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How to trap, catch or kill coyotes

free trapping videosVIDEOS: If you want to know how to trap coyotes, catch coyotes or kill coyotes, this site, How to Trap Coyotes, an affiliate of Wolfer Nation, has over a hundred free trapping videos for your trapping educational experience. You will find trapping videos for dirt hole sets, flat sets and blind sets. We also cover foot hold coil spring traps and long spring traps and steel traps. We will discuss bedding a trap, pan covers and using peat moss in you trapping adventures. Do you want to know how to snare coyotes or are already snaring and want to see other methods or simply enjoy coyote snaring video's? We will be loading snares, using snare supports and kill poles. Inside the Free Trapping Video mag, you will see over a hundred trapping and snaring articles, common asked trapping questions, great You Tube Videos, State and National Trapping convention, news, Fur skinning and handling, Trapper news, political views and a dash humor.

trapping forumsFORUMS: The How to Trap Coyote Trapping Forums cover Trapping, Traps, Snaring, Animal Damage Control and Predator Calling. This is a great source of real world trapping experience from trappers that trap and snare for fur, their profession or our American trapping heritage. If you want to get ideas from other trappers, want to get better at catching or killing coyotes, just join in! If you are new to trapping, have trapping questions, don't be shy! We are here to help. Our forum rules are simple, act like a grown up. Check your ego at the door and don't come looking to start a fight. We are fur brothers in the Wolfer Nation forum community. If you want to ask a trapping or snaring question, share your knowledge of catching critter skills, come on in! We want to hear what you have to say.

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To trap coyotes, use a coyote trapping set will get you the most results

Every year in demoís and videos a pattern seems to be prevalent. First you make a dirt hole on one side of the road and then a post/urine set on the opposite side of the road. The theory goes as follows: The target animal gets excited over the dirt hole and looks for a place to pee. So the animal finds the post set and gets caught. Does this theory play out with research? Letís take a look. Once you understand the habits of coyotes and when they urinate, throw in some research percentages and become one step closer to a coyote numbers trapper.

Coyote Trapping

Before we get into research, letís talk about a few observations I have made. Daisy, my dog, will not pee on commercial urine. This is true even in her territory and the places she goes with regularity. She peeís on every bush and clump of grass that has been peed on before. I have gone to great lengths to get her to pee on scent stations I have made for her. Now, she will smell them and move on, but she will not pee on them. Why? I do not know. Everyone that has seen TEACHERS OF THE NIGHT, COYOTE/DIRT HOLE, may have noticed that not ONE coyote urinated. Trust me; there was plenty of coyote or bobcat urine for them to smell at these sets. Could they have peed out of the cameraís field of view? Sure they could have, but they DID NOT pee on the urine at the set. I may not be the smartest man around, but if both my dog and the coyotes on film did not pee on commercial urine, should I place much faith in the post set? Now before you think I am bashing the post/urine set, not so. Thousands of coyotes have been taken with a well blended trap in front of a bush or clump of grass.

Old and New Trapping Techniques

Now if you study the men from the past that took thousands of coyotes this way, you will see a pattern. They collect and use their own urine. Most of these men took the urine out of a caught coyotes and used it on the next set. So could the fact that they were using fresh urine have a great impact on their success? So how does one catch coyotes with commercial urine? I think that coyotes will be curious about the strange urine and smell it. Their feet are in the area of a well placed trap. Do they pee on the commercial urine? I donít think so, but this is my own opinion not fact.

So what does research say on this subject? First letís understand scent marking. Scent marking is the act of a coyote peeing on an object to mark his territory. Research shows that the alpha male and alpha female scent mark the edge of their territory more than they do the inside of their territory. Now the other members of the pack will mark more inside of the home range then the alpha coyotes do. As a fur trapper, you get paid for numbers, not the alpha animals. So where is the most numbers of the family group? The two alpha animals or the beta animals and pups. Just a thought you may want to ponder over. Double marking is the act in which a coyote will urinate over urine that has been deposited by them or another animal. So to the trapper, double marking is the Holy Grail action desired for the post set. In other words if the coyote does not double mark your post set, what good is it? The set is designed to have the coyote hike his leg or squat where you the trapper placed pee.

