Muskrat bikini

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Some people like to smell April showers and May flowers in the spring but not Jared and I.  We’d rather smell the scent glands of a double extra large muskrat!!  When the sun begins to pack a little heat and we can run line without facemasks and mittens we know it’s time to harvest some fuzzy skrats!

The next generation watching the master of muskrats at work.
The next generation watching the master of muskrats at work.
Jared about to place a #1.
Jared about to place a #1.

A muskrat ‘pushup’ as they are called looks like a big elephant terd on a lake or pond, it’s where the muskrats will come up with food and eat during the winter.  What they don’t eat they leave and the pushup gets bigger and bigger.  A lake with a lot of pushups usually equals a lot of muskrat, a pond with only 2 or 3 pushups will have a low population.  This is a big factor on deciding how many muskrats to harvest from each area.

DSCN0377The picture above shows a pushup that’s been opened and a #1 trap placed on the ledge where the muskrat will sit to eat, he enters the pushup from the bottom left of the hole.  Once in the trap they’ll dive back in the water and usually drown.  Big pushups are easy to rebuild, just carefully piece together the big chunks over the hole again.  Little ones however might require a little help like in the picture below where Jared had to build a frame work out of sticks and then place a small piece of plastic over them.  Cover the plastic or heavy duty trash bag with at least 4 inches of snow to insulate the hole otherwise it can freeze over and the muskrat can no longer use it.  On the right side you can see how the trap is anchored, just wired to a stick about 2 feet long.

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Jared setting a large pushup.
Jared setting a large pushup.

It takes practice of course but once you get it down you’ll get results like this!

First days catch, even moms can do this!
First days catch, even moms can do this!
Second days catch!
Second days catch!
The final round up!
The final round up!

The majority of our muskrats go to auction and do real well, others we will hang on to for some crafty work like…. Well just take my favorite for example which would be the muskrat bikini!  Yep, orders yours today!!

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