Coyotes come from a family of canines located in many areas throughout North America. Learning how to trap a coyote can serve beneficial for us as these animals sure are a nuisance. More often than not you’ll find coyotes causing problems on farmland, demonstrate destructive behaviour around our properties and provoke or kill other animals as well as household pets.
Trapping coyotes are a humane and ideal method to use compared to killing them.
- Choose what trap you’ll use.
- Observe the coyote
- Place your trap in the coyotes frequent location.
- Use bait to lure the coyote towards your trap.
- Check on your trap at least every 3 days.
Throughout this article not only will you learn how to trap a coyote but you’ll also become informed of the different types of traps to use, what the best bait for coyotes are as well as other interesting facts and tips you can begin to use immediately. If you’re a beginner in trapping or are interested in finding out more, continue reading.
- How to Trap A Coyote (Step-by-Step Guide)
- Best Bait for Trapping Coyotes
- Coyote Trapping Tips
- Signs of a Coyote Problem
- How Can You Tell a Wolf From a Coyote?
- How Dangerous is a Coyote?
- Do All Coyotes Carry Rabies?
- How To Repel Coyotes?
How to Trap A Coyote (Step-by-Step Guide)
Trapping a problematic coyote in a safe and humane manner takes patience, preparation, and care.
Choose the Right Trap
Selecting the proper trap is the first critical step. There are three main types of traps used for trapping coyotes:
Foothold Traps – Made of steel jaws that clamp onto a coyote’s foot when triggered. This trap allows the safe release of non-target animals. However, if a coyote is trapped for too long, it can get injured.
Cage Traps – As the name suggests, these traps lure the coyote into an enclosed cage. Less effective for trapping coyotes but a safer option around pets.
Snares – A wire cable loop that tightens around the body of the coyote once triggered. You should constantly monitor these snares to avoid prolonged suffering of the coyote.
Avoid using outdated and inhumane traps like leghold traps. Always check your state’s trapping regulations to ensure your chosen trap is legal.
When choosing a trap type, think about safety, efficiency, and how comfortable you are with restraining coyotes. Foothold traps are most effective if used properly.
Pick the Ideal Location
Near your property, look for areas where coyotes often go. This helps you pick the best location for your trap. Look for coyote trails, droppings, den sites, and other signs of activity.
Place traps on narrow paths between rocks or trees that coyotes commonly use. These areas increase the odds of trapping your target animal.
Choose flat, open ground for cage traps to ensure stability and avoid busy areas.
Bait and Mask Scents
To catch a coyote, it’s crucial to lure it towards the trap. Coyotes are strongly drawn to:
- Meat scraps like raw chicken or bacon
- Pet food
- Carrion or dead animals
- Fish or fish oil
You can also use urine, feces, or gland lures from coyotes near the trap.
Wear gloves to handle bait so you don’t leave human scent. Carefully hide or disguise the trap under leaves, dirt, wax paper, or natural materials. Coyotes will avoid anything that smells human.
Monitor and Check Traps
Check traps at dawn and dusk daily. Leaving an animal trapped for too long can lead to injury or death.
Be very careful around a trapped coyote, as they can be defensive and dangerous. Snare poles, catch poles, or leg grip tools allow you to safely restrain them. Always wear thick protective gloves.
Quickly release any animal you didn’t intend to catch, like a neighbor’s cat or a stray dog. Call a wildlife removal professional if you trap a bear, mountain lion, or other large animal.
After Catching the Coyote
After you have restrained the coyote, cover its eyes with a towel to calm it down. Check if the coyote is a lactating female before deciding what to do next. Her pups will starve if you relocate her.
Make sure to follow your state’s rules for legally releasing or moving trapped coyotes. You should usually do this within 24 hours. Move healthy coyotes at least 10 miles from your property to prevent them from coming back.
Best Bait for Trapping Coyotes
Coyotes are motivated by two main desires – food and reproduction. Taking advantage of these instincts by using food or scent baits is key. The best baits include:
Meat and Carcass Baits
Coyotes are attracted to the smell and taste of fresh meat. Excellent options include:
- Raw chicken or turkey – The scent draws coyotes from far away. Can be stuffed in socks and hung above traps.