Trapping Research

So what does the research tell us?

1. 94% of alpha coyotes double marked, so only 6% of beta double marked. Pups did NO double marking. Letís explain why all this garbage about the alpha male mostly being the one marking his territory, is blown way out of proportion. Now get this 74.4% of the double marking was done be the female. 24.6% of the double marking was done by the alpha male.

2. The double marking is mostly done during breeding season. The lowest amount of marking happened prior to and after breeding season. In other words during fall and summer less marking is taking place. The numbers peak during JAN and tapper off till MAY.

So what does this research tell a coyote trapper? It should be setting off alarm bells!

1. Setting post sets in the fall may not be the best set to use. Since coyotes rarely double mark until January through May, your post set outside of these months is a low percentage set at best. Now if you are trapping coyotes from January through May, the post set becomes a good percentage set. This act of double marking peaks in January through February. These are the best months to get the highest response.

2. By using post sets on the edge of a territory, you are only targeting two coyotes from the family group. For a control trapperís stand point, this is a very important set. Since the female controls the family group and she does 74% of the double marking, we want her caught yesterday. Every day she runs free, she could move the whole family group to parts unknown. Plus, if this is the plan to take the Alfa male, you only have a 24% chance to do it.

3. You could move your post sets to the center of the territory, but most of the double marking happens on the territory edge. The beta and pups do double mark, but it is another low percentage.

4. If you are fur trapping maybe you should stick to food type and curiosity type sets to get a higher percentage set.

Food Type Traps

Donít get me wrong. The post set can and will take some animals, but it is not the sneaky set it has been made out to be. Plus we have to keep research in the context of what it is, research. Research can have as much fuzzy math in them as Al Gore and most other screaming liberals. So you have to look in between the lines and find the reason for the study. The study that I am referring to was made for the purpose of killing coyotes. Now letís throw a few twists into the post set. The study did not go into the use of gland lure. If it would have, there would have to be a distinction between aged or fresh glands. Plus a good post set in my option needs a couple of good greasy coyote or cat droppings. So would the use of a good gland lure and or droppings produce a few more percentage points for the post set? I know I donít make many post sets without fresh gland lure and droppings. So here is the question of the day. Should you put much faith in the post set? That answer is for you to decide. I know for myself, Iíll lean toward the highest percentages every time.

Research and statics in this article were taken from the study of Scent-marking by coyotes.
Canis latrans - the influence of social and ecological factors by Eric M Gese & Robert L. Ruff Department of Wildlife Ecology, University of Wisconsin
Received 14 October 1996 - initial acceptance 13 December 1996 - final acceptance 18 February 1997 - MS. Number: A7732

Wildlife Control

It is Hard to Trap Coyotes without the right Lures and Baits or Great Coyote Trapping Information

To trap coyotes, you need the best coyote lures and baits along with the best coyote trapping information you can find. That is if you want to be successful. There are a lot of claims on the Internet as to what is the latest and greatest coyote lure. Advertising is powerful to a person who wants to catch a coyote for the first time or even for a trapper who wants to catch 100 coyotes in a trapping season. Finding a coyote lure or bait with a catchy name and the letters that say coyote lure on the bottle is around every corner. The question you have to wrap your mind around is if the words coyote lure is going to help you meet your coyote catching goal. How long has the lure maker been making lure. Do professional trappers use this miracle lure or coyote bait? Does the lure maker trap on more than a week-end bases? Can you see the results of this magical lure or bait in trapping videos, demo's or with several pictures showing piles and pile of caught coyotes? Or can you just find a few photo's with a single coyote and a happy trapper kneeling behind the caught coyote. There is nothing wrong with this kind of picture, but was does it tell you? Nothing really!

Trapping Predators

I have tested a lot of lure formulas over the years that would catch a few coyotes. This is not hard to do. The trick and not so easy thing to do is too produce coyote lures and baits that produce day after day, week after week and year after year. When you find this kind of quality in a coyote lure or coyote bait, you will have a product that you can trust. More importantly, you will have a chance to get the results you are looking for. Now, lure and bait is not a magic bullet, no matter how good and productive the lure is. In coyote trapping, you have to have a natural looking set, well bedded trap, and most importantly the trap set has to be on a good coyote location with coyotes walking by it. If you have a great trap set on a hot coyote location and you use a crappy coyote lure, the game is lost. Buyer beware!

