Q: How do you store fox and mink urine? Also, my fur shed is room temperature year round. How do you tell if the urine goes bad? — R.L., Ohio
Dave Morelli Responds:
I use mostly fox, coyote, and ’cat urine — and very little ’cat. It is so cold here during ’cat season, I am not sure it works very long anyway.
All urine to my knowledge can be handled the same and I have never had a bottle of urine go bad on me. The main thing is to keep it in a cool dark place.
I always keep urine in a frosted plastic type container so it has some shade from direct sunlight while on the line. In the shop it is usually dark and cool most of the time.
Properly stored urine will keep for a long time, but most of mine gets used up and replenished regularly. The longest I have had it stored is the left over from the prior year and I use it up in the beginning of the upcoming season without any noticeable ill effects.
One of the keys to keeping urine from going bad is to buy it from a reputable dealer. I like to get mine from someone I know moves a lot of urine because his supply will always be fresh. If it has been laying around a year in his shop, then it will be even older when I lay it over for a year. Even though I have never had any go bad, the fresher it is from the start the better.
You mentioned that your shop is room temperature most of the time. If that is around 70 degrees, I would think a little cooler place would be a bit better. However, when I lived in Southern Nevada it was hard to store the urine in a place to keep it from boiling.
My wife would not let me keep it in the air conditioned house. I kept it in the garage, which got rather warm during the day, and I never lost any. Still, cooler is better.
Where I live now, my problem is keeping it from freezing in the winter. I store it in a building that I only heat when I am working in it. I make an effort to move it to the heated shop, but sometimes I am a little late and it is frozen solid. I just put it on the dash of the trap truck and defrost it on the line and it is still good.
Usually when it is so cold to freeze up my urine I am using very little of it anyway. But the freezing doesn’t seem to affect it for next season.
I always know my urine is still good if it has that ammonia smell. Usually even though it is not fresh, it is good to use. It will turn kind of rotten smelling when it is no good to use and then it needs to be discarded.
I try to trap enough as to not carry over much urine, but I don’t worry about it if I have some left for the following season.
Take as many precautions as you can to keep it in a cool dark place, but worry more about having time to use it up and less about storing it.
The Answer Men is your chance to ask an expert from the esteemed T&PC panel a question about any aspect of trapping, predator calling or fur handling. Send questions to: The Answer Men, 700 East State St., Iola WI 54990, or e-mail them to Jared.Blohm@fwpubs.com.
Discover new techniques for finding and trapping more fur, how to make the most of your catch with harvest trends and prices, skinning techniques that can increase the value of your furs and more all in Trapper & Predator Caller. Subscribe Now