A couple of weeks ago, I was on a trip to the Fort Ord Natural Reserve, which is a part of the UC Reserve System. It was an overnight trip and we were setting out sherman traps again.
I resolved to catch more critters this time around! I thought I would pay a little more attention and see if I could locate the little guys by sound, rather than digging through the brush. Where ever I heard something rustling around, I set a trap close by. As you can tell by the photo, my traps weren’t too cleverly hidden.
At first glance, most people would think that my successful rate would be abysmally low. My professor even suggested that I reconsider my trap locations. I knew there were critters nearby, because I could hear them, so I ignored his counsel. I was pretty glad I did. By the end of the trip, I had captured 9 critters out of 14 placed traps for a 64% success rate!
I caught two Peromyscus californicus, four Peromyscus boylii, two Peromyscus maniculatus, and one Chaetodipus californicus. I briefly considered trying to go for Neotoma fuscipes, the Dusky-footed Wood Rat, but all of the wood rat nests were nestled safely in the Poison Oak. I felt it was best to keep my distance from the Poison Oak without any PPE.
Disclaimer: All captured species were safely returned to their point of capture. All trapping was supervised and monitored by UC staff.