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IT'S A TRAP! Critter Control - Australia-wide deliveries

Victor No. 1 Soft Jaw Rabbit Leghold Trap

$39.00

Victor No. 1 Soft Jaw Rabbit Leghold Trap

$39.00
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Minimum Purchase:
1 unit(s)
Maximum Purchase:
30 unit(s)
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Product Description

Victor No. 1 Soft Jaw Leg Hold Rabbit Trap

Made in USA

Rabbits are feral animals introduced to Australia for hunting around the Geelong area of Victoria in the 1800's. They breed rapidly and spread across southern Australia. Rabbits do immense damage to crops, pasture, trees and cause soil erosion on a large scale. They compete with livestock and native animals for feed. No permit is required to trap rabbits but traps must comply with regulations. These modern rabbit traps have been redesigned to comply with trapping regulations.

The Victor No. 1 steel rabbit trap has a central pressure plate (pan), two rubber padded jaws, two coil springs and an inline spring in the chain to take some of the snap out of the chain when the trapped rabbit first bolts. The chain is centrally mounted and has a swivel at the end. The American Victor brand of traps has been around since Adam was a boy.

Some people boil new traps in plain water, rubber and all, for an hour to get the grease smell off and to let the traps go rusty so that they do not glint in the sun and then wax the traps in trap wax to seal them. 

Hang on to live trapped rabbits by the skin on the back of their neck to avoid being scratched by their back legs and put them in a hessian bag so that they can breathe, tied off at the top if taking them home live to make rabbit meals later. Healthy rabbits make excellent eating when cooked moist as they are lean white meat with little fat - casserole, stew, pie, mince, pressure cooker with herbs, onion, bacon, white sauce etc. Good for topping up the freezer and also for dog food.

How to set the Victor rabbit trap

If new to trapping, you may need to practice with the trap on the ground a few times to get familiar with setting it well and to increase the number of catches with the trap. The more traps in use at the one time in different locations, the faster the rabbits are trapped.

The pressure required to set the trap off can be tested with a small stick pushed down on the pan (the round metal disc that activates the trap). You will also then feel the coil springs holding capability. To remove the stick (or rabbit), open the jaws rather than pull it out of the closed rubber jaws as this may damage them. These traps are built to hold.

To set the trap, lift the hinged latch (called a dog in trapping terminology) back out of the way. When you receive a new trap, check that there is no metal burr on the cut end of this dog - this may slow down the speed and action of the trap. If there is a rough burr, file the top edge of the dog smooth with a metal rasp.

The pan is also hinged and can be tilted up or down to suit your requirements. The amount of tension on this pan can be adjusted tighter or looser and set with its nut and bolt to get it the way you want to use it.

Sit the trap on the ground with the jaws facing up. Evenly stand on the two side wings of the trap, one foot on each side of the trap to compress both coil springs and spread open both jaws, using your hand to push the jaws open so that they sit down flat. Keep your feet securely on these wings when your fingers are in range of the jaws.

Flip the dog back over the top of the adjacent rubber jaw and press it down hard into the rubber to sit the cut end of the dog under the pan to set the trap. The jaws will now stay open as you carefully remove your feet off the sides of the trap.

When moving the set trap, hold it by the edges, not the jaws, so that if it goes off, your fingers are out of range.

The dog can be put under the edge of the pan (tilt the pan to suit) either pushed forward firmly for a heavier weight rabbit or set just back on the edge for a hair trigger setting for a lighter weight animal to set off the trap.

Dig a shallow hole deep enough to place the set trap in it, say outside an active rabbit burrow opening - avoid burrows not in use with cobwebs across the entrance - or at a run-through where rabbits flatten the grass where they come and go at a fence line, or where they are regularly entering under a building or in gorse bushes.

When positioning the set trap in the ground, ensure that the round pan is level with the surrounding ground surface.

Place a single sheet of thin brown paper or newspaper over the set trap and then cover it with a light layer of sand so that the sand is also level with the ground around it. If you use soil to cover the trap, when it rains, some soils can set like concrete over your trap so that the rabbit's weight cannot set them off.

Replace any leaf litter back over the sand (or whatever is laying on the ground where the trap is set so that the trap site visually blends in with its surrounds), except directly over the circular pan, where you want the rabbit to place its foot. Keep this clear.

Stake the set trap chain well into to the ground with a long tent peg or tie the end of the chain with fence wire to a fence post or tree if one is available where the trap is to be placed. This is so that the trapped rabbit does not run off with the trap attached to its leg. The chain and wire need to be covered as well to hide them from the rabbit.

Rabbits are generally (but not always) nocturnal. Set the trap in the middle of the day and then check it morning and evening for catches to remove. Reset the trap at the same spot until you stop getting rabbits there.

Good trapping practice for smaller animals is to check the traps twice a day and remove them from the traps so that they do not have a long slow death exposed to the weather and predator animals.

Some trappers put rabbit food in the path of the set trap such as a handful of green lucerne from the middle of a bale, carrot, lettuce or fennel to draw them to it. Lucerne and fennel have a food smell that wafts around to draw rabbits in.

Remember where you set the trap by taking a photo of it or making a map if needed so that it does not get lost underground.

Trap storage

Clean and store the traps by hanging them by their chain in a shed so that they do not get tangled with each other.

Victor No. 1 soft jaw rabbit traps can be bought singly or in the conventional set of three for a discount. Larger trap quantities are available.

How to kill and prepare a rabbit

Dead rabbits must be gutted within 20 minutes to avoid spoiling the meat. Only use healthy rabbits for cooking.

A quick, clean, humane death is the only way to kill trapped rabbits. This can be done by holding the back of the neck with one hand and a fast twisting of the rabbit head and fully round at 180 degrees to immediately break the neck with the other hand. This has to be quick with a snapping action.

Another method is to place the rabbits head over a gully trap or other firm object and hit it hard on the top of the head with a hammer for an immediate kill. Keep a firm hold of the rabbit skin on the back of its neck as its nerves will make it kick around for a while after it has been killed. This avoids bruising the rabbit meat.

Then, holding the head, squeeze the urine out from the top of the body under the front legs, down towards the tail. Use metal pincers to cut off the feet, cut the head off (dogs will eat this), peel the skin off in one piece pulling it down from the neck while the rabbit is still warm, turn the whole skin inside out and stretch it over a bent wire to hang and air dry it in a shed. When you have say 100 dried skins, these can be sold to agents for hat making by Akubra or other felt hat makers.

Gut the skinned rabbit by slitting it up the centre of the stomach area from the between the back legs to the top of the chest cavity. Take care not to cut deep to avoid cutting into the intestines or other organs as this will spoil the meat and it is not suitable for eating. Drop the entrails into a bucket for burying later. The heart, liver and kidneys can be taken for food as well. Rinse clean and soak the fresh carcasse in water and vinegar for a few hours or overnight before cooking the rabbit or freeze it for later. Ask any traditional European person how they cook with rabbit.

Animal Welfare Regulations

Check in your state which traps are allowed. It varies from state to state. There are regulations around trap use including Animal Welfare Act and Prevention of Cruelty Acts. The old serrated jaw traps are illegal across Australia and their use can attract jail time and fines of thousands of dollars.

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