Fighting the Cull Part 1 – Cage Traps

Posted: April 8, 2014 in Environmental
Tags: , , ,

As I mentioned previously I’m going to add some information for all those activist out there who want to get involved and save our Badgers. Clearly the level you wish to involve yourself is down to personal choice and as stated by the disclaimer at the bottom of the blog I cannot be held responsible for individuals actions and the ramifications of those actions. OK with that out of the way let’s move on.

In light of the publication of the IEP report it’s pretty clear that free shooting has been an abject failure, indeed many cull operatives abandoned shooting fairly on in the cull when they realised they weren’t getting the numbers they’d hoped for and so the task became a financial drain on them. The report also highlighted a lack of marksmanship and with it any hope of a humane kill. This of course didn’t stop them but if recommendations from the IEP are going to be acted upon then better monitoring, training and field craft will all have to be implemented before the killing can resume this summer. Because of the lack of effectiveness in the free shooting professional cage trappers were brought it to increase the likelihood of killing more animals.

Locating Traps

Of course a cage trap is a fairly large piece of kit and anyone with any knowledge of Badgers should, with some careful searching be able to find the devices and deal with them appropriately should they wish to. Understanding Badgers and their behaviour is key so do some reading and prepare. Provided you know where the target sett is located the general area can be searched paying special attention to animal runs (you’ll see small paths in the undergrowth with possible tracks), latrines (Badgers will have a toilet area which clan members will visit) and any likely feeding areas. Badgers can roam over a large area but starting in the middle and working out should see you cover all the relevant locations. Traps can be hidden beneath undergrowth or covered with foliage but the access to them should be clear. Obviously doing a good survey of the area in daylight beforehand will help enormously. They’ll usually be baited with something appropriate like peanuts as shown below. Of course finding them is only half the battle.

Trap shown in set position with baited area.

Trap shown in set position with baited area.

 

Neutralising Traps

The simplest method is of course to just trip the device by pulling on the string. Be warned however that they close with a fair old clang and that sound can travel some distance so try and get a stick in there to stop the metallic clash. If you’re a guy and feel like answering the call of nature then feel free to give the area a good sprinkle. This will put the Badgers off for some time. Should you wish to go further and deny its use in the future then a couple of straightforward methods can be used. Obviously a set of bolt croppers will see it useless in fairly quick time however carrying these will effectively give the police cause to arrest you for “going equipped to cause criminal damage” if you are apprehended with them about your person. Should you find yourself in a potentially difficult position then losing them very quickly is the best course of action. Try and remember where you leave them, you can always go back for them later.

You can see in the video above they’re giving the cage a good battering with a sledge hammer and you can see how robust the cages are. However I wouldn’t advise this course of action. Apart from the likelihood of drawing attention to yourself and carrying a large hammer about there is a much faster and stealthier way to do things. It will help if there are two of you but it can be performed on your own as well. Firstly turn the trap on to one of its corners so it makes a diamond shape to the ground, a second person can hold it in this position or if on your own prop it up against a tree. Make sure the trap door stays in the set position by jamming in a stick. Now give it a good stamp (or jump) on the point of the diamond several times at the open end. It will collapse fairly efficiently with much less noise than a good hammering. Again, if on you’re alone hold on to a tree whilst performing this action. Once the cage is suitably flat your job is done so now it’s time to vacate the area.

Trap shown with door down and suggested position of twine.

Trap shown with door down and suggested position of twine.

 

Avoiding unwanted attention

Be alert. Don’t go blundering into an area without spending some time checking things out first. Most police officers have little knowledge of the countryside or any field craft but you can’t assume they’re all stupid in this regard. Make sure you’re dressed appropriately, good boots and combats are a must. Look for tell-tale signs of a stakeout, tracks in the mud, broken cobwebs on gates or hedges and trampled vegetation. Be quiet, sit and listen, tune in to your surroundings, use night vision if you’re lucky enough to have it but even a pair of binoculars will work in very low light. Leave someone on lookout and approach as stealthily as you can. Animals both domestic and wild are a big giveaway of people in the area. Cows and sheep are quite inquisitive and will look in the direction of people while deer leaving a wood or covert is a sure sign of human activity. Always remember; “If in doubt, just bug out”. When finding a cage or even a bait point, have a good look around. Traps may have cameras placed by them so cover your face until you’re satisfied you’re not being watched. Don’t use your bare hands, wear gloves at all times and be prepared to throw these away as well. Get a small UV torch and shine it over the area and the trap. If it’s covered in a marker substance like smart water this will show up as a bright glow. Getting this stuff on you is a big no-no so be prepared to change clothes if you have to. Once you’ve done what you needed to do then leave quietly and put some distance between yourself and the location.

In the next installment I’ll be going through the various groups to join and parts individuals can play in stopping the killing.

Disclaimer: The owners of MoreThanJustBadgers.net accept no responsibility for actions arising by any person or persons or condone any activity which may or may not be deemed unlawful by acting upon the information contained herein.

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