- Roasted meat scraps – Bacon, hot dogs, sausage or ham ends work well.
- Carrion – Coyotes scavenge dead carcasses. Use roadkill or animals legally hunted/trapped.
- Fish or fish oil – The strong fishy scent entices coyotes. Pour oil on rags near the trap.
Always wear gloves when handling raw meat to avoid leaving human scent. Meat and carcass baits provide food and powerful scent cues.
Pet Food Baits
Dry or canned pet food makes a convenient bait for trapping coyotes, such as:
- Dry dog or cat kibble -Scatter around the trap for an easy lure.
- Canned wet food – Smellier options work best to attract coyotes.
- Pet food with meat chunks -Coyotes go for big chunks of meat and fat.
Stale and spoiled pet food can provide even stronger scents. Be sure to remove plastic packaging which may scare coyotes.
Taking advantage of a coyote’s reproductive urges is an effective baiting strategy. Scent options include:
- Coyote urine – Sold commercially and triggers a territorial response.
- Coyote scat – Contains hormonal scents attractive to coyotes.
- Coyote gland lures – Made from coyote glands and used to spread territorial scent.
Use only genuine coyote urine/scat/lures. Never use wolf, dog, or other predator scents. Apply carefully around traps with gloves.
Coyote Trapping Tips
You can find below coyote trapping tips which will be helpful for any beginner to remember when learning:
- If you’re able to do so, the best time to place your traps are around spring.
- This tip may not be for the faint of heart however if you’re using a deceased animal as bait for your coyote trap, a handy tip would be to open the deceased animals carcass. By doing this you allow the odor that lingers from their body to become insanely prominent which in return will lure the coyote towards you trap and better your chances of capture.
- Ensure to have your traps set up by the night time. Coyotes hunt during the night time therefore having the traps and bait ready to go by night would allow you a higher chance to capture them.
- If you’re using an old spring coil trap, keep in mind that it may not work as well and may be slower in speed.
- If you’re using a live capture cage trap, run the cage through dirt to hide your scent. You could also wear gloves when handling the cage as an attempt to cover.
- Remember to clean your traps when catching a coyote. As previously mentioned in this article, a coyotes sense of smell is impeccable, therefore you will want to remove any lingering odor from any previous animals that possibly will be smelt by the coyote.
- Determine how many coyotes you’re dealing with prior and decide how many traps you possibly will need as sometimes more than one will not be sufficient enough.
- Remember to do your own individual research around your state laws around the killing or capturing of coyotes. If in doubt, hire a professional to do it for you.
Signs of a Coyote Problem
Sightings and Encounters
- Seeing coyotes frequently in your yard, especially during daylight.
- Finding coyotes rummaging through garbage cans or compost piles.
- Catching them stalking or chasing pets.
- Close encounters with coyotes appearing unafraid of humans.
Frequent sightings indicate established coyote territories and boldness. Defend your property if coyotes lose their natural wariness of people.
Predation and Attacks
- Discovering your pets or livestock injured or killed by coyotes. Look for wounds on the rear legs/flanks.
- Noticing small pets like cats or small dogs go missing. Coyotes primarily prey on cats and small dogs.
- Seeing dead wildlife like deer fawns killed by coyotes. They will prey on livestock like sheep and calves too.
- Finding remains or caches of bones from coyote-killed animals.
Take immediate action if coyotes start routinely hunting pets or livestock on your property.
- Finding coyote scat containing bones, fur, seeds, or pet food. This marks their hunting territories.
- Smelling coyote urine on trees, fence posts, decks, etc. Signals territorial boundary markings.
- Hearing coyotes frequently howling. Howling reinforces territories and pack bonds.
- Noticing digging under or around fences. Alerts of boundaries being tested.
Territorial activity shows an established coyote presence. Time to repel them!
- Spotting a coyote den in a hollow log, brush pile, underdeck, or dug-out hole.
- Observing coyotes bringing food to a den site. Indicates pups are present.
- Hearing coyote pups howling and yipping from a den area.
- Seeing coyotes ferociously guarding a den location.
How Can You Tell a Wolf From a Coyote?
Both coyotes and wolves do look similar. Their fur are usually similar in colour, however you can probably tell the difference between the two from their facial structure along with a few other giveaways.
