How to catch a coyote (with pictures)

How to catch a coyote (with pictures)
How to catch a coyote (with pictures)

Although important to the ecosystem, coyotes, a wild canid found in North America, can cause problems when they prey on domestic animals like dogs and livestock. They can sometimes be found rummaging in trash cans. If you want to take care of the nuisance these animals cause, there are some easy ways to catch them to prevent this from happening.


Part 1 of 4: prepare to catch the coyote

Trap a Coyote Step 1

Step 1. Use the correct trap

Coyotes are strong animals, which is why you need a large, sturdy, fast-acting trap. A wolf trap with 6 inch jaws should do the trick. Do not take a smaller trap or you may not be able to catch the coyote.

  • Make sure the trap has a center pivot and a reinforced tray. The center pivot reduces the risk of injuring the coyote's leg by letting it pull on a heavy chain that is attached to the bottom of the trap. Cages to trap these animals might not work, as they tend to move away from them.
  • You can find this kind of trap from many manufacturers, although sometimes people modify existing traps, for example by widening the jaws of a trap that is too small. You can do this by soldering a metal tab along the jaw of the trap to allow it to be made wider (this is called "laminating" the trap).
Trap a Coyote Step 2

Step 2. Aim for the correct coyote

There could be a lot of coyotes around your home and you could catch a lot of them that didn't cause any damage. That's why you're probably going to have to catch several before you find the one that caused you the most damage.

  • Coyotes that kill cattle are usually young adult males (usually between three and five years old). The dominant male is usually the individual responsible for the damage unless it was small pigs or poultry that were killed.
  • There is a legend that claims that the most damaging coyotes are old females with cubs, but most of the time this is not true.
Trap a Coyote Step 3

Step 3. Check the age and sex of the coyote

This will help you determine if you have caught a male who has reached an age where he is more likely to cause damage.

  • You can best determine the age of the coyote by observing the wear and tear of its teeth. Look at his front incisors to see the wear. These are the teeth that are located between the canines. If they have round lobes, the animal is probably young. Be careful though, coyotes are extremely dangerous! You should leave this work to a wildlife expert.
  • Young coyotes which usually cause damage often have worn incisors that do not have round lobes. Their teeth are flat on the top.
Trap a Coyote Step 4

Step 4. Follow the regulations

Generally, there are different laws in different states that regulate the setting up of traps against these animals. Make sure you follow them carefully.

  • While these may vary from state to state, there are examples of regulations that should generally be followed everywhere. For example, you should go to the trap at least once a day, the jaws should be made of smooth metal or rubber, and you should leave your name and address on the trap.
  • In general, you will not be allowed to set up a trap on passageways used by people and pets such as dogs and cats. In some states, you will also need to report your traps. For example, you will need to ask the owner's permission before installing your trap on their property.

Part 2 of 4: set up the trap

Trap a Coyote Step 5

Step 1. Find the appropriate venue

You need to set the trap in a location where you have a better chance of catching the coyote that caused the damage. These animals are known to always come back to the same places. You must then find places where they have created problems.

  • Observe the presence of tracks (old or new) they have left and dung on the ground, especially near pastures and paddocks. This is a great place to set up a trap. Likewise, you could set him up in an area where he left an animal carcass. Their droppings are small. They are usually only a little bigger than a cigar and black when fresh.
  • There are good places to install the device, for example, near farms and cattle paths, at the edge of a field, at the intersection of fences, near gates and in open ground. Do not install them near trees or in tall grass or bushes, as these animals do not like to approach such places.
Trap a Coyote Step 6

Step 2. Choose high ground

The top of a ledge or any high ground will be a great place to set up the device, as this is an area coyotes like to frequent and you are less likely to catch other small creatures like raccoons.

  • Set it up downwind on the way to the coyote you're aiming for. The latter will then be more likely to smell the bait that you are going to install. You can also install several in all possible directions of the wind.
  • Tie up dogs and cats before setting up the trap. You would not want to end up with your dog or cat stuck in the device, as they are likely to be attracted to the bait as well. Before installing it, you need to make sure that your dogs and dogs are not roaming free.
Trap a Coyote Step 7

Step 3. Try the hole method

It is a popular arrangement for catching coyotes. You only need a few tools: a trowel, hammer or hatchet, a sieve, a square yard of thick cloth, and a bucket.

  • Traps often have a spring, cable or cordless mechanism. Anyone can catch coyotes. The hole method works because these animals think other animals have hidden their food there.
  • You then set up a bait to attract the coyote. Make sure the trap is properly tensioned. As a general rule, a tension of 2 kg is sufficient for this kind of trap. You can fill empty plastic bottles with sand to create more tension.
Trap a Coyote Step 8

Step 4. Dig a hole

The hole should be no more than 10cm wide and 20cm deep at a 45 degree angle. It would be better if you dig under the grass so that it can act as a support.

  • Place some soil that you took out of the hole on the square of fabric. Place the trap 5-7cm from the hole to determine the width you need to dig.
  • Dig another hole about 2 cm, large enough to place the trap and stakes in it.
Trap a Coyote Step 9

Step 5. Put the device in the hole

Flatten the bottom of the hole. Hold the device in place with a stake that you will drive in at the central pivot. Use a 1.5 cm reinforcement stake.

