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Snaring Coyotes

Old 03-05-2015, 05:37 AM
  #1  
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Default Snaring Coyotes

What's up guys! I have a few questions for you coyote trappers out there. First thing, is snaring a viable option. Second, how big of a snare is recommended for coyotes. Third, any and all tips and advice is welcomed!
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Old 03-05-2015, 12:04 PM
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Snaring is a great tool. It cannot be used in all locations however. You need natural trails that restrict the coyotes travel or in some cases you can "build" a spot. There are lots of tricks to the trade and I would advise a good book(s), video(s), or best of all a mentor. We have regs here that are quite restrictive as to the size of loop, how high off the ground, type of lock, stop placement, breakaway poundage, swivel, total length of the cable and much more. We can trap coyotes year around, but the snare season here - or dry land cable restraint as the DNR likes to call it - is only Dec. through Feb. 15th. Regarding use of the "dry land cable restraint", our hands are somewhat tied here. We have its' use, but not full use. I use mainly 3/32 cable. Lighter cable is less noticeable, but you need to incorporate certain style locks or an entanglement in order for the lighter stuff to work. When you are after coyotes for profit or paid ADC work you use every tool in your toolbox, as mandated by the particular situation. The snare is an important tool, but not the only one. Good Luck!
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Old 03-07-2015, 08:25 AM
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I tend to lean away from snares in recent years, I suppose simply to avoid catching deer and because snares are limited to where they can be deployed effectively in my neck of the woods (or lack thereof).

If I'm going specifically after coyotes, rather than multispecies sets, offset bridger 2.5 to 3's with 4 springs (sometimes padded, sometimes not) are where I lean. I'll run a few snares in the fencelines and any ravines or cuts, but by and large, the footholds are what get my attention these days.

But I did run snares for many years, and still use them a bit. Since I don't run a high volume of them anymore, I don't worry as much about the cost per snare, so I tend to focus on spring kill snares with deer-safe tearaways and "deer stops". I started out putting my breakaways at the end of my snare near the anchor, then found that I'd lose my snares and the deer would just end up snagging it on one thing or another and end up dead somewhere else, so now I put the breakaways in the loop.

Here are lots of random thoughts that I have on their application. I'll make the assumption that you know how to trap, so these are just tips and opinions from my experience with them.

Multiple swivels are a good idea.

I don't run drags anymore at all, but I never support one for a snare. Give them something hard to pull against, make it quick. A little room to run and pull might give them more room to pump the stake or kink the line, but it also gives them room to put a harder jerk on the snare to set it tight.

Bobby pins are your best friend. #9 wire is your second best friend.

3/32" galvanized aircraft cable is cheap and is less apt to get chewed through than stainless (stainless is more brittle).

Making your own is cheap and easy, buying them is easier.

I like cam-lock spring kills (aka stingers), but cheap washer locks work just fine.

For coyotes, I can't say that I've measured a loop accurately for years, but the 10-12" loop setting 10-12" off of the ground tends to make sense. I measure mine by holding the snare up vertically with the lock at the top so it hangs oblong as it would hang on the set, and I want it a little wider in the middle than the width of my outspread pinky to thumb - I'd hazard that it's 9-10" or so wide then 12" or so tall.

I like to hang snares over ravines or washouts. Coyotes travel low-lines religiously. For washout cuts, I like to pay attention to which direction the dogs tend to travel. When climbing up a steep hill or washout, they'll tend to carry their head down, which actually makes them fairly easy to snare - I run a lower loop with a smaller diameter to avoid catching a front foot in with it. When they walk down steep grades, they'll tend to pull their head up and back, which makes them harder to snag, and requires a higher loop with a larger diameter. If they're traveling a line both directions, then I'll use a larger loop to be sure to catch them whether their head is high or low.

Be careful on low under fence sets, catching a front leg is pretty common since they're ducking their head and extending their forelegs.

Snares work best in locations where dogs are moving fast. Setting snares in a location where natural obstructions or lots of direction changes moving around things will mean your snare gets spotted and avoided more often, and that they'll feel it before they get their heads through the loop past the point of no return. I suppose that's another reason that I like washouts on grade so much - going up they'll speed up to make it up the hill, going down, gravity speeds them up (again, the down is hard to catch their head).

Last edited by Nomercy448; 03-07-2015 at 12:31 PM.
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Old 03-08-2015, 08:52 AM
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Most States require You to take Classes on the proper and safe way to use Snares,here in Missouri there are Classes available to take so You can be certified in using them!I was thinking about taking the Classes so I could catch Coyotes in areas where it's hard to hunt or call in Coyotes or when I can't hunt it as often as I would like!
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Old 03-08-2015, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by GTOHunter View Post
Most States require You to take Classes on the proper and safe way to use Snares,here in Missouri there are Classes available to take so You can be certified in using them!I was thinking about taking the Classes so I could catch Coyotes in areas where it's hard to hunt or call in Coyotes or when I can't hunt it as often as I would like!
That's a good point too, I've had a furharvester license for about 20yrs, ever since I was required to have one, so I take for granted that folks would have hunting and furharvesting licenses and required classes.

Kansas doesn't require a specific "safe use of snares" type class, per se, but we have to take a course on furharvesting that covers the use of snares as part of the instruction. Trappers and houndsmen have to take a "Furharvester education" course, and purchase a "furharvester license" as a separate license from their hunting license.

Looks like Indiana also requires a "Trapping license".

I gave about half of my snares to one of my young cousins (think he just turned 21?) this season, because he didn't have any in his traplines yet, and it seems that he's been doing pretty well with them. He still catches most of his dogs with footholds, but having more traps and a more diverse arsenal of set types will always increase your catch rate.
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