O'Gormans Wire Screen Pan Covers | Forum

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Tim Ivey Jan 31 '13
As some of my trapper friends know, I spent some time earlier this year experimenting with different material for a trap pan cover. This past century and part of the one before that trappers used waxed canvas and other material. Then waxed paper became popular, hamburger patty covers, coffee filters, toilet paper and such. Not many trappers know that the Government Trappers of the 1930's began using steel screen on their coyote control lines. The problem with the waxed canvas and other paper products is that when it rained, the paper sinks and exposes the outline of the pan. There was also the scent factor.  But the number one reason  they began using it was because it increased the kill area of the trap. If you will look at pictures of the olderNorthwoods and Montgomery traps from that time period, you will see quite a bit of space between the edge of the pan and the jaws. According to many Government trappers observations from that time period, they experienced quite a few misses due to the coyotes missing the pan. The steel screen developed was of very fine mesh but stiff enough to act as a pan extension inside the jaws. Craig O'Gorman began using this screen when he was a Government trapper. Government studies estimate that there was a 20% loss or misses on Coyotes without the screen wire. For some Trappers, a 20% loss may be acceptable, but when you are getting paid $100 per coyote on ADC work, to me, it is not. To be used properly, it must be cut about 2" longer than the trap, the area of the dog notched out, and each end placed under a jaw. The screen must be turned up at a 90 degree angle where it clears the underside of the jaw. This keeps it from buckling when bedding the trap. Pan tension must be increased to support the additional weight of the dirt and the tension that the screen places on the pan. This system holds up very well thru snow and rainy weather and does not allow the trap bed to sink and develop into a sinkhole. The rainwater soaks thru the screen and into the ground so the dirt on top of the pan dries sooner. In reality, you can have traps still working thru snow and rain. I have bought some of this black screen from O'Gorman and am going to use it on my line this year. I have seen numerous times in the past where a coyote's foot just shaved the edge of the pan on my Bridgers causing a miss. The only trap I will not use it on probably is the MB 650 with it's huge pan and both jaws that lock down. To get the screen to lay flat, you need a medium low level pan like the MB's have...I have a tool I can adjust my Bridger pans with to the correct height but the MB's come that way from the factory. With the night-latch feature, these traps fire when the pan drops about 1/4". A low pan with medium to heavy tension is also very important for a deep foot catch if you think about it. I will be using these on my line this year. Even though it takes about 10 more seconds to install one, in my opinion it is well worth it. I do have the luxury that I am not a Long Liner.
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Clint Locklear Jan 31 '13
I persnally like to make my kill area all metall, but if I cant, you are right wire screen is hard to beat.
The Forum post is edited by Clint Locklear Feb 1 '13
Lee Taylor Feb 1 '13
I tried wire mesh on a few sets but we have alot of fine sand down here and it often  passed through the screen after a rain. Do you ever encounter that problem?
Clint Locklear Feb 1 '13
sunds like you need to wax the wire cover to make the holes smaller in the screen. Guys tha have sugar sand or small dirt make up have to do this.
Lee Taylor Feb 2 '13
Dang! Another simple solution that I didn't think about. I'll have to do that.
Rodney Jordan Feb 3 '13
Another thing you can do to close up the holes in the screen is to dip the screen pan covers in Formula One, Speed Dip, etc. I use Formula One on all of my traps anyway so I will dip a couple of dozen screens in it and put them in my bag if I need them.
Lance Stitzel Feb 6 '13

I was thinking of switching to the O'Gorman pan covers but I have had such good results from the shelf liner that I am still not sure. We don't get a lot of rain here so I have only had a problem with it getting through the holes of the liner once.

The Forum post is edited by Lance Stitzel Feb 6 '13
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Tim Ivey Feb 6 '13
Yep, what ever works for you, but remember, the main reason I use the wire mesh is that it increases the kill area of the trap from 2" to at least 4"
Lance Stitzel Feb 6 '13
Yep I couldn't agree more! Every single catch on a coyote this year has been above the pad. I think a pan cover is helping me do so.
Tim Ivey Feb 6 '13
it sounds paradoxical at first but heavy pan tension helps with deep foot catches also.....in my experience at least
Tim Ivey Feb 6 '13
Lee, I am cursed with red Ga. clay and don't have that issue. I mix peat moss and grass clippings together to sift over the screen
Steve McAuliff Feb 9 '13
What pan tension do you run with the wire screens?  This is my first year of coyote trapping and what I have read about the wire screens I like.  I test mine in the center of the pan and go for around 3lbs.  Thinking this should be a happy medium for the whole kill area.  Please correct me if I am wrong, because I am most of the time.  Lol
Tim Ivey Feb 9 '13
What brand of trap are you using Steve?
Steve McAuliff Feb 9 '13
Well I have a little bit of everything, Montana #3, mb 550, duke #3, and some Bridger #2.  I only use wire screens on the larger traps.
Steve McAuliff Feb 9 '13
Well I have a little bit of everything, Montana #3, mb 550, duke #3, and some Bridger #2.  I only use wire screens on the larger traps.
Tim Ivey Feb 10 '13
I run pretty heavy tension because typically the screen will bear on the end of the pan. This is true especially with the bridgers since I put #3 pans on my #2 traps. I set my tension mostly by feel now
Tim Ivey Feb 10 '13
I have also nightlatched the dog on my Bridgers so that makes em fire when they pan drops only about 1/4".....BUT, if you already have a low pan, you will get a good deep foot catch.
Steve McAuliff Feb 10 '13
Thanks for your help!
Tim Ivey Feb 10 '13
anytime Steve
Jay Meadows Feb 12 '13
Is the pan tension adjustable on the MB 550s?
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