After saying all that, please bookmark this site into your favorites, then Google these search terms: Predator Control Group, Wolfer Nation, Trapping Radio, and Eastern Coyote Trapping (Just to name a few). All of these sites are mine, Clint Locklear, Predator Control Group. The pictures in these sites are also mine, trappers I work with and/or guys that use my lures and baits. I hope you do this, because the proof is in the results you can see with your own eyes. I, Clint Locklear, am also the lure maker for Predator Control Group lures and baits. The catches you see in these web sites are caught off of Predator Control Groups lures and baits. These pictures are from several years using our lures that I used in 21 different states and Canada. Some years we trap year round south-east-north and west. So if you are looking for a coyote lure of bait that you can count on, use what Predator Control Group does and other professional trappers do. Not only do the professionals trust our scents, but so do thousands of trappers that hammer fur before work and on the week ends. You can get our lures and baits on our PCG store, but also from several other trap supply dealers. Here is a quick run down on our lures so if you are on another site, you can know that you are ordering a quality coyote lure and bait.

Coyote Lures: Boss Dog, Fur Check, Musky, Paw Placer, Yote dope, coyote gland (Booty Call), xxx call and Cat Collector
Coyote Baits: Primal Paste Bait, Gator Bait and Federales
Bobcat Lure: Cat Collector Lure, Cat Fancy
Fox Lure: Musky, Fur Check and Cat Collector

Wolfer Nation

We also have a full line of trapping lures to cover Beaver, Raccoon and Otter. You will also know by the proof that you can see with your own eyes, that these are lures you can count on in the field.

Where are you getting your trapping information from? Not only do you need good animal lures to be a top -notch trapper. Again go back to the book marked sites from above and check out the pictures and information. We give you the results of our trapping methods, again you can see the results from our tactical trapping methods. Now keep in mind this information is for free, our trapping books and trapping videos in our PCG store are on another level above what you see on our free trapping videos, the hundreds of hours of trapping articles and trapping radio shows we provide. If you are ready to get serious about your coyote trapping or any fur bearing animal for that matter. You will not be disappointed. Our Coyote and Bobcat trapping videos and books are loaded with trapping methods that you will not find on a public web site or You Tube. What we share on-line is basic and or above basic trapping information compared to our videos and books found in our PCG Store. So if you want to shave off years of your learning and get the information needed too jump years ahead of were you are today. Let us give you the information you crave and need. Again see the results of our methods for yourself. Trust your eyes and gut, not baseless advertising. Let's be honest, it can be confusing with all the information you can find today. The question you need to ask yourself is, what would basic and re-hashed old information mean to your coyote trapping success. You don't want to be wasting your time, become disappointed with your trapping and checking empty trap after empty trap, do you?

Texas Trapping Coyotes

Picking the right coyote trap, trapping coyotes with the wrong trap will cost you

This topic is the one that a lot of ďwant to beĒ coyote men coast through in most books looking for the secret set. Their eyes glaze over and most donít know how important the trap is to their success or frustrating failure. Your trap choice is the base line that all of your efforts are based off of. You can pick the right location, but with the wrong trap you will fail a high percentage of the time. You can make a natural set and have the coyote work it, but with the wrong trap, fail. You can have a coyote step on the pan, but choose the wrong trap and the coyote may or may not be there in the morning. The trap that you choose to use will put the advantage to you or to the coyote. Unfortunately most trappers today donít get the opportunity to trap long enough in a season, day after day to get a good idea about the true performance of their pet trap. Unless a trapper gets time to see what the percentages of snap offís, inside jaw non-firing, toe catches, damage, trap distortions and power outs, how would he know what is going on? Performance coyote traps all have some things in common. You will notice that options and advantages in quality coyote traps add the percentages to the trapper and take away from the coyote.

