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#246272 - 06/30/07 11:28 PM Affects of Human Scent in Trapping
NYNovice Offline


Registered: 12/23/06
Loc: Central NY
Affects of Human Scent on your Trapline?
cathryn


Ive had this discussion with a couple people and wondered what you guys think..

Do you think that human scent is an issue on your line?

Is there a difference between its affects on a water versus a land line?

TY for your .02
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whitetailaddict

absolutely on both

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cathryn

can you tell me why you think that?
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whitetailaddict


On my line, I try to keep it as scent free as possible, almost as bad as bowhunting whitetails.
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boyswannatrap


does water line mean all traps are in the water? I believe that a mink will avoid a smelly trap.

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cathryn



i understand that you try to keep it down, but is it really an issue or is just something youve always been told?

and what do the rest of you guys think?
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cathryn



boys..i was talking just set in the water,you know coon, rats, beaver, mink..those animals.the trap doesnt have to be submerged for what i was referring to..just water set..
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cohunt


I feel that there is little I can do to minimize scent so I do not worry about it. I am much more concerned with disturbances(muddy footprints, disturbed banks, etc.) from my over 50-year-long experience with certain animals, especially beaver and coyotes, so I do try to minimize evidence of my presence.
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whitetailaddict


Best example I can give.

Last fall sitting 27 feet up a big ol' Poplar, I hear an animal trotting through the woods, this was early Nov. So naturally, I think, Ol mossy horns is late getting back to the swamp. At 20 yards I see this coyote, coming straight at my tree. With the wind blowing directly away from the dog, he crosses opposite of my tree and hits the trail I walked in to the tree, nearly 4 hours earlier. I wish I would have had a chance to film him, when he hit that trail, he did not stop, hesitate, or even think. He reacted, in midstep he turned, leaped away and bolted 15 yards before stopping, to look back. An ACC slammed behind the front shoulder at that point. Now 2 hours later, only half the time that elapsed from me to the coyote, a buck comes grunting in from a different direction, crosses both my trail and the coyotes, doesn't even hesitate. ( He also got an arrow)This was a mature 4.5 year old buck, since this encounter, I have treated my k-9 sets, just like I am bowhunting, literally down to using scent killer.

Dryland mink, coon, fisher, otter, marten, and the likes, I don't concern myself as much. However once you get in a habit, it just kind of carries over, at least for me.

I don't worry about water trapping scent too much, I just haven't seen where it affects much either way there.

Of course all this is just my opinion, which may or may not mean anything to some. WTA
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whitetailaddict


Originally Posted By: cohunt
I feel that there is little I can do to minimize scent so I do not worry about it. I am much more concerned with disturbances(muddy footprints, disturbed banks, etc.) from my over 50-year-long experience with certain animals, especially beaver and coyotes, so I do try to minimize evidence of my presence.



Wow, about the first part, I totally disagree. There is a lot you can do IMO. I also really agree, with the concern over leaving visual disturbances, very important, in my eyes, to leave a natural set area. WTA
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whitetailaddict

By the way, nice to see a meaningful trap subject to discuss. Nice to learn what others think once in a while, thanks
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phutch30


I think alot depends on where in the country you trap and the individual nature of a particular animal. Out here in the west the air and soil is so dry that any sent you leave is gone very fast. I set cat traps canine snares and depending on how cold it is, some canine traps bare handed. Doesnt seem to affect my catch. If the conditions are wet I will use gloves.
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whitetailaddict


good point, phutch, it does make a lot of difference, location
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cathryn

i want to opitimze my catch this year, so i wanna know what the guys with much more experience than me think..im always looking for advice..

guys i like to have fun, but please dont take this thread down a wrong road..i really would like to know what people think on this subject..

if ya wanna BS thread, let me know...ill post one for you.
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whitetailaddict
I have trapped and talked with a lot of experienced people, as well as you with Jerry and others, and you will get alot of 2 penny answers. I do think most will lean toward scent control being more important than not, and besides what could it hurt to have everything in top notch, scent proof shape?
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cathryn

i believe it may be important to an extent.... but with the influx of humans into their territory, i wonder just how much attention they really pay to scent..i mean in some places they smell it all the time.

are those animals less conscious of it, so it doesnt phase them?
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cathryn

what about the rest of you guys, id like to hear your opinions also
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whitetailaddict
I would agree with that to an extent also, but I do know that I do not want my scent associated with any of the lure smells that I use, for animals that would happen along, or get missed on there first time by.
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Andy S

I don't worry about it! As long as my trap is clean, thats all I care about. Caught MANY yotes and fox setting with my bare hands while kneeling at the set.

You boys waste all your time being mr. clean then 5 minutes after you leave the farmer walks by your set, spits on the ground and keeps walking. I can get in twice as many sets by just slamming them in and not worrying about it. That equals twice as many critters.

I trapped with Morris last year. I watched him kneel on the ground making all his sets, the whole time his cigarette ashes were falling on his dirt pattern. I think he caught like 200 yotes and around 100 cats that year!

Any of you clean freaks care to match those numbers just trapping one state??

Later
Andy
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foxman13
I always wear rubber gloves when handling my canine traps, I never kneel on the ground unlesss I have my hip waders on, I change traps frequently after a catch esp, if it's bloody. On the water line I don't wory about scent very much, I always wear gaunlets and hip boots, so I guess a lot of my scent is eliminated there! All of my water traps are under water, so that too is eliminated!
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baker
when i was down at the lake, i ran into some guys talking about trapping and i introduced myself and we got to talkin about the area. they said that they hardly ever mess with there scent because if u trap where the coyotes are used to human scent in the air, than they wont mind it at the set. well i was thinkin bout this, and when i was bowfishing, i was walking down some deer trails on the bank and i hear grass moving and i look back and a coyote was walking, downwind of me, didnt mind my scent in the air at all, but once he crossed my trail and he picked up that scent on the ground he was out of there. maybe just a wierd dog?? i dont know for sure but this is just my experiance.
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cj's trapping



I could care less about scent on the waterline. I'll keep it a bit cleaner for K9's.
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cohunt

WTA offered an example where a coyote was aware he had passed and reacted even more negatively than a white tail, as evidence that one should attempt to control scent. I would interpret that example as evidence of the futility of scent control. The coyote will know you were there for some time after you have left and there is no way you can prevent it. As far as the views of experienced trappers, there will be some who do and some who do not believe in scent control. No matter the proportion in either camp, both are just opinions and of no scientific merit.
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foxman13

True, Cohunt, but it also helps to have confidence in your set, so I'm of the opinion that which ever way u think, you should stick with it and feel good about every set u make!
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whitetailaddict

Originally Posted By: Andy S
I don't worry about it! As long as my trap is clean, thats all I care about. Caught MANY yotes and fox setting with my bare hands while kneeling at the set.

You boys waste all your time being mr. clean then 5 minutes after you leave the farmer walks by your set, spits on the ground and keeps walking. I can get in twice as many sets by just slamming them in and not worrying about it. That equals twice as many critters.

I trapped with Morris last year. I watched him kneel on the ground making all his sets, the whole time his cigarette ashes were falling on his dirt pattern. I think he caught like 200 yotes and around 100 cats that year!

Any of you clean freaks care to match those numbers just trapping one state??

Later
Andy



Can't compare state to state, or trapper to trapper for that matter, too many variables.

But, if he would have trapped "clean" I guarantee you he would have caught more!
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cathryn
yes cohunt..it is an opinion, but people know what works well for them and what they see as affecting their catch, and i do believe many see scent control as an important component of trapping, and i am very interested in how they do or do not let if effect their trapping routine.

such as...what precations they may use to limit leaving scent, if they do.
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Andy S
Originally Posted By: whitetailaddict
But, if he would have trapped "clean" I guarntee you he would have caught more!


Doubt It, cause he couldn't of gotten as many sets in.

You don't even have to be clean deer hunting as long as you're down wind!

Andy
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whitetailaddict


You are only fooling yourself if you think you can eliminate human scent. All one can do is control it, to some extent. None of which matters after a day or two, or a good rain, but for first night hook-ups, I would go head to head with an "unclean" trapper any day. Maybe it would only be a few percent better, but I am positive it would be a better catch ratio. As far as pounding in sets faster, you won't be more than a few seconds faster on each k-9 set than one who does worry about his scent.
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playin4funami

cathryn,personally on the water line I don't do much for scent protection,the animals in my area are acustomed to human odors as they get them every day.when I set out a waterline I only use gloves when I need to keep my hands warm,but I also have a habit of rinsing off my hands in the creek/pond/etc. in between aspects of making a set(like drive stake(s) rinse,set trap,rinse trap,place trap,rinse,bait,rinse,so on and so forth. I do try not to leave muddy footprints,handprints,knee prints,and other sign that says I was here doing something.I would like it to appear to an animal as if someone just walked through the area as they are used to that and it doesn't create an alarm signal to them. Besides I don't want to advertise my set location to anybody that actually does walk through and chance losing equipment to those of low morals.

Dry sets,well,I do try to eliminate as much scent and signs as is easy to do,but I don,t trap for a living so if it takes a couple days for my scent to disipate at the set it doesn't bother me too much. I chech from a distance if possible and normally have activity at sets by the 2nd or 3rd day,once again the animals in my area are used to human scents and I believe sometimes even investigate the areas. I live in farm country where you have people in the feild year around,so no in my area I don't believe scent elimination is that crucial at the set location but with dryland trapping I do try to keep my actual traps,chain scent free to avoid canines digging to see whats there. Alot of the time its just rubbing(scrubing) the trap with location dirt to remove what extra odors I can right before setting.

Just my two scents
everyone does things differnt it's what makes us human
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cathryn
ok fellas. lets NOT turn this into persoanal attacks..we all do things differently..thats why i posted this thread, to see how others say it affects their TRAPPINg...deer hunting is a different thread, want me to start it for you so you can fight it out there???.....please dont get this trapping thread deleted by fighting.
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trappinia
I do believe it is an issue ,but not as much as some make it.
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All of this likened to the cleaner ones traps and methods, the better his eyes for picking location, to the "best" lures. You are just playing the odds. Personally, I like the odds in my favor that is why I keep everything clean. What can it hurt?
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playin4funami

If your sitting right on you sets waiting for a furbearer to come along your doing it wrong. The animals in question can still smell you hrs after your gone,right. They will spook if your sitting right there BECAUSE they KNOW your sitting there!! Now 2 hrs later mr.deer or mr.coyote come along, he sniffs the air detects human scent and knows that its old scent and your not still there,goes about his routine. Unless maybe you live in pristene wilderness where the animals in question are not used to human scents
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Slim Pedersen
I believe this topic has been debated since there was a forum on the internet, and in every trapper meeting since there were trappers trapping canines.
My personal experiences do vary in different parts of the nation, for all the reasons already stated, ie. humidity, people within area, or very few or no people in general area.

However it has also been my person experience over the years, from playing athletic events to coaching, and just being around people in general, that people carry different odors. Some very strong, others not nearly so much. With that in mind, I believe there will never be the same answer or same results from one individual trapper to the next.

I use leather gloves while setting traps, because I do a lot of ground rubbing with my hands to attempt to keep disturbances etc. to a minimium. I do not remove the gloves to apply lure to my sets. However I have trapped with several people over the years, and realize that certain people can not walk by a jar of lure without getting it all over themselves, much less use the same gloves to set with as they use to apply lure too, so again no two answers will ever be the same, or results the same.

I am surprised that Asa has not jumped into this thread yet with both feet, as he is a cleanliness addict, believing it second to importance only behind the kind of lure used, or perhaps even more important than the lure used. One thing we all have to agree on that he always points out is that paying attention to little details is important in order to produce maximium results.

Bottom line, in my opinion, is experience will teach you what you can do and what you can not do, and while getting that experience, pay attention to details and the results you get with different ways of doing things. Running and gunning hard slapping in traps as quickly as possible produces results, but so does setting fewer traps on best locations with attention given to details. Like I tell everyone all the time. The fur you catch and the money you gain from it will be gone before you are aware that it is, and you will vaguelly remember it at all a few years down the road, yet the experiences when taking the time to learn from them, and the contact with nature will be in your memory banks forever.
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whitetailaddict

Very good answer Slim, you need to post more often.
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WhiskeyJack
Originally Posted By: Slim Pedersen
However it has also been my person experience over the years, from playing athletic events to coaching, and just being around people in general, that people carry different odors. Some very strong, others not nearly so much. With that in mind, I believe there will never be the same answer or same results from one individual trapper to the next.
Good point.

