If you are going to run a longline trapline then a well planned trapping log is a must have. It’s no problem remembering where your traps are set if you only have a handful out per season but once you have a few dozen or more going you will have a hard time keeping track of it all in your head.
How to Keep a Trapping Log
The benefits go beyond just knowing where your traps are located. A well maintained trapping log will also allow you to go back during the offseason and see what locations were the best producers. You may think you will remember those honeypots but I can promise you that you won’t without a log.
What You Need In A Trapper Log
I don’t believe you need anything complicated or fancy to get the benefits we are looking for. There are only a few key points you need to record. This means you don’t waste time recording unnecessary data and you can use that time running your trapline.
I use a good old fashion spiral notebook, but have used pocket sized field notes in the past. You can use your phone if you wish, but the key is to have one place where you record your info. You don’t want your data split up among multiple locations. It will get confusing and you may lose some of your logs.
What You Need To Record
For every set you make you need to record the location of your set, the type of trap you used, the bait, and the results.
With this information you will be able to know what was successful and what was ineffective on your trapline. This information becomes powerful in upcoming seasons as you will know what to focus on the next time around. Over time you will gain a deeper understanding of how the game reacts in your area which will dramatically increase your harvest over time.
And that’s all there is to it. I’ve been keeping a trapping log for years after seeing my uncles one year. It has easily been the biggest factor in my harvest numbers improving over the seasons and it takes very little effort to do. The key is to be consistent and read over your results during the offseason.
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