Picking the right Trap

First on the list is jaw spread. This can be a hot topic at most conventions and in most conversations between trappers. The interesting thing is that when you study men that are in the 200-500 coyote bracket, there is not much debate to be had. The same goes for control trappers who know that a pull out will cost them a lot in time and money to re-trap that coyote. Most of the old wolfers used whatever equipment was available to them, 3-4 long springs, 3-Nís and #4 New Houses. These traps were the largest that could be found, without going to wolf size traps, #114 and 4 Ĺ Newhouse. Some of these men went to 14 size jump traps. But I have yet to find any of the old wolfers trying to turn a coon size trap into a real coyote trap. On the other hand, the debate is usually between trappers that are in the 1-50 coyote bracket. The farther east you go, the smaller trappers want their traps. I know of several guys that use a 1.5 trap, #2 trap and a full truck load or guys that will fight for their 1.75ís. I understand that these traps can hold a coyote. I also KNOW that a good percentage of the coyotes that fire the trap will power out. I know this because I went through the learning curve. The sad thing about guys that refuse to use a coyote size trap is that they have not tried a coyote trap, because THEY KNOW, without experience. This knowledge is not from testing the two sizes against each other, but theory. Plus no one wants to admit that the trap they are using is poor equipment. Another factor in this tiny trap mentality is that most of the heroes in the east are fox, mink or coon trappers, not high numbers coyote men. So the trappers that guys look up to have no real wolfer experience even though they do catch SOME coyotes. It is human nature to see something a few times and use this low base line for a fact. Like it or not there are few facts in trapping that are 100% across the board. Plus a trapper needs 100ís of animals before the facts start to show themselves. If a man holds 50 coyotes a year in 1.75ís and slowly, over the season, there are pull outs happening, the trapper will remember the catches not the pull outs. So when this trapper thinks about his trapping, in his mindís eye will see the coyotes bouncing up and down. So he must be doing it correct, right? Now if this trapper were to be in sandy soil, larger dirt patters, the big picture would start exposing small traps. This trapper would see probably 30-75% coyote visitís with no catch. Plus if our example trapper would actually keep detailed records for a couple of years, his eyes would be opened and moist with tears. He would find that in nice fall dry weather, his snapped traps and pull outs would be somewhat low. Now throw in rain, slick mud, and some snow, and the truth will start to really show up. Also the main thing the trapper will learn is that the smaller the trap the more pattern misses that will happen. I donít care how much experience a trapper has. I donít care what his trap placement is. I donít care if the trapper off-sets his trap or not and I donít care how the trapper uses guides. THE SMALL TRAP WILL ALWAYS LOOSE TO A LARGER TRAP WITH PATTERN MISSES AND POWER OUTS! This is basic statistics and reality on an in the field trap line.

Lures and Baits

So the man that decides to be a wolfer will not be using a coon size trap. He will use a coyote size trap. A wolfer can not be in the numbers game and defeat the odds stacked against the small trap. A wolfer cannot afford to be in the ďtiny trap tribeĒ. A coyote trap has the jaw spread of six inches to seven and a half inch jaw spread. The largest trap that the law allows is the best size for your area. I know many of you live and only trap in states that have regulated you to 1.75 or #2 size traps. For your own sake just go with as big a trap as possible, because no matter what your wife has told you size does matter. If you are regulated to a small trap then you will have to learn trap placement to a finer degree. I would suggest using two traps per set to offset having to use a small trap. If you study some of the older books written by coyote takers, a lot of them used two traps. Iím sure they saw the same thing that I have noticed on good tracking ground. Coyotes just donít seem to step where we think they should. We will cover more on this later. The need for a large trap is simple. The larger trap will get a more consistent catch, not a toe catch. A coyote is not the animal to use a trap that will causes a lot of toe catches. Most coyotes will not stay in the trap with toe catches. They will blow up, jerk with power, lung with power and test your equipment to its limits. Plus if you cover your trap with enough dirt (1/2 inch) or the dirt starts to freeze, the larger trap can still get the job done. Mud has a tendency to slow up traps, and with mud an above the pad catch is best. Soil types with traces of clay or gumbo, will cause the pattern to crust. In most cases it is best to carry dirt, peat moss, wax dirt or a mixture of some kind with you. To carry dirt of some kind is a decision you will have to make depending of your soil type.