The one smell I am allways worried about is Gasoline and oil on my hands or on my boots. Not much else get me too worked up.
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Gary
i feel that human scent has an influence on the canine line .... but depending on the amount of target species and amount of human activitiy in the general areas will have a big affect on how much of an influence the scent will have ..... the faster ya can get a good quality set in will cut down on scent left in a big way .... as far as cats .... dont see a big change in using gloves or not ... altho i havent had alot of experience cat trappin .... waterline .... i dont worry bout human scent what so ever .... with dry sets or wet
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Creek Trapper
Well Slim bout said it all for me so I'm done .
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cathryn
is the avoidance of human scent on your trapline bear any influence on your catch #s? id really like your opinion.
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MnMan
Human scent to an animal is never a good thing. Why leave excessive amounts around when you don't have to. If you can eliminate some foreign oders such as perfumes, aftershave lotions, gasoline, oil, B.O., without costing you extra time and effort, why not do so? To me this applies to the canines much more than other animals. I can't see where spending a few extra minutes to reduce the amount of scent you leave can hurt anything. As far as water trapping goes, just simply being in the water when you make your set and not disturbing the area unnecessarily is all you need to do. Certainly you can never come close to eliminating your scent but wouldn't less be better? If nothing else, your friends might appreciate you a little more in close proximity!
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LineMtnCooner

I don't worry about it with coon as much as I do as fox. I've been told fox and coyotes have really good sniffers.

LMCooner
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critterdoctor


It depends on where you are trapping and what you are trapping. I trap mainly farmland and human scent is all over the place. I try to keep scent down to a minimum but I don't obsess about it.
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Alaskan

An old trapper friend of mine says that when scent and all those little precautions ARE NOT taken, you'll catch 9 out of 10 critters. But its that smart #10 that you want.

I personally walk up and down my line (remember in snow), and kneel down, and set with whatever gloves i'm wearing, and I do quite well. However, I have noticed a few refusals where they've seen my sign, and stopped and turned around. I also set some snares from OFF the snowmachine, so I don't leave any sign in the snow machine trail, that I was there. Again, I think it just depends on the animal.

They know when you've been there, even with the greatest care taken. Its the ones that don't know better, or haven't been educated on the "dangers" that don't care. The weary ones though......will drive you NUTS trying to get.
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cathryn

ty for ya'lls comments..
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Riverotter2

At one time my bother worked on gas wells on a workover rig. Ever day he came in to work he saw coon and fox tracks all around the rig. He got some of my traps and set them next to the tires on the rig useing some of his lunch for bait. The man burn up some coons and grayfox, and there was human scent, oil, pee you name it and it was there and it did'nt stop them critters for a second. I think there so many folks runnin around in the woods now days that alot of land animals that stay alive very long will put human scent and food togather. I don't worry to much about human scent will land critters as much as i would with that last beaver or two on a ADC jobs, them can be the ones that will make you pull your hair out. When im fur trappin i set as fast as i can and move on, get the easy and leave. Most time the easy will be the most, the rest---seed for next time.
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k9.
I firmly believe that human scent means different things to a coyote, depending on where he lives.

Here a coyote will see a gut pile or area where a bunch of pheasants have been cleaned as a food source. These places are saturated with human scent from guys standing around, sitting, drinking a beer, smoking, etc. These coyotes in Iowa are not stupid, the human scent just means something different to them.

Asa and I have discussed this many times. We disagree about the importance of cleanliness, and I have often thought about his coyotes in his area. What does human scent mean to them? A coyote here CANNOT AVOID HUMAN SCENT. A coyote here who spends his time fleeing from human scent, will spend all his time fleeing and hiding. However I think in states like MI, coyotes do not become as "numbed" to human scent as they do here. In fact, I would submit that human scent around here in combination with bait smells may actually invoke a curiosity response from a coyote who has cleaned up after hunters in the past.

I know a guy who always wanted to tell me how to coyote trap. He told me I needed to put a dead mouse in my dirtholes facing out, so the moon would shine off thier eyes causing a visual attraction. I am not making that up. I saw him a time or two out on hillsides making sets. He looked like a walking condom in chest waders and shoulder length gauntlets trying to control scent.

If I was going to tell him how to coyote trap, which I never did by the way, I would tell him to lighten up on the scent control. I promise you he could not get a fourth of the sets in per day that I do. I would also tell him to focus his energy on the basics of coyote behavior, which is far more important than scent control.

His obsessions with a small parts of the puzzle kept him from ever completing the puzzle and seeing the whole picture. He caught a couple coyotes now and then. Funny guy. When he caught one he drove all over town making sure everyone saw it.

I guess my point is there is never a "never" in coyote trapping and there also is never an "always". When one obsesses over one aspect of it, he blinds himself to other aspects of it. When such a trapper is not catching coyotes, he is quick to blame human scent, when he in reality is off location, has a substandard bait or lure, has an unnatural set, or a truckload of other problems that he fails to see because he can't get past his magical thinking.

If you think a coyote is smarter than you, then he is.
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Sullivan K
How do you handle rubber gloves, how do you wear chest waders, how do you carry a kneeling cloth without getting human scent on the articles? Maybe you have reduced the amount of scent but I would guess you certainly have not eliminated the scent.
So, it seems to me, the real question is, how much scent can an animal stand before refusal?
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Salmon Creek

Now I think most anyone with some basic trapping skills will take some young uneducated coyotes but let me say this, if you go and underestimate the nose of a fully mature Brush Wolf, then you are badly mistaken and will find not a trap holding him.
SALMON CREEK
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BuckNE

Now, I'm not much of a canine trapper, but I do know this.

Dogs have a nose 100,000 to 1,000,000 as sensitive as a human's. So, no matter what you do, a canine knows a human has been there. 12 hours after your make a set, it knows where you stood, where you kneeled (kneeling pad or not), where drops of sweat fell, what you had for breakfast, what critter you handled on your last catch, whether that critter was male or female, what lures you carried in your pack basket, even if you own a dog or cat.

I think the key is that some human odors make some canines suspicious, while other human odors don't, and other human odors may make another canine suspicious, while the odor that got the other canine suspicious won't. Follow me? LOL

I also know that the location of the canine makes a heck of a difference. I've seen coyotes on golf courses. If every coyote reacted the way the coyote in whitetailaddict's story did to human odor, every golf course dwelling coyote would spend its entire life looking like it had a hot stick up its butt.

So, I don't think there are any absolutes when it comes to oder control at a set, but it couldn't hurt, and it might make the difference on that one coyote that comes along.
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k9.
You are right Buck. Dog coyote wolf it does not matter. They know you were there. The particles that disperse off your body (ketones?) do so no matter what you do. Watching dogs track humans and listening to thier handler tell you why they do like they do is a learning experience indeed.

When a bloodhound can follow a human to where that person got into a car, then follow the car's trail, it is pretty revealing that we cannot fool these noses.

So it is a given that the animal will know you were there, even if you wear a body condom. So the only thing is, what does your scent mean to that animal.

A coyote in Iowa has no room to avoid human scent. It is everywhere and he can try to go around it, but will just run into more over that next hill. It is part of his environment.

Perhaps a coyote in rougher country has options. If he finds huuman scent objectionable, he may have room to go around. I still think such coyotes are the exception and not the rule.

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CharlesKS



Originally Posted By: Salmon Creek
Now I think most anyone with some basic trapping skills will take some young uneducated coyotes but let me say this, if you go and underestimate the nose of a fully mature Brush Wolf, then you are badly mistaken and will find not a trap holding him.
SALMON CREEK



BULL! sorry, but BULL.

i take waaaaaaaaaaaay to many old dogs in the way i set, and i think i do it very similair to the way K9 does.

im telling you, being CLEAN is NOT the secret to catching alot of coyotes.

is a simple as having as many sets out as you can in good locations.
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CharlesKS
Originally Posted By: Alaskan
An old trapper friend of mine says that when scent and all those little precautions ARE NOT taken, you'll catch 9 out of 10 critters. But its that smart #10 that you wa
nt.



so 90% isnt good enough? anyone who thinks they catch EVERY coyote on a location...well, i will never believe it.

IMO, dont waste your time after the last one, IF you can move to fresh ground and get the other 9/10


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BuckNE
K9, now, granted, a bloodhound has the most sensitive nose of all mammals, about 10 times as sensitive as most other dogs, but I watched one of those cop shows on TV where they had a bloodhound track a kidnapped little girl. The girl was taken in a car. The dog went out of the parking lot, down the street, and got on the interstate. That dog tracked that little girl in a moving car, days later, mind you, down 10 miles of interstate, down an off ramp, across a few miles of country road, and then lost her. Her body was later found 1/4 mile from where the dog lost the scent.

Now, if a bloodhound can do that, then a coyote can sure as heck tell that you were kneeling by that little hole with the enticing smell coming out of it.
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cathryn

Originally Posted By: Alaskan
An old trapper friend of mine says that when scent and all those little precautions ARE NOT taken, you'll catch 9 out of 10 critters. But its that smart #10 that you want.



i gotta disagree with that..ill take the 9 easy ones and instead of trying to outwit #10..the samrt one, ill leave #10 for seed for next year..same as i do coon..get in , get the easy ones and move your sets...cover more ground, set more traps, and catch more coon..just my .02

course if i was a job where someone wanted them all gone then id have to catch it..
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k9.
Never have had a fur buyer say I'll give you ten dollars extra for that one because I can tell by his pelt that he was a smart one. I catch too many old ones to believe that I am not picking up some smart ones.

Also I have done some trapping for hire for sheep people, presumably these are the smart #10's that you have to pick up. No difference. A coyote coming into sheep is coming into a human environment plain and simple. He is mentally prepared to enter such an environment, and smell unnatural smells. Quite frankly, after a while human scent becomes a natural smell that is acceptable to the coyote, as long as there is not a human in it.
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BuckNE
K9, yep. Kinda like how gunshots scare most critters away, but in some places, it attracts grizzly bears. Its a dinner bell. All depends on the situation.
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g3trappernc
I will take a lesson well learned from one of the "Masters" and heed Slim's advice. I do however remove my gloves for baiting, so as to not get lure smell on the trap itself.

I am really new at this, and I trap the suburbs.

I deal with critters that are VERY used to human scent. Usually 50-100 acre tracks surrounding subdivisions.

I wear hip boots and clean gloves, but I know that furbearers knew I was there. I just don't think they know why.

I also think that habitat plays a big role. My main property is mostly cutover and thick riverbottom. There is a 12' wide road bush hogged through it all. Everything else is extra thick. I would think that scent would hold on in an environment like that much more than open pasture/fields.
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offshoretrash

k9 is right! i know a guy that catches 60-80 coyotes a year for the live market.(if he wasn't dissabled and trapped the whole summer he would probably catch more) he told me he sometimes mist his sets with redfox pee when they need refreshing. now how many would dissagree with that but his numbers don't lie! too many trappers think their way is the only way and to me that's just having a closed mind.
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Cattrax
Originally Posted By: phutch30
I think alot depends on where in the country you trap and the individual nature of a particular animal. Out here in the west the air and soil is so dry that any sent you leave is gone very fast. I set cat traps canine snares and depending on how cold it is, some canine traps bare handed. Doesnt seem to affect my catch. If the conditions are wet I will use gloves
.


Couldn't have said it any better myself!!
I have caught coyotes in sets that I just made in the morning and have had dogs in them the next day. When I fox trapped I would check every day and there was several times I caught fox and remade the sets only to have another fox the next day in the same set. Maybe it would matter if we had more wet condtions like you all back east.
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Slim Pedersen

I think there are a couple other factors that we are skirting around with this human odor thing. Before I go any deeper, let me tell you biologists and learned experts that I have read all the stuff about animals not having reasoning powers, and only learn by the pavlov theories, but I did not totally believe that in college, nor do I totally believe it today---I know several pets that I owned had to do some thinking, reasoning if you prefer, in a couple of situations that I have seen them in. I believe wild animals have to have a certain amount of reasoning powers too, no matter how they learned it.

