Trapping coyotes is more rewarding compared to other furbearers. Trapping coyotes is much more gratifying because they are much more cunning and tactful than other furbearers. If you run a trap line long enough you will come across a coyote that is hard to trap. Trapping coyotes that have escaped your trap or has busted one of your sets is not an easy task. A little preparation and a little step back, trapping coyotes no matter how trap shy they are can be an easier task than once thought.
Coyote Digging Traps
Nothing is more frustrating than walking up to a trap that has been sprung by a wise coyote. Your best bet in this situation is to pull the trap because you have been had. Trapping coyotes from this location will be next to impossible. Trappers may often attribute the sprung trap to the wariness nature of the coyote, and fail to evaluate they may be the one doing something wrong.
In this situation it could be how you have set the trap or an issue with how you are carrying your trapping gear. The coyote is digging up the trap because it smells something on the trap. The most common cause for scent to be on your trap is the traps and tools/ scents are being carried in the same compartment. The best course of action is to clean your traps and keep them separate from then on. Now you are ready to reset the trap.
The Wise Coyote
Trapping coyotes that have escaped a trap before may be the hardest of all coyotes to trap. For good reason they know the potential dangers. Trapping coyotes that have had a previous encounter with a trap will avoid your set altogether if it has a faintest hint of something amiss.
In this situation a trapper must be fully aware of the entire process of making a coyote set. This includes paying very close attention to scent contamination, for example don’t put your traps in with your scents and try to make your close and yourself as scentless as possible. Also trap placement and bedding of the trap, and the creation of the coyote set.
If still you can’t trap the wise coyote try a hay set. This should be constructed in a short grassy field. First take two NO. 3 footholds and place them about 18 to 24 inches apart. Then cover the traps lightly with hay, and create a small mound of hay in between the traps. Next add an appropriate amount of gland lure or bait to the center of the mound. The set should be the size of a 2 to 3 foot circle.
The science behind the hay bale set is it place with the coyote’s instinct to catch food. Coyotes encounter hay all the time and associate it with food, generally mice. Instead of approaching the hay cautiously, they approach with ease. When going after mice coyotes jump into the air and land on the hay trying to trap the mice. But hopefully in this case it will be a trap they land on.
The Shy Coyotes
A trap shy coyote is one that is able to identify traps that are out of the ordinary surroundings. Many times a coyote is able to identify sets because of over used scents. Tappers generally use too much gland lures and baits in a basic set. This smells will be associated with the sets and will trigger alarms that will keep the trap shy coyote far away.
To remedy this try to use baits and lures that has not been used in the area yet. Try to make your own. Chances are the coyote has not smelled your homemade lure yet. Another option is to use a scent post set. Bed the trap carefully and put only a drop or two of urine from fox, coyote, or bobcat on what you are using for a post. Coyote encounter this type of scent marking all the time in the woods.
Trapping coyote that have seen all the tricks you are trying to throw at it can be frustrating at times. If a coyote isn’t falling for your sets it’s for a reason. Sometimes you need to step back and try switching it up a little, and sometimes it can be the small things that make a difference.