Hunting Whitetails And Trapping Coyotes: Step By Step For A Flat Set (Episode 270 Transcript)

This is the video transcript. To watch the video for this episode click here.

GRANT: Missouri offers a special youth season during the first week of January and that’s a great time to take kids hunting.

GRANT: Seth’s son, Trace, is six years old and he was excited to go on his first hunt. I know as a parent how exciting it can be to take your child deer hunting for the first time, but to capture it on film – that’s really a special event.

GRANT: They set up in the blind early that afternoon with plenty of time for Trace to do his first interview.

SETH: (Whispering) Alright. Give me an interview.

TRACE: (Whispering) I don’t think I’m ready.

SETH: (Whispering) Are you gonna shoot a big doe or a big buck?

TRACE: (Whispering) Both.

SETH: (Whispering) Gonna shoot both? We’re on Trace’s first youth hunt. He’s too shy to give an interview, so I’m gonna take over the reins for him. He’s never killed a deer. He’s been killing lots of squirrels. Uh, we’re on an Eagle bean field tonight. Should be exciting. It always is when a youth gets their first deer, especially, uh, when it’s your own son. So, hopefully, tonight’s a great night.

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GRANT: It wasn’t long before the first deer walked into the beans.

SETH: (Whispering) (Inaudible) Tell me when you’re gonna shoot. (Inaudible)

GRANT: Unfortunately, they were hoping for a little bit different result.

GRANT: With the sun sinking rapidly, they see another deer step out and Trace starts preparing for the shot.

TRACE: (Whispering) He’s in my scope.

SETH: (Whispering) (Inaudible) Put it right behind his shoulder. Shoot.

TRACE: (Quietly) Did I kill it?

SETH: (Quietly) You got him, I think.

TRACE: (Quietly) Did I get him?

SETH: (Quietly) Looked like you nailed him. You look like it.

GRANT: Trace makes the perfect shot and we get to see two happy guys celebrate in the blind.

TRACE: (Quietly) I’m glad I got to shoot this deer.

TRACE: Here’s some, daddy.

SETH: Right. Do what?

TRACE: Is that the doe over there?

SETH: Where?

TRACE: See it?

TRACE: It’s the doe!

SETH: Is it the doe?


SETH: You’re kidding me.


SETH: Holy smokes.

TRACE: She’s – she’s huge.

SETH: And she all – center punched her.

TRACE: Was it in the heart?

SETH: Right in the double lungs. Center punched the deer, perfect shot. I don’t know what this spot is right here. We gave it some time. I’m wondering if a predator didn’t already come in and get started. We heard something run off. I didn’t know if it was another deer or what it was. Something has peeled the hide back, uh, right here. I’m not sure what it was. His shot’s actually right here. Just give me some, man. I am proud of ya. I love ya.

GRANT: What a fun hunt to watch as Trace gets his first deer and I’m very confident another hunter joins our ranks. Congratulations to both Trace and Seth on a great hunt.

TRACE: She’s huge. Am I gonna help you drag this thing?

SETH: Check it out. (Laughter) You like it?

TRACE: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Send it to Ms. Leona.

SETH: Okay.

GRANT: With lots of deer using Seth’s soybean food plot, he doesn’t waste any time getting back in a tree and trying to tag a late season buck.

ADAM: (Whispering) You still see something out here?

SETH: (Whispering) Yeah.

SETH: (Whispering) You see his tarsal stains?

ADAM: (Whispering) You gonna shoot him?

SETH: (Whispering) I don’t figure.

GRANT: They watched a steady stream of deer feed through the beans and felt it was only a matter of time before a shooter buck came out.

SETH: (Whispering) Watch (inaudible). We’re fixing to have a couple walk out right here.

GRANT: They had seen a lot of deer when a coyote steps out, comes close to the field, and spooked all the deer out of the area.

GRANT: Two days later, the wind was out of the south again and Seth and Adam headed back to the same stand.