But I do believe coyotes can smell we were where when we made sets.

I also believe that thier experiences teach them to associate some things with danger and other no danger, even down to individual human odor, from one human to another.

So when we talk about that last coyote in an area, how much did he learn by association? From seeing his partners, and other associate coyotes get caught in a trap around man smell and un natural lure odors? So reasoning power or not, he has learned and when he teams up with another coyote and he reacts to a dirthole with lure down in hole and man odor, does the other coyote learn to fear it to? My opinion is yes.

Now, I think that the full association of un natural lure odors and human smell sometimes triggers a adverse reaction in some coyotes. Also, I believe that a coyote will learn that one particular human odor is trouble---I have seen several that know more about me and how I set traps than what I knew, until I started doing things totally different than I had been doing anyway.

There are so many factors to put into this entire debate about human odors and it's importance that I think the debate will continue as long as there are coyotes and different coyote trappers in different areas.

Pavlov theory or actual reasoning? So I do believe that the less human odor at a set is best, but all the other factors need to be considered too----back to my theory about paying attention to details and learning from what the animals teach us as the best payoff we will get from trapping.
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Asa Lenon
Excellent post Slim!!! Ace
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Coon Hangman

Slim/Asa/Whoever else,

Do you think that if a female got pinched in a trap, or she pulled out. Then she will avoid a certain smell or a fresh hole, and when she has young and if they follow her around for a few months and she continues to avoid these smells and visuals, if her young will learn that from her too.

I understand this a crazy thought, lol, and a way of making things complicated, but is it a plausable thought?
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k9.
Another thing to consider Nick, is at least here in Iowa will the female still be with her pups the next fall, to teach them about the smells that you are using. She may not getthe opportunity after our pheasant hunters etc start to push the coyotes around prior to us putting out our smells.

I think if she had the opportunity soon enough after she had a bad experience, she very well could teach an avoidance of a certain method.

By bad experience I mean she got pinched or lost a foot out of the deal.

The next question is, can she remember such an expereince forever? Or does it dull with time?

I have one Airedale who has to my knowledge never been in a trap. However she goes on the line and seems to natuarally avoid the sets. She has seen many caught animals. Usually I have to catch a dog before they atart avoiding my stuff. She for some reason just will not "go there". The only negative experience she has had with traps is when she has gotten close to some sets I have told her "No". However most of my dogs still get caught before they figure it out.

to complicate it further, she will dig at lure in my yard when I am testing it.
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contender
All animals we tend to trap or hunt have much better noses than we'll ever have. It's part of their survival gear.
The controversy of "Mr Clean" vs "Joe Dirty" and all could go on forever. Many good trappers do good for MANY reasons, not just the way they leave scent at a set.
I believe that the animals have good enough noses to the point that we'll NEVER be able to totally remove our scent. We can lower the strength of our scent, and of our passing by using caution in how we move through an area and how we build our sets.
I believe clean scent free traps are a plus in land trapping, but water trapping we can fudge it a bit.
I guess the best thing is "How confident are you with your set and does it feel right to you?" Confidence in yourself & the set will affect how well you do! (Remember the first animal you caught? You made the sets, worried a bunch, suffered a few setbacks & disappointments, then miracle of miracles, you caught your first critter. Your confidence went way up!)
So, does it matter?
To some, yes a whole lot! To others, not as much!
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cathryn
thanks for all your opinions
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Steven G Trosper

First off, I used to believe that fox were afraid of human scent-now, I do not worry about it.

The animal knows you have been there!

Worrying about it may cause a change in the body's chemistry which then warns the animal something is "rotten in Denmark".

My Uncle Earle was ten years older than my dad. He was the one who got dad into trapping in 1927 when dad was 7. Dad ended up being a better trapper than Uncle Earle.

Dad never had any problems catching fox. Uncle Earle never could. I remeber dad showing Uncle Earle how to make the dirt-hole and even gave him some of the lure he used to catch fox. Uncle Ealre never did catch a fox.

Dad was easy going, it took a lot to get him mad. Uncle Earle on the otherhand was always mad about something. He let everything bother him. Also, he was a lot bigger than dad so you would think he would have been a lot easier going.

The reason Uncle Earle never caught any fox was his scent warned the fox something was wrong at the set so they avoided it.

Human scent was started by those who could catch fox and wanted to send everyone else on wild goose chases. While the competition was worrying about human scent and going to great lengths to avoid it. The others were out catching foxes.

It has been written in every fox book until it has become considered gosple.

If fox were as scared of human scent as the books make them out, they would not be anywhere close to where people are.
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CoonSetter07
I have learned that you can never trick a coyote in thinking you haven't been there, The trick is making him think it was a long time ago....normally here when trapping the center of Mississippi, it stays in the 70's til late november and then drops down to 20's almost over night.... So I wear scent lock pants and turtleneck shirt with rubber boots, gloves and use one of those latex foam kneeling pads...
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timrose

First off I'm not a "scent freak"....but I do think common sense should be used to help "maximize your catch".

I wear leather boots when trapping, 2 pairs so I can rotate, dry, rotate, dry, etc.
These boots are only used on the line......put them on when I getup and take them off when done running the line.
I then put on my work boots.......
This didn't cause me any extra time on the line...but is good insurance.
I often rub coyote urine on my gloves before setting a new line and then rub my gloves on the bottom of my Trapping boots.....how much time did I loose?.....umm about 10 seconds for me to feel good about setting this new line....
Confidence is a huge part of success and I feel what I'm doing is contributing to my catches on the line.

Is the things above overboard....lol..some may say yes and some may say no.

I also, don't fuel the truck up with my trapline boots on.....am I a "freak" or smart trapper?

I don't kneel at the set.....you know, your tired so your on your hands and knees, sweating, breathing, etc.
I never get on my knees...I was a catcher (you know baseball) and catchers squat, they don't kneel......does it make a big difference in your harvest...probably not..

I smoke mimi cigars on the line......a big NO NO....but I feel K9's like the smell and doesn't hurt my Take....if I quite would my catch go up? i don't think so....it may go down...lol

Its all about confidence! If you are confident in your methods,are a hard worker, in good shape and have a lot of drive you will be very successfull....

Good luck
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Asa Lenon
Coon Hangman asked...Do you think that if a female got pinched in a trap, or she pulled out. Then she will avoid a certain smell or a fresh hole, and when she has young and if they follow her around for a few months and she continues to avoid these smells and visuals, if her young will learn that from her too.

I trapped coyotes in July when the pups just come out of the den to run with their Mother for 25 years during the bounty era. I guarantee that the answer to the question is a definite yes and not only will the pups learn but the Mother may teach them. I have seen definite evidence that a Mother with a foot and toes missing taught her pups to run from sets.

Another excellent post above from Tim Rose! Ace
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CharlesKS
i agree asa. nothing could be more frusterationg thatn pinching an old gyp dog. mine as well move if you know youve done it!

she will find all your sets, and give you a present at each one.

ive seen them poop so much by sets, by the time they get to the last one, its all they can do to squeeze a little peice of poo out!
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k9.
That is all very reasonable, and does not get unreasonable unless it becomes such an obsession that it blinds the trapper from all else that is going on at his sets. If a trapper blames human scent for everything, then he fails to address or understand problems that he has. The fact is no matter what a trapper does, the coyote knows he has been there. Can you minimze your scent? Sure. Is it worthwhile? That is up to the trapper. The trappers opinion, either way, only becomes a problem when he thinks his whole success or failure revolves around that one issue.

I can see where a female can educate pups doing activity such as bounty trapping. My question is, if no sets are encountered in areas like mine, where there is mainly only fall fur trapping taing place, does the female even get a teaching opportunity with the pups? Or are they dispersed enough that she never gets a chance to teach them about trap avoidance?
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CharlesKS
K9-

i dont believe dispersal happens here untill several weeks after season opens. areas that have been cold will suddenly get hot with pups.

ive seen a few times, in the first couple weeks of season, if i have a pull out or something, my traps will be pawed out, not flipped, not sprung, just a jaw or pan exposed, and poo by all in that location.
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cohunt

Cathryn has stated that her intention in this thread was to learn whether attempting to reduce scent on the trapline could help increase future years catch(as I have understood her posts). Most of the more recent posts have related to coyote, which I consider (next to shy beaver) as the most difficult animal I trap and which I think most would consider the animal you should be most careful with(if you feel it is necessary to be careful). I have seen evidence of trap avoidance by some other animals as well. It appears to me that some coon will not enter my cage traps(I run about 80 at certain times)but I do not know that it is due to scent(I make no effort to control human scent when coon trapping)and many coon will not enter my 220(or 160) cubbies but again I do not know that it is due to human scent. I tend to think that the avoidance is due to reluctance to put their head into the opening(and do not know where that avoidance was learned). I have never seen evidence of avoidance by mink(with one exception) or muskrats and have seen trappers in tidal(Great Lakes) marshes routinely set rat traps fully exposed. I doubt that human scent frightens muskrats or mink. I have seen no evidence that fisher, marten, or otter are frightened by human scent but often(except fisher) seem to avoid disturbances. Red fox, in my experience are not nearly as careful with their feet as coyote nor are cats(based on only a double handful of catches). I would suggest that if Cathryn wishes to catch the 200 coon she is targeting, she need not worry (at least more than to be somewhat careful) about control of odor and focus on covering more ground with more steel and she might be successful.
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Andy S

i love to read K9's and CharlesKS's post about scent!
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k9.

Can we reduce that picture of the deer so I can read this thread???? I am challenged I know.

Never mind. I will just open the new page. That seems to work.

Charles I am pretty sure our dispersal starts much sooner here. Probably begins with the harvest of corn and beans, animals get scattered around by the machinery and human activity, and then our opening weekend of pheasant season really scatters out our coyotes. It would be interesting to know how much "regrouping" occurs at night by family units of coyotes once the pups are that big.

Cheeky question time.....if a female coyote is teaching her young to avoid traps because of a bad experience, why would she paw at it, or crap by it? If avoidance is taught rather than learned the hard way, wouldn't it consist of momma barking out a warning or completely moving her kiddies around the problem area?

Do coyotes learn to avoid a set, or do they learn to avoid an area?

Do coyotes learn to avoid a smell? Or do they learn to avoid a set? Or a combination of all of the above?
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timrose
K9.....good thought process

You know those "smart coyotes" that are the last one to catch that keep messing with your sets?.....well, in reality that coyote can't be smart (atleast not as smart as a human) cause if it was truely smart it will not be anywhere near that area.

You usually can catch that coyote (if wanted).....so it is still a poo poo head.
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CharlesKS
beats the heck outa me K9. i know they arent standing there sayin to themslefs "im gonna paw at this, and if theres metal there, im gonna poo and go on".
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BuckNE

Coons don't care about human scent. Only time scent is a problem is if you contaminate a trap on dry land with something a coon thinks is a food source, in which case it will dig it up.
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Slim Pedersen
K9, you should be so diligent with your wannabe reporter work, and ask so many cheeky questions. lol

I do not believe that a coyote that is scratching, is a highly educated coyote---I believe that is the work of young curious coyote that an adult has warned somehow about danger near strange odors. The ones that actually poop without entering pattern are more wary, but still not highly educated, just highly suspicious.

That one missing toes, or a foot, will not dig around looking for a trap normally. They fear the areas with strange odors, man and strange enticing but not understood lure odors.

I had to learn these lessons myself the hard way while doing predator control work. Often we think we are smarter than what we really know about what the animals are telling us. Or in other words we misiterpret what we know for sure, like having pegged or pulled the toes off an animal in the area, and automatically assume that is the digger and poop myster, when in reality those are the other coyotes that the toe less one has warned about the odors, and they are curious about what the danger might possibly be---sort of like messing with a rattlesnake to see how well they can avoid it.

