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Author Topic: WA style swim through history?  (Read 2367 times)

Offline Wolfdog91

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WA style swim through history?
« on: December 06, 2020, 10:32:16 PM »
So you guys seem to be really the only ones inbred nation who use what I call the WA style swim through  cage.  Now I've gotten bits and pieces but what's the history behind like the idea and evolution of these traps? I know there was a guy named Bernie if I remember correctly that was pretty well known for his but that's about all I know.  That and humptulips makes some awesome ones. But with all that being said can someone give me like a history of this style cage and it's evolution?

Offline Humptulips

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Re: WA style swim through history?
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2020, 01:18:51 AM »
I don't remember what year it was but it was several years after 2000 when we lost the use of "bodygripping traps" due to Initiative-713. I went to the WSTA Rendezvous and Bernie Nelson was there giving a demo on his new Swim through beaver traps. He coined the name.
Those first traps were one step above a large colony trap. As I remember the doors sloped down like a colony and they had no spring or lock on the doors. They did have a rotating bar to hold the doors open and a trigger which was a rod that stuck up that held the rotating bar up. Somewhat similar to how Comstock traps eventually came out.
This was before anybody heard of Comstock's or even Kirk Dekalb's traps at least out here.
I believe Bernie's were 12x12x48.
I liked the idea but thought they were a little slow. I had a mind to trap otter and I believe I remember Bernie saying he had trouble catching an otter in them.
I went home and tore apart some 220 conibears and built some using the springs and did away with the sloping doors. They were 10x10x48 and had 1x2 14guage wire on them. They worked. I went back the next year to show them off and soon everyone was putting a spring on the doors. Ted Cantrell started making some and Bernie added a spring to each door and we were off.
Was not long after Comstock came out with his traps and I started seeing some of Kirks traps around.
Of course others were making their own but I think that is the only ones being sold.
My self, every year I would make a little improvement. I was the one that developed the conibear trigger on them. Then a few years ago I went out to pick up traps at the end of the season and had to haul a trailer to pick traps. That is when I decided I had to figure a way to make them collapsible. It took me a couple years and false starts before I came up with what worked. Then made some improvements and finally filed for patent protection on my design. I received a patent on it a little over a year ago.
You can still buy Bernie's and Ted's traps I believe.
I hope I remembered that right.
My traps now are frameless and built out of 2x2 10 gauge wire. Doors are built out of 2x2 6 gauge wire. They collapse with no tools needed for assembly so you can see they are a long way from what we started out with.
Few Pictures. First picture is a pile of about 14. Last picture is looking at the door of one.
Bruce Vandervort

Offline Humptulips

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Re: WA style swim through history?
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2020, 01:28:34 AM »
I'll just add those traps above are 11x17x40. They do not have to be that long for beaver and otter. I make an 11x11x32 model that works fine for water animals. You need the 40" length though to use them as a bobcat trap and most people appreciate a versatile trap.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2020, 01:45:17 AM by Humptulips »
Bruce Vandervort

Offline Wolfdog91

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Re: WA style swim through history?
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2020, 07:17:56 PM »
I'll just add those traps above are 11x17x40. They do not have to be that long for beaver and otter. I make an 11x11x32 model that works fine for water animals. You need the 40" length though to use them as a bobcat trap and most people appreciate a versatile trap.
Thanks for the info mr.bruce ! Have you stared shipping your folding cages yet ? I've been mentioning them to guys from around the country and there seems to be alot of interest

Offline Humptulips

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Re: WA style swim through history?
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2020, 08:05:45 PM »
I'm selling them here in WA. I have not advertised elsewhere. Right now I have a somewhat limited supply and I wanted to wait until after trapping season to make more. If someone contacts me though I sell them.
Bruce Vandervort

Offline lewy

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Re: WA style swim through history?
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2020, 08:16:40 PM »
I can personally vouch for Bruce’s traps, they catch fur. 
Go hawks

Offline Loup Loup

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Re: WA style swim through history?
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2020, 06:53:24 PM »
I got my first Swimthrough from Bernie Nelson shortly after he came up with them. A 12"x12"x48" gravity doors. In the 15-20 years Ive used it it's caught a veritable boat load of beaver. And still does. In all those seasons I have never caught an otter in it.
Since then Ive added swimthroughs from Bruce Vandervort, Ted Cantrell/Kip Smith, and Bob Mair. All spring powered doors traps.
They are 12" x12" or 10"x10", all 48" long.
All these traps catch the same, the differences in the designs is the ease in which you can set them, and or, the ease in which you can remove a big beaver from them.
I do not own a collapsible from Bruce V, but have examined them and beleive his design is a game changer in the cage trap world.
Its been fun watching the sharing of ideas and the progresstion of this Swimthrough trap over the years. Thanks to the innovation of these dedicated trappers we can continue to harvest fur in Washington in commercial numbers.
Although the Swimthrough has evolved from Bernie's first gravity doors design, this gravity door is still valuable to many trappers. In a situation where a lethal trap needs to be set for beaver, but otter need to be avoided, The original gravity Swimthrough is best practice.
The picture shows yesterday's run. The beaver weighed 43, 55, 63, and 65 pounds.
The 65 pounder and the otter were caught in 10" swimthroughs. The others I didnt note which size they were caught in.
I have plenty of 12" and 10"
Traps. But, I am going to make 6 Swimthroughs this summer. They will be 16"x14" spring powered with the Bob Mair trigger system. It's a possability I could make them 40" long instead of 48".

