Updated: Aug 8
I have used several types of traps and processes to collect critters and over the years have settled on using a drop trap when possible. I set up the trap and put food inside occasionally in an area that they are comfortable hanging out. They get used to being around it and when the day comes to trap, the animals are more likely to readily enter it. They are very attentive though and can sense a trap a mile away so I always expect the unexpected.
I've also used 'have a heart' type of traps that snap shut. I don't like that snap as I feel it is too dangerous so I have a particular technique that involves a branch or hook and eye and a long string.
I always store the traps outside, in the cat's area if possible, to reduce the smell factor. If I need to set anything up or pack it up, I try to do it the day before. On the day that I plan to trap, I do not touch the trap but try to use an outside tool or outside rag at least. The smell of a human hand can quite effectively turn a feral cat around. I'm very interested in alternative methods of trapping so please add photos and stories here or to the Forum if you would like to share yours.
Having your feral cat be not too flipped out about the trap can come in handy in a variety of situations.
Such as the day Checkerboard showed up with a piece of duct tape stuck to the side of his head. This event required the trap, some tuna and the grabber thingey. He struggled with me in the drop trap as I reached in with the grabber and then he seemed to understand that I was headed for the tape. He sat still, let me get it and then flew away from me when I lifted the trap.