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" Idstone " Trap Pit

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#1 Guest_Ditch_Shitter_*

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 01:16 am

Surely to god most of us have long ago since read and enjoyed W. Carnegie's little book; " Practicle Trapping " ? If so, you too will have come across the 'Idstone' Trap Pit. Well, for some unfathomable reason, that bugger's always fasinated and inspired me. And now I reckon I've likely got as close as I can hope for to the enviroment to try one out. I'd just like to bounce a few ideas round here first though, before digging that hole.

For those of you who may not have a clue what we're about to discuss here then, I'll lay down some details.

Carnegie cites a piece he himself read somewhere, written by a guy who used the non de plume of " Idstone ". And this Idstone chap describes a Trap Pit he's come up with. It's not a 'Drop Box' ~ for you teeny tyro's who think you've seen it all ;) ~ it's something completely out on its own and which, to my way of thinking, sort of goes against the usually recieved grain. Here's a fair idea of what it's about then:

It consists of a square hole, dug in the ground. Yard by yard. I can't remember, off hand, how deep and can't be arsed to look as I'm shattered just now ( :drink: ) and the depth shouldn't really be an issue. What they say ye do is to run four, buried, pipes down to this pit. Five inch pipes is stated. That in itself makes me wonder, because they only talk in terms of using it for " Vermin ". Just what 'vermin' reguires a gaping great five inch hole to go down, I don't know :unsure: But there it is. I'm sure we can improvise.

It's also said that clay pipes are best. But that wood will do at a pinch. Well, mustalids (the weasle tribe) and squirrels don't mind wood. Nor do rats. Again, I wonder what it is out there that'd need clay? Obviously, I'm asking these questions to invite comment.

Of course, being written of about a century ago, things have moved on since then. I can't easily come by five inch - or similar - clay pipes. But I can certainly knock up some wooden tunels or even get my hands on some perforated plastic drainage pipes, which we've long since replaced clay ones with, here at least. Actually, I'm erring towards wood. Because rats are notoriously unhappy about stepping onto plastic at the best of times.

So, we run these pipes, from ground level, down to each corner of our subterrainian pit. And there, at the end of each pipe and inside the pit, we set a spring trap. Fenn, or what ever.

In the middle of the pit we have a vertical rod. This rod reaches up to the (wooden) lid which we put over the pit and on that rod we hang some suitable bait. Idstone reckons dead birds. I suggest we could use what ever's likely to attract what ever vermin we have in the area. Again; Comments and suggestions welcomed. I'd hope this will be a discussion ~ not a treatise.

Now, getting personal; I fancy lining out my pit with wooden boards. Not quite sure why, really. I just feel it will lend more permanance and professionalism to it. 'Job worth doing' and all that. Shouldn't make a toss of differance to the catches. What ever those walls are made of, it'll be the last damn thing they ever see anyway! It'd certainly save cave ins.

And, with that, my wandering mind brings me to realise that the local rats may not like plastic; But the mink will certainly be used to running exactly such pipes! I think I might go for two wood and two plastic run ins! :good:

And there we are then, for now. As the Jack Danials drags my eyelids ever downwards ..... It's a 'damp' little corner I have in mind for this one. It may well get a bit wet in there at times. I don't know. Still shouldn't matter though and wet will cover a trap better than anything, anyway.

One more driving force behind all this fuss, by the way, is that I intend to be setting it up (down?) close to my wild bird feeding station. Sadly, as any experianced Rat Catcher could tell you; Birds can, and damn well will, travel along ground level tunnels! Set a regular Tunnel Trap where birds get and it's only a matter of time before one of them will get in there and come to grief. But I just can't see many birds going down into a darkened pit. Maybe I'll prove myself wrong? I hope not. But there's only the one way to find out.

Any comments?

#2 woodga


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Posted 04 September 2006 - 08:45 am

you certainly go to extremes :o the trouble with this kind of set is it stays in one place as a permanent set the versatility you now have with boxes or cubbies containing traps have the advantage in so far as they can be moved any where a problem develops in my opinion your just giving yourself extra work but im a lazy fecker :11:

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 10:31 pm

Anyway, this Idstone? Method in my madness, don't worry :good: Like I say, I'll be setting it up by my bird feeders. And they're right next to my ditch and beside a five bar gate in the hedge. Don't get a much more perfect trapping site, do we? Think about it. As the Yanks always say; Look for quarry where they'll be looking for food. So, rats come after the bird seed. Mink come after the rats. I come after the lot of them! And I'll have one pipe enticingly close to that gate post too. They won't be able to resist a shoofty!

Another aspect I'm looking at is keeping my infernal Dogs away from the set. I put down an ordinary tunnel. Caught the first rat and that's all she wrote! Dogs found it and destroyed the place, even after the rat was long gone. I'm trying to figure a way either of keeping them out of this one, or else just hoping they don't get such a strong whiff of what's going on beneath the ground. That's proving my biggest headache, frankly.

Oh, and I was up at my mates farm tonight. Spotted a length of that perforated plastic piping in a smaller guage I've never seen before. Looked, at a sneaky glance, to be about 3". Seems spot on to me. I'll make enquiries.

