Nov 04

Understanding the coyote’s catch cycle when we are trying to catch them.

by Clint Locklear, Predator Control Group

Since I started chasing coyotes, a pattern or cycle seems to hold true everywhere I go. It was the same in the northeast, southeast, Atlantic cost to New Mexico and a lot of states in-between. This cycle is important in the manner in which you plan and manage your coyote line.

The cycle is as follows: 3 days, 5-7 days and 5-7 days. Most of the time it takes about 3 days before a coyote line starts to really produce. Sure there will be coyotes caught the first and second day, but everything starts to click after 72 hours. In areas that are good tracking ground you will see a lot of coyotes simply walk by a perfectly good set. It does not appear that the coyote even breaks stride. I have no doubt that coyotes see and smell the set, but keep on trucking. Why this happens I do not know. It seems almost like the coyote does not like or trust something out of the ordinary. After a few days you will see the coyotes walk straight in on the set or circle it. That is, if the coyotes ever even works the set. It does not matter what kind of set, bait or lure you use, there will be a percentage of coyotes that will not work or will have no interest in your set. This is why it is so important to use different sets, baits and lures over the course of a trap line.

The first 5-7 day pattern is the fun part of trapping. Predators are waiting on you everywhere. This time period is where your money is made. The catch is good and life is as it should be.


The next 5-7 day period is not a fun one to work through. The catch falls off. You have to keep in mind that when you are tearing their butts up, you are sending shock waves though the local population. I just know that after about a week of seeing this, the surviving coyotes go into high alert and don’t work sets as well.

Once you get a grasp on this principle, you then have to make plans to work around them. Should you keep trapping the same area after the first 5-7 of good catching. Or move to a new area, because after the next 5-7 days, the catch does pick back up. Most of the time this will be determined by your goals, time and the amount of ground you have to work with.



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