SETH: (Whispering) Dude, they are torchin’ these beans.

GRANT: Just like during the last hunt, deer started coming out early and feeding in the beans.

SETH: (Whispering) That’s Little Six.

GRANT: During these hunts, they noticed a lot of deer hung out in the southeast corner of the field near a large cedar tree. So, Seth took advantage of that information, headed back to that cedar tree for a final hunt.

GRANT: The plan worked great and it wasn’t long before Seth had deer in range.

GRANT: It wasn’t long before another deer approached Seth’s stand.

SETH: (Whispering) Backstraps for the freezer. Cold. Tired of passing does.

SETH: That’s a big one. (Laughter) Holy cow. (Laughter) What a big ole doe.

SETH: One more evening. Couldn’t be more tickled. We got lots of meat for the freezer. This is one of the oldest does that I have ever killed, probably deer, that I have ever killed. There is absolutely no teeth. I mean zero teeth in this deer. She doesn’t have a tooth in her head. I hope her meat is good and tender. ‘Cause that’s what, uh, my wife told me before I came hunting – she needs some meat. I’ve been holding out for some bucks, but it’s just getting down to the wire. I’m not gonna have much more time to go, so, we let two of the BloodSports fly tonight. One – this one here was 42 yards and this one here was right at 50. But, uh, they both found their mark and we’re taking deer home to mama.

GRANT: It was a great ending to another incredible season for Seth Harker and it won’t be long ‘til he’ll be chasing turkeys here in the Ozark mountains.

GRANT: Historically, most guys trap coyotes simply for fur. That’s all changing as there’s more and more research showing how devastating coyotes can be on deer and turkey populations. Clint Cary, with Tactical Trapping Services, usually stops by this time of year and shares the latest coyote trapping techniques with us.

CLINT: Sure. I using ‘em everywhere.

GRANT: Clint’s a very skilled trapper. That’s all he does year round and I’m always excited to learn from Clint.

CLINT: It’s mid-January. We’ve pulled our Duke #4s out and we’re fixing to start trapping coyotes here at The Proving Grounds.

CLINT: With any trapping, location is gonna be your key, but especially with coyote trapping. With these coyotes if you’re 20 feet off location, you can miss ‘em – according to the wind and the currents, the thermals and different things – just like you do with deer hunting. But this location here is excellent because we’ve got this little trail coming in behind me into this location; we’ve got a road here at this location; and we’ve got another intersection to my right; and they’ve had a staked down road kill deer over here to make a bait station out of this. So, we’ve got a lot of activity and a lot of travel ways coming right through here where I’m at – from both ways.

CLINT: Now for our pinpoint location at this spot, I picked this nice clump of grass here. It stands out to my eye. It’s gonna stand out to the coyote’s eye. Plus, we’ve got all this vegetation here and we can use that to blend in our trap better and make it very well concealed.

CLINT: The two most used sets in coyote trapping are the dirt hole set and the flat set. And at this location, because I had this nice clump of grass here, I’m gonna show you step-by-step how we’re gonna put in a flat set at this one.

CLINT: First thing I’m gonna do is remove this vegetation and expose the bare ground. Now, a good thing you can start doing is set your trap in here and you can take just a small trowel and make indentions around the edges of that trap. That’ll keep you from digging out that hole too big, or too small, ‘cause if you dig out way too much, then you’ve got to fill all of that back in. So, I like to keep this hole that I’m gonna dig to put my trap in as – as close to the exact same size of the trap as possible.

CLINT: Once we get this dug out, we’re gonna have to set this trap in here and try to get it really stable. And that’s why you’re wanting that hole that you dig out not to be excessively large that you have to keep cramming stuff in there to get your trap stable. The smaller you make that hole, the easier it is to make this trap to where it don’t rock, or tilt, because that’s one of the  biggest problems in coyote trapping. If he steps on a corner and the trap picks up like this, then he’s gonna immediately back out, or he’s gonna dig, or something. It’s gonna lessen your chances of catching that coyote.