Coyotes are much better friends than people are---they take care of their children better, and they protect and feed the injured. How often have you heard about a bad peg legged killer animal?----my experience has always proven that the peg leg was not the killer, it was the one feeding it that was the killer, and the peg leg coyote is the last set of tracks at the kill site, because it was the last to feed from the remains.

Hunting season of all kinds break apart some coyote families but not to the extent that you seem to think K9----because they do circle to get downwind as a very raw basic instinct, not one, but as many as possible normally, and they do communicate by voice at night as we are all aware of, yet some pups do often become seperated and never get back with thier parents, but quite often will throw in with one or more other adult coyotes somewhere. It usually takes a severe cold snap to break apart family groups, when food comptetition get severe. Where it does not get really severe cold, it will take hormone reactions and competitions just ahead of breeding season to cause them to squabble and break apart.
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CharlesKS

i never knew why they split, other than it was to keep the inbreeding to a minimum, i never knew what triggered it, thansk Slim.


i do have a funny poo story i want to tell. i had just baught a rifle for killing coyotes, and i was sighting it in. i broaught back the plywood, and left it in the fencerow about 75 yards from the house. the next day, i went back to shoot more, to finish sighting it in. there on taht board was a nice big peice of poo.

i just found that funny as heck, and alot ironic.
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k9.
INteresting thoughts. Your theory also interests me Slim about coyotes knowing one persons scent from another. I know a dog can tell the difference.

After havig talked with you at length, I sometimes wonder while I am making a set if I am being watched by coyote eyes....
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CharlesKS

i bet it has happened Bruce, more tha once. though ive never been able to confirm it, since i run in the dark so much, but i bet its happened several times. there there, or you wouldnt be trapping htere.
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Coon Hangman

Originally Posted By: k9.

After havig talked with you at length, I sometimes wonder while I am making a set if I am being watched by coyote eyes....



k9 AKA "The Paranoid Coyote Trapper"
_____________________________________


k9.

I wouldn't be paranoid...if everyone wasn't out to get me!
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PA skinner

Doesn't the old male kick out the young male pup(s)? In other words encourage them to hit the road?

Heard this from a trapper/biologist-I'm just a dumb fox trapper trying to learn new things!
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nate
I've just gotten into this & havn't read all the post but here's what i've noticed & have to say. I believe animal act way diffrent to human scent after dark when i'm coon hunting i have coyotes & fox follow me i also get with in bow range of allot of nice whitetails never have i had it happen in the day light like that. with trapping i belive you can't get clean enough to fool a canines nose they know you've been there you have to fool them into thinking when you were there you were just passing through i also think if you are confident in yourself it makes a world of diffrence i think when your not confident your body chemestry changes ( your scared ) i believe the canines since it by smell & if your scared & your at top of the food chain then they are scared watch your pet canines they since your mood before yourself can & i believe it's partly your chemastry saying that if i'm on the line & need to P i'll go right there same when setting on stand & i catch adult coyote & have taken several P&Y bucks
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huntinglonewolf

Coyotes are so use to human scent that I don't belive that it bothers them. If what you got down the hole is good there will be no problems. I've smoked for 32 years and I caught 126 coyotes last winter that wasn't bothered by smoke smell.
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pilgrim
Along with Slim's reply I was thinking of the reactions of livestock or other animals to different people. I have seen gentle cows go crazy when some people get in the pens with them and I have seen buggery cows not pay any attention to some people. I have often wondered why this happens.
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Steven G Trosper
Coyotes are so use to human scent that I don't belive that it bothers them. If what you got down the hole is good there will be no problems. I've smoked for 32 years and I caught 126 coyotes last winter that wasn't bothered by smoke smell

About coyotes.

In 1987, I got a farm to trap that had lots and lots of coyotes. The owner wanted them all caught-if possible.

Here in Indiana, coyotes are worth zilch! I got tired of catching them and they also have a pretty funky smell.

At the time I chewed-usually Skoal. So, to prevent anymore coyotes in the sets, I spit Skoal juice on the trap set. Next morning, a coyote-again!

Human smell to canines is only a warning if you are there when they are. A lot like if you are standing in your back yard and hear a train whistle. You pay no attention to it. Why? Because it posses no threat to you. But, let your car stall on a crossing and you hear a train whistle, you will take a very keen interest in it. Why? Because now it posses a very real threat to you. Canines are the same with human odor.

In the animal kingdom, size matters. They do not hold with the addage that the bigger they are, the harder they fall. To them, the bigger they are, the harder they hit!

Which explains why a bear, being bigger than a human, may not run and hide when a person comes along.
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Asa Lenon
Pilgrim writes...
I have seen gentle cows go crazy when some people get in the pens with them and I have seen buggery cows not pay any attention to some people. I have often wondered why this happens.

This reminds me of a tour I once made of a fur farm. The first thing I saw was a red fox sitting on top of its pen and when we entered the gate the fox quickly dove down into hiding. The owner explained that the fox was blind and when he smelled strange humans he always went into hiding. The next group of animals were coons. They got nervous right away and soon starting going into some sort of dance in which the owner explained we had to move on quickly as the odor of strange humans put them into the dance mode and they would soon start biting one another if we didn't get out of smelling range. Next was skunk pens, as soon as we got near the skunks started biting at one another and the owner explained it was the strange human odor again. Ace
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Hunt_with_dogs

My way of thinking on this subject it this: Anyone can catch a fur bearing animal or predator sooner or later with a smelly sloppy set. Thing is, that in most cases it is the young of the year or if your lucky, an elder with curiosity or hunger pains too severe to care. If you trap for the business sense, why would anyone want to take risks by letting the seasoned and aged animals go? You say skim the cream and move on, yes, that's what a business man will do, but he also knows that if you take some precautions with leaving smaller amounts of unatural odors at a set, the odors will dissipate quicker and take a few more of the shy, seasoned types along with the young and unknowing. Of course you will never get by without leaving your scent at a set, but I do think that the stronger your smell is the longer it takes for most mature animals to work your set. So....why not keep clean trapline habits, and help nature dilute your odor down, so you can catch a wider array of ages and sizes in a shorter amount of time? Look at the big name trappers we have growen to know. I bet they started out catching several animals just by kneeling right on the bare ground and no use of gloves. Thing is, if you talk to them and/or read thier books, almost everyone of them had pretty hardcore ideas of cleanliness. Why? cause they realized they could catch a fair number of animals with less thought of cleanliness as they have proven to themselves earlier in thier careers, but over time they also learned that by cleaning up thier habits, they added extra pelts in a shorter period of time too. They not only caught the young of the year, but they caught some of those extra older and shyer animals within a shorter amount of time as well. It is important to catcha variety quickly, as young furs don't help a trapper's average much when it comes time to sell. You need to get those matures too.

In the West here, you don't want to take many chances at your sets, cause the turn around time in between animal visits can stretch out too long and really hurt a trapper's average! In the more human populated areas, where unnatural smells are much more occurent, and animal ranges tend to overlap, the chances for heavier catch may be much easier to come by.

My idea on water trapping is simply this: I don't find it all that necassary to take the time and really watch my personal scenting of a trap location. I do see it very necassary to control it when dealing with the "sly" animals though, as when doing ADC work, and trying for that very last animal.
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Asa Lenon
I think you have been reading my mind Hunt With Dogs! Well said! Ace
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Texas Wolfer

It boils down to this....

Clean traps/Good basic sets/Good lure/bait..And the least amount of human scent/disturbance left behind.

Do this and you will have very few problems catching your target animals. Plus it will add a few more critters to your catch that some trappers would miss out on.
Sam Z. Donaldson

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Asa Lenon
Couldn't have laid it out any better or more simple than that Texas Wolfer! Ace
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Texas Wolfer


Asa,

I learned alot about trapping growing up as a kid in the 60's.
Alot of my trapping knowledge in my early years came from your dad and O.L. Butcher.

Very few trappers understand the importance of being clean.
Sam Z. Donaldson


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k9.
"Very few trappers understand the importance of being clean."

I do not think anyone is advocating that we dump gas all over the set, or roll our nekked bodies all over the set.

I dye and wax my traps, however have caught many coyotes in shiny new traps with the grease taken off of them.

I have met far too many trappers who get so tunnel visioned on "being clean" that they blame all problems on human scent, and are blind or closed minded to what is really going on at thier sets.

I am all for you guys trapping any way you want, and advocating any way you want. However I would add to it by telling people all things in moderation.

I have seen the extremes, as I am sure you have too. I have seen trappers and hunters get so obsessed with trying to control human scent that they get downright stupid.

When you see a guy shoveling dirt on the floorboards of his truck and changing the dirt at the end of every day in an effort to keep the bottom of his boots smelling like dirt, that guy has a problem.

For every "big name" trapper who traps "clean" theres another one who is laying them to waste trapping "reasonable".

Trapping "clean" can be trapping "reasonable" as long as it does not become a total obsession.

I would urge all beginners to try it both ways and see what works for them. In fact, anyone who rides with me hears that. I will tell them to try a variety of methods to see what fits thier "groove".
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Asa Lenon

Thank you for your professional input Sam! Ace

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Hunt_with_dogs

To keep this topic simplified, I would absolutely agree with TX Wolfer's points. "Clean traps/Good basic sets/Good lure/bait..And the least amount of human scent/disturbance left behind" ....Do all this consistantly at the right locations for your species, and theres very little else to be said....IMO

I also know that a trapper can, at many times, catch several critters with very little thought of scent contamination at the trap site and the surrounding area, BUT...you absolutely cannot get away with scent contamination on your traps! You get some of those interesting lure, bait, or urine smells on your traps, and you are just begging the critters to find it. Take great care not to transfer these odors to your traps, as the odd snapped traps and diggups are already frustrating enough as they are.

Thanks ACE, just saving you the trouble of having to type it yourself, LOL!
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k9.
Agreed when you are talking lure smells, etc. But we all know many a trap gets set bare handed and adult coyotes caught. So human scent, cannot be lumped in with other types of scents that would cause a digging or rolling response.

Here in Iowa, our coyotes often feed from gut pi


Edited by NYNovice (07/08/07 07:19 PM)
_________________________
TrapperMans FIRST Haiku Master:
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Cherry Red On the Hillside
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#246284 - 06/30/07 11:38 PM Re: Affects of Human Scent in Trapping [Re: NYNovice]
NYNovice Offline


Registered: 12/23/06
Loc: Central NY
I would also like to add my own opinions on the OP.
I have said many times that I do not necesarrily believe that it is human scent that is the culprit when it comes to trapping that is the problem, but rather foreign odors. These odors I have always described as soaps, Oil, Gas, Kerosene, aftershave, etc. at one time there was a great thread about why 2 trappers can make the same set with the same lures/Baits in the same field and one be successful and the other not. Some of that information came back to the theory of body chemistry, which I also believe can come into play. But that is another issue all together. LOL.
Do I wear Hip boots, and wear gloves when setting traps for fox and coyote??? Sure do.
My theory is this. It doesn't take much to wear your boots and wear gloves. It may slow you down a bit to start, but as with everything, speed comes with repetition. And becasue it is easy, then why not cover all your bases and take nothing to chance.
I would also add that I personally have seen coyotes eat Pumpkins here in NY, so I am thinking that Watermelon is not a stretch by any means. \:D
Some great information here folks.
Thanks to all who posted.

\:D
_________________________
TrapperMans FIRST Haiku Master:
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Cherry Red On the Hillside
A Moment Stands Still



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#253795 - 07/08/07 07:31 PM Re: Affects of Human Scent in Trapping [Re: NYNovice]
NYNovice Offline


Registered: 12/23/06
Loc: Central NY
Hunt_with_dogs
K9, thank you for seperating the smells for me. I know it and you know it, that human scent, gas, and paint smells for examples, would probably not cause an animal to dig or roll, it may however cause them to shy if overbearing. My point is that the food smells and curiosity type smells will.

I feel it different though, when you compare gut piles to single trap sets. Animals have already been visiting these feed stations for some time or have at others in the past, and have adapted to all the human and other animal smells tied to them. However, I think that a solitary set well away from such feed stations is all together different. The animals focus is now just on one tiny little area, whick is your set. Can you get away with as much scent contamination now? The aniamls know it is obviously not a large bait staion that they have encounter before, this time it is just a plain Jane set out and away to them, so how could they be expected to accept an overwhelming variety of smells at such a set? So, I do see a difference between the two...
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k9.

