Although they are separate and independent practices, especially in consideration of legality, it’s still hard to have a very long conversation about hunting without some discussion about trapping and vice versa.
In central Texas, trapping is generally practiced to control nuisance animals or to harvest other nongame or exotic animals on private property.
Some commonly trapped animals include feral hog, rabbit, opossum, badger, beaver, fox, mink, muskrat, nutria, otter, raccoon, ring-tailed cat, and skunk.
There are some pretty elaborate ideas out there for traps and trapping, but I’ll leave all of the skunk trapping for you, the reading audience.
All jokes aside, there are many available types of traps and trap designs, specialized for all the animals in the list above and more.
Especially for small animals, there are many existing designs for primitive traps and snares, (especially in survival situations) including the dead fall trap, bow trap, spear trap, bottle trap, noosing wand, squirrel pole, twitch-up snare, and treadle spring snare, among others.
For those who simply wish to control the population of small nuisance animals, the simple cage trap, or live trap, is generally the most popular choice.
I’ve personally caught many raccoons that had previously killed at least one of my home-raised chickens or ducks per night before I set out a live trap, baited each evening with any pet food or table left-overs that happened to be on hand.
In this area, feral hog trapping is a world to its own, with more elaborate designs being developed by the day.
Some hog traps are designed to be portable, and some corral-type traps are designed to be stationary.
In either case, these traps are best placed in areas where feral hogs are known to cause damage, such as near crops or in areas they are known to regularly frequent, such as in discovered paths or near water sources.
It should be noted that according to Texas state law, it is only necessary to possess a hunting license to trap fur-bearing animals (for which there is no bag or possession limit) but one must possess a trapper’s license if they wish to sell any part of the trapped animal.
Also, a landowner or authorized agent is not required to have a hunting license to trap nuisance animals that are in the process of causing loss or damage to personal property.