We have been using fresh rabbit meat on the tracking tunnel cards to track mustelids (3 nigths). Is it okay to switch to dehydrated rabbit meat as the fresh rabbit meat keeps getting infested with maggots where it was not taken (summer months)
Thanks in advance,
Mustelids are deterred by rotting or rotten meat, so going with the dehydrated rabbit is probably the best way to go. Salted rabbit would last longer than fresh, but you would probably have to make some yourself.
Something that you could try is giving the pieces of fresh rabbit meat a quick soak in some white vinegar (10 seconds). I’ve found that this reduces the rate at which insects and invertebrates interfere with it significantly. The blowflies here find fresh meat/fish within minutes, but I’d say the vinegar keeps them away for at least a day. The predators here love the smell and taste of vinegar-treated lures, so I wouldn’t expect your interaction-rates to be affected negatively.
Vinegar also reduces the rate at which mold colonises lures. Give PB a spray with vinegar in the winter, and it’ll take a day longer for it to go moldy, and the rodents here like it more than plain PB.
Lastly, you could try using pieces of tallow instead of rabbit. It stays good for a long time year-round, is very attractive to predators, and it’s safe from maggots. Insects will eat it, so I give tallow a quick spray with vinegar, which keeps them away for a little while. Due to its dense texture, it takes insects way longer to eat tallow than other lures.
Best of luck!
Hi the dehydrated rabbit should be fine, it has that nice concentrated scent. obviously once you change to using it then results wise to make sure you are comparing apples to apples you should continue to use it
Ooooops…We shouldn’t use dehydrated rabbit where the mustelid is going to be able to get a taste of it. Once they taste the salt they will not go near that sort of bait again. You will then not be able to use salted rabbit in your traps.
Maybe some mayo based baits are worth a try if you don’t have ants. Eg Salmon oil and mayo.
Hi as a follow up to previous comment you do not need to use salt for dehydrated rabbit, you can make Human quality dehydrated meat without salt, just look at any recipes for good quality dehydrator