Items you will need:
1 x Fenn Mark4 trap – Weasel trap
1 x Mesh trapping tunnel (optional)
Raw meat -preferably liver but also rabbit, chicken or oily fish
The weasel has an inquisitive nature them predisposed to investigating new potential sources of food. This makes weasels relatively easy to trap. They live on smaller mammals, including mice, but they also eat birds’ eggs. They have a high metabolic rate and this means that these are aggressive little animals and are almost constantly hunting. They are fierce and will attack animals larger than themselves eg rabbits and chickens – invariably striking from behind and biting on the neck. Their attacking instincts are 9ften insatiable such as when they get in a chicken coup, they will keep on killing until they are exhausted or until all the chickens are dead.
Weasels are also good climbers and can present many problems as they are able to go through small gaps and as well. Weasels are very long and slim and, as such, can gain access through the smallest of gaps –even mouse holes.
Making sure your mesh is no larger than half inch by one inch also helps.
Organising the trap:
Use a double entry mesh tunnel with one entry closed off. Place the liver in the tunnel at the furthest end from the remaining entry hole. Once the weasel is near the trap it can smell the bait inside. In order to reach the bait the weasel must step on the treadle which triggers the trap.
Weasels are lightweight in comparison with rats and squirrels and consequently the Mark4 is really at the upper limit in terms of sensitivity ans the weight required to trigger the trap. Consequently some trappers prefer to use a Victor rat trap in a narrow tunnel.
After all that, set the trap and make sure the safety catch is placed correctly to stop the trap firing if it dislodged. Holding the trap in a horizontal position, place it in the tunnel through the side door. Only when it is correctly positioned then flick the safety catch off with a small stick.
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Weasels are usually brown, grey or black with white or yellowish markings. All weasels become all white in the winter, though. The winter fur of the least weasel glows a bright lavender color when exposed to ultraviolet light.
Weasels come in many sizes, but the most notable is the least weasel. It is the smallest carnivore in the world. They weigh about 1 ounce (25 grams) and grow to just 4 to 10 inches (11 to 26 centimeters) long.
Larger weasels include the long-tailed weasel and the tropical weasel. They grow to 10 to 12 inches (25 to 30 cm) long and weigh 3 to 12.3 ounces (85 to 350 g). Their tails can grow to around 4 to 8 inches (10.2 to 20.3 cm) long.
Weasels are adaptable and live all over the world. For example, the long-tailed weasel lives in North America, while the tropical weasel lives in South America. Japanese weasels are found in habitats grasslands, forests, villages and suburbs across Japan. Mountain weasels are found in in central and east Asia and the African striped weasel is found, predictably, in Africa.
The most common weasel is the short-tailed weasel. It can be found in North America, Europe and Asia, in regions as far north as the Arctic. Their homes include marshes, scrubs, hedgerows, alpine meadows, riparian woodlands and riverbank habitats.
As nocturnal animals, weasels sleep during the day and are active at night. Most of a weasel’s time awake consists of hunting, storing excess food and eating. Their bodies don’t store fat, so they need a constant supply of food to provide enough energy. In fact, the least weasel eats 40 to 60 percent of its body weight every day.
Weasels’ diets usually consist of rats, mice, voles and rabbits. Frogs, birds and bird eggs are also on the menu, from time to time. Their small, thin bodies allow them to squeeze into tight spots to reach small prey.
The Short-Tailed Weasel is an intelligent, versatile predator specializing in small mammals and birds. It is fearless in attacking animals larger than itself, and is able to adapt and survive periodic shortages because it stores its surplus of kills. Females typically have one or two litters per year. They give birth to litters of up to 15 offspring, called kits, according to ADW. Gestation lasts about a month. However, the number of kits, the length of the gestation period, weaning age and sexual maturity varies with the species.
For example, long-tailed weasels mate in mid-summer, but implantation is delayed and the egg does not begin to develop until March, making the gestation period about 280 days, Some species of weasel live up to 10 years, though many live three to five years.