Eggs as lure in winter?

After listening to Cam’s sensible advice 2 years ago that stoats know birds aren’t laying eggs in winter I followed his advice and remove both plastic eggs and real eggs between April and October (Taranaki, bush and sub alpine, 900m altitude up to 1500m).
No definite results yet as my winter catch over 5 years up there has been weasels and rats only. Except for one stoat (yay) last month.
Someone recently queried this, saying something unusual like an egg out of season could make a stoat stop at a trap and consider entering.
Interesting thought as during winter I trial different extra lures to try get stoats to pause on their way past traps.
Eggs are always clean, in ‘nests’ and look as real as possible.
Who else removes eggs out of season?
What are your experiences?

I use fake hens’ eggs in my traps year-round, but not in every tunnel, and they aren’t the only lure. In my experience, using a variety of lures is the most effective way to trap predators, so I doubt that using eggs would be detrimental, as long as there are other lures of interest in your tunnels.

Whether or not eggs are effective winter lures, would require a lot of research. Some mustelids will be suspicious about eggs and stay away, some will be curious enough to check things out, while others will think that they’ve hit the jackpot and go for it.

Stoats are renowned for being difficult to trap in winter. The lures that have been the most effective for me are mice or rats. The body of another mustelid is another very effective lure.

Good luck.

Thanks. Yes guess I’m hoping someone has done some trials re eggs. And yes, for me too every rat becomes lure cos stoats love the brain and heart of it for protein.

As luck would have it, regarding the topic of using eggs as lures in winter, I trapped a female weasel yesterday.

Prominently displayed in the tunnel was a white plastic hens’ egg, an egg that a female weasel wouldn’t be able to eat, due to the small size of their jaws. Either the weasel realized this and ignored the egg, or it had never seen an egg before, and it was curious. I think it’s very unlikely that the egg lure played a role in the kill.

Before the weasel turned up, small rodents had eaten all of the mayo that I’d put inside the tunnel, so their activity was, almost certainly, the primary lure, because small rodents make up such a large % of the diet of female weasels. The secondary lure was probably the piece of tallow that I’d put inside a tea strainer.

If it was a male weasel that discovered the tunnel, the egg lure would probably have played a role, because the male weasels where I trap can reach the same size as stoats, so hens’ eggs are definitely on their menu.


Excellent catch, one more out of the breeding cycle. Yes your logic all makes sense. Thanks for that.
On mountain at moment for couple of nights and found a big male stoat in one of our traps on way up yesterday.
Looks like he’d eaten the rat head at entrance then run in to get remainder of carcass inside trap.

Great news on the stoat.

When I find a body that’s been partially scavenged, I move it to the rear of a tunnel, or in between 2 traps. I’d say that about half the time, I trap a predator within 12 hours. It isn’t necessarily the original scavenger that I end up trapping, but it’s still an effective technique.

If the brains of a mouse or rat are the only part of the body that have been eaten, it’s possible that the original scavenger won’t have any interest in the rest of the carcass, but it depends on how plentiful prey is in the area. I kill a large % of the rodents within 250m or so of my house, so when mustelids arrive on the property, there are slim pickings. The sight and smell of one or more rodents inside my tunnels becomes very tempting. Other lures are on offer, of course, but fresh rodents are a hard lure to beat. I’m going to start freezing some rats to use as stoat lures in the summer. It should take a while for a large rat to completely thaw and then rot.