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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-30-2013, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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Digger coyotes, help

Let me start by saying that i have read up alot on this before this post, but i figured i'd ask yu more experienced guys what your opinions are. Alot of what i got from reading was that usually the traps are not bedded properly and i can assure you that is not the issue. I push down on all my traps with almost all of my weight on at least 4 spots to make sure they are not rocking at all before i go ahead and cover them. Also people say that the digging is usually from coons etc. I have positive evidence that this is not coons and definately coyotes.

So here's my scenario.. Area number 1, i have been trapping for 4 weeks. At first i lost 2 coyotes, and had one snapped trap, not good. but over the last week or so, i managed to catch 2 coyotes and one red here. One set i caught the red, remade, caught a yote a week later, remade into trash pile/walkthrough, 3 days later i come up to an exposed trap jaw still laying in the bed from a yote. The few answers i have are: contaminated soil got too deep into trap bed, as soon as i switched brands of peat moss, i had 2 traps dug up in 2 completely different areas, Its one of the coyotes that i pinched earlier in the season that got away and is suspicious now when he smells peat moss,


To the other dug up trap in an area 10 miles away. I am the only person who traps around the area that i know of, First set i ever put in here, and it was a scent post. 2 days after i made the set, i come to find that my trap is exposed the same way. I recovered the trap, and put a pile of hay in front of it and light hay over the trap and the whole surrounding area for about a 4' diameter. Two days later, i find the trap is dug up again the same way with just the jaw exposed through the hay and all. My answers: My tools and gloves were contaminated from my remakes the day before in the other area. (i use different gloves to handle the animals, but used my main gloves at all makes and remakes probably a mistake), coyotes can smell the peat moss under the natural covering and know it shouldn't be there so they dig.

My solutions: I am going to wash all of my digging tools and scrub, then boil any necessary areas in baking soda water, Maybe go back to the other brand of peat moss if i can find it anywhere. Couldnt find it local and thats why i had to switch. pull the dug up traps, wash and rewax them. Set cheater traps to catch the yotes while they are digging.

So what do you guys think? lets hear some opinions, I'm ready to pull my hair out over this!
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-30-2013, 04:47 PM
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Re: Digger coyotes, help

I think you've definitely got some "smell" issues whether it is the trap itself or the bedding material.

Scrub your gear and start using different gloves for remakes vs new sets.

Also, just the dirt from one area to the next can smell different, so if you're using a dirty trap (one that was used elsewhere, even if it didn't connect), they could smell the dirt on it too.

Lastly, and this is new to me as well. It's apparently a good idea to spread some peat moss or buckwheat hulls around the trap area so they're not ONLY used in the trap bed. That way the animal can "check them out" without scratching at your trap bed to find out what that new smell is.

"I suppose it is the way of hunters. We are very odd fellows." ~ Peter Hathaway Capstick
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-30-2013, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Digger coyotes, help

thanks, i think my main mistake was using the same gloves and trowl at remakes, and fresh sets and i need seperate for each. I'm going to give that a shot and see what happens. I also carry my peat in a closed container and seperate from anything that could contaminate it. As for the traps, one that got dug up was a brand new trap and it was waxed just like the rest, but i think it was dug up once again because of contamination from my tools and gloves. The other dug up trap was one that i remade 2 times, and i think it would have been fine if i just used seperate gloves for the new peat alone, then switched to the remake gloves when i was ready to blend the chaff. If this rain ever lets up today i'm going to go pull my trap that i had catches with, and redo the whole thing with fresh trap and material. The one reason i don't want to spread excess peat around the area is because i'm using flat and scent post sets, so i wasnt everything to look as natural as possible with zero dirt showing. (except where i make my scratch marks next to the post)
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-30-2013, 06:41 PM
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Re: Digger coyotes, help

I don't think you need to spread a lot around...

"I suppose it is the way of hunters. We are very odd fellows." ~ Peter Hathaway Capstick
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-30-2013, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Digger coyotes, help

ok i'll have to try it, I guess that would keep them from pinpointing the exact bed of the trap and ease their way into the set more comfortably. I just dont get how i didntt have problems catching yotes before any type of remake i used peat moss in the bed alone and caught 4 yotes and some fox now that i have to do remakes im having problems
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-30-2013, 09:08 PM
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Re: Digger coyotes, help

it could be a bedding issue, you stated that you push down on your traps to make sure there is no movement which is good. Are you packing the covering around the jaws to make the area around the trap solid and not soft? when a critter approaches a set and the ground is hard all around and suddenly steps on a soft spot they will sometimes leave or dig. I use a trappers cap and pack dirt over the whole trap except the pan and it has seemed to help avoid dug up traps.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-30-2013, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Digger coyotes, help

I dont use a trappers cap, but i clear the pan completely and pack all around it very hard with peat moss, then i cover the pan. The problem that i've found is that within a few minutes, the peat seems to just go back to the way it wants to lay (unpack) itself if you will. I'm not loading it on and packing it, i'm just using what i need, but it's like no matter what you do, the covering is going to end up soft. I am thinking about changing to dry dirt or waxed dirt, but it's hard to do considering the weight difference, and the hassle of making waxed dirt then having to carry it long distances. I really dont want to use just dry dirt either because with the weather that we experience it would be even more of a hassle than anything. I think next year i'm goingto give waxed dirt a try. Maybe i'll make a few hundred pounds of it in the summer. That should be enough for all the more i trap, from the end of deer season to the end of trapping season. I love the peat for its ability to seal out water, but man in the long run id probably be better off without it.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-30-2013, 10:41 PM
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Re: Digger coyotes, help

Have you sifted your peat? I have found the same problem with peat (wanting to "unpack" itself) and the only way I found to stop this is to sift the peat, Layer & pack, Layer & pack until the trap is covered. Yes I use a trappers cap also.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 12:49 AM
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Re: Digger coyotes, help

Did you ever see that video of PSB doing a remake on his fox line?
Handful of peat tossed in the bed, twist the trap in, handful of peat tossed on top and swiped level....done.
Of course, Phil can get away with such things.


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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 12:51 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Digger coyotes, help

As of the last few weeks i started sifting the peat with 3/16" screen and it does seem to be a little better, but still soft. Like i said, i'd hate to give up on the peat but we'll see what the rest of the season brings.
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