Hans 'Rookie' Rook is anything but a rookie. He cut his teeth on the Little Barrier Island project eradicating predators such as rats, ferrets, feral cats and other mustelids that prey on our native birds. They successfully eradicated Little Barrier Island of predators and it remains a pristine sanctuary of New Zealand to this day.
Good Wood worked with Rookie & Rod Dickson to develop our AllTrap Chimney Box. This box is designed for use on farmland or land where stock is present. It protects dogs, cattle and sheep while allowing predators & pests to get in. Hans reckons he's put down everything from stoats, ferrets, feral cats & even hedgehogs in the trap - how a hedgehog get's in there we don't know.
As a long time professional trapper, I was able to learn a lot from Rookie & I took some time to pick his brain. Here's a few of his top tips for catching predators.
1. Oil your traps with fish oil such as sardine or tuna from the can. Not only does this extend the life of the trap it also draws predators in.
2. Bait your trap with a tough meat - salted rabbit or a solid bait fish. This makes the target work for the meal and encourages the trap to activate at it's peak.
3. Scuff the ground. Kick the dust up around the trap. Scratch the dirt a bit to toss a bit of scent around & encourage the target to spend time investigating.
4. Reflectors on the boxes. Hans adds reflector squares to his boxes. Curiosity gets the better of the predators and draws them in from further out to investigate.
These tips are all focussed on overloading the predators senses. Drawing them into our kill zones and then getting the kill. Rookie recommends the AllTrap Chimney Trap because of it's easy to use slide out drawer and 'see-through' tunnel that allows predators to inspect the chimney from outside before entering.
Australasian Bittern are making a comeback because of Rookies' efforts in habitat creation & simultaneously trapping the predators. He has quadrupled the numbers in the past 8 years. Good job mate!
Image sourced from LINZ. Crown Copyright reserved.