Scent control: friend or foe for trapping coyotes?

The last deer fawns and turkey poults should have appeared in June. Consequently, coyote pups are weaned off their mother’s milk and are beginning to feast on a wild assortment of solid foods. Trappers and predator hunters should ramp up their game, paying special attention to their scent control and enticement lures.

Coyotes rely on their noses to find dinner and avoid becoming somebody else’s dinner. They are famous for detecting food and potential dangers at extraordinary distances, but they will analyze the freshness of the odors to determine which steps they must take to move forward.

Jett Webb of Conetoe, N.C., is an avid predator hunter. His careful scent control is ultimately his secret weapon for capturing coyotes and other predators in his trap lines.

“Predators live and die by their noses,” Webb said. “It’s their No. 1 sense when it comes to survival, and coyotes are very savvy when it comes to something not smelling right.”

Webb utilizes rubber boots and two different sets of rubber gloves, one for baiting traps and a one for setting the trap itself. While coyotes are accustomed to human odor, fresh human scent is more alarming and threatening as opposed to catching a whiff of an old scent path several days to weeks old. Reducing fresh human scent on traps and the vicinity of traps will increase your success ratio when trapping coyotes.

This sense that keeps them alive and away from potential dangers will also lure them into harm’s way. Trappers can use coyotes’ keen sense of smell in their favor. A bait or call lure itself can draw a coyote from great distances. The pungent stench of rotting flesh carries a long way.

Webb will use a call lure or actual bait for his sets. The call lures are extremely strong-smelling and highly concentrated; only one or two drops are needed at the trap site.

Bait for trapping coyotes and other predators doesn’t need to be anything real special; any type of rancid road kill can be effective. Since Webb traps beavers and muskrats, he prefers to use these animals when he has them on hand.

“I will let the meat slightly go rancid and then store it in double zip-lock bags in the freezer until I need it,” he said.

About Jeff Burleson 1309 Articles
Jeff Burleson is a native of Lumberton, N.C., who lives in Myrtle Beach, S.C. He graduated from N.C. State University with a degree in fisheries and wildlife sciences and is a certified biologist and professional forester for Southern Palmetto Environmental Consulting.

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