Trapping Tips and Questions — November 14, 2014 at 2:08 pm

What to charge for trapping, Big traps or coyotes and bobcats? questions for Clint Locklear

Hi; Clint, I am D. R., I am trying to establish a predator control 
business. I am wondering how and how much do you charge the land owner. I don't 
want to over charge them. I would appreciate any help.

   D. R.

charge money trappingWhat I charge has nothing to to with your control business or your customers and trying to charge what other do is a bad idea. Here is why, customers are not the same. They are in different mindsets and what they could or would pay. I trap for wealthy land owners that love their deer and land. It is more than a business idea to them. Some of them spend 100,000 to 400,000 dollars on there deer as a hobie or a write off for their land. They spend 50,000 just on some food plots or deer feed for feeders. So unless you have the same kind of customers, you must have a different price structure. You are NEVER going to get a farmer to pay you what I charge, different customer, different mindset. The same goes for the guy that has a piece of ground that he or his friends hunt on and he wants a few coyotes trapped. If you try and charge what I do, it would be like you paying 10,000 dollars on landscaping in you front yard. Unless you are really into landscaping or can make money from the landscaping 5 to 10 thousand dollars would seem insane to you. Only you know who your customers are. If your targeting any customer, you are always going to be trying to figure out what to charge. I trap for a very specific customer, I don’t try to get another type of customer. Nor do I try to work out a deal with anyone that does not meet exactly who my target customer is.

You will HAVE to know what the true cost is for you to trap. Then you have to have a realistic goal of profit. Cost plus profit is what you charge. If you want to make drug money trapping you better find guys with drug money to spend and prove to them you are worth it.  I see most guys that want to make crazy money trapping and they dont have to customer for it. Everyone hears on line that ADC guys are bringing money in like, well drug money. Sometimes this happens, but most of this crazy money in not the norm or made up to feed an ego.

I think it is better of a local trapper to build up a client list than wants him to trap. Then put together a program to trap several at the same time for less money. Block off this time and run hard. Most guys get caught up on the individual job price and not the total they make each week or year. What we do is important, but we are not curing people of a disease. What you net at the end of the year is what counts, not each job. You can make money if your creative and hustle. Following others or charging what others do is not creative and locks you into doing what others are. Most of the time you will find it to be loosing money.

I will give you an idea. I set traps for land owners, they run the traps and handle the animals. I charge much less for this service. I make more money this way. I set traps for 300 to 500 dollars for one to two days. I leave with income. They burn money and time running traps, not me. I can then go repeat this with another client. They get a better price and traps set longer. I can make 600 to 1,000 days in a couple of days of work. If I charge $1,000 week trapping, after all the cost of being away from home, I will make less money and spend more time making less money due to true cost to run a line for 7 days away from home or 50 miles away.  It is up to you to know your numbers and what you need to make. Be creative and you will figure things out. This is not a question that anyone can figure out for you.

Good luck,


Was wondering what you thought about this size trap for coyotes. I know Clint likes big iron and these are reasonably priced for a 7 1/2" jaw spread trap but idk. I got blasted on a trapping site for even talking about this size trap for coyotes and bobcats. My other thinking was a Montana #3 all modded out but smaller then these.Thanks

I do use big traps on coyotes and bobcats in areas that are very isolated from people and pets. The catch rate with a big pan is higher no question. Saying that a beaver size coyote or bobcat trap WITH OUT a big pan really has no advantage over a standard #3 size coyote or bobcat trap. I do not use a big trap in most places I trap in the east. They do not cause any more damage than smaller traps no matter what guys on the internet say.  When you say #5 Bridger, you may mean a long spring or coil spring. I do not recommend the big #5 long spring trap for dry land unless you are going after wolf or lion. The reason is that a deer can not pull out of it and when the trap locks up you will be in for a ride turning it loose. I have never held a deer in my CDR’s, but use the big long spring for hog control, let that sink in.

If you live in the middle of ND or MT, you will not have the people issues as much. If you are trapping in the east, not sure it is the best thing for trapper and non-trapper relations. It may be legal, but not the best move. Each trapper has to do what is best for them, but we also have to think of the bigger picture.

I will say that a #3 heavy duty trap is a much better coyote trap than a 1 3/4 size trap any day of the week. Keep in mind the only reason I use the big CDR style traps is for the big pan not the jaw spread.

Getting blasted on the internet will happen on any subject. Trappers can be a closed minded group to any change or challenge to their views. This is self defeating and causes a lot of stagnation in the industry.  Always use your head and think through actions you will or will not be using.  The best trappers always have a open mind, be that guy and you will do fine.


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