CLINT: Now once I dig out the hole for this trap to sit in – what I do is I set the trap there and I just kind of take notice of where the levers are on the trap. These right here – where they hit on the dirt – I’ll just kind of see where that hits. And then I’ll take a trowel, or my hammer, and dig out for those levers so you don’t have to dig a hole the whole size of this to get that in. You want a hole about the size of this trap and then notches for these levers to set in.

CLINT: There’s various ways of doing this. What I like to do – if it’s – the dirt is diggable at all – is to dig out a notch now in this bed. It’s gonna be about yay wide and that’s all I’m doing is digging out just a notch in it. And that is for my trap chain and everything to be up under this trap, so I don’t have to disturb this whole area around it and dig out a place to put the chain. So, I’m gonna stake this trap down up under it.

CLINT: Now, if you’re coyote trapping and you’re staking these down with rebar stakes, I – it don’t seem like it, but if you stake him down with one stake, he’s gonna pump that out of the ground and be gone. So, what you need to do if you’re coyote trapping and staking down, is have one going one way and one going the other way. Cross stake ‘em. And that’s what we’re about to do. But that’s the way that you want ‘em in the ground. That-a-way, no matter which way he pulls, he’s pulling against one of ‘em.

CLINT: If I just put this trap in here and this, uh, damp dirt, I’ll call it – it’s nearly mud – what it’s finally gonna do is that steel is gonna freeze to the ground and it won’t throw. And whatever you cover this trap with – as soon as it gets any moisture in it, in the winter – it’s gonna freeze on top. So, we need to pre-plan and think of ways we’re gonna keep our traps working. Because it’s – it’s too much work to come do all of this when a coyote can’t make the pan go down anyway.

CLINT: In this bottle, I’ve got a mixture of propylene glycol and coyote urine. Correct mixture that I like to use is 60% urine to 40% glycol. And I just mix it in this, uh, spray bottle. Glycol won’t freeze. So, we’ve got our bed now to where it at least has some protection on it. You can further increase that by using peat moss. And I just give it a real light lining of peat moss and I fill the whole bottom of that up with my chain, boys, with the dry peat.

CLINT: And then I’m gonna give it a light coat, too. Because eventually, it’s gonna get moisture down there in it.

CLINT: Now, if you’re gonna use this mixture like I like to use, you don’t just want to spray the bed. Just be sure that you spray it everywhere around the area so that you’re not pinpointing where that trap is with your mixture. Because this works down to about ten degrees. Once it gets under ten, you’re gonna start freezing up, even with this.

CLINT: This product is called calcium chloride. And what it does is it will keep you working – it’s basically like table salt. So, if you don’t have access to this and you’re wanting to trap right now, you can give your bottom of your bed here just a light sprinkling. And it will cause your traps to rust a lot faster because it’s simply table salt, basically, so you want to keep a good eye on ‘em and have your traps treated and wash ‘em good when you get done trapping. But that’ll keep you working down below ten degrees.

CLINT: Now, when a coyote steps on the pan of this trap right here, it has to go down for that trap to fire and for you to catch the coyote. So, we’re gonna have to do something to protect this area under the pan from getting dirt and debris under it.

CLINT: One method you can use for protecting under this pan is go into any hardware store, home and garden center, and buying some window mesh – basically, it’s just window screen. And I cut these in squares. I cut a notch. I don’t know if you can see it. I cut a notch out right here for the dog of that trap to sit in. And I just lay that over my pan, basically.

CLINT: Now, that we’ve got our pan cover – our – our screen – I’ve got some peat moss. And you can get this about any garden center. And I sprinkle this over the trap.

CLINT: Now that I’ve got a real light layer of this peat just covering this trap, I put this glycol in layers. Now, I’ll give that a light shot of the mixture.

