There are a number of different traps to choose from, and the debate rages heavily as trappers try to decide which of them deserve the title of the best coyote traps. We’ve put together a short listing of the different types of traps available to the modern hunter and compared them, so that you can figure out which works best for you.
Coyote Trapping - Best Trap for Coyote
1.) Foothold Traps
Foothold traps have long been the gold standard for those who are hunting any furbearing mammal. Their mechanical design lends them to a wide variety of different configurations and sets, each of them with their own advantage.
In general, a #2 size is considered to be the best for coyote. Different hunters will recommend different brands, tactics, and modifications that work for them but if you opt to use them yourself you’ll have to figure out which works best for you.
They’re also rather expensive and heavy, which makes hauling them out a lot of work. Even worse, you really will need some mechanical abilities to make sure they work well. They’re not quite as easy to work with as Saturday morning cartoons make them look. Many people have had a lot of success with them however.
There are also a lot of restrictions on their usage in place, and many will find they don’t even have the option to use them locally. Be sure to double check regulations in your area before you decide to use them, as the fines and penalties can be quite costly.
See Also: Get That Pelt! How to Skin a Coyote
- Good holding power
- Variety of sets
- Most easily disguised
- Require mechanical aptitude
- Subject to a lot of regulation
2.) Conibear Traps
In places where they’re legal, Conibear traps can be used for coyote and some trappers report back that they’ve had great success with them. They’re a variation of the mechanical trap which is intended to close over the neck of the coyote which triggers it with sufficient force to kill it instantly.
In general, they’re only usable in some specific areas and even then they should be used with caution. Trappers use a 330 sized trap for coyote and bobcats, and they definitely have sufficient force to kill a dog or cat.
When used properly, they’re highly effective and those who can use them safely and efficiently definitely like them but they should be avoided by anyone who happens to live in an area where there may be domestic animals present.
In most of the United States their usage is heavily restricted, even more-so than leg-hold traps. This makes them an unattractive option for most trappers and only those who are confident that they can avoid harming pets and know how to set them properly should use them.
- Instant kill when set properly
- Not as hard to disguise as box traps
- Most sets are fairly easy
- Kill indiscriminately
- Highly illegal in most areas
3.) Snare Traps
Snares are less regulated than many types of traps, which makes them ideal for a lot of trappers on a budget. They can vary from spring-loaded snares which will strangle the animal to simpler affairs which will restrain the coyote until you come back to check on them.
They’ve been used for centuries by people around the globe, and their ease of use and cheap costs makes them favorable for a lot of trappers. In addition to that, they’re usually quite light and you’ll be able to hike out with a lot more of them to set up your traps than with any other type.
There are usually some restrictions on their usage, depending on where you’re currently residing. These can range from an outright ban to having to use specific sets to make sure you don’t target animals outside of what you’re looking for. In some places there have to be stops, be sure to look at the legality in your area before you decide on them.
They’re one of the two methods currently favored by most trappers, however, and there’s definitely some advantages to using them in the field. You’ll also want to make sure there are no pets in the area, but that should be a precaution you take with nearly any kind of trap.
See also: 5 of the Absolute Best Coyote Baits
- Simple to use
- Cheap and effective
- Very light
- Can be setup for hold or kill
- Regulated in most areas
- Killing snares can target indiscriminately
4.) Box and Cage Traps
Cage traps are the only option that many people will be allowed to use, after all traps are unsupervised and have a tendency to catch other animals than the one you’re targeting.
The truth is, coyote can be hard to catch in cage and box traps, however, and that dissuades many hunters from using this method. It can definitely be done, however, but it’s a tedious and time consuming process.
The best way to set them up is to hide the trap as much as possible and use a lure. The coyote should be in the trap before they realize the cage is there. It can definitely be done, but it requires a different skill set than many other types of trap.
The best thing about them is that you don’t have to worry about killing someone’s hunting dog or cat if they happen to get caught in the trap, you can just let them go free. This makes them ideal if there is any chance of a domestic animal passing by.
If you take the time to learn they can be effective, but the truth is that a lot of coyote are going to avoid them.
- Captures the animal without harming them
- Least regulated type of trap
- Most humane
- Hard to use
- Not as effective as many types of trap
It really can be hard to figure out which are the best coyote traps for you. Due to regulations and the inherent nature of traps it will vary from area to area, but all of the above are certainly viable methods for those who are seeking to collect some fur in the next season.
Did we leave out your favorite trap? Have any questions? Let us know below!