Large traps vs small traps

The next reason for using a larger trap is for the kill area. I think this term was first used by Craig and since then, it has become a common term today. I know there has been some debate over the fact that a larger trap has a larger kill area. I donít understand this debate. That is if the trapper was using an enlarged pan or wire screen to gain kill area. Sure the pan on a number two and a number three is not much different in size. If the trapper uses wax paper for a pan cover, there may not be much difference. But why in this green earth of ours would a trapper use wax paper on a #3 or #4 size trap? If you have been using wax paper do yourself a favor and use heavy steel screen. Your catch will go up. The screen will give you more kill area inside the jaws. The other option is to enlarge your pan. This is a lot easier with traps that have wire levers or long springs. I have done this on the traps that I use in Texas. Keith Harkleroad made 4.5 x 5 inch pans for our CDRís and #5 long springs. The same can be done with MB-650ís and MJ-600ís. I have found that this extra kill area means many extra coyotes.

Kill area

You will find on a lot of traps that the pan will not reach the base of the trap with the levers up. The problem with this set-up is that there is no way for the trap to take advantage of whatever jaw spread it has. As the trap fires and the foot and pan go down, the levers will stop the downward motion of the pan that has the foot on it. The results are a high percentage of toe catches. If the trap you are using does not allow the pan to reach the base plate, then you need to grind off the edges of the pan. You will also find that you can replace the stock pan with a narrow pan like on a Bridger. If you do this make sure that the pan you have added does not mess up the function of the trap or raise the pan above the jaws. You will find this problem more with round pans than with the rectangle style pans. If you donít think this gives you a higher toe catch percentage, then do some research. Take a cheap digital camera along as you trap. Before taking out the coyote from a trap, take a photo of the foot placement in the jaws of the trap. After a few weeks or at the end of the season, lay all of them out and take a look. Next, take a note book and make three columns on a sheet of paper. Above each column you are going to give it a name. Column one is, above pad catch. Column two is, mid-pad catch and column three is, toe catches. Once you log in the results, add up each column. If you are set up right, the toe catch column WILL NOT be a high percentage. On the other hand if the toe catch is high, what are you going to do about it?

jaw spread

How to trap coyotes, fox trapping and coyote trapping is very diferent

If you have started out as a fox trapper and now you find yourself with coyotes as your dominate k-9, you are at a disadvantage. It has nothing to do with your skill as a k-9 trapper, itís just that you have learned to trap fox and so your trapping ideas are based off of fox. Make no mistake about it; coyotes are not just a little larger than fox. A coyote is a totally different animal than a fox. Most fox men make the mistake of thinking that all one needs to do is pull back the trap farther from the hole and all will work out. This is not so! The sets are different! The locations are different! The way a coyote hunts is different! The way a coyote works a set is different! This topic alone could be a nice size book, so we will make this into a running article that may take several issues to cover.

Today we will look at the coyote set vs. the fox set. First off, most fox sets are based off of a simple dirt hole. There are countless variations, but most fall with in making a small 2-4 inch hole on a slant, short backing and level sifted dirt pattern. Most lures will get a fox to come to the hole and work it. Now, if you are honest with yourself, you know that this type of set is not a very natural looking set. Plus most trappers want their trap tight up to the hole or back 4-6 inches at most. This type of set is a great fox taker, but it suckís hind tit as a coyote set. Sure you will catch a few coyotes at a set like this, but donít expect to rack up any real numbers.

