How To Catch A Coyote In A Box Trap

Learning how to catch a coyote in a box trap is not easy. Coyotes are naturally weary of traps and entering into holes. You need to be patient to catch a coyote, as they may be weary of your box trap and their territory can range for miles. Coyotes can become a nuisance easily, although they are vital to local ecosystems as predators and scavengers. 

To catch a coyote in a box trap, you will need:

  • Box trap
  • Bait
  1. Order a box trap. Box traps for coyotes are not typically made, therefore you will need to custom-order. 
  2. Select a location for your trap. The location should, obviously, be where you know the coyote frequents. Set your box trap up at dusk as coyotes are nocturnal.
  3. Cover the bottom of the box trap with soil and natural debris. No metal should be showing at all. Students have recorded coyotes entering traps with the sides and top visible only if the bottoms were completely covered.
  4. Place bait–meat scraps or roadkill–in the back of the box trap.  Purchase scraps at a local supermarket's meat counter, a butcher or meat market. Always use rubber gloves when handling meat or dead animals.

Contact your local Department of Natural Resources (DNR) or animal control authorities. Many species are protected, and many states have laws regarding releasing wild animals. Many wild species also carry diseases such as rabies. You may catch other species of animals, particularly raccoons, skunks, weasels and possibly stray dogs. Never attempt to handle a wild animal.  


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