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#567749 06/10/24 08:31 PM
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Muskrats were wreaking havoc on my shoreline in late winter/early spring. Some of the tunnels were 25 feet up the bank from the waters edge. I gave myself a crash course in trapping via YouTube and purchased a couple conibear 110 traps. After some trial and error, I caught 2 of the little bastards. The digging activity seemed to stop, and I backfilled all the tunnels, which took a lot more dirt than I expected.

Last week I noticed some cattail cuttings and my leg sank knee deep at a previous tunnel site. They are back. I set the traps again and got one.

So, my question is this just an endless, year-round ritual for pondmeisters? If there is one muskrat, then there are probably more, right? Are there methods of deterrence to keep them away?

I never see them on the bank and just occasionally swimming, so getting a shooting opportunity would be rare. Trapping seems to be my best bet.

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Sorry about your muskrats. mad A 25' tunnel is both impressive and infuriating.

There are some excellent trappers on the forum. Hopefully, they can further improve your trapping efficiency.

Is your location such that it is safe for you to also shoot muskrats at your pond? We used to never see muskrats while fishing until the wind would lay down a little before dark. I think a moving muskrat would be very difficult to hit with a .22. In your shoes, I think I could get some with my old .410 shotgun while there was a little good light remaining. Also, I would be much less fearful of ricochets travelling far beyond the pond only using pellets.

For the experts, is it safe/legal to poison muskrats? Needs to be safe from precious kids/dogs, etc. directly getting into the poison, plus safe from anything that might eat a dead muskrat and indirectly get into the poison.

Also for the experts, will a muskrat in the water have enough heat signature to trigger a game camera? Sure is easier to hunt/track critters when you can determine their pattern. If they don't trigger the camera, then perhaps you can get them using the time lapse function?

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I hear riprap above/blow and chain link or some sort of wire mesh with hole sizes smaller than the "bastards" can be helpful deterrents.

I wonder if it would be possible to team up with some of the other local landowners and find where they are coming from to solve the problem before it lands on your doorstep.


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Originally Posted by FishinRod
Sorry about your muskrats. mad A 25' tunnel is both impressive and infuriating.

There are some excellent trappers on the forum. Hopefully, they can further improve your trapping efficiency.

Is your location such that it is safe for you to also shoot muskrats at your pond? We used to never see muskrats while fishing until the wind would lay down a little before dark. I think a moving muskrat would be very difficult to hit with a .22. In your shoes, I think I could get some with my old .410 shotgun while there was a little good light remaining. Also, I would be much less fearful of ricochets travelling far beyond the pond only using pellets.

For the experts, is it safe/legal to poison muskrats? Needs to be safe from precious kids/dogs, etc. directly getting into the poison, plus safe from anything that might eat a dead muskrat and indirectly get into the poison.

Also for the experts, will a muskrat in the water have enough heat signature to trigger a game camera? Sure is easier to hunt/track critters when you can determine their pattern. If they don't trigger the camera, then perhaps you can get them using the time lapse function?

Yeah, there is only one really safe shooting direction, plus I don't see the muskrats very often. They are pretty active at night, and a game camera will pick them up.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

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Originally Posted by Boondoggle
I hear riprap above/blow and chain link or some sort of wire mesh with hole sizes smaller than the "bastards" can be helpful deterrents.

I wonder if it would be possible to team up with some of the other local landowners and find where they are coming from to solve the problem before it lands on your doorstep.

Thanks. I also heard that wire mesh and rip rap work well.

There are 3 other ponds within 1000 ft of mine, all having muskrat issues at one time or another.

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Get rid of the cattails and you will make the pond less attractive to them - that's a good food source for them. Look into getting a few colony muskrat traps - they can catch more than one at a time unlike the conibears. They are placed the same way - in the run under water.


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Originally Posted by Knobber
There are 3 other ponds within 1000 ft of mine, all having muskrat issues at one time or another.

Are you friends with those 3 other pond owners? Litters of muskrats at any one of the four ponds will eventually send breeding pairs to all of the other ponds!

I don't know what type of collective action you might be able to arrange, but you are going to have an ongoing muskrat battle for years unless you can extirpate them from your attractive habitat of four adjacent ponds.

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Originally Posted by FishinRod
Originally Posted by Knobber
There are 3 other ponds within 1000 ft of mine, all having muskrat issues at one time or another.

Are you friends with those 3 other pond owners? Litters of muskrats at any one of the four ponds will eventually send breeding pairs to all of the other ponds!

I don't know what type of collective action you might be able to arrange, but you are going to have an ongoing muskrat battle for years unless you can extirpate them from your attractive habitat of four adjacent ponds.

Yeah, I feared this was the problem. I am pretty sure we are like-minded on this issue. I'll see what we can do together.

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Do you have a creek or ditch near by your pond? The pond I grew up on had a ditch that ran parallel to it. Every summer the ditch would dry out. As it dried out the muskrats would burrow through the dam of the pond in efforts to "fill" the ditch back up. I have trapped boat loads of muskrats over the years and would also recommend the colony trap (box trap).

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Get ya a guy with a mink to chase the tunnels.

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Wow! That's amazing.

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Great find, catscratch.

I love the mink at the 1:05 mark thinking, "Quit talking to the camera, let's go get some muskrats!"

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Originally Posted by catscratch
Get ya a guy with a mink to chase the tunnels.


Cool video!!!!!


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A couple more of his videos. One is using mink to hunt rats, the other is them fishing.




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Thanks guys for the tip on the colony traps. Much easier to use. I placed two of them and got 3 muskrats the first night - a single and a doubleheader.

That makes 2 adults and 2 juveniles trapped in the past 10 days.

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