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Coyote traps come in plenty of different styles, designs, shapes, and sizes. Depending on why you’re trapping a coyote will determine what kind of trap you should get.
In this guide, I’ll outline a few of the key factors you want to keep in mind when you buy your coyote trap, by going through a quick buyer’s guide, then I’ll get into the top 5 coyote traps out there, outlining their specific features as well as the pros and cons of each.
By the end of the article, you should have a much better idea of what options are out there when it comes to coyote traps. Plus, hopefully, you’ll know exactly which coyote trap is right for you.
Different Styles of Coyote Trap
The first decision you’re going to have to make is what style of trap to get. Coyote traps come in coil spring traps, snare traps, and cage traps.
Leg-hold traps, sometimes called restraining traps, are the main type of traps used for coyote as well as fox, raccoon, wolf, bobcat, and lynx. Trappers place a leg-hold trap where the animal will walk, thus stepping on, and springing the trap.
The leg-hold trap comprises a metal footplate and curved metal jaws, powered by springs. Often, a chain and spike anchor the trap to the ground or a nearby tree.
Leg-hold traps immobilize the animal who is either killed by the trapper or dies from blood loss, dehydration, exhaustion, or hypothermia. Animals trapped in leg-hold traps will often try to chew off their trapped limb to escape.
Snare traps are relatively common traps often used on small animals like rodents. However, they are also somewhat popular traps for coyote. A snare trap is essentially a wire loop. A trapper places it on a path or trail where the animal is likely to walk.
As the animal walks through, if it goes in headfirst, the wire loop tightens around its neck. As the animal struggles to free itself, the snare gets tighter and tighter, thus strangling the animal.
If an animal steps in a snare, their limb may become trapped. The snare works in the same way, tightening as the animal struggles. Similar to a leg-hold trap, the animal is immobilized and can be disposed of by the trapper.
Snare traps are indiscriminate and pose a significant risk to non-target animals like deer or elk.
Cage traps are the easiest ways to live catch large animals. If you have a problem with coyotes but don’t want to kill the animal or are concerned about trapping and injuring non-target species, then a cage trap is a great option.
A cage trap is essentially a cage with a trap door. Bait is laid in a bait tray and the door is set. Once an animal enters the trap, the trap door falls. Cage traps benefit from their simple design and the fact that they use gravity to operate. Most cage traps are well built and are designed to last a long time and repeated uses.
Named after their inventor, Frank Conibear, the Conibear trap is an alternative to leg-hold traps and is designed to kill the animal instantly. Conibear traps consist of two rotating rectangular frames with a trigger that, when activated, snap shut on the animal’s body.
Since the design came out in the 1950s, Conibear, or body traps, have grown in popularity because of their versatility and effectiveness. Many state and federal wildlife agencies accept the Conibear trap as the most effective and humane traps.
If you’re looking to quickly catch and dispatch a wild animal like a coyote, then you can’t go wrong with a Conibear trap. One of the few downsides is that they are indiscriminate traps, so you can’t be sure you won’t catch non-target species.
The 6 Best Coyote Traps, Snares, and Cages Available
Here are the top 5 coyote traps on the market. On the list, you will find a range of styles, prices, and designs.
Take a look at these key points to keep in mind when you’re buying a coyote trap. Hopefully, they’ll help you make the right decision and get the one best suited for your needs.
What’s it for?
Are you trying to eliminate a pest population or are you trying to relocate a coyote? Do you want to kill the animal or live-trap it? The answers to these questions will help you decide what style of trap you should get.
What style suits your needs?
Are you able to use a truck or a quad to get the trap in place or will you be hiking five miles with it in your pack? Is it going to be placed on a trail or a residential neighborhood? Again, the answers to these questions will help you narrow down which style of trap is right for you.