Mheanwhile, as the rains are returning 'nicely' now, I may well dig a bore hole and see what happens. No sense digging the full pit if it's just going to fill with water. Be gutted if it does though. I'm gagging to experiance this one :)

Kiddie in a f***in sweet shop, me! :laugh:

#4 RatSnatcher


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Posted 08 September 2006 - 08:50 pm

Why not add a plastic liner to stop the water filling in the hole.........or you could use a plastic dustbin, interested to see how you get on mate :good:

#5 Vermin Dropper

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Posted 08 September 2006 - 09:14 pm

Why not add a plastic liner to stop the water filling in the hole.........or you could use a plastic dustbin, interested to see how you get on mate http://www.thehuntinglife.com/forums/pub...

I was going to sugest something similar,

only I was going to say use something like an old plastic cold water tank as it's square, :good:

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Posted 08 September 2006 - 09:39 pm

Time on line limited by seconds. Sorry. Bin liners? Thought of. Wouldn't last. Considering proper membrane.

Water tank or similar 'hard' plastic? Food for thought :good:

I'll be back. Whooooosh!

#7 borderboy


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Posted 11 September 2006 - 02:50 pm


Edited by borderboy, 15 December 2006 - 08:36 pm.

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 03:49 pm

Anyway, this Idstone? Method in my madness, don't worry http://www.thehuntinglife.com/forums/pub... Like I say, I'll be setting it up by my bird feeders. And they're right next to my ditch

Wont the smell of your shit in the ditch put them off? LOL

#9 Guest_Ditch_Shitter_*

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 06:18 pm

Couple of ideas for you that i've figured after doing mine, with a length of pipe and a teracotta flower pot...

1) you need solid walls floor and roof otherwise they'll make extensions

They'll have no time to make anything, once they come out of those pipes.

2) rats wil use land drain provided its that ridgey stuff

That's the very stuff I have in mind.

3) make sure its easy to put bait into through a small hole so you dont disturb whilst baiting.

Idstone provides for that in his original design. We use a central 'Bait Pole' and access that through a small trap door.

4) it took me about a week to get some rats using it.

Industry standard says allow a week to ten days for rats to get over their neophobia. This is a given.

These are probably obvious but you never know.

Never mind what I might or might not know. This thread is for Everyone to learn from http://www.thehuntinglife.com/forums/pub...

Great input. Thanks! http://www.thehuntinglife.com/forums/pub...

Nightwalker: Watch yourself or you'll give me the excuse I seek to show That shot! :rofl:

Birds can't smell and rats eat the stuff. What do they care?! :sick:

#10 john b

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 09:19 am

I thought I'd make my contrubution to this thread by recreating the diagram from Ditch's favourite reference work.

This is W Carnegie's illustration of how the pipes should run.

Taken from Practical Trapping & Conservation. W Carnegie. Field Sports library 2003 edition revised by John Bridges :)

Edited by john b, 12 September 2006 - 12:47 pm.

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 11:17 am

Cheers for that, John :good: Looks a lot more modern than the illustration in the copy I'm working from though. Is that the Ben Read edition?

Anyway, later on - tonight - I'll sneak on and show the 'Trap Door / Bait Stick' idea from my own copy. Daren't hang about at this time of day and things to do anyway.

:rolleyes: Sorry! Just spotted ye 'recreated' it! I'll scan the book later, for the door ;)

#12 john b

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 12:49 pm


It's a fairly faithful recreation - this is how it looks in the book. Perhaps we're on different ones ? Book details now added to the diagram.

Mine doesn't say much about the inside though, just a central baited spindle (verticle) with traps around it.

#13 Vermin Dropper

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 01:11 pm

Well I must have completely the wrong idea? :wacko:

from DS's first description I imagined it to be more like this......

Posted Image

a self enclosed "pit", thats why I thought a cold water tank would be ideal, because then there would be no water egress.
in jb's picture above, a water tank would make no difference to DS's situation as water would just leak through the hole made for the pipe.

#14 john b

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 01:53 pm

You know I'm glad you said that Vermin D, 'cos until I saw the pic in the book I visualised a straight tube too. Sort of a 'slide of death' affair :D

You could quite easily seal the pipe into a cold water tank with some sort of plumbing sealant and I think that would still give a benefit. You'd probably need to fill the bottom of it with a layer of sand or soil to naturalise it.

Anyway, this is how I currently believe it works

To quote the text:

"The baits should hang just beyond the reach of the vermin, unless they place their feet upon the plate of the gin(sic) to raise themselves up"

Obviously we'd not be using gins.

Edited by john b, 12 September 2006 - 03:50 pm.

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 09:37 pm

That's about it, JD. Only - and this is weird, because Carneggie says he's working from Idstone's original plans - I'm sure my book (Tideline facsimile) says the traps should be placed at the ends of the pipes? No time to check it now. But it makes sense. Maybe he modified it himself?

Fact is; The bait would lure them in and they'd run those traps - at the ends of the pipes. Gang set the traps around that central Bait Pole and - at least with modern day Fenn's or what ever, the first trap would fire, jump and fire another ..... Chaos!

Incidentaly; I have checked my book and the diagram of the lid / spindle isn't worth reproducing. I have three editions of this book and must have been remembering better details from another copy. What the hell; We have enough detail from the above :good:

Water tank's still useable. Bog standard silacone sealent would do the trick ;)

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