Similar to a dog, a wolf is known for their loud and intense howling noises. Wolves howl as a way of communicating. Whether they’re wanting to be heard by their pack or are seeking out prey, it is rare to hear a wolf make any other noise. A coyote however can create similar noises to a household dog. With the occasionally “yapping” noises, coyotes do not produce as prominent of a howling noise compared to a wolf.
Along with noises, the difference in size can distinguish a wolf to a coyote. The average size of a wolf is 30 – 80 kgs (66 – 176 lbs) compared to the average size of a coyote which is 7 – 20 kgs (15 – 44lbs).
The last noticeable difference between a wolf and a coyote would be their behaviour or nature. Although a coyote can be aggressive around animals or prey, a wolf is far more aggressive in nature which can pose a danger for humans. A wolf would absolutely have a higher advantage compared to a coyote if they were ever in an altercation.
How Dangerous is a Coyote?
If you’re curious to know how dangerous a coyote is towards humans then thankfully the answer isn’t as bad as you may think.
In most cases, a coyote is not dangerous towards humans and will not sporadically attack a human. A coyote is known for attacking animals however, so ensure if you’re ever in close proximity of a coyote to take extreme caution.
It’s said that you should never run from a coyote, instead however, find anything close to you (such as an object you could use to defend yourself) if it suddenly becomes aggressive. It has also been mentioned that you should make growling noises directly towards it in an attempt to scare it away. If by some rare chance you are bitten by a coyote, you should quickly attempt to see your local doctor as they are known for carrying diseases which can be lethal for humans.
A coyote is only ever dangerous when they’re in circumstances where they feel scared or extremely threatened, therefore their animal instincts kick in as an attempt to defend themselves. If anything, a coyote is more of a nuisance than dangerous for a human.
Do All Coyotes Carry Rabies?
Similar to a lot of animals, coyotes share the same risk of catching and carrying diseases including rabies. To determine whether or not all coyotes carry rabies would be a hard fact to prove, however, it could be safe to say that there is a possible chance that they do.
It is believed that the most common disease found in coyotes are Distemper and Canine Hepatitis. Unfortunately there is currently no cure for these diseases however there are vaccinations available to prevent it.
Similar to squirrels, raccoons and other pests, coyotes possibly host parasites therefore it is extremely important that you are not bitten or scratched by a coyote. If you are ever bitten by a coyote, it’s important that you seek medical assistance as soon as possible to avoid spreading.
To distinguish whether or not a coyote has rabies, it can be hard to spot right off the bat however the best thing you can do is observe their behaviour. If they’re acting more aggressive, irritable or completely the opposite such as extremely shy or apprehensive this could indicate that they are a host of rabies or other diseases.
As well as being cautious for yourself when around coyotes or any wild animals, be careful if you have pets that roam free of any coyote hangout areas (such as your backyard). Household pets are more than likely to catch rabies and the only way you’ll be able to determine it would be through a visit straight to the vets.
How To Repel Coyotes?
Learning how to repel coyotes will not only help you prevent them from coming back and causing havoc on your property, but you will also be able to use similar techniques for repelling any other unwanted pests from your home.
Use Chemical Tepellent.
Perfect to use over your lawn, garden, structures of your property or directly over their den/burrow, simply spray chemical repellent on a frequent basis in order to prevent them from coming back. These type of pest repellents work good for other animals such as squirrels, possums or groundhogs also.
Install these nifty gadgets around the coyotes target areas (such as your yard) and have the hassle of having to frequently spray chemicals be gone from your daily tasks.
Remove any attractants. Fence off your garden, cut down any overgrown bushes and trim large trees.
Install motion sensored devices around your property. These devices will work to scare away any roaming coyotes and prevent them from coming back to your property once and for all.
- Soak towels or old clothing into ammonia. Place the soaked material near their burrows or area they’re causing most damage.
- You may consider installing an electric fence to keep any animals away. This option however can be costly and depends on the style you envision for your property.
- Keep your garbage can locked to avoid coyotes or another pests.
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Mike is the Founder of Familylifeshare. Mike is well-knowledged in marriage, parenting, dogs, blogging and committed to sharing his knowledge and expertise with his readers. Know more about Mike from here.