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I am taking on the task of writing a blog.  I will write at least one a month and in some cases more.   Some of them will be completely current and some will be a little more random in terms of subject.  My goal is to help everyone become a better trapper.  And quite frankly, I will be learning too.  Sometimes writing things down gives you a little more time to develop your thought and perspective on your subject.  I hope it is helpful and as always I am open for comments, suggestions, and constructive criticism.  Thanks Charlie Masheck
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Snow: The Great Humbler!

Feb 19

Written by:
2/19/2016  RssIcon

A common question (every year) when the snow flies is: "The coyotes are just walking by my set and not even giving it a sniff?" "What's up with that?"

 Well first of all, they were walking by your set before the snow, you just weren't aware of it.  As I have said over the years; "snow is the great humbler".  We think we are doing pretty well, then the snow comes along and takes the wind out of our sails. 

 These occurrences happen to every trapper; beginner, experienced and veteran.  There are several things to think about or to consider.  What was the coyote's perspective?, Did he just gorge himself on a road-kill deer?,  Did he even smell the attractant?, Did he even care?,  Was the wind blowing in the wrong direction?, And an even bigger question; Will he be interested the next time he passes by?

 All legitimate considerations and questions, of course the answer we come up with would be at best an educated guess and on the downside pretty much pure speculation.

 However, the most important question; What can we do?  In a lot of cases I'm not sure you can do anything about it and in some cases you can.  For starters, if you only have one set on the main path of travel, make a set on the other side to take advantage of the wind from either direction.  Maybe change things up and use a urine post or flat set with urine and gland lure - however, this kind of goes back to another set they may walk by and not be interested in.

 I believe that we have had success with trailing scents for predators.  It can be as simple as urine sprayed across the path of travel, salmon or fish oil used as a trailing scent, or a bottled trailing scent such as our Predator Gravy.  If you think about it, when you come right down to it - we ultimately just don't know for sure what may have sparked the coyote's interest.

 On the positive side, if the coyotes are coming by, your location must be good.  So, keep the traps in place, and it is very likely that the very same coyote will be interested the next time he comes through.

You know, if it were easy and not a challenge- what would be the point?  There is always something to learn, we just have to come to terms that we don't know it all!

Good luck to everyone with the late season coyotes!

Until next time…..

Charlie Masheck

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2 comment(s) so far...


Re: Snow: The Great Humbler!

Good reading. I was trapping this past week and just after a rain, the wet Ga red clay was almost silty, and I saw several traps that had Yote tracks close. Unfortunately it rained so hard that the traps were either buried under an inch or so mud or fully exposed. I wrote it off as them seeing the traps and not wanting to step close. I did think of how snow and silty mud is a great way to study animal habits and travel paths. After one snow I tracked some deer and was amazed how often they pee. Gotta love the yellow snow.

By Bobby Reese on   2/19/2016

Re: Snow: The Great Humbler!

The most important point you make here is that coyotes WERE PASSING THIS SET BEFORE THE SNOW. Snow was just the first chance you had to really see what was happening. AS trappers, we are continually learning by doing, and snow is a great opportunity to really see what's going on.

By kent weil on   2/20/2016

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