How to Make a Mink Box

by Dave P. Fisher
Mink boxes take advantage of the mink's habit of entering holes

Mink boxes take advantage of the mink's habit of entering holes

Mink are lithe animals constantly on the move as they search for food. They explore holes and enter any cave-like opening looking for a small mammal or bird. The mink box takes advantage of this habit by creating a small cave for them to enter. The box is designed to be used with a small body grip trap such as the No. 110 Conibear. Boxes can be positioned prior to trapping season so they weather in and look natural to their surroundings.

1. Cut three pieces that measure six inches wide and 24 inches long from a sheet of 3/8 inch CDX plywood.

2. Place one cut piece on a flat surface. Position the second piece against the outside edge of the flat piece so the six-inch side is upright and even up both ends. Drive drywall screws through the outside of the upright piece and into the edge of the flat piece, placing screws every three inches.

3. Repeat this procedure on the opposite side with the third piece, so that you then have a square bottom U shape that is six inches high and 24 inches long.

4. Measure one end of the U from the outside edges -- both side-to-side and top-to-bottom. Cut a square of plywood with these dimensions. Square the piece to the end of the box and attach it to the box with screws placed at the corners and in the center of the two sides and bottom.

5. Position the open end of the box toward you. Measure 3 1/2 inches down from the top of the right side of the box and draw a six-inch line from the open end toward the center of the box at the 3 1/2 inch level. Cut out a 1/2 inch wide slot along this line.

6. Measure the open top of the box from the outside edges, side-to-side and front- to-back. Add one inch to the length and one inch to the width of these measurements and cut a piece from the plywood on these dimensions.

7. Place the top piece on the top of the box and position it so the overlap is even from side-to-side. Adjust the back edge of the top so it is square with the top of the end piece. Center one side of the hinge on the top and the other end of the hinge on the back and screw the hinge to the top and back.

8. Drive a screw through the side wall exactly opposite of the cut out slot and five inches in from the open end of the box. The screw should protrude into the interior of the box. Cut the pointed end of the screw flat.

9. Cut the points of the hinge screws off flush with the inside of the box. Leave the box outside to let it take on a natural outdoor smell.

Items you will need

  • Plywood, CDX exterior grade, 3/8 inch thick
  • Saw, hand or power
  • Drywall screws, 1 1/2 inch
  • Power drill with phillips head bit
  • Tape measure
  • Utility hinge, 4 inch
  • Hack saw

Tips

  • The proper way to set up the box for trapping is to open the hinged lid and place the bait in the back of the box. Set the body grip trap and position it inside the box at the open end. Slide the spring into the cut out slot so it protrudes out the outside of the box. Position the opposite side of the trap so the screw sticking into the box is between the jaws. This will hold the trap in place as the mink pushes against the trap trigger. Close the lid and the box is ready to catch a mink.
  • Mink will only eat fresh flesh so the bait in the box must be fresh; feathers scattered in and around the box will help attract a mink.
  • Check with your local game regulations as to the legality of using game parts for trap bait. If it is legal muskrat and duck are good baits, especially duck feathers. If it is illegal to use game then feathers and meat from domestic chickens or ducks works as well.

Warning

  • Do not paint or apply waterproof sealer to the box as this will leave an unnatural smell to the box which will scare mink away from it. Use only exterior grade plywood so the wood does not rot.

References

  • "Trapping North American Furbearers;" S. Stanley Hawbaker; 1969

About the Author

Dave P. Fisher is an internationally published and award-winning Western novelist and short-story writer. His work has appeared in several anthologies and his nonfiction articles in outdoor magazines. An avid outdoorsman, Fisher has more than 40 years of experience as a hunter, trapper, fisherman, taxidermist, professional fly-tyer, horsepacker and guide.

Photo Credits

  • Tom Brakefield/Stockbyte/Getty Images