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 has been a trapper since 1972. He started Hoosier Trapper Supply in 1976 and was a fur buyer from 1976 - 1991. Charlie is also the formulator of the Leatherwood Line of trapping scents, Top Dog Predator Bait and Lip Licker Deer Lure. His 46 years of trapping experience and association with trappers and the fur industry have given him a history and perspective of the trapping trade few have.