I'll go first. The short answer would be that you're more likely to catch fox in a coyote set than you are to catch coyotes in a fox set (I refer to your post relative to trap placement). The conventinal wisdom is that coyotes being larger will stand farther from the hole than their smaller coousins the fox. The reason to move the trap in close is relevant only if you are'nt targeting coyotes; the close placement will catch fox that may otherwise side step the pan . All that said I set all my traps the same (some where around 8" inches maybe a wee bit closer if I think the kitties may visit) and some dumb fox manage to trip over a stick or what have you and step on the pan. I'll also be the first to admit that dirt holes aren't my first choice set. :wink:
I always make sets with coyote in mind because they are the dominant one here. These sets also catch most every fox that happens by. Because the trap pan is kept back of the hole or scent object about 10", many times fox step right over the trap to get up to the scent. This many times results in rear foot catches on fox, but a catch is a catch is a catch. On the other hand, if one sets trap pans too close to the hole or scent object with fox in mind, he will many times find just a set of coyote tracks just back of the trap pan where the coyote took a sniff and a peek and moved on without further investigation.
The thing to always keep in mind is that the angle and size of the hole is the key. A hole can be anywhere from 0 degrees (straight back as in a stepdown) or as much as 90 degrees in a vertical rebar hole at a "flat" set. The bigger the angle, the closer the trap should be set. Also remember that a canine's feet follow his nose to a large degree. That is why there is no "set" distance in which to place a trap from a hole. Every hole is different and every trap placement is also different. Another overlooked point is the direction of the hole concening angle of how the set is worked. In other words, make sure what is the front of the hole for you is also the front of the hole for the canine, and line your trap up acciordingly, usually offset to one side or the other. [/color]
Good point about the angle of the hole in relation to where the animal's foot will be. However, I must point out that I have never experienced any benefit whatsoever to digging holes at any angle other than the conventional 45 degrees angle. Generally speaking, if one digs holes too vertical he is asking for the animal to view or sniff it from the side or back of the trap. If one digs holes to far back the other way he is asking for the animal to crouch down to see into it. When an animal crouches, the foot placement is unpredictable and the possible trap hold is also unpredictable. 45 degrees dug into a backing accomplishes what the trapper should want, it ensures the animal must come around to the trap side to better see or smell the hole and also ensures the animal will be standing upright so that one can predict foot placement in relaton to the animals nose while investigating the hole. Ace
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