Once mink footprints have been detected a trap can be set. In trapping mode, the clay cartridge is removed and a mink trap placed inside the tunnel, secured in place and set to capture. A suitably sized stick or wedge shaped piece of wood is an effective method of securing the trap in place. This prevents the trap from being moved out of the tunnel and provides a stable base for potential captures entering the trap. The clay cartridge can be left in place underneath the trap but may become damaged or dirtied, and so is usually removed and kept where it will not dry out, such as in a plastic bag.
The trap must be checked at least once per day; this is a legal requirement. Preferably it should be checked twice per day, ideally in the early morning and late afternoon or early evening. This is to reduce stress on a captured animal and to allow non-target species to be released as soon as possible. A twice daily check is particularly important if there is a risk of accidentally capturing water voles, or in cold weather. Ideally and where possible, the trap should be checked from a distance without approaching the raft closely, by viewing whether or not the trap door has closed. The traps supplied by the project come with otter guards attached, if for some reason it comes off and you lose it or if using one of your own traps an otter guard can be made to fit very easily. This can be done in the same way as reducing the gap on the tunnel with doweling as mentioned in raft inspection or you can fix some garden wire to the mesh on the trap at the top of the entrance fixing it to the bottom to reduce the size of the entrance.
Non-target species must be released at or near the point of capture. Care should be taken when releasing non-target species. With practice, the trap door can be opened without risk of injury, by using a hooked piece of strong wire such as fencing wire to pull back the door-retaining bar, and another piece to open the door.
Mink (and grey squirrels if they are caught) cannot legally be released and must be dispatched as soon as possible to reduce any stress to the animal.