Understood. I get where you are coming from with the focus being on the set. I have many times talked with Asa about the fact that coyotes won't feed on deer carcasses etc in his area. In my trying to understand this, I have drawn half a conclusion that part of the difference may have to do with the frequency the coyote encounters human activity, and his learning to accept human activity as the "norm". I am not being difficult, I am just trying to see all sides.

You are from Montana so I presume pretty remote area. I am assuming that your coyotes can afford to avoid human scent, in other words they have room to go around rather than deal with it. I am not exaggerating when I tell you here by the time harvest occurs, and pheasant season has been underway, these coyotes have been overwhelmed with human interferance and activity. I think to the point that it means something different to them. Also, even if they choose to avoid it, there is no where to go.

I truly believe that our coyotes have so much human activity and scent "in thier face" at all times that they may react differently than coyotes in more remote locations do.

A coyote old or young, will readily feed from a garbage can or snatch a cat out of a back yard in a big city. Those coyotes are not stupid. They are living right in humans back yards and surviving.

So to me the question is how does a coyote define in his mind the difference between a feeding opportuity and a threat? It all goes back to his experience and what he associates with different scenarios. I think every coyote will be a little different in this regard, depending on his experience.

It is duly noted that you can trap "clean" and that even though the coyote knows you have been there, your scent dissipates quicker. I can't go there with you guys for one simple reason. Even though in theory it is a reasonable expectation, my sets just do not sit that long. I am not saying I catch coyotes right away in all of them, but between that and coons, possums, skunks, ect, something is getting in them, and I am handling the set again, therefore not giving it time to "air out".
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Steven G Trosper


Here is a question for everyone.

How long does it take for human scent to leave the set area?

One day? Two days? A week? A month? How long?

We have no way of knowing how long it takes before a canine can no longer smell human scent.

WORRYING about human scent may very well cause a change in the trapper's body chemistry that WARNS the canines something is "rotten in Denmark".

For all we know, our scent may be the very scent that attracts the canine to the set. Ever ask a canine? Like Charles Dobbins wrote, the animals never lie.
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Jtrapper

Ive not kept up with this post, sorry. But steven touch's on something i think needs addressing.

Ive no doubt in my mind that in the dry desert area's human scent leaves faster than here in the moist humid condition's of the south!

What if it rains after you make a set?

There's no cut and dried answer as to how long does your odor linger around a set because as ive pointed out above there's too many variable's for a one size fits all answer.

Concerning what type odor we are emitting it's no secret at all when we are stressed our body's give off a different odor than when we aren't, this can be witnessed when any police K9 unit arrives at a scene and let's the dog find the suspect, why don't the dog just run to the nearest person it finds?

Because the person being pursued is giving off a different odor! I think this may factor in as to why some people seem to catch canine's with ease while other's struggle. We have all heard about the confidence factor in successful trapping, this may be why confidence in your set making has an effect on how your catch goes.

Just thought id toss these thoughts in here for everyone to think about.
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Steven G Trosper

I think this may factor in as to why some people seem to catch canine's with ease while other's struggle

Yep! Like I wrote about dad and Uncle Earle. Dad never had a problem catching canines-until his last season. He only caught 3 muskrats that last season. He had a brain tumor and I feel it changed his body chemistry so the canines reacted differently with it. Self-preservation, they did not want to catch what was wrong with him.

For anyone who has a hard time understanding what I am saying, imagine this.

You are walking down the sidewalk of a very large city, you do not know anyone. The sidewalk is crowded. You see someone leaning against a lamp post heaving his guts out. What will you do? I mean, be honest here, not the "politically correct" answer.

You will walk away from him. You have no idea what is wrong with him and you do not want to catch what he has-if it is catching. Canines are the same way, except they use their nose like we use our eyes.
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Gary
with the more humid and wet environments i think ya have to worry more bout trap rust (wax and dye) than ya do out west .... ya also have to worry bout human scent .... also out west if an animal hasnt had a bad experience with a human they dont know what we are .... any animal that hasnt had a bad experience with us has no clue as what is going on .... and many will work sets that contain human or human related smells ... as far as how long it takes scent to disperse ... i have kept records here in my area and it seems to be 3 days .... thats if ya settin traps slow .... faster than that and the time shortens .... overnight catches are common if settin fairly quick .... i was keepin track of this type of thing when i was 13 or so .... and i asked charles dobbins what he thought of that when i was trappin with him ... he told me pretty much the same thing .... BUT ... he had alot more to add ... that man was AWESOME
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Hunt_with_dogs
K9, I am glad to converse with a trapper who's willing to review all sides, I like that. Stubbornness when talking about issues like this helps no one and goes no where. You have brought up some more good points. Thereís folks that will say a coyote is just a coyote, no matter where he roams....It depends how you wanna take that, but yes a coyote is a coyote, and your right, he may be a different thinking coyote than the norm or he may just have more choices as you suggest. Also circumstances vary so widely amongst trap lines from East to West and North to South, cause let's face it, America is a big land and the variances are big too.

My area is farm country too and has bird hunters etc. as well, though the people just are here in any numbers and animal ranges are much larger that the Midwest and the East. It is true, I feel, that in my area the animals do have choices to work a set or leave it be. The smells are there too, but not in the concentrations as in your area most likely. Heck, our coyotes etc. arenít having to rely on how well they can sneak off with a garbage sack and not get hit by a car. Yes, things are different from one area to the next, and that should always be considered when we all discuss our ideas on topics like this or give advice to others.

I see your point on catching consistent critters too, and not having the time to really air the set. It does bring up questions don't it? How heavy are the animal populations in your area? Do you catch a lot of "trap fillers" verses your target? What is the ratio of young to adults caught? All interesting questions for sure.

Steven, that question is so unknown it is down right freaky...Another great point to add to the pot. I know I don't have the answer, but I play on assumptions when I have to, and assume that it dissipates to a more tolerable level quicker, by the less scent that I left there in the first place.

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Steven G Trosper

as far as how long it takes scent to disperse ... i have kept records here in my area and it seems to be 3 day

How do you know it is 3 days?

Canines can smell smells we are not even aware of. So how do you know after 3 days the cnaines can not smell human scent?

If someone escapes from prison, I guess after 3 days the blood hounds would not be able to run his trail. I have a hard time buying that.
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Gary

wow .... the east to west thing gets me bad .... and the magic 10th yote .... i havenít read all of the thread ... but a lot of guys are high number rollers from what i have seen ... or wanna-be's .... that 10th yote to me would be more cash in the pocket and a better chance on gettin access to the land next year for multiple things .... trappin, fishin, huntin, shroomin, etc ...and access to land here is kinda slim ... cant run to the next 1000 acres and leave it sit ... we arent all trappers that are pullin down 200 yotes in a season ... like many of yall are comin off to be ... and i myself have never even came close to catchin that many in a season ... but i can trap yotes ... and feel that i have a knowledge of them ... am i less of a trapper than yall ?? even tho i dont have yotes crawlin all over my feet as i type ?? and are the yotes here more stupid than what ya are dealin with ?? and ..... does scent there affect ya lines less than here ?
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Gary
steven i kept strict records ... when i was young i could tell ya how far my pan was from an attractor on each set ... and i still have the diagrams/notes/etc .... that was the average time that i would make a catch .... 3 days ... but like i said ... that pends on the humidity.... length of time to make the set ... etc .... i was just givin a general amount of time for my area .... i make next day catches all the time now ... so i know it has sumthin to do with scent
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cathryn
Originally Posted By: Gary
wow .... the east to west thing gets me bad .... and the magic 10th yote .... i havent read all of the thread ... but alot of guys are high number rollers from what i have seen ... or wanna-be's .... that 10th yote to me would be more cash in the pocket and a better chance on gettin access to the land next year for multiple things .... trappin, fishin, huntin, shroomin, etc ...and access to land here is kinda slim ... cant run to the next 1000 acres and leave it sit ... we arent all trappers that are pullin down 200 yotes in a season ... like many of yall are comin off to be ... and i myself have never even came close to catchin that many in a season ... but i can trap yotes ... and feel that i have a knowledge of them ... am i less of a trapper than yall ?? even tho i dont have yotes crawlin all over my feet as i type ?? and are the yotes here more stupid than what ya are dealin with ?? and ..... does scent there affect ya lines less than here ?



why post combative?

this is a good thread. dont ruin it please..
no one is saying you or anyone else is less of a trapper than anyone else..ive only caught 1 and i wanna know everything i can to be able to catch more, thats why i posted this thread..i havent seen where anyone has said theyre better than someone else.

please dont take it down a bad road.
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cathryn
For all we know, our scent may be the very scent that attracts the canine to the set. Ever ask a canine? Like Charles Dobbins wrote, the animals never lie.


i have asked myself the same question

ive wondered if its an area that isnít highly populated by people, and coyote havenít really been in contact with the human scent, especially the young ones, if the human scent might be a curiosity to the canine and might even bring it into the set?

what do you all think?
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Gary


im sure it does ... i have seen yotes caught usin window washin fluid ... they arent all smart like many have said before ... and i wasnt being combative .... would just love to sit and talk trappin with yall instead of typin !! lol
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cathryn
lol..well sorry but thats how i took it...lets continue the discussion then...

i wanna catch at least 10 this year, and i need all the help i can get.
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Gary
cathyryn .... im sure ya can catch 10 ... no prob ... ya seem like ya have that drive to catch what ya wanna catch ... thats the real problem on a trapline when dealin with those numbers .... when ya get to 100 yotes ... thats dealin with a buncha hard work and time .... 10 yotes for you will be no harder than 200 coons ... im sure ya can do it and cant wait to see the pix at the end of the season !! i wish ya the best of luck !!
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cathryn
well you got more confidence in me than i do on the canine line..coon, i think if i got the animals i can get the #s

canines i set for last year and didnt have much luck...course when i was setting for them Jerry wasnt around to give me advice, cause he was on his own line, so heck, the whole set could have been trash for all i know..lol

but i do know i wanna catch 10 and if i get some good advice i think i can...hope to anyway

so im enjoying reading how to minimize the affects of scent on my sets..thanks you guys for the great info..its great to read and learn from you.
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Cattrax
Cathryn you need to have more confidence in yourself, I mean you put up some good numbers of coons this last season, you have the knowledge for trapping. Dont frett about the K9's you will get them, they will come and there is plenty of people on here to help you get your goal acomplished, I think this has been a good thread for eduction too.
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k9.

Just remember Cathryn if you think the coyote is smarter than you, then he is. You can do ten this year I am confident. Line up more ground than you think you will need in case odd things happen. Stuff happens ya know.

Also I am not even going to try to guess how long human scent stays at a set. So many variables and unknowns come into play it makes my head hurt. I do know that tracking dogs and take a trail days after it has been laid. Very interesting thoerys on the "fear factor" of suspects who are fleeing, and how it may change human scent. However even though I think aspects of that are true, I have been on a number of occasions the "dummy" (literally) who lays out trails for police canines to follow and find, and I was not afraid at all in the practice sessions. So there is more there than just that. One has to factor in weather conditions, etc, and the fact is it is doubtful that we ever truly know for sure.

HWD it is good discussion without a doubt. I am a firm believer that a coyote is a coyote in many ways, but I also believe that the coyote is a product of his environment. A city coyote sees food sources, human scent, etc differently than a Montana coyote for example. However his needs or responses to those needs are the same no matter where he is at. I think a city coyote still responds to coyote urine, kicks back, approaches from down wind,etc etc just like his Montana cousin does.

If a Montana or Iowa trapper used a Big Mac as bait, we might actually catch a coyote, but I think it would be somehwhat foriegn to them and they may be hesitant. A city coyote may immediately recognize a Big Mac as food, and respond quickly to it.

Here we have lot's of trap pluggers. Possums, coon, etc, I set a lighter pan tension than most, because I want the coons and skunks. They pay may gas bill. My main focus is coons, coyotes are second. Here with $15 coyotes and no bobcats I can't justify going full bore for coyotes only and still look my family in the eye. Trapping is not a full time thing for me, and you just get too much gas money invested in a large scale coyote line, with not enough return at $15 coyotes. We have 24 hour check here.

