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What is the best bait for racoon traps? Also I was using tuna and something is not tripping the trap door, really weird, eats tuna, can is turned over - but near edge so something is not eating from the outside. Maybe chipmunks? The trap door is fairly sensitive, a chipmunk is about the biggest thing that might not trip door.
Canned cat food works, and it's cheap.
Marshmallows work fine in box traps. A Few outside, a few inside. If you use tuna you are likely to catch a skunk.
Coons have a sweet tooth like a little bear... Marshmallow, peanut butter, honey, molasses... All good coon bait.
They're right about the sweet tooth. Marshmallows work really well for me, but so does canned tuna and anything that smells fishy. I like a few drops of Anise Oil. It smells like black liquorish and brings them in from a distance.
You might consider a different type of trap. Animals can learn sets and become "trap shy". If your critters have been caught in a box trap before and released they may know to avoid them. Dogproofs work well and are pretty good at mostly only catching coons.
If you can use a coon cuff you'll have more luck then those cage traps. Also eliminates 99.9% of unwanted catches except opossum. Tuna mixed with maple syrup is my go to.
They'll eat abount anything, but the best is marshmallows smeared with grape jelly, it's cat proof...
I've caught 100's using sardines. Half a can or so per trap location.
fdp, depends on where you're at but with sardines you'll get more cats than coons... Actually cat food is good coon bait, as is dog food but again you'll catch cats too... I used to hold a state certified Nuisance Wild Animal Control license... Was called to a place coons were getting into his outdoor cat food... I caught 27 coons there and never caught any of his cats one single time using marshmallows and jelly...
I'd go sweet. I used to use a product called Coon Crunch. Guessing it was dog food coated in something sweet. Smelled good. Recently I had a coon take up residency in my barn. I set a coon cuff with homemade bait....dog food with maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla and powdered sugar. I caught the coon and none of the cats or dogs messed with any of it.
Bananas, peanut butter and , wait for it, captain crunch!
"depends on where you're at"......yep.....
Marshmallows can’t miss Good Luck Lewis
I like marshmallows, plus they do not stink everything else up such as clothes, hands, vehicle if used, etc.
Menhaden oil and dry cat food.
Hot dogs, marshmallows, grape jelly, and a little liquid smoke sprayed really does a good job too.
I agree with ditch the cage trap and use a dp style instead. Much more effective and way less involuntary unwanted catches.
I use the cheapest dry cat food that I can find with fish in it
I know a "guy" and he uses marshmallows, cat food, and if they have salmon or trout for a meal, he uses the fish skin. Sounds and looks like there are lots of choices for success. I also believe he uses "cuff" style traps.
Virtually anything bacon ends and pieces and kind of pet food, sardines fish scraps their not picky especially this time of year
Marshmallows work great. I put 4 into a sandwich bag to keep them dry and leave the bag open and twist tie the corner of the bag to the bottom of the trap.
fruit loops in dogproofs, works great and non messy
I had no clue there were so many dog-proof options….
Anybody have a favorite? Any lemons to avoid??
I never used any sweet stuff for catching coons. Last year I had a problem with coons digging up my potted tomato and pepper plants on my front porch. I baited my traps with the cheapest hot dogs I could find, and I caught 12 coons in 2 and a half weeks.
Corax, there are sometimes differences in quality but they are all basically the same. The major difference is one is a "pull" only type, and the other is a "push/pull" type (those are triggers). I'm perfectly fine with either but at the moment I only have the pull type triggers.
Don't make this complicated. Bait is easy, traps are easy, no need for scent control... just buy a couple of traps, throw something in them, and wait for the coons to catch themselves.
Corax I own a half dozen or more of each the duke, bridger, and Z trap coon cuffs. The bridger and duke are pull only the Z trap is push or pull. The Z traps are so sensitive catching non targets like cats becomes a big issue. The duke and bridger work on the same system the only difference is the bridger has a round pan that is just flat a better design that equals higher catch rates.
