Nov 25

How to kill the old adult coyotes

by Clint Locklear, Predator Control Group

Let’s look at a set that will nail the old coyote and allow you to catch more than a single coyote with a single trap. One good thing about a set like this, is that most coyotes have not seen a set like this today. It is an old school concept, but a great way to kill those old coyotes.

Once you have your location, take your pick or shovel and dig out a slot that is 12-14 inches deep by 12-14 wide. The slot will have the front of the set that faces the travel way dug completely to the front of the hump or bank. It will look like a topless hole or cubby dug into the bank. Next, take the bait and wire it to a disposable stake securing it to the bottom of our slot. For bait use a deer head, whole deer ham, road kill fawn, half of a goat, small pig, whole beaver, groundhog, half a dozen muskrats, or my personal favorite, a breasted whole turkey. You get the idea. This set uses natural bait, no lure or commercial urine. For this set to work on the slow and wise ones, no commercial smells! To do so would revert the natural set into a set that may cause circling and standing back on you. The bait needs to be big, at least 6-10 pounds at a minimum. Large bait is better. Make no mistake that coyotes will always get wound tighter for a larger reward. If the temperatures are high, like in the spring and fall, then gut the animal when using a whole one. If the temperatures are not that high, like in the middle of winter, keep the guts in them. I add one thing to the bait if I know the bait is going to freeze solid. I mix ¼ of 80 proof Vodka to ¾ percent of glycerin and coat the bait with the mixture. What this will do for you is too keep the odor of the bait reeking in sub freezing temps. Sure coyotes will smell frozen bait, but by adding the anti-freeze slurry, the bait will be smelled sooner, resulting in a faster catch. Staking down the bait may seem like a pain in the butt, but it is very important. Coyotes almost always take their food away from the set to eat it. You may think that a deer ham or 50 a pound beaver is too heavy for a coyote to run off with, but it is not.

Once we stake down our bait in the slot, we are going to cover it with a combination of dirt and leaves, grass, or pine straw. We do not want to tamp down the dirt and vegetation. The goal is to cover the bait and let the natural odor filter out to the wind currents. The reason I like turkeys so much is that I can have a few feathers showing through the dirt. Great eye appeal. You can do the same thing with pulling some fur from your bait and mixing it into the top layer of the dirt.
You have two options when building this set. Keep your dirt scatter under control or make a big mess with a large dirt pattern that goes in every direction. I personally like to keep things under control with the dirt pattern. I want the covered slot to look fresh, but want everything else to look untouched. This way I can blend in the traps. Some coyotes will work natural ground with a well blended set much faster than a dirt pattern. I have and still will make a total mess around the covered slot if the ground is too muddy to blend in traps. I might also do this to mix up the sets if I am making this set more than once on a local population of coyotes.

Ok, we have our bait covered and now we need to add traps for the set to do its job. If possible, I always use three traps on drags. Like it or not, some coyotes work sets from the back and some from the front. Setting only one trap is cutting out a certain percentage of coyotes. Why would any trapper cut down his percentage? Yes, it does take a little more time to set three traps, but with this set up you are basically making three sets. If you use drags, you can take more than one coyote at this set. One trap is placed about 14-16 inches from the front of the set. This trap is placed to block up the front of the set from the travel way. If possible, blend in the trap and have the drag entrenched under the trap. Then on the back and to the side direction of the slot, blend in a trap 10-12 inches away from the slot. One trap is on the left and right of the slot, up on the hump. These two traps should also be blended in, without a lot of blocking. The side to back trap placements will guard the set against the coyotes that circle and try to sneak up on the set. Once the traps are set, leave it alone. You cannot force a coyote to work this or any set, so don’t mess with it. Don’t think that this or that will make it better. If you are always messing with a set like this, you will cause a cautious coyote to keep back. Let them do their thing and they will get closer and closer to work the set.

I have never run a whole trap line with this set. It would take a lot of work and pre-digging to speed up the process. You would also have to have the bait frozen and ready to go. After saying that, I do think that this set would be the ticket for someone running a short line. It works very well and if one uses drags, it would be like running three sets per each set you put in.

What works so well for a set like this is that it is natural. It has eye appeal and a lot of nose appeal. The coyote will have to spend a lot of time around your traps to get the bait. One thing that I have noticed is that coyotes take a few days to work the set, but once they make their move, they work it with vigor. So if you’re wanting or needing to catch the old wise coyote that is walking by your dirt hole, give this set a try. You don’t make more money catching the cautious coyote, but you do gain confidence and self-respect.

1 comment

  1. CHI

    Making such a trap is a very interesting and efficient idea. It’s an intelligent and humane manner to bring the coyotes on your territory, where you can dominate them. I enjoyed reading the last sentence, as well.

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