As far as high rollers are concerned, those of you reading in I am not a high roller 200 coyote a year guy. So take that for what it is worth. I kill around 400+ coon per year and around 50 coyote per year. If I stopped hammering on the coon, I could kill far more coyotes. So you be the judge as to the quality of the discussion. I say that only to assure those who have posted, that I am not a 200 coyote per year longliner.

What the reader and beginner trapper needs to do, is take a little info from everyone who has posted, and decide what seems reasonable to them. Then go out and try it. If someone disussing coyotes ever tells you a coyote "always" does something or "never" does something they may not know much about coyotes. Or they are close minded and are not as good a coyote trapper as they could be.

The only thing I can say is a coyote is "never" as easy to skin as a fox, and they "always" get harder to skin when they get colder. Other than that, the words always and never have no place in coyote trapping.
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Slim Pedersen
reading through several of the latest tit for tat comments, I want to comment on coyotes not going to large baits in Asa's area. Large baits are used in that area to bait bear. Coyotes probably get shot at a lot around bear baits, before bear season even. So large baits take on a different role there.

I think most everything else has been debated quite well from several different angles and from different parts of the country as well as from several different theories, some with relevance and some with ego and pride, but all with factors that need to be considered.

Now K9, I find it interesting that even the police force seemed to think you were qualified to be the dummy!!!!! Your admission will be one to remember for a long time. lol
Poop Meister the dog dummy. I like it. dang ol wannabe reporter anyhow.
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k9.

I am a card carrying dummy Slim! It is always better to be under-estimated.

Interesting twist on the bear baits. Never thought of that, as that is bear country.

Tried hunting bear once, now I just hunt with my clothes on.
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Jtrapper
Catheryn, do you have 10 coyotes in your area to catch?

Alot of people get goo goo eyed over large catch's of something and wish they could catch that many when the fact is they don't have that many of that species where they are to start with!

I also am glad to know we have a professional dummy on here as well, that explains alot of questions about this person ive had for a long time, lol.
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Hunt_with_dogs


"Tried hunting bear once, now I just hunt with my clothes on."

LOL! best words of advice on here yet! I tryed the no cloths thing in November, as I thought the deer wouldn't hear me that way, but found out within the same time I was taking them off, that it was unatural to do that time of year, LMBO!

K9, That is what I mean, a coyote is a coyote no matter where he roams, but they are all built on circumstances in different ways is all. So I guess one could say, a coyote is just a coyote.

Slim you got something there too. One of the easiest places to catch a coyote is at a carcass dump or a gut pile etc. Everybody that drives by one will take advantage of them too, as we would. Many predators, even the more shy types, are even prone to feed at these places even in the hight of noon. Of course they will get shot at these places, and the more people traffic in an area, the more shooting there will be. So I agree on thier association with danger at these type of stations, and causing them to possibly avoid them all together. That sounds reasonable to me.

Just to mention: It makes no difference whether it is "high rollers" or "hobby trappers" or even the "in between" when we are talking this issue. The only difference between the three types is in how many sets they have out, but it has nothing to do with this topic. This scent issue applies to all three trappers, as even for the hobby trapper would like to make quicker catches as his long lining couterparts. So lets throw away this how many traps out verses me, how many furs in a season verses whomever, cause it just don't make a difference with what we are dicsussing here.


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k9.
Good points on the numbers HWD. I only pointed it out as I do not want others to presume I catch more than I do.

What is important to discuss is not the numbers of coyotes we catch. What is important is the numbers of coyote we do not catch.
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Jtrapper

As for carcuss dumps, those draw in the buzzards and crows here. Both of which coyotes watch and listen for, they know if a bunch of crows are making racket or a bunch of buzzards are circling theres something to eat over there.

Coyotes are more attentive to their surroundings and the other animals that live around them than most think.

I know where i use to trap coyotes, one certain road was good for about 5-7 a year, it was a road where dead cows were dumped.

After cows stopped being dumped there the catch rate fell to ZERO!
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k9.

Do you think carcasses are points of interest, whether being fed off of or not?
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CharlesKS

Originally Posted By: k9.
Do you think carcasses are points of interest, whether being fed off of or not?


wish i had a dead pile every 5 miles apart on my lines.

wether they are feeding off them or not.
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Billfrank
Jt states "After cows stopped being dumped there the catch rate fell to ZERO!"

I never found that true, even years after ranchers stopped dumping cattle in their dumping grounds the yotes always continued to visit the boneyard.
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k9.

I agree that bone piles or carcass dumps are points of interest for long periods of time. Seems like they do not have to be feeding off of it, it is still a magnet that mills them in the area.

Might be the smell, the birds making noise, or all of the above.
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Hunt_with_dogs
"Do you think carcasses are points of interest, whether being fed off of or not?"

Oh my, definatley! No doubt in my mind what so ever. I know for a fact that the animals will keep coming when nary an old bleached bones is visible. It may take years before the activity ceases in such dumping locations. Animals will come time and time again, either when there is plenty of pickings or down to straight bone. I know many animals will chew on the bones to get their needed supplements, and when hunting isn't successful and the belly is hurting, it's back to the old dump station, where at least there is some old bones to get their trace amounts of nutrition for the day.

These old stations draw little critters such as field mice and voles, etc. which take up residence there too. The little critters can make meals and provide their quick growing bodies the "goods" they require.

I think it too, is just like a buck hunter. You know when you jumped a huge buck out of a little wash in a side hill just the one time, and it made your mouth drop, well, you'll have a tendency to keep checking that lonely little spot out for years to come. Sure you may never even see a deer of any kind there again, but our nature still draws us to that spot regardless, till we absolutely decide there is no more hope for it.

In this country, a fellow could run your trap lines solely on bait stations and most likely do far better in a shorter amount of time, than you could ever expect from setting out solitary sets over a wide area! You can in most cases, even ignore the animal's natural traveling habits and place a bait station or dump in the middle of a fallow field, and that deserted field will all of a sudden turn warm if not hot! It only takes one critter to start off the party too, whether it be a bird or shrieking mice, nature is amazing...
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#253801 - 07/08/07 07:33 PM Re: Affects of Human Scent in Trapping [Re: NYNovice]
NYNovice Offline


Registered: 12/23/06
Loc: Central NY
Jtrapper

That is true Bill in some location's. However where this bone yard was wasn't a place a coyote would normally venture, real brusy around there. Not over at the end of a cow pasture on a natural location to begin with.

The mice, etc. that these bone yards attract hold alot of attention to a predator but this bone yard is now about 10 years old so not much left to attract anything to it anymore.
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Hunt_with_dogs
Ya, I'd say 10 years is awful stale for attraction! I am thinking way less than half that time for any effectiveness if nothing is ever added again.

But it is true, that you can make a bad location good with such dumping stations. Yes some areas they are placed are so unatural to the animals habits, it may not even get worked in several days or a even a week! The point is sooner or later in a lot of cases they will shine.
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Mac

Very good and interesting poss. I am not a hot shoe high roller so take what I have to say for what you want.

Large baits: I often put out several beaver each winter as once the bait freezer is full I feed the animals. Thinking back to last winter. Several times I can remember placing out some beaver carcasses and the next day or so could see where coyotes had cleaned them up, despited my sign in the snow. A deer shot, that gets away from the hunter, will often be gone or at the very least eaten on by the next day when a hunter finds it in this neck of the woods. Last winter I had coyotes pawing beaver meat, suet etc. right out of bait boxes on the snow.

I went on the long line with a well know eastern trapper years ago. We were crossing over a barb wire fence and I grabbed the fence to push it down so I get get over without cutting up or scratching myself. The guy I was with let out a shout and told me that I should not have touched the fence with out gloves. I was shocked. About ten feet from where we were crossing sat an old John Deere tractor. The old beast was dripping oil and fuel enough for me to smell it. I kept my trap shut as it was his line.

I have a friend that in my opinion throws caution to the wind when it comes to trapping clean. He dips traps in fuel based dip, wears the same boots to trap in that he walks about his house with. He wears sneakers when it gets hot. He is considered one of the better trappers in the state.

I really think a lot of the issue comes down to what a guy or gal is compfortable in doing. The guy that was worried about me leaving human scent on the barb wire fence feels that by being as clean as possible he is getting in the right frame of mind to do as well as possible. My cold dipping, sneaker wearing buddy thinks that coyotes are just scavengers that need to be thinned out. Me, I think there must be a middle ground in there some where.

I recently watched a great DVD by Clint Locklear and good old Matt Jones. Clint had me chuckling with one comment. I don't remember the exact phrase but it was something about not having to wear a scent lock condom to trap coyotes.

Like I said, there must be a middle ground some where.

Mac
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Blak coyote
Originally Posted By: Slim Pedersen
reading through several of the latest tit for tat comments, I want to comment on coyotes not going to large baits in Asa's area. Large baits are used in that area to bait bear. Coyotes probably get shot at a lot around bear baits, before bear season even. So large baits take on a different role there.



Another thought and one that I have seen many times up here in northern wi., is that coyotes tend to leave carcasses or large baits alone until about january.I've seen tracks in the snow during nov. and dec. that would pass within yards of dead deer or cattle,but when that jan. cold weather hits they start feeding on these carcasses or baitpiles,whereas before they wouldn't even pause to take a whiff.I think they leave these carcasses alone until they really need them.Theres plenty of small animals to kill and eat early on,even deer that may be wounded.But it seems an already dead animal like deer they leave be until the harsh months come,but will keep tabs on it from a distance until then.
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k9.
I agree. I think even if they are not feeding on them thye check them out, know where they are, mill around, scent mark, etc. That is the mindset I would like to see a coyote in when I have traps out. That stalled out, checking out this and that mindset. As opposed to the hustling from point a to point b mindset in which he may or may not slow down to work your set.
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CharlesKS

great thought Bruce.

wonder how many coyotes just pee close to a set, leave it, then come back later....and work it.

reccon they do that, knowing there something to eat there, but want to keep hunting, and then come back later?
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Asa Lenon

My wife Maria is a wildlife photographer and we baited bear together for two years. We used hundreds of pounds of meat scraps from a grocery store. During that time I saw perhaps a dozen coyotes and a dozen red fox circling around the perimeter of the bait pile, most never getting closer than 50 yards. I would see them standing on their hind legs peeking out of the weeds or brush, then they would disappear for long periods to reemerge again on the opposite side of the baits but never coming in close. In all of that time we only had one coyote that came up close to the bait pile and he was as nervous and jittery as a cat on a hot tin roof. He would come every day trying to get up enough courage to take a bite of bait, even got within a foot of the bait at one time only to be spooked by a low flying bird. Every animal that got near the bait pile was jittery, even coons would look around for the longest time before coming on in. Smaller bears appeared to be wary of larger bears and they would sometimes take a half hour to come on in after looking around and smelling the air. One was wasting their time if the wind wasn't blowing our human scent away from the bait pile and anticipated approach of the bear.
I have also watched coyotes and fox from my deer blind for years. After gutting a first deer I would watch the canines, it wouldn't take them long to smell the guts or perhaps hear scavenger birds making a racket and come over that way. Again, i've never had one canine eat at the gut pile while I was watching, they would go through the same old circling routine. I also make dirt hole sets out a hundred hundred-fifty yards from my blind so I can watch canines work sets. One thing that I have witnessed over and over again is that both red fox and coyotes work sets differently depending upon the amount of human and foreign scent left at the set. When reasonable precautions are taken to reduce scents to a minimum, canines stop when they smell the lure, many rise up on their hind legs to look carefully around in every direction and then directly into the set without much hesitation. Out of curiosity, I purposely left excessive human scent many different times by bruising on the weeds and foliage, setting the trap bare handed, etc to see if there was any differences. Canines didn't always reject a set because of the excessive odors but they definitely worked the set differently. After stopping and looking around, they would most always act nervous about making a commitment to the set so would start circling, getting close and then backing off to go look around from higher ground, fidgeting around and then some would try to smell the lure or look into the hole from the side or back of the set, some would get so jerky about committing that eventually they would just walk or run off into the brush. I caught flak a while back on this forum for stating that sets should be made out in the open at least 30 feet from thick cover for best results. The sets in my experiments were more apt to be accepted when the animals could clearly see that no human was hiding in the brush or thick weeds and thatís a fact I witnessed over and over again. Some say the canines know when the human is there and when he isn't but I don't think that is the case in all instances or they wouldn't feel more comfortable committing to sets that were out more in the open with visibility 360 degrees around. Just my observations from experience but I suppose Iíll catch it again for being foolish enough to write it again. I'm a slow learner I guess, LOL! Ace
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Jtrapper
Flak, flak, flak, flak.