If you have Mulberry trees by you, they are dropping berries like a blizzard right now and you can use those. Coons love 'em...and they're FREE!
And a dropping mulberry is a great place to set your traps. Coons will be there every night!
I use a mixture of mini-marshmallows, dry dog food kibbles & frito corn chips. Does not go bad and I can make up a zip loc bag of it to keep in my truck for re-baiting traps. I catch nuisance wildlife with this mixture regularly.
My go to bait for coons is strawberry sugar wafers, with a squirt of fish oil as a trailing lure. It's not so much what will catch a coon, as what will NOT catch everything else. Raccoon, skunk and opossum all eat the same stuff. Cats will avoid the sweets mostly.
Shwammerl, I like the baggie trick, thanks. Never thought of that, and I don't use the mellows cause they get sticky to the cage.
I load my Dog Proofs with marshmallows and grape jelly. Tuna stinks attracts skunks and oppussum
No way I could use strawberry sugar wafers for bait... I'd eat them before getting to the sets!
For Dogproofs, I like dry cat food, large marshmallow on top. Easier to clean up than wet or oily bait
Used peanut butter for years when I was catching them in live traps to train hounds.
I had tame raccoons raised from babies. Marshmallows were like crack to them. They went absolutely insane over them. My big male Smokey would hold a marshmallow in his hands and his hands would shake with it on the way to his mouth as he was drooling.
When I trapped them I used sardines, marshmallows, molasses, chunks of panfish, and whatever. Coons will eat all sorts of stuff.
Next time you fry some eggs, save the shells. Coons got a good nose, but the eggshell works superb as a sight bait.
Momma coons got babies in the den right about now, so don't catch and relocate.
A little off subject but I had a couple of coons messing with my apples in our yard so I put out a couple box traps caught one coon reset and this guy showed up and stayed for 4 hours yep I needed a bigger trap good luck
Well, so far so good… I don’t have any immediate need to read myself of raccoons, but it’s good to know in case it comes up. I’m curious, though… When you catch one in the cuff-type traps, do they howl and scream the way that they do when they’re mating? Things are pretty tightly packed around here, and I can imagine that it might be difficult to keep peace with the neighbors if they were to disapprove. So I’d need to be able to get right to it…
And FWIW, I would highly recommend checking your local laws on relocation efforts with “problem“ coons. Around here, rabies is a concern, and I don’t think it’s legal to transport them anywhere but to the train station. And I’m not a big fan of relocating problem animals where they can become somebody else’s problem anyway.
Fortunately, I am pretty friendly with a number of local LEOs, so I can make sure I keep myself out of trouble on licenses, permits, seasonal considerations, town ordinances, etc…. We have a LOT of those here… It ain’t Laramie.
Corax, I trap in my yard. Have never heard a trapped coon make noise. But, if you are worried about it put an old tire (no rim) around the trap. Once caught they crawl inside the tire and hide. No torn up circles or anything. It seems to calm them quite a bit.
Skittles work really well for me. Shelled field corn also.
Thanks, Scratch- great tip. I was just recalling a few cottontails which have gotten loud on me, and the houses are packed so tight here that noise like that is pretty well guaranteed to draw attention…
I use apples to avoid catching cats. Slice up and apple and you will catch coons, rabbits, ground hogs and once in a while a fox. I have caught all the above this year. Also lots of possums.
Very interesting. I'm going to tell the best coon bait that I've never caught anything besides a coon with. I've tried most everything listed and anything fishy is going to catch skunks or possoms and I don't want to catch skunks or possoms and I dang sure don't want that stuff on me or in my truck. This method was told to me by an old timer who has now passed on and he had caught alot of coons using it before telling me sometime in the mid 90's. It will catch a coon on the very first night everytime if there is a coon within 3 miles downwind. You're welcome.
I use the Duke dog proof traps with excellent luck. I';ve been having a big problem with coons this spring getting into everything. I use little dog treats for bait.
Sardines is what I’ve always used.
In my experience sardines will catch skunks 5+/1 over coons..
Not usually in a coon cuff although it's happened a time or two.