As you start to think of trapping, well in advance of the season, collecting, gathering and counting become part of the easing in process. Making sure all the traps are complete and operational is a first step. Closed springs as they should never be stored with safetys set as it will reduce the strength of the trap (body grip). Straight triggers, dogs, locks, pans and jaws are a quick and easy inspection. Chains and cables, depending on the set, they are as improtant as the trap themselves.
Author's Note: If it is a chain, while they are hanging individuly before or after dying, while I have time, I personalize my trap. Pick a number with some sort of meaning to it and count down the links and when you get to that one crimp it so it looks different. Say I pick J-Joe I count down 10 links or F-Fur and crimp the 6th. You get the picture.
All depending on the method of securing the set trap make sure each trap is equiped correctly as it is much harder and less effective to make it up in the field at the set. ie. swivels, hooks,springs,washers,couplers and so on. Dont forget Trap tags!!
Effective immediately, trappers may now use their DEC customer identification number to tag their traps. Trappers may now choose: You can either use tags that show your name and address, OR just use a tag showing your official DEC customer identification number. This number can be found on your license panel if you have a trapping license or is the same as your back tag number if you have a hunting/trapping combination license.
Compliments of the NYS DEC
Depending on the requirements of each set you may choose to upgrade the traps to make them faster or stronger. Adding an extra coil to a leg hold or put an opposing spring on a body grip(with safetys). Either way all parts can usually be found at any supply company.
Land Traps-Body gripping
Water Traps-Body Grip and Leg Hold
Body-gripping traps set on land shall not be within 100 feet of a public trail except on Wildlife Management Areas.
A body-gripping trap measuring less than 5 1/2 inches may be set in any manner with or without the use of bait.
Body-gripping traps measuring 5 1/2 inches to 6 inches, set without the use of bait, must be set so that no part of the trap is 8 inches or more above the ground.
Body-gripping traps 5 1/2 to 7 1/2 inches set with the use of bait, lure, or other attractants may only be used as follows:
Note: You may also build an enclosure of natural materials (e.g., logs or rocks). The opening height must be 6 inches or less and the trap must be recessed a minimum of 8 inches.
straight from the NYS DEC site.