There ya go Asa, lol.
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k9.

Well put Asa.

In your observations of canines circling a bait, what are your thoughts as to thier vulnerability to a well place flat set or urine set?

I am talking about that milling investigative mindset.
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k9.
"With all due respect to K9 who notes canine tracks in the snow working thickets, Winter is a different story, there is no weeds, leaves and foliage in the Winter to completely obstruct viewing and it is natural."

I'm gonna try to approach this without offending you Asa. Understand that I do not try to disagree with you, we just see things differently. I do not want beginners on here to think that coyotes are hesitant to enter thickets when there is no snow on the ground.

Right now, the majority of the land here is covered with corn fields that are well over a coyote's head, and soon will be well over my head. The fence rows and other such areas are horse weeds and other weeds that will soon be well over my head.

I have experience in only three States. Iowa, Eastern South Dakota and Wyoming. Right now in Wyoming there area larges areas of sage brush well over a coyotes head.

The coyote is not wary to enter these. In fact he calls them "home". He makes his living there. he raises his family there. He finds his food there.

It is the first place he will run to if he is in trouble. It is the safe haven. It is home.

I can't go there with you on your "snow theory". It just goes opposite of my experience. Those same coyotes are weaving through those same brushy fencelines, thickets etc any time of year. It is where the food is.

Many, many large snare catches over the years, and I mean the kind you hang on the side of the barn, have come from thick willow patches, plum thickets, and sage country. Big time snaremen seek these situations out. The last thing a good snareman wants is for his coyote to be in "wary" mode or mindset when coming through his chosen snaring bottlenecks.

It is a huge contradiction, to say in one statement that the hole reeks of "unnatural" odors, when we all at one time or the other have stressed the importance of a set appearing "natural" as if it grew there. I realize a coyote does not encounter tonquin musk or like ingrediants on his daily jaunts, except when a trapper has put it there. However it is an attraction not a deterrent. A woman's perfume when she enters a room is not neccessarily "natural", but it gets my attention the minute I smell it. Maybe when I was a younger man it should have made me "wary" but it just made me want to investigate further!

In other words, I accepted it as a part of my environment quite quickly even though I was not used to smelling it every day. Then if I liked what I saw.....I was suckerbait. Kind of like a coyte seeing a well blended set.

To say that something is unnatural about that, defies what a coyote does for a living every day, which is use his nose to investigate things. He smells the lure, knows he wants it, sees the set, everyting appears eye appealing, and he goes in and dies.

Asa you see them as being "wary" and I see them as being in an "investigative mindset" or having a peaked curiousity. I see them drinking the whole situation in, not because they are wary or afraid, but because they think something good is fixing to happen.
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cathryn

wow...i figured it may be dead by the time i posted again......thank you guys for so much information....

i have actually emailed it t myself so that i can have it for further reference..Thanks Again.

its nice that you all would share your tips and ideas with us all.
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Asa Lenon

K9 writes...Asa you see them as being "wary" and I see them as being in an "investigative mindset" or having a peaked curiousity

You agreed nothing is cut in stone but now as usual your saying certain things aren't necessary any place on earth. There are differences in coyote behavior from region to region. Read Paul's posting above concerning the differences between trapping Upper Michigan and South Dakota coyotes from his experiences. Nothing I ever seen while passing through your state of Iowa was anything like passing through Upper Michigan. For example, one seldom sees a coyote here, I see maybe 3 to 6 per year. When I drove through Iowa I saw dozens in one passing. Many were eating watermelons right next to the farm house and dead coyote were all along the roads. Here, I haven't even seen one coyote up near my lure building, their tracks stay back at least 50 yards. Bear, timber wolves, fox, coon, bobcats, wild dogs and fisher have tried to break into or dig underneath my lure building BUT not one coyote has ever to my knowledge got within 50 yards circling the area. Does that say anything about the differences in how one might proceed to harvest in maximum numbers in either place? Nothing I have ever told a trapper on this forum or in the past 50 years would ever be detrimental to maximum harvesting in any region. However, on the other side of the coin the omitance of certain details in certain regions might well be detrimental to success. I think most of the Easter states would be more apt to agree with my "detail" theory than those West of the Mississippi. At least this is the content of e-mail I receive from trappers on a regular basis. Ace
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CharlesKS

I have coyotes come into my yard, within feet of my furshed, i KNOW they smell the bait, lure, essence, etc. thast in there, and smell it everyday, when they are down wind of it.

i also trap 100 yards or so to the south of that furshed, strait south, in a pasture, and catch 4-5 coyotes every year right there with the same bait or lure thats sitting in the furshed, they have smelled all year long.

i just find that funny, that one MIGHT think the coyote would know those smells, and avoid them, but nope. they dont here anyway.
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Asa Lenon

CharlesKS: My loud smelling lure shed is just like a large bait to the coyotes, they are suspicious of it in my area and generally stay back. Just like yourself, I can use small amounts of the same odors as the lure building back a hundred yards from the building and catch all kinds of milling coyotes. Ace
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CharlesKS
Thank God and Greyhound i dont live in Michigan!
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phutch30

I dont know about the rest of the country, but my SW MT coyotes dont hesitate to dive into the thick willow bottoms in the winter deep snow or bare ground. I snare as many there as I do off bait piles in the sage. Different strokes for different yotes I guess.

I have actually seen a coyote eating a watermelon once, it wasnít in Indiana but it was near a hwy and not far from a farmers barn. After further investigation I just figured it was trying to get the nasty taste of the dead cow head also been eating out of his mouth. Now I see they actually eat watermelons. Go figure, learn something new every day. LOL
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Asa Lenon

Phutch: No one ever said coyotes don't enter thick areas. That is generally how trappers snare canines by putting bait into a thicket and setting up snare entering that thicket. What I am saying is that when a coyote becomes suspicious for any reason of a set, whether it be over luring, odd odors, excessive human scent, bad set experiences, set doesn't look just right, etc, etc. then they may be reluctant to commit to that set if they are unable to look around clearly in every direction for say 25 or 30 feet to satisfy themselves there is no danger nearby when they lower their guard, many times just walking or running off. Ace
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cathryn
Ok, fellas..another question...are scent post sets affective for coyotes?


and what about trap placement? how far from the post, and one trap per set or 2, one on each side of the post?


_________________________
Slim Pedersen




In reality, I think we are back to comparing apples and oranges again. Different parts of the country force animals to adapt to their situations. That simple, that difficult.

If we go into real deep study of coyotes, we learn that way back when, they use to primarily be scavengers, following wolves, bears, mountain lions around to clean up the remains of those animal's kills. Then along came civilization.

Man changes the environment in many ways from agriculture to domestic livestock uses, but we also scattered poison everywhere in early efforts to get rid of animals that posed a threat, like wolves, bears, coyotes etc. and in so doing we changed the nature of all these animals too. Coyotes probably more so than most other animals. We poisoned the ones that would eat on dead carion and bred up the ones that were killers and hunters in the process. (I am going to leave out the other argument about how many dogs were introduced in the new land and roamed everywhere without supervision to keep another argument out of this whole thread)
The coyotes we have today are the survivors offspring, and have all their predecessors natural instincts for survival and adaptation in order to survive. They adjust to the area they are forced to live within.

A coyote will go into thick brush, or out into wide open vast areas and survive in both, or even within the city limits. They are all still coyotes, but each one is living differently and has adapted to the area he lives within in order to survive.

I think what we have been talking about here is a coyote working a trap in the brush or one not wanting to work a trap in the brush. That actual final commitment is what we are concerned with in the end, and now I am going to upset both Asa and Bruce here by saying you both agree that your areas are vastly different and that your coyotes have adjusted to live within your areas, but you disagree about them working a set in the brush or not, and you are both right and both wrong too. Meaning, simply that coyotes in each of your areas are forced to live with different conditions. I have never been anywhere that coyotes would not go into thick brush in search of food, and I have never been anywhere that they just rush up to food either. They have good eyes and they have good ears, but they live by their nose, and they are survivors, all living like a stranger in hostile lands, and they are not going to commit to something until they have checked things out to satisfy themselves with normal conditions that they deal with regularly.
I think you both agree that a coyote's life is different in Iowa than it is in Michigan. Simply dead carion does not attract too many bears or wolves in Iowa, but does in Michigan, as well as hunters in trees sitting over baits they have placed out. Point blank I believe we are talking about a coyote's survival instincts yet, and also still talking about them being the same, but adapting to the area they live within. Are they more willing to commit those last few yards in the open where they can see rather than in the brush where they can not---Yes, wouldn't you if you were a pilot just shot down in Iraq? That is how a coyote lives, but if there is a carcass in the open, they will attempt to drag it to a low area or within the brush to eat upon it too, just confidence of not being seen again too.

So guys you are talking apples and oranges but both wrong and both correct.
_________________________
TrapperMans FIRST Haiku Master:
Misted Over Dawn
Cherry Red On the Hillside
A Moment Stands Still



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#253805 - 07/08/07 07:35 PM Re: Affects of Human Scent in Trapping [Re: NYNovice]
NYNovice Offline


Registered: 12/23/06
Loc: Central NY
mtbadger
Thank goodness Slim wasn't kidnapped...LOL
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Asa Lenon

Good post Slim! Ace
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k9.
So Slim. You have driven through Iowa many times, and even lived here. Ever seen dozens of coyotes? Eating watermelons?
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k9.

Cathryn I do not use the urine set a lot but it has a place on my line. I should use it more actually. Mainly I use it in trails that I know coyotes are using. I just use a dropping with a few drops of urine on it. I look for a narrowed part of say a cown trail that has coyote tracks on it and blend a trap where I think he is destined to step due to the surroundings. I then put the dropping in the trail almost like a stepping guide for the trap. I have also put the dropping alongside the trail by the trap. Both catches coyotes.
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Jtrapper


Coyote's devour watermelons in our state. On a different post i mentioned guys to my south who caught 100's annually using 1.75 traps, a lot of those coyotes were caught in those watermelon fields at the farmers request!

Just another example of what Slim posted, coyotes ADAPT to ANY situation! Ive caught coyotes in swamps, ive caught them in the high rolling pine thicket hills, out in pastures/hay fields, along bluff lines in wooded area's, old grown up logging roads going off to basically nothing as far as i could tell only later after the area was clear cut i could see a cow pasture off in the distance, the coyote's knew the easiest route from point A to point B though I had no clue where they were heading before the area was all mowed down by skidders!

Ive also caught them in the middle of Birmingham, Al. our largest city in the state, bumper to bumper traffic, house's one after the other, manicured lawns, etc. Nothing but total noise morning noon and night!

All of those coyote's were different yet all the same in many ways. Each had adapted to his area, needed resting area's, water, food and shelter/den's to raise their young. Once you understand what a coyote needs in each area it makes them much easier to catch. I had to learn that one the hard way! lol. I always wanted them to like brand x super duper can't miss lure when they didn't want that but something else they were more familiar with!
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Jtrapper
K9's trying to make a blind set but again has to add something to make sure the coyote don't miss where he's set a trap, lol.

Yes Catherine urine sets work GREAT! To see for yourself, put in a hot shot dirt hole with bait/lure the works then off a ways at a distinct clump of grass/stump/rock/etc. blend in a trap and give it a shot of urine then see which one connects first or the most.

My dirt holes in these situations are what i generally feel are my possum sets, keep's them distracted long enough for my urine set to work while a coyote circles around the possum trying to figure out exactly what his problem is, lol. That is unless the coyote decides he's in the mood for a possum supper!

