If you have been trapping for any length of time, you undoubtedly know about the dirt hole. The dirt hole set has probably been responsible for the demise of more furbearers than any other set. The versatility of this tool is unmatched and the set methods and possibilities are as endless as it’s potential.
Dirt Hole – A Simple Concept
In the grand scheme of things, it is a simple concept, really. Dig a hole, and they will come. Every trap-worthy creature we pursue will take some degree of interest in a dirt hole. This reason is simple, because a hole in the dirt means something dug it, and that something usually means “food”. It is like you and I driving down the highway and you see a Burger King or Subway sign. What subconsciously pops into your mind…”Food”.
From Here It Gets More Detailed
There are endless ways to use a dirt hole. Endless details that you can use or avoid depending on what you like to do. For the rest of this article I will talk about dirt holes as they pertain to coyote trapping. Most, but not all, of my dirt holes are made with my cordless drill with an auger attached. Another method is to use your drill with a bulb planting attachment, which will work in softer more workable soils. The dirt holes I dig are six to twelve inches deep and about three to four inches wide. This is the fastest and easiest hole for me to construct when the soil conditions are good. Down in this hole I will throw a wad of bait about the size of a golf ball. On the lip of the hole I will slap a dab of lure about the size of an M&M and on the backing I will sometimes squirt some urine. I don’t always use the urine, but I will 90% of the time use the bait and lure in combination.
The Goals Of The Set
No matter where I choose to make a dirt hole or how I make it, there are certain criteria that must be met before I can consider the set complete and walk away. The bait in the hole must not be visible. This adds to the intrigue of the hole, and will keep the predator at the set longer trying to figure out what is down there that smells so good.
Often I will plug the hole with a wad of sheep’s wool or a grass ball and cover the bait with it. The other criteria is that there should only be one way for that predator to see down that hole to find out what is down there. In other words, one direction of approach. This single method of approach is where you set the trap. Make sure they cant circle around the back of the hole or the side in order to see whats down there.
In future articles I will go into more detail on dirt holes, such as what I do at different times of year, what I do for different species, etc.