We have a mink killing all the fish in my back yard koi pond. He just killed 4 last night and it makes me sick. Not sure if I want to trap it and I’d shoot it if I had a gun. Is there is some kind of repeller I can use to keep it out of the yard?
Mink are small members of the weasel family. Dark brown in color, mink have long been sought after for their pelts. Though they only reach 3-5 lbs in size, mink are aggressive and predatory.
Mink will prey upon most anything including rats, mice, fish, rabbit, birds, eggs, insects or muskrat. Because of their long and sleek design, mink will commonly find their way into chicken coops or other animal holding cages where they can kill several of the captive prey animals in a short period of time.
And as you already know, they love stocked fish ponds. When hunting, mink are known to kill whatever it finds.
This characteristic – random slaughtering of prey animals – sometimes confuses the animal owner into thinking local vandals are responsible. They also like to line their kill up along shoreline, fence rows or pathways which can lead to further confusion. It’s hard to imagine such a small animal could be so destructive, aggressive and organized. But if you raise quail, pheasant, chickens, turtles, fish, rabbit or some other small animals, you best hope the local mink don’t find your yard.
WHERE DO MINK LIVE
Mink like to live close to water. Dens are commonly made on the banks of streams and creeks but they may choose a location under a rock or log.
Babies are born in April and May and the average litter will have 4-6 young. Mink are active in most every state except one or two in the southwestern region of the United States.
Since mink are usually nocturnal and secretive, they are not easily seen unless the food they seek is active and only available during the day. Mink will forage several acres to find food and if you keep free roam chicken, they will be targeted.
Chicken coops are another mink magnet. Sleeping birds are easy target as are the eggs kept in nests. Rabbits too seem to attract mink as well so if you find animal pens vandalized or if something super small has forced open some wire fencing, it could be a mink.
HOW TO KEEP MINK OUT OF THE YARD
Once mink find your property, they’ll keep coming around if you have something they can eat. To keep them out, install SOUND REPELLERS along property borders. This device sends our a high frequency ultrasound mink do not like and one encounter with the unit going off will usually keep them away for good.
These units can be configured to run continuously using the included power supply or by 4 “C” cell batteries when set to “motion detector”. This setting will keep the unit in standby mode watching the area for movement. As soon as an intruding animal like a mink enters the protected zone of coverage, the device will go off for 20 seconds.
Units have a range of settings including day operation only, night operation only or 24 hours a day. The motion detector has a range of 40-50 feet when kept 1-2 feet up off the ground and this setting is adjustable too.
To get the biggest impact, use the units with the audible sound turned up as high as you can use it on your property. Starting at 20-40 DB is usually high enough but if possible, keep it at 60-80. This way when it goes off, the ultrasound will be active along with the white flashing light bar and the audible sound. In most cases, one close call with this device will cause the mink to leave and never return.
These units include a wireless key so you can turn them off/on as needed. This way you can turn them off if you need to access the protected zone for some reason. This wireless remote also has an “alarm” button so you can use this to “scare” approaching animals long before they get too close.
Sound repellers are very much directional so they will only work in the direction they’re pointed. So to protect a small pond, set the unit 10-20 feet off to one side but keep the unit pointing at the directions where mink are most likely approach. Units can cover up to 5,000 of open area but if the landscape is cluttered with vegetation, this will obscure its range so take this into account.
For easy installation, MOUNTING BLOCKS are handy. They can accept 1 or 2 repellers (picture to the right) and have a 1/2″ hole on their bottom so they will easily fit over a 1/2″ piece of rebar or any other wood or plastic stake. Ultra Sound Repellers will work fine by themselves as long as you have a good place to set them up. But we highly recommend getting the Units with Mounting Blocks in the kits we offer. Mounting Blocks allow you to place units anywhere and they will save time too.
We also feature several accessories for our sound repeller including POWER CORD EXTENDERS (33 FEET AND 66 FEET), CIGARETTE LIGHTER POWER ADAPTER, ALLIGATOR CLIP POWER CORD and AC POWER SUPPLY REPLACEMENTS.
HOW TO TRAP MINK WITH LIVE OR KILL TRAPS
There are many ways to trap a mink. The best trap to use will depend on where you plan on trapping and which design you are comfortable using. Traps fall into two categories or trap design: Live Traps or Kill Traps.
LIVE TRAP CAGE FOR MINK
The first type, live trapping, can be done with an LT7824 LIVE TRAP. Since mink are wary of anything new to their environment, it will really help if you either hide or partially bury the trap when making a set. Keeping the wire floor of the trap covered with dirt or mud will help so when they enter, they don’t feel uncomfortable.
Leaves, brush and plants can be placed along the sides and top of the cage to mask the enclosure.
This trap measures 7″ wide by 8″ tall and 24″ long. In general, it will be large enough to catch any mink.
