Making a dirthole set

Discussion in 'Trapping & Fur Taking' started by yotepeeler, Sep 15, 2007.

  1. yotepeeler

    yotepeeler New Member

    To make a dirthole set first you need to decide on the location . Knowing the target animal is key to this decission . If in doubt you should look for sign as in foot prints and or droppings from them . Fresh is always better .
    After location is determined a suitable backing as a piece of log , clump of grass or a rock will even work . The backing serves two purposes a visual to focous their eye on and to keep the target animalfrom working the set from behind . I prefer a low backing as some can be nervous about working a backing they can't see over .

    Next is the hole itself , think of watching a dog bury something . Dig the hole at about 45 degrees as the hole angle will determine trap placement as well . You can use a small trowel , an auger made from an old wood drill bit or even pound in a trap stake to make the hole by wobbeling it around . Some find big holes work better then small holes . When a coyote looks into the hole before he digs is when I want to catch him . Not all lure or bait will cause all to dig . Some are just curious about the smell.

    Trap placement and bedding is next . I prefer to offset to the right placing the edge of the jaw about even with the edge of the hole . I also set back from the hole so my trap pan is around 9 inches back . I want some undisturbed soil between the hole and the trap as when they do dig they don't hook the trap jaw in the process .

    If you have a dog about the same size as a coyote place a lure into a practice hole at home and watch where his feet are when he first goes into check it out . This helps to make them step where I want them to .
    Dig out your trap bed , I like to end up so all said and done over the pan is about 1/2 inch below the surrounding ground levelwith 1/2 inch of dirt over the pan . More dirt over the trap jaws and a little less over the pan making it a slight depression .

    For me I dig out the trap bed close to the size and shape of my trap .Making it bowl shaped helps in bedding it rock solid . The bottom of the jaws and spring levers are what I want to contact the dirt . A wobbely trap IMHO will cause more dig outs then anything else . I stake everything here as open fields leave nothing to catch a drag on . The pogo stake system is my preferance . Poudning in my stake and allowing enough clearance for the chain and shock spring . If you try to bed a trap in contact with the chain and stake it will be next door to impossible .Packing dirt around the trap jaws and sift the dirt to remove all rocks and debris . Some use a screen over the trap pan to keep from getting dirt under the pan .Some use polifill under the pan for the same purpose . The a final topping of sifted dirt . Blending with what is natural to the trap area should make it hard to see where you have bedded the trap .This part you can practie at home as it is key to making a catch . Practice will also help in getting yourself into a routine that builds the speed in making a set . Less time at the set means you leave less human scent .

    Once you are satisfied in the looks of the set lure and bait the hole . Place a clump of grass wadded up into the bottom of the hole you dug at least 8 inches deep . Bait or lure in contact with the ground will cause the odor to leach into the ground faster . I then put a plug of grass wadded up ontop of the bait . This will make them work it longer giving me a better chance to catch them . You can use lure or not . I vary this as if you use the same bait,lure and urine combonation too long in the same area they will figure it out and will not work the sets .Sometimes a gland lure on the back lip of the hole . To aplly this use a small stick about 1/8 inch diameter and dip it into the lure . Poke it into the lip or drop it into the hole . I don't relure as the coyote can find it a month later even after a snow . Too much or too loud a lure will spook some as well . Animals IMHO vary like people that not all like the same thing .

    After the set is made I check from a distance with a spotting scope . This was the single hardest part I had to learn . I wanted to go check out the set everyday with a magnifying glass for sign . Extra activity from humans around the set can and will cause them not to run the area or be extra cautious . Don't shoot yourself in the foot by checking them from too close . If you see tracks going right by your set give it time as coyotes are sometimes headed somewhere and won't work it just because . It is just part of their nature . Maybe they are like us and one day we crave chocolate and next day we won't . Don't be afraid to vary things to find what works best for you .

    Get out and prospect , decide the locations and set some steel . Use this set with caution as catching coyotes becomes an addiction .
  2. 223reload

    223reload New Member

    Good job ,Pete very good info for anyone who does'nt know how to make this set. Reps to ya.

  3. beetle

    beetle New Member

    Thanks for the post Pete, very good advice!

    BLKCLOUD Member

    Pulaski Tn
    Excellent post! I always like to wear rubber boots and have 2 pairs of gloves, one for the setting and one for the baiting, If you ever get any scent on your trap they will dig it up..!!
  5. rodenberg

    rodenberg New Member

    great post, its the little things that make a great trapper. this will only be my third year trapping and I could all the tips offered
  6. scout1963

    scout1963 New Member

    I agree....very informative post!!
  7. kkyyoottee

    kkyyoottee New Member

    I use this same method with one variation coyotee's are curious and I have caught more than one yote through binoc's spying my attractor. I find a stick or carry one with me and tie a feather to 6 inch string,then tie to top of stick, then place near my set. That feather flapping in the wind just gets their attention and they cant resist in checking it out!!! Great Post!!!!!
  8. justwannano

    justwannano Active Member

    SE Iowa
    Another great trapping post.
    Have you thought about writing a trapping book?
  9. warcraft1975

    warcraft1975 New Member

    ya know after reading your post i think it would be great if all of us trappers would write how toos on sets and what would get this area of the fourm to grow and help out others.great post!!maybe i will write something just need to think about
  10. plainsman

    plainsman New Member Supporting Member

    writing about trap setting would be interesting, mostly Ive trapped muskrat, mink, coon, possum, fox, for fox, I get a bale of straw and carry it out to a high place in a field, spread some out, put my traps there with a drag, like a couple branches about 4 ft long, wired to an x shape, and a claw drag on the end of a chain, longer is better, 6 to 8 ft. then throw in some crumbled up old hamburger, old fish, or a rabbit skin or carcass. or some dead birds. check the set with binoculars every mornin, and see whats up, there ain't much to slow em down in open fields, but eventually they run into a fence, I just follow the trail and get em. works good for foxes