Dug out and set off - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-27-2020, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
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Dug out and set off

My nephew started trapping this year and has coyotes and fox on trail cams. He tried hay sets and dirt holes but didn't catch anything. A lot of dug out traps and set off ones. Whats he doing wrong?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-27-2020, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Laylow View Post
My nephew started trapping this year and has coyotes and fox on trail cams. He tried hay sets and dirt holes but didn't catch anything. A lot of dug out traps and set off ones. Whats he doing wrong?
Could be a number of things...if traps aren't getting dug up from raccoons(usually biggest culprit for dug up traps)then it's usually a bedding problem. Meaning he isn't bedding his traps properly and ground is moving when k9 steps on it which in return causes a digging reaction. Tell him #1 most important thing for k9 trapping is make sure your trap is solid in bed. If it moves even a little re do it until trap is solid!!! All the time you put into making a set is a complete waste if trapn isn't bedded solid! Hay sets are good for fox but most coyotes will avoid them in my experience. Make sure he is not using to much lure at set. That will cause digging or rolling, could make K9s skittish and also could cause k9 to work set from 10 yards away and you want to force k9 in to set to check out your attractants. If he's been trapping in same area and had a bunch of misses those animals are pretty educated and are going to be hard to trap! Those are just some of basic problems beginner trappers have.
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Last edited by PA Hunter/Trapper; 01-27-2020 at 09:44 PM.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-30-2020, 11:09 AM
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Set off traps- If using hay sets, I have had many set off by deer. My area lately, we have snow so should be able to see if they where deer or animal.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 07:57 AM
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Agree with PA Hunter/Trapper.
Some folks make trap bed too large. This makes stabilizing trap a pain.
Tell nephew to make smaller trap bed, close to the size of trap. Bed can be slightly cone shaped. If levers and jaws need more room, tell nephew to use his hammer to pound out needed space. Then bed trap and pound outside corners for a solid fit.
All in all, keep the trap bed small.

Laylow.You say he has alot of dug up traps.
Other reasons as mentioned, Coon & Grey Fox feel movement or fresh dirt and begin to scratch, feel around or dig creating problems.
Another reason for dug up traps is the traps smell. An unnatural odor will cause digging from all predators.
Are his traps odor free?

Are there other folks trapping nearby. Possibly Canines are educated to standard dirtholes. Am sure your nephew educated a few as well.
Blend sets with surrounding duff, maybe make a blended flat set & blended trail sets. Late season now, Canines have a their doctorate degree in trapping and survival. Mix up & blend nephew's sets.

Another alternative to trapping is Calling. Maybe try calling those Coyotes?
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Last edited by Hern; Yesterday at 08:01 AM.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 10:41 AM
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Deer probably are my #1 culprit. Iím trapping a lot of logging road, which deer will travel. Urines seem to attract deer, but most traps that deer spring are accidental. Coons are #2 suspects. They seem to be drawn to fresh dirt. If the trap bed is dug up, and the free jaw is flipped, I believe it was a coon.

Last season I had a red fox dig out the same trap four times. The activity was all caught by a trail cam set watching the logging road for deer. I bedded another trap a foot in front of the first trap and caught it by the hind foot.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 05:34 PM
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Things to see while looking 'what happen'...
There is a difference
-Deer snapped- chain extended out of bed, trap closed laying away from bed, very little disturbance here

-Dug out- digging around trap and in bed, digging generally to one side, trap not fired for the most part

-Trap fired off still sitting in bed- trap fired itself & not adjusted properly or heavy rain and dirt covering added weight to fire trap

-miss/pull out- large or small catch circle, hair or blood on trap, possible tracks or dropping to look at, chain extended with closed trap

SEE what you are LOOKING at...
Charlie Dobbins
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 07:43 PM
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Coon account for the majority of pull outs I have had. Tapered front foot + offset jaws = pullout. Usually theyíll leave a decent size catch circle, a shined up trap, and tell tale tri colored hair in the trap jaws.

Get a canine to commit his foot to a properly tuned and set trap....he should be waiting for you in the morning. Knock on wood, Iíve never had a coyote bust up a trap or anchor and escape. Yet.
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