Best Traps for Coyotes – Failsafe Traps

Coyotes are predators and thus when you are trapping them, you will need a fail-safe trap. You do not want the wounded carnivore let loose on you. All mammal traps are divided into 6 categories namely glue traps, snares, foothold traps, cage traps, deadfalls and body gripping traps.

Leg-hold Traps

First invented by estate owners in 1600’s to keep the poachers out of their farm, the leg-hold traps are as effective as any trap you can get in the market. The traps were perfected by blacksmiths in 1700’s when they made the traps iron and by the start of the 1800’s major companies started to make steel leg hold traps.

Padded leg hold trap
Padded leg hold trap

The modified version of the traps come with lamination or offset jaws or both. The lamination decreases pressure on coyote’s leg. Note that the padded jaws on the trap feature rubber inserts which make the trap more expensive.

Offset leg hold trap

The no.3 foothold trap is the most ideal for trapping a beaver or a coyote. The trap comes with a 6-inch jaw spread. This trap is called a “soft catch” trap.

Laminated leg hold trap

Due to its lethal nature, the leg hold trap has been banned in some states in the United States and this has led to a rise in beaver population. Unfortunately, during the same year, human attacks by coyote increased in the year it was banned. The traps are effective because they are small and effective. They have been sold as egg traps, bandit busters, coon cuffs and coyote trappers.

Body gripping/conibear traps

The body gripping traps are designed to kill animals. They were invented by a Canadian by the name of Frank Conibear. Their manufacture was started in the 1950’s. They are considered some of the most effective traps in the market as they catch the animal around the neck and effectively kills it in a few minutes.

The body gripping traps are made to catch the fur bearing animals and thus are reinforced with steel bars. Among their most popular models include;

  • #110 or #120 (130 by 130 mm) used to trap  muskrat and mink
  • model #220 (180 by 180 mm) for catching the raccoons and possums
  • model #330 (250 by 250 mm) for trapping coyotes, beavers and otters.

To get the animals to the trap, you use a bait. The catch is to ensure that the animal is placed squarely into the trap. It is triggered by a pair of wires straddles between the set trap’s jaws.  The trap closes around the neck and squeezes the air out of the trachea, denying the brain oxygenated blood and fracturing the spinal column.

Issues have been raised about this type of traps because it may close in on an unwanted animal or close around a leg, snout or foot which is very painful for the animal.

Deadfall Traps

This trap relies on two logs tilted at an angle, one acting as the trigger and the other as the dead fall. When the animal moves in to take the bait, the trigger is set and the dead fall log (or rock) crushes the animal. Note that the dead fall log must at least be 5 times heavier than the animal.

There are several traps falling under this trap which include;

  • Figure Four Deadfall – This is simple to construct since it is made with materials found in the bush including logs and heavy rocks.
  • Paiute Deadfall – This is made with 3 long sticks, another shorter stick and a fiber cord that can be found in the bush.


Snares were in the beginning used to catch small furs for food in the African forests. They are best used to catch bush meat and are anchored around a cable or wire. They are simple and effective and very easy to produce. Due to their ease of setting up, they are strictly regulated in many countries to ensure that the animal population is not endangered

In the US, the snares have been developed to trap larger furs such as coyotes. They are however regulated. A snare should stop tightening when the animal stops running so that the hunter is given an option of either to let the animal go or kill it.

Trapping Pit

Trapping Pit

Trapping pit are the most humane way of trapping an animal without killing it. The pits are dug deep into the ground or carved out of a stone. It is more or less a cage trap, only more permanent.

Cage traps

Cage traps

Cages are designed to trap the animals alive. The coyotes are usually baited using fish and cat food. The trigger is located at the cage’s back and it is triggered when the animal reaches the middle of the cage. Once the door shuts, the locking mechanism drops preventing the animal from escaping. It is one of the best failsafe traps that also keeps the animal alive.

The cage traps has a lot of proponents due to its humane style of trapping animals. The animals are legally killed or released without harm. The cages are expensive and thus not easy to deploy, meaning that their use will ensure less and less animals are trapped.

Glue traps

Glue trap may not be the best way to trap a coyote, but if you have no other trap, perhaps you should consider it. It involves putting adhesive on the coyote’s pathway. Unfortunately, a domestic pet may get stuck on the adhesive.

Whatever else you do, make sure that your coyote trap is something that you can trust. It does not matter whether you are trapping the coyotes to keep them off your property or are just out hunting…a failsafe is very important when dealing with predators. The most efficient coyote traps do not cost more than $100 and thus you should be able to get one easily in animal traps shops.