Methods for Proper Mist Net Handling and Storage
Putting up a Net
Setup of a mist net is easiest with two people but can be done with one person once comfortable with the procedure.
- Start by setting up the first pole, place the second pole and any equipment needed for the setup in the approximate location where it will be set up.
- Carefully remove one set of loops from the net bag. Double check to make sure that loops are in sequence to prevent twisting (on Japanese nets, the white loop indicates the top shelf, in Avinet nets, a blue shrink wrapped loop). Place loops over the first pole making sure that the white loop is on top. While one person holds the first pole, slowly walk towards the second pole while letting out the net. Be careful to keep the net pulled tight so it doesn't touch the ground or any vegetation along the way.
- Once you reach the end of the net, pull tight and make sure that the loops are in order with no twists. Place loops on second pole and pull taut. Push the pole into the ground and secure both poles with two or more guylines.
- Once poles are secure, the net can be opened. You may need a stick or a pole of some sort to raise the top shelf. There should be a space of about 18" between each shelf. The bottom shelf should not be low enough to touch the ground when a bird is caught in it (very important!).
Closing a Net
Before closing a net, remove all debris, including leaves, sticks, grass, and any other vegetation.
- Raise and lower all shelf lines to meet in the middle, leaving the top shelf about a foot above the rest. Grasp and furl all remaining shelf lines (trammel lines) into the top shelf. Lower the top shelf and give the whole net a few more furls to prevent too much loose netting.
- If you are leaving nets up overnight, secure the net closed with clothespins, ribbon, or flagging tape to prevent nets from opening accidentally.
Taking Down a Net
Before taking down a net, it is best practice to check the net's condition and noting in or on the net bag.
- When you are ready to complete disassemble your net setup, remove the guy lines from the poles. Before removing loops from the poles be sure you have your net bag in hand (Try our BCM Mesh Storage Bags here or reuse the plastic bag Avinet nets come in). Slip one bag handle/drawstring through the loops while they are still on the pole and place the bag handle over your arm. Remove loops from the pole, slowly walking towards the other pole using one hand to gather the net and one hand to feed the net into the bag. When you reach the end of the net, take the other bag handle/drawstring and pull through the remaining loops. Tie the handles together. This will ensure that the two ends of the net remain separated throughout storage.
Storing a Net
When taking down a net, it is important to make sure that the net is completely dry. Nets stored in plastic when not completely dry are at risk of developing mildew, which compromises the integrity of the mesh and trammel lines. Store your nets in a dry, dark area, and avoid storing them in an area that can be infiltrated by rodents, as they will quickly destroy a mist net.