Following his popular book, “The Secrets of Successful Trapping”, which covered methods to catch land animals, legendary trapper Herb Lenon had a lot of requests to write a book focused on smaller water critters. In 1946 he did just that, and published “Mink and Muskrat Trapping”, a 20-page book outlining his concepts and methods.
Lenon really understood a concept that many trappers, then and now, have struggled with. Location is far more important than set type. There are a number of different sets that can be used, and he outlined several in the book, but the perfect set won’t catch a furbearer that isn’t there. So he spent a great deal of the book’s focus on setting traps in the right areas. For both mink and muskrat, this means understanding their feeding habits and how those change based on time of year and environmental conditions on your trapline. This information is as important today as it was back then.
The book covers a number of different sets. Some are specific to mink, like dirt hole sets in and out of water, hollow log sets and steep stream bank sets. Some are specific to muskrats, like the feed bed and float set. Others are combination sets that will take both mink and muskrats, like the notched log blind set.
Herb Lenon’s “Mink and Muskrat Trapping” book is short and to the point, but the information and historical value it provides to the trapper is great. The book is hard to find, but you can occasionally run into an old copy online or from an old trapper’s collection.