dirt hole sets

Letís now look at some rules to making a high percentage coyote set. First, the set has to look natural. Except for young dumb pups, a set that looks unnatural will put the coyote on red alert. Next to location, having a natural looking set is one of the most important aspects of coyote trapping. The set can be showy, but it has to look natural in the coyoteís world. Now back to the fox dirt hole. Most dirt holes have a man-made looking hole that is perfect in shape. Your homework assignment is to spend several hours in the woods looking and studying natural holes. You will find few, if any that look like a yo-ho trowel made it. Practice making and copying these natural holes and you will up your coyote catch. Any size of hole has a place on a trap line. Some need to be small and some need to be big. I have kept track of all the different hole sizes. A large hole, 6-9 inches, has caught more coyotes for me than any of the smaller size holes. The fox set will have a sifted dirt pattern that is about the size of a paper plate. It is flat, very clean and sterile looking. Again this is not natural; this is why you can spot them from several yards away. Now back to the homework assignment. Did you find anything that remotely looked like this is the wild? When an animal digs a hole it is not flat or sifted or sterile looking. It will look rough, not level and have clumps thrown about.

The sets have to look natural

Most fox sets have a low backing. This is because the fox feels more confidence when he can see over the backing. This is one of the phrases that have been repeated so many times that it has become a fact in the trapping world. There may be some truth to this, but I have caught many fox in grass and weeds that were up to my knees. When coyotes are the target, I find small backings are better in most situations, but large backing is ok and will not hurt your catch. Again, keep it natural looking. I know most guys have heard that you want the backing to stand out and there is something to be said for this. If the backing stands out because of location, color, shape or size this is good. If the backing stands out because it is unnatural, not so good. If this is the case, then the coyote will treat the backing as something that is to be wary of and you will see a lot of circling, not catches. For a backing to work in your favor, have a logical reason for it being there and also a logical reason for the food source being there or a reason to have it marked with urine.

Small backings are better in most situations but large backing is ok and will not hurt your catch

The next part of the set that is different from the fox set is the trap placement. Itís simple. Put the trap pan where the coyote will be standing to smell the lure or bait. I understand that guys want to hear a measurement in inches and off-set, but it does not work that way except in a demo presentation. One has to account for ground slop, wind, size and type of backing, distance from the travel way, ground vegetation lay out and type of lure used. This may seem like a non-answer, but it is the right answer. Having a trap back ď9 inches and off-set 2-4 inchesĒ may be what people want to hear, but it really doesnít work that way. Most of my sets have the trap back 9-14 inches from the attractor. I donít off-set unless the wind, ground vegetation or distance from the travel way tells me to. I will say that many test circles have made it very clear that most coyotes do not put their feet close to a scent to smell it. I know that this is what has been repeated by the main-stream trappers, but I will listen to the coyote over a well known trapper any day. Most paw prints are 9-10 inches back from an odor and they are standing on the down wind side. Will you catch coyotes with the trap tight to the set? Sure you will, but only a small percentage. The only way one will know where to put his trap in a se,t is to spend a lot of time trapping and studying where a coyote puts his feet. Get these principles down and you will be taking more song dogs. Next time we will cover the difference in fox and coyote locations. - Clint Locklear

Trap Placement

How to trap coyotes with dogs around and keep everything in good shape till you check your coyote traps

In most parts of our great nation, if you are trapping coyotes, you could have a dog problem. Dogs can and will show up in places that should be dog free. A lot of times these are hunting dogs. Everyone has heard the old reason why coon hunters are hunting illegally - ďdogs can not read, no trespassing signs. We know that dog hunters NEVER turn their dogs loose where they are not supposed to. Plus, people walk and turn loose thier dogs all the time. So in most areas you will have dogs to contend with.

Now if you are working in the spring, summer are early fall, it can get hot. A dog will not last long in the direct heat if he does not have water. I personally want to decide what happens to a dog that is not where he should be, not the weather. Use can drags and get the dog to cover and shade. I also like to use cable extensions and tie off the trap to a tree or brush. If there is not a tree, I will stake off the cable so that the animal can make it to the shade. This way the animal will be alive when you get to him. This may not be the case if you stake a trap down with a short chain and the animal will be sitting the sun.

If you are worried about foot damage, donít. On an 8-12 foot cable the animal fights the trap a lot less than a short chain. I know in your mind you see the animal running from one side of the catch circle to the other and hurting himself, but thatís in your head. Even a coyote has less damage with a long cable. He will work on the outside of the circle and kind of hump the trap around. When he gets tired he goes to the shade and takes a break. I have been using this method for years, give it a try.