wrong  

I'm just saying that's the way I do it, & it works for me  
Blinkers

The trap is now set       Gotta sit back and wait now, but fingers crossed the b*****d will be interested enough to take a peek in that tunnel again.   Will keep you posted
Woodsmoke

How'd you get on setting it?
Blinkers

OH did it but as he was practicing, he kept lobbing it onto the desk each time in case it snapped shut on his fingers        He eventually got his confidence though and once the tunnel was ready, he put it in (sideways) and then flipped off the safety catch using a long screwdriver   .     Once set, covered it with the 'lid' and used large tent pegs as barriers to reduce the opening.  Lookin good  
Woodsmoke



Finger's crossed you get the bugger!!!!!!
Blinkers

Still nowt  
donky7

heheheheh... i won a bet of a fiver at last yrs pest show, that i can set a mk4 with ONE hand.

cant you use this method.... force them through your traps ..?

bodger

Hey donky Have you only got one hand because you lost it in a Fenn?
donky7

bodger wrote:
Hey donky Have you only got one hand because you lost it in a Fenn?


several... tryin out my new trick'
hopefullbry

Oih Bodger leave my mate Donks alone,  he's armless      
bodger

   
Blinkers

You're never gonna believe this.........the effing b***ard came back again today - BROAD DAYLIGHT - even the goats were all out and about at the time.   He came in through his OLD route - NOT the one where we'd set the trap - skipped across to the smaller henhouse - up the ladder - Yes UP THE LADDER TO INSIDE the henhouse where a Maran was sitting ready to lay an egg and he slaughtered her right there, and then dragged her back off back down the ladder across the little paddock and back through the fence. I am so so so so EFFING mad              
dan

Blinkers!!!! I've never heard you effing so much   What type of thing is it your trying to catch?? apart from the effing thing thats killing your chickens! ? (or have you put it somewhere and i've missed it?)    
Blinkers

Hiya Dan - long time, no speak  

Its probably a MINK but not altogether certain as we've never seen the ******* thing.   Could be a stoat but nothing smaller and its not a fox cos it fits through the lower levels of the stock fencing      
Woodsmoke

Sounds like it could well be a mink if it's getting up ladders!

The good news is a Fenn will be more than adequate to spoil his day for him! I'd try placing the tunnel along his usual route for a day or so, but without the trap? Let him get used to passing through the tunnel (& look out for prints?) then set the trap once you know he's definately using that route  
matt the rat

I seem to have missed most of what has turned into a very good thread; but I'll tell you why another time.

As I stated earlier, the fenn shown in Woodsmoke's picture is set the wrong way around.  Why am I so sure?  Well, because the original designer of the trap (Mr A Fenn himself) showed me how to set them, and they are designed to work that way.

I'm not suggesting that they won't work the other way around, but I'm sure that the great man had his reasons.

A couple of other pointers.  The tunnel is not just to protect from non-targets, it helps to guide the target into the trap and most importantly, the roof of the tunnel stops the target from being thrown clear, or worse still, foul caught.

Another point to note is that the MK4 is not approved for Mink.  The MK4 is just not 'man enough' to kill a mink cleanly, and although they will catch mink, as with all trapping, you must consider the welfare of the target.

Please don't take this as critisism; this has been one of the best threads on the good old Fenn trap that I've seen on the web.
bodger

I sent Blinkers both sizes Matt.
Blinkers

Both traps still 'unsprung'      and still waiting for the little lovey to come calling via one or the other of the two routes.        

Just heard that a farm about 1/2 miles has been losing chickens too.  Disappearing without trace....could be the same the family  
Blinkers

Weyhey, both traps 'sprung' yesterday      However.......nothing in the first one ...... and a bunny in the other one    . But it was quite exciting to find that at least something had happened  
Woodsmoke

Did you have them both tunnelled?
Blinkers

Yup - and very well hidden too and complete with the narrowed entrace using sticks.  Not sure why bunny decided to investigate unless he/she thought it was an entrance to a burrow    .  We think maybe the high winds may have dislodged a bit of earth on the side of one tunnel and that's what spring that one.
Woodsmoke

It was a bonus anyway  

That's taken a while to get any result, that's for sure! Wonder if that rabbit had sprung the other one too?   Have you had any more trouble with the original target?
Blinkers

Forgot to update you on this silly saga.     Told OH bunny in one of the traps, but by the time he went to get it (actually it was the following day   ), bunny had disappeared.....along with the trap    That'll teach us for not acting straight away.  

So, more traps on order and a slightly redesigned tunnel in progress  

The 'vermin' hasn't managed to swipe any more hens since that last strike, but I do go and physically shut everything in by 6.30pm every evening now.  

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