Years ago I had permission for trapping coyotes in ranch country that no other trapper had access to. It was a beautiful area with lot’s of coyote activity. I had a lot of initial success running snares near a fence line.
I placed my rigs where the coyotes dug under the fence. But one day I found multiple missing sets with signs of both a trapped coyote and boot tracks.
Someone had stolen my ‘yotes. As I looked around I realized that my snared targets were seen from the road and it was a simple retrieval for the thief.
I decided to make drag sets to prevent my harvest from being seen by the local opportunist. And I will show you exactly how I go about setting drags for coyotes.
Using Drags For ‘Yotes
The problem with my snare sets was the trapped coyotes were right out in the open and easily spotted by passerby’s. The great thing about a drag set is you allow the trapped coyote the ability to use it’s natural instincts to hide.
I equip my drags with five plus feet of chain. A long chain allows the drag to move close to the ground. I also place a swivel near the base of the trap and a second near the middle of the drag. This creates three swivels along your chain which gives your coyote ample space to get tangled and not having the leverage to pry themselves lose.
An effective drag rig is going to be located where the coyote is sure to get hung up without running for miles. This is the most important point to keep in mind when deciding on if the drag is the right approach to take.
Making your drag heavy will increase it’s effectiveness. While I don’t suggest going overboard on the weight I had a friend who swore by his rig comprised of two long steel rebars welded to his chain. He said he even caught multiple coyotes in sandy footing.
I tend to go with a half inch cold bar welded to a rebar drag. I add a V shaped rod between the curves. This allows the chain to wrap around it, which is great at digging into the ground.
Setting Up Your Drag
I always burry my drag beneath the trap. Take the dirt and place in the sifter and leave some beside the hole. Use the top soil to bed and cover the trap and the dirt from below the surface dirt along the side.
The drag will be flat in the hole with the chain beside it in the hole.
One great tip I heard years ago is to loosely tie a long piece of fluorescent flagging to the drag. This provides a direction marker in case it isn’t otherwise apparent.
Keep in mind that a visible set can scare off a coyote. You can place a drag anywhere a stake is not useable such as when the ground is frozen or, like in my case, when my coyotes were being stolen.
Fence lines make great locations as well. Other than that you can go with a drag anywhere you would use a snare or stake.
I will always prefer a stake set when possible but sometimes that just isn’t the case. When I have to go to a drag set I have had a lot of success with the tips outlined above. If you find yourself needing to do a drag just set it up properly with plenty of tangle available and you will be good to go.
For more tips check out these articles