Those blended in sets will hold up better in the rainy weather also, giving your trap a little more time to connect before the set get's drowned/washed away.
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MChewk

Great post! Haven't seen a good thought provoking one like this one in a while.

Asa, do you know by chance how many trappers in your neck of the woods trap 50 or more coyotes in a fur season? Just trying to comprehend different areas coyote numbers and trappers abilities at harvesting them.
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Mac
Mike writes: Great post! Haven't seen a good thought provoking one like this one in a while.

Asa, do you know by chance how many trappers in your neck of the woods trap 50 or more coyotes in a fur season? Just trying to comprehend different areas coyote numbers and trappers abilities at harvesting them."

That would be interesting. Here in Maine it would be a rarity to see a catch of 50 coyote, and I know Mike does lots better than that, even using dipped traps! (Just kidding Mike) Looking at the trapping highlights
section in which season totals are listed it is sad. I see a high take of 2741 coyotes taken in 2001-2002 and a low 1977 taken in 2000-2001, with most of the last six or so season right around the 2000 mark give or take a few.

Coyote guys, doesn't it stand to reason that in states or areas with lower populations they will be some what more wary? Isn't that just a way of nature?

I have a good friend that long lines in the east and has for years because he can afford to. He went to Maryland for three or four years and trapped fox. To hear him explain the fox behavior down there compared to the behavior of those in the New England states was most interesting. It seems the fox from down that way were far more aggressive due to competition for food. Does that make sense to you folks? It does to me.
Another interesting thing to note was on the last day he pulled traps each year his last day catch almost always equaled his first days catch. That my friends is not going to happen after beating a line to death up in this neck of the woods.

It seems to me if one took two areas that had contrasting coyote populations such as in the example of fox in the aforementioned it would be about the same results in behavior differences.

mac
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Jtrapper
Coyote guys, doesn't it stand to reason that in states or areas with lower populations they will be some what more wary? Isn't that just a way of nature?

You dadgum right they are more wary! In the woodlands i use to trap it was hary cary dealing with them stop look leave a dropping behind devils!

Then turn around and hit the farm lands with a coyote behind every bush and them act like it was a foot race to see which one could get caught first!

And that's only a matter of about 150 miles in the SAME STATE!

Why ive always laughed at Asa and whoever arguing over this or that, lol. As Slim said earlier, BOTH are right and BOTH are wrong at the same time, lol.
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Marty Harmon


I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a good coyote trapper. I have noticed a few things over the years though, I've stated this before, but will say it again for those who might be interested.

The state that I live in is very populated, it would be very rare for a coyote to go a whole day without running across some kind of human scent. I do believe though, that we give off different odors when something frightens, or startles us, or make us nervous. I think the coyote may not conceive this as a threat, but the different smell makes him more alert. This is why I believe certain people have more trouble learning to catch coyotes than others. The man who casually walks over to where he wants to set a trap, digs his hole, or adds his attractor, sets and beds his trap, lures and walks away like he's on a Sunday stroll to the next set has a good chance of making a catch in my opinion. He may have left more odor at the location, but it is just the same odor stronger, and hopefully it want concern the coyote.


The next man walks over to the location, he's very nervous about leaving too much odor for the Wiley coyote to smell. He turns his head sideways while bedding the trap to keep his breath off of the dirt pattern. I believe he's leaving a completely different body odor than he did when he walked over to the set, and when he finished and relaxes walking away. I think the coyote notices this difference and reacts differently.

I began noticing this a long time ago when I had a lot more time to trap. I got a lot of experience watching the coyotes shun away from the locations I would have traps spring or catch me at while I was making the sets. LOL That was a fairly regular thing for me......
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Asa Lenon

MChewk asked...
Asa, do you know by chance how many trappers in your neck of the woods trap 50 or more coyotes in a fur season?

Not Many Mike, it takes a real good trapper and a lot of hard work to harvest 50. I've only known a half dozen of the best to my knowledge that have consistently harvested 100 or more in a season.
Ace
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k9.

So is there a big difference in coyote numbers in big country VS farm country?

Consider this.

It would be harder to take bigger numbers in big timber country for example, mainly due to accessibility. My country is sectioned off by roadways every square mile in many cases. I can drive to almost all my locations. Compare that to a guy in big timer country, trying to set up close to logging roads, etc. He works those near the two track logging roads, but does his equipment ever get to see those further away? Can he ever saturate an area with traps or snares? Or is his line pretty much confined to roadways and power lines? You can't catch what you can't get to.

I agree that high population coyotes are more competitive for food. However it is easy stop thinking about it after you have deemed it a population issue. You must also consider how the lines are run by the trappers in their area.

I am assuming such a trapper could hit an area for a while, then come back after more coyotes have filtered in from the untouched areas.

My area consists of travel ways and barriers. We have lots of woven fence that act as somewhat of a barrier, and to a degree guides coyotes here and there. They can jump it but usually will try to go under or around unless being chased. A large unfrozen river is also a barrier, as is an Interstate highway.

Creeks, ridges tops, crop changes, two tracks, and may other edges are travel ways. Finding where coyotes are concentrated by locating intersections of barriers and travel ways is somewhat easy, compared to big country trapping where the fence lines are far less frequent, and access via vehicle is quite limited.

If I was to compare a season catch in big country such as timber country to farm country, I would assess several things before I considered population/

Access to the coyotes. If you can't drive to them you canít run near as many traps. Maybe a good day to a farm country trapper is 60 to 100 sets, while a big timber guy works off his tail running 20 to 40. Without all the edges that farm country trappers deal with, a big timber trapper surely cannot find and physically get to near as many locations in a day that the farm trapper can.

Trap check law. A guy with a two to three day check law will outdo the 24 hour guys easily, without fail. He can run two to three times the traps that the 24 hour guy can, and has live coyotes drawing more coyotes to his clusters of sets during that time frame.

Human interference. How many hunters, etc are having access to the same area as the trapper, messing with his stuff, keeping the coyotes on the run, etc etc.

Weather conditions. A trapper in cream puff weather conditions will outdo a guy stomping through knee deep snow or rain/ freeze conditions any day of the week. It effects the coyotes, the sets, and the trappers access to the sets.

My point is, a guy who catches 20 coyotes per year in very adverse conditions may very well be one heck of a trapper. A spoiled trapper who catches 100 and who only deals with cream puff conditions at all times may flounder if he has some real weather get thrown at him.

Competitiveness of the coyotes to work the set may factor in there somewhere, but there is a much bigger picture to consider when assessing success or failure.

_________________________________
_________________________
TrapperMans FIRST Haiku Master:
Misted Over Dawn
Cherry Red On the Hillside
A Moment Stands Still



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#253809 - 07/08/07 07:37 PM Re: Affects of Human Scent in Trapping [Re: NYNovice]
NYNovice Offline


Registered: 12/23/06
Loc: Central NY
Texas Wolfer
Opinions Vary
Sam Z. Donaldson

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Jtrapper

A large unfrozen river is also a barrier, as is an Interstate highway.

Sorry K9, an interstate highway is NOT a barrier, i see to many of them run over trying to cross them, lol.


When i say timber vs farm land im mostly talking large tracts of pine timber, not much food in them for coyote's compared to the farmlands of Iowa! The population just isn't there as the carrying capacity of that habitat isn't as high as farmland is.

Tall timber trapping I usually had 1 or 2 coyotes running together come by once a week where as set's in the farming area's id expect to see action within the first 3 days, usually the first night out! Reason being the population was high in the farmlands vs scarce in the tall pine timber country.
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k9.

I see one once in a while hit on the road, but it isn't a regular thing. They do scoot through some culverts under interstates too. I have wondered when I have seen them hit, if they chose to cross or were pushed or scared there by something, and crossed as a last resort.
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Texas Wolfer
I see a good number killed on the highways in late Januray and Feb.

Why ?
Sam Z. Donaldson
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Jtrapper
Sam, remember the old bumper sticker's 'Honk If your ... '? lol.

That time of year plus food getting short would be my guess to your question.

K9, I saw a coyote in the median of I20/59 here a few years ago with his head in a McDonalds bag someone had thrown out, lol. They cross the interstates without being pushed into them. I often wonder for an animal so smart why they are so STUPID at other times.
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Texas Wolfer
That's Correct J

A large percent of the coyotes i snare at that time of year are females. The old boy is usually following.
Sam Z. Donaldson
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Jtrapper

The last Feb. I was gunning for coyotes Sam i took 12 males off one farm and only 3 females in two weeks. Never did figure that one out, just dang coyote's messing with my mind as usual, lol.

Maybe the females lived there and that's what drew in all those males? Was only 650 acres though so that don't make much sense either.
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Texas Wolfer


Maybe the lay of the land...travelway etc.

Sam Z. Donaldson
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Steven G Trosper



CharlesKS: My loud smelling lure shed is just like a large bait to the coyotes, they are suspicious of it in my area and generally stay back. Just like yourself, I can use small amounts of the same odors as the lure building back a hundred yards from the building and catch all kinds of milling coyotes. Ace

Asa, it could be the loud smell is too intense for them to come close. Where as, a tiny amount causes them to come in close.

A coyote's nose, or for that matter, a fox'x nose, is akin to our eyes. A very bright light will make us squint and not need to be as close to see something. But, a faint light and we will get closer for a closer look.

Cathryn, go to the TRAPPER'S TALES on this web site and read my article about the 1980 season. You will read what I discovered about using urine at sets.

Yes, I use urine, but only at the scent post set. Coyotes, being canines are just like Rover; interested in urine. It is how they communicate. I bet they even investigate our own urine spots in the woods and fields. I am referring to mostly male trappers here. I seriously doubt many women use the outdoors to urinate in, they have a different philosophy about doing it outdoors.

About coyotes eating watermelon. I have no doubts they do. Especially if they are available and so on. Like all predators, they are willing to eat whatever is handy and easiest to get.
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foxman13

Scent can and will be overwhelming to Canines as well as humans. If u know there is a dead skunk in the ditch u don't have to go look; but if u smell a hint of musk it will peak your curiosity enough to make u investigate closer.
I use a little urine on most of my dirt holes, did u ever not see a dog pee on what he buried or uncovered, not a lot and over the whole set, dogs and foxes aren't exactly target oriented all the time when they pee.....Just my opinions
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cathryn
great thread guys,,thanks for all you info. I learned alot.
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k9.
"About coyotes eating watermelon. I have no doubts they do. Especially if they are available and so on. Like all predators, they are willing to eat whatever is handy and easiest to get."

Not in Iowa.
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Coon Hangman

k9, you don't have watermelon patches in your part of Iowa?
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Texas Wolfer

They eat plenty of melons here...Almost bad as the dang hogs.
The only bad thing...
Coyotes sample a number of melons before they find the one they want.


_________________________
Sam Z. Donaldson
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TrapperMans FIRST Haiku Master:
Misted Over Dawn
Cherry Red On the Hillside
A Moment Stands Still



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#253810 - 07/08/07 07:39 PM Re: Affects of Human Scent in Trapping [Re: NYNovice]
NYNovice Offline


Registered: 12/23/06
Loc: Central NY
Barkstone

Quote:
Human scent was started by those who could catch fox and wanted to send everyone else on wild goose chases. While the competition was worrying about human scent and going to great lengths to avoid it. The others were out catching foxes.


I agree... when I was a young trapper I read all of the rags and books and information available. I knew everything in print about canines, I knew everything I could learn from MAN.

It was not until I began to learn from the canines themselves that I started catching critters. What I learned was that I do not stink. I think that they like the way I smell. I catch animals where other trapper do not, and good trappers at that not just dirty stupid trappers.

When I finally accepted that canines were going to know I was there, that I could not fool them and that it did not matter, my catch went way up. I do beleive that scent plays a major role in trapping, but whether you have to wear a full body condom, or if you will have really poor acceptance if you have cancer I do not know nor do I think that the best of us will ever know for sure regardless how much we debate it.

What the coyotes have taught me is that they like the way I smell and reward my traps with their feet and I like it that way.

_________________________
_________________________
TrapperMans FIRST Haiku Master:
Misted Over Dawn
Cherry Red On the Hillside
A Moment Stands Still



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