To get a mink inside the trap, place 2-4 oz of FISH PASTE behind the trip pan.
If you’re not 100% sure you have a mink but suspect it could be something larger like an otter or raccoon, using a live trap with live bait will be more effective.
The best trap for animals right up to Coyote and Bobcat is the LT152248RD fitted with our Bait Cage. Basically this trap comes pre assembled and ready to use so all you have to do is place a live animal in the bait cage such as a live chicken or small bird. The rear access sliding door makes baiting and maintaining the trap easy. And the ideal way to make a set is to use a well known point of entry your target animal is already using.
So if you have a mink (or some other animals) that’s been prone to digging under a fence to get inside, use his behavior to trap him. In other words, don’t thwart his digging; let him have his way. Now once you know the location where he want’s to enter, you’ll want to set the Live Trap with Bait Cage on the inside of your pen opposite of the digging. This way as the mink clears a tunnel under you fence and enters, he’ll be “channeled” into the live trap.
Now the front door of the trap must be a few inches away from the pen siding so it can close and this gap much be filled during your set. Simple barricades on either side can be made with chicken coop wire, railroad ties or cinder blocks. The goal here is to show the mink no way but forward and into the trap.
And if you’ve baited the trap with a live bird, the entering mink will never suspect anything is amiss. This set will take advantage of their tunnel vision which will cause them to move toward their goal and in the process, get caught. Just be sure to camouflage the traps floor by covering the metal wire with dirt, straw or some other natural material. Doing the same for the trap sides is helpful too.
LEGHOLD MINK TRAPS
There are two types of leg hold traps: the Coil and the Long Spring. For mink, the COIL # 1.5 is plenty big and strong enough to hold any mink
These traps should be set where mink are active such as inline with trails or where they are digging to get under fences. They need to be secured by staking them to the ground or a tree.
Once placed out, traps should be covered up with leaves or other “ground litter”. To give the mink a reason to walk around the area, place out MINK GLAND by smearing some on a stick or rock. Used as markers, this gland will get the attention of any foraging mink and when they come close to inspect the odor, they’ll step on the trap and get caught.
The more traditional long spring design is the LS # 11 and has probably caught more mink than any other trap around. Its a bit “longer” compared to the coil and harder to use so if you’re new to trapping, go with the coil design.
When using either trap, you’ll need MINK GLAND to get mink to the area. This “musky” odor commonly left behind when they enter holding pens or barns to mark territory is strong enough to pull animals from 50 yards away. This odor may be present and strong by entrances which may be a small hole or gap between fencing too which is a good place to make sets as well.
HOW TO MAKE A MINK TRAP SET
If the mink is active along a stream bed or other location where you have a dirt bank or ravine where you can make set, consider making a “pocket set”. This type of trap set is effective for many animals including mink. A “pocket set” is when a hole or pocket is dug out of the bank in which the trap will fit snug. Ideally, when the trap is placed in the pocket, it will fit tight. This will help camouflage the bottom, sides and top. Use any of the baits listed above (fish or mink gland) to get their attention.
For more information on how to make a good set, get a MINK TRAPPING BOOK. It details what to do for a wide range of environments and can help the novice achieve success.
The last live trap option – and one that should be left to only the most experienced trapper – is the use of LIGHT SNARES. When placed along walk ways, pathways or slides where mink travel, snares can be quite effective.
The thin cable used for our snare is barely detectable and you can make a lot of sets without a lot of cost. However, snares must be used with precision and the rule to follow is to try and place out as many as possible.
Be sure to anchor your snare or else the caught mink will carry away your cable and fittings. Snared mink are mean and ornery so be prepared to deal with one mad animal when caught. And keep in mind that snares work well when placed in front of den holes but are great for use over log trails.
KILL TRAPS FOR MINK
If you know the location of a den hole and don’t feel like dealing with a mad mink snared or caught in a live trap, consider using a body grip kill trap. These traps are fast acting and easy to use over dens.
The most common size for mink are the BG 120. Use a TRAP STAND to keep the trap properly angled and anchored. Make the set during the middle of the day to insure the mink is holed up. When attempts to leave that night, it will stick its head onto the trigger and you should have quick success.
Body Grip traps can break fingers easily and their springs can be hard to compress so you may want to use BODYGRIP SETTERS to help manage the spring sets – especially if you intend on making several placements.
Trap stands can be placed along pathways, over dens or fence holes mink use to gain entry onto your property. They feature an 18″ rebar stake you drive into the ground to keep the set stable.
If you’ll be making a lot of sets, trap setters will help. They use a simple “scissor” design which gives the user tremendous leverage for compressing the springs.
Give us a call if you need further help. Our toll free is 1-800-877-7290 and we’re open Monday through Thursday, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. On Friday, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM and on Saturday, 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time).
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