I have about a half dozen of these ant hills on my 20 acrs. My question is do you dig down and get the matl. or do you take the matl. thats on the surface?
And this makes good bed matl. and some what acts like antifreeze.?
Just dig it all up, being mindful that the ants are probably down low and in the center, with these cold temps.
Once you fill a garbage bag, take it somewhere calm (barn, garage) and sift it into a clean garbage bag. This way, when you set your traps, you can reach into the bag/bucket and just use as-is, with no winnowing or waste to throw around.
You will find, its frustrating to bed a trap with the stuff, and have no wobble. I like my traps rock solid, and I find that impossible with anthill duff.
Forgive me NC, but I am not quite as fussy in regard to my anthill material, in regard to presifting it. But if you have time it definitely make sense.
Ken, I wait until the anthill is good an frozen and then remove the frozen top layer to get to the dry material below. In the anthills I work at this temperature the ants are no where to be found, thank goodness :lol: .
I use two hands full of the material under my trap unsifted and contrary to NC, I have no problem getting a good solid bedding of my #3 victor coilspring traps (I love these traps for this reason). Then I sift anthill material over the trap and scatter the material that does go through the sifter around the set location to spread it's odor evenly around the set.
I am sure that you will develop the method that works best for you, once you get to setting your traps!
My anthills always have lots of sticks and debris which would clog my #2's. I agree, I dont need to sift the under-layer. Maybe I'll try taking out the unsifted duff if I can find a hill with good, small material.
I would love to see how you bed a trap rock solid with my duff. Thats not a challenge, thats an honest request. If we meet up soon, I'll bring one of my traps and a bucket of my duff. I hope you can show me how to do it better
Apparently I live in an area that has really small ants and they only pile up small pieces of material :evil: .
But in a serious sense, I think that I concentrate on three points of the trap when I bed it. First I want both of the spring arms to be solid and I accomplish this by packing a small anount of loose dirt under these spring arms with my fingers, until there is no tipping. I an careful to make sure that a small amount of anthill material is still between the bottom of the spring arm and the dirt I am packing under it. That is two points.
Third point is the free jaw. I make sure that once I lower the free jaw that it rests solidly on the anthill material, with no tipping, which normally is not a problem. With these three points solid I find that my # 3 victor coilspring are working like a charm.
Yes, that makes sense...and I use a similar, if not identical strategy. My traps have chain attachment to roughly the center of the base plate, and there is a stout J-hook and MB crunch-proof swivel to contend with right there....so I leave a pocket, or void in the bedding, to accomodate this hardware. To do otherwise, would create a fulcrum condition. I leave plenty of nice loose material (whether dirt or duff) under the levers, so when I compress them into the bed, they receive a conforming fit. Then, I go all around the outer perimeter of the trap, and add material....filling and compressing, and repeating until its level with the jaws.
With dirt, this process gives me a rock solid trap, where you can push on any point of the hardware and you'll get no shifting or tipping. But with my current batches (two) of duff, there is always a "spongey" bed.
I believe its a very simple problem....you can conform dirt with pressure, to take nearly any shape. But with my duff, it will always crumble and remain fluffy. No matter how hard you compress it, it bounces back to some degree.
Since you get rock-solid results with duff....your material must be made of different materials than what I find in my locality. I think my problem will be solved when I find better anthills.
The ant hill dirt I got in Grayling looks almost like topsoil, hardly any organic material. It doesnt pack like topsoil, but better than the duff with large pieces. The ant hills around Farwell/Harrison seem to be mostly sand with large pieces of organic material, two to three times the size of the ants, mixed through out. The ants all seem to be the same, and the general terrain looks similar, mature trees with grassy undergrowth. I wonder why the hill materials look so different?
Along M-72 from St. Helen(18) to almost Kalkaska Co. line there are hundreds of these hills. Are there any restrictions on taking this from public land?
I remember sitting on the ground hunting near one during early bow season as a kid. I'd never seen one before and didn't know what it was. It didnt take me long to learn, as soon as a few (hundred it felt like) made their way inside my jacket and pant legs. Never made that mistake again. :cwm27:
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