  • Once the stake is planted in the ground, cover it with a little soil taken from the fabric. Drive it into the earth. The trap should be about 2 cm below the level of the earth. Install a cover to avoid getting dirt on the springs. The cover must be porous. Maybe choose jeans or a fiberglass mosquito net.
  • Cut the cover to fit under the jaws and over the device tray. Tamp a little soil around and over the ends of the tray. Hold it firmly in place by packing soil around it. Now sift soil over the device to cover it by about 1 cm.
  • During this step, you firmly attach the trap in the hole with a structure underneath so that it does not move if the animal were to step on a part other than the plate. When you're done, the hole should look like it was dug by another animal.
Trap a Coyote Step 10

Step 6. Use a flat trap

Rather, they are devices used to catch coyotes that travel long paths.

  • Find a patch of grass where the animal has left droppings. You need to find a decoy big enough to grab the attention of the passing coyote. You must install it perpendicular to the path of the animal.
  • Secure and cover the device as you would for the hole method. Cover it with dry grass, leaves or dried cow or sheep droppings that you have passed through a sieve.
Trap a Coyote Step 11

Step 7. Install a device blindly

This kind of technique is often used as a last resort. You must set the trap in a place where there are traces of coyotes as if it had jumped over an obstacle, for example a fence.

  • Cover and hide the device as in the previous method. Place it in the exact spot where the animal falls to the ground after jumping over the fence.
  • Hide the trap well by placing small sticks on each side to direct the animal towards the tray. In this kind of device, you usually do not use bait, because the goal is to let the animal jump on it on its own.

Part 3 of 4: catch the coyote

Trap a Coyote Step 12

Step 1. Add bait

It will work best if you put two or more baits in the hole. However, you have to find something that will attract the animal to the trap.

  • We often use meat that smells strong such as beaver, lynx, cattle or skunk. However, this kind of choice might not work well if it is too hot.
  • Commercial baits could be cleaner than meat. The baits that you can buy in the store usually contain a scent that coyotes like, such as beaver musk or the like. Trappers often have their own recipes. You can make one at home with rotten eggs by breaking four dozen of them into a four-liter jar. Mix well and let sit for two months.
  • You can also put a ball of sheep's wool in the hole and pour the bait over it. You can use coyote musk or fox or coyote urine bait in addition to that animal's droppings.
Trap a Coyote Step 13

Step 2. Remove it from the hole

Some devices cause the death of the animal. They work with a rope that wraps around his head. In other cases, it could be trapped alive. Seek professional help to remove it from the hole. A trapped coyote becomes an extremely dangerous animal.

  • In many states, you will be required to euthanize it after capturing it. It is possible to take it to places specially designed for this purpose. Contact the Department of Wildlife Conservation.
  • Wear thick clothing and protective gloves when dealing with this animal. Be aware that they can transmit rabies and other diseases.
  • To kill an animal you've caught, you can shoot it in the head with a.22 long rifle or similar weapon. Alternatively, you can also pull behind the front paw directly into the rib cage. Get rid of the carcass.
Trap a Coyote Step 14

Step 3. Clean the device

You can clean it using a high pressure water jet in an auto cleaning station. You must clean it before you want to use it again to catch a coyote or other animal.

  • You can also use soapy water. Soak the device in it. Then scrub with a stiff brush.
  • Rinse it off with clean water. Hang it outside to let it dry. You should not stain or wax it unless you use it in the winter and it gets covered with salt.
  • There are crystals sold in specialty stores that can keep them from rusting. Pour the tincture into a large container filled with water. Heat until the water boils. Dip the trap in it until it turns brown or black.

Part 4 of 4: Finding Alternative Solutions

Trap a Coyote Step 15

Step 1. Solve the problems without catching the coyotes

Some animal welfare groups consider the capture techniques to be inhumane. They offer information programs on what to do if you have problems with these animals.

  • Keep your food and water away. Coyotes are often drawn to your area because they are hungry or thirsty. Food can attract them around your property. You will invite them to come see you if you leave your garbage cans open, piles of compost, or animal feed outside. Get rid of that stuff and they'll go get supplies somewhere else.
  • Water attracts them as much as food. You could have them come near you if you leave artificial ponds, irrigation systems or water bowls on your property.
Trap a Coyote Step 16

Step 2. Teach them to be afraid of human beings

Coyotes are used to being in contact with people. Your goal will be to scare them when they go to see human beings.

  • When you see one, make a lot of noise. For example, you could shout very loudly or use firecrackers.
  • Make yourself look as wide as possible, for example by standing up or waving your arms.
Trap a Coyote Step 17

Step 3. Put up a fence

If you want to keep them away from your livestock, you could use a fence to prevent them from approaching.

  • For example, a netting in good condition should keep them away if you leave less than 6 inches between the meshes and the vertical spacing is no more than 4 inches.
  • An electric fence could also work, but it will require more maintenance and work.
Trap a Coyote Step 18

Step 4. Use a guard animal

Sometimes people who want to protect their livestock hire a dog to do so. The dog then helps keep predators away.

  • There are several of the most common dog breeds for herding such as the Pyrenean Mountain Dog, Komondor, Anatolian Shepherd, and Akbash.
  • The dog must be trained. It could be very dangerous for your animal to use it to herd if you have not trained it properly.


  • Rusty traps will not work as fast as good ones.
  • You could set up three or four in an area where a coyote has killed one of your animals.
  • You should install them at least 30 meters from a carcass or you could catch other scavengers like vultures.
  • Gloves are generally not necessary when putting on the device, as coyotes are used to the smell of men and the gloves could leave other smells on the mechanism as well.
  • Keep the device clean. Make sure there is no rust, that it is stained and waxed.

Popular by topic