CLINT: Now, I generally like around a half-inch of covering over my trap. Obviously, you don’t want any part of your trap showing. But in the winter time when you’re getting real hazardous conditions – freeze, thaw, freeze, thaw, constantly – I go down to about a quarter inch of covering over that. And that’s including mostly peat moss and then just a light top covering of the dirt over that trap.

CLINT: I’ll give that a light shot of the mixture. For some reason, some coyotes will back out of just straight peat moss in some areas – so I always like to put on that last coat of the dirt from the surrounding area. And now we’re gonna put our final coat of the glycol on top of that.

CLINT: Now, all I’ve done is picked up some of this grass and vegetation from this area and I’m just gonna start cutting this with the scissors in small little pieces and blending it in so the coyote can’t tell that anything ever happened here.

CLINT: Now that we’ve got our trap blended in, we’re gonna give it all one last coat of glycol so there’s no place that’s different around this area.

CLINT: Now, I’m gonna take this bone that I’ve collected and drive it in this grass clump. What that does is give this set some eye appeal. This is a flat set – not like a dirt hole – so they don’t see anything here, but adding that bone gives a focal area for that coyote to look at as he approaches. ‘Cause if the wind is just a little bit off, you can miss your coyote without having anything here.

CLINT: Okay. We’ve got this set completed. We’ve got our eye appeal there with the bone that we put in the ground. The last thing we’ve got to do is work on the sense of smell, so we’re gonna put bait and lure. I always like at least two different scents coming from an area. Take a chunk of meat and I’m gonna tuck that in real good.

CLINT: And that meat that I’m using here at this flat set is not tainted. If you put in a real strong smelling tainted meat on a flat set, he’s gonna do like your dog does in the yard – he’s gonna start rolling. You’re gonna come up and see your trap fired and you didn’t catch him. But you probably had a coyote that was rolling. He didn’t pull out.

CLINT: Now I’ve got bait right there beside that bone. And I’m gonna put some lure tucked in over here on the other side of this grass. And I always space ‘em out just a little bit, trying to get a little bit of more foot movement out of that coyote as he works the set.

CLINT: Now, all I did when I dug out all of this for my trap was place this dirt here and you may have seen it and then wondered what I was doing. I’m not gonna get rid of that. I’m gonna leave it right here for more eye appeal and then I’m gonna take what’s called a call lure – it’s a real strong smelling lure – and I’m gonna place it right there on top of that dirt. If that coyote wants to come roll out here, that’s fine. He’s away from your trap. But it has a lot of loud odor – a call lure does – to pull that coyote in from farther.

CLINT: Okay. So, we’ve got our trap blended. We’ve got it bedded solid to where it don’t rock. We’ve got eye appeal with our bone. We’ve got bait. We’ve got lure and we’ve got a strong call lure and more eye attraction here with this mound of dirt.

CLINT: So, this set’s completed and, hopefully, we’ll have a coyote here pretty soon.

GRANT: I’m always amazed when my clients bring in Clint and remove a bunch of coyotes how relaxed that deer herd is just two weeks later. You go from driving through the property and barely seeing a deer to seeing deer standing out in food plots during daylight.

GRANT: I had professional trapper, Clint Cary, come to The Proving Grounds and share some of his set techniques. We’ve trapped The Proving Grounds for several years in a row so these adult coyotes have been around trapping before, likely, and it takes a skilled trapper to catch these smart dogs.

GRANT: Trapping can be a very valuable wildlife management tool, in addition as a way to supply the pelt market with fine furs.

GRANT: Coyotes can have extremely high quality fur, so when you’re removing predators to balance that predator/prey population, make sure and utilize that fur and we’ll share some tips how we do that at The Proving Grounds.

GRANT: We’re gonna continue trapping throughout the season here at The Proving Grounds. We’ll keep you posted on how we’re doing.

GRANT: Even if your season is closed where you live, I hope you have a chance to get outside and enjoy Creation this week. But most importantly, take time every day to be quiet and listen to what the Creator is saying to you. Thanks for watching