Offline Loup Loup

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Re: WA style swim through history?
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2020, 07:02:08 PM »
Correction spelling: Bob Maier

Offline Kain

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Re: WA style swim through history?
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2020, 01:09:23 PM »
I'm selling them here in WA. I have not advertised elsewhere. Right now I have a somewhat limited supply and I wanted to wait until after trapping season to make more. If someone contacts me though I sell them.

Hmmm Can you send me the details please.  I am thinking about cage traps this year for bobcats and a trap that could do beaver and collapses looks better than some nesting guillotine style ones I was looking at.  Cool history and story behind the traps.

Offline Wolfdog91

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Re: WA style swim through history?
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2020, 09:59:42 PM »
Thanks for all the responses ! Could have sworn I responded but guess not lol. Anyhow when where these first used for land animal? And has there been any conflict with the people to make these and larger manufacturers ?

Offline Humptulips

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Re: WA style swim through history?
« Reply #10 on: December 25, 2020, 12:55:40 AM »
Thanks for all the responses ! Could have sworn I responded but guess not lol. Anyhow when where these first used for land animal? And has there been any conflict with the people to make these and larger manufacturers ?
Early on the traps were too small for cats. In fact I think I am the only one who makes a size big enough for cats as a combination trap. Bernie and Ted make like 12x12s. I started making some 10x18s, same door and trigger design but with only one door. That was like 10 years ago. Then maybe 8 years ago I made some double doors. Mostly I use them with one door closed. Of course there are guys making them for personal use but I think I predate all those by several years.
Not quite understanding the second question. Are you asking if anyone is getting hassled for patent infringement? Not that I know of. I have a patent covering my traps on 12 points. There are some parts like the conibear trigger that I do not manufacture and buy them  because of existing patents.
At the moment we are such small potatoes I think nobody knows what we are doing anyway.
Bruce Vandervort

Offline Threewolves

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Re: WA style swim through history?
« Reply #11 on: December 25, 2020, 09:32:28 AM »
Bruce was it you or Burnie that did the demonstration where a water bottle was thrown through a swim through trap breaking apiece of fishing line tripping the trigger? I think there was rubber tie down straps under tension that slammed the trap shut.
This was at a spring business meeting/fur sale many moons ago.
There are only so many sunrises left.

Offline Humptulips

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Re: WA style swim through history?
« Reply #12 on: December 25, 2020, 09:36:38 AM »
Bruce was it you or Burnie that did the demonstration where a water bottle was thrown through a swim through trap breaking apiece of fishing line tripping the trigger? I think there was rubber tie down straps under tension that slammed the trap shut.
This was at a spring business meeting/fur sale many moons ago.

I don't recall that but it wasn't me, probably Bernie.
Bruce Vandervort

Offline Wolfdog91

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Re: WA style swim through history?
« Reply #13 on: December 25, 2020, 08:04:13 PM »
Thanks for all the responses ! Could have sworn I responded but guess not lol. Anyhow when where these first used for land animal? And has there been any conflict with the people to make these and larger manufacturers ?
Early on the traps were too small for cats. In fact I think I am the only one who makes a size big enough for cats as a combination trap. Bernie and Ted make like 12x12s. I started making some 10x18s, same door and trigger design but with only one door. That was like 10 years ago. Then maybe 8 years ago I made some double doors. Mostly I use them with one door closed. Of course there are guys making them for personal use but I think I predate all those by several years.
Not quite understanding the second question. Are you asking if anyone is getting hassled for patent infringement? Not that I know of. I have a patent covering my traps on 12 points. There are some parts like the conibear trigger that I do not manufacture and buy them  because of existing patents.
At the moment we are such small potatoes I think nobody knows what we are doing anyway.
yeah that's what I meant as far as patents

Offline Norman89

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Re: WA style swim through history?
« Reply #14 on: December 25, 2020, 08:44:46 PM »
Bruce when you switch gears to cat trapping are you pulling those traps right out of the water where you were catching beaver and otter and setting it right away for cats? Like no pressure washer or boil or anything just from water to land with no worry of scent control?

Offline Humptulips

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Re: WA style swim through history?
« Reply #15 on: December 26, 2020, 12:45:54 AM »
Yep, If there was some beaver smell on the trap I would think that would be a plus when setting for cats.
Have to say though I have not set for beaver for a couple years.
Bruce Vandervort

 


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