Hay! What’s Hay Got To Do With Catching Wolves?
By Toby Trigger
The tail gate dropped on my truck after a long walk to the top of a ridge and back in deep snow.
Like usual my hounds had made a mess going in and out of the dog box all winter and the hay (actually it is straw not hay but hey, hay makes for a god title!) had built up between the tail gate and my truck bed so much that it was getting tough to shut. I scraped out the straw and it landed on the ground. Two days later wolf tracks in the snow showed that an entire pack had come into the straw and scratched, pawed and maybe rolled in it.
Fast forward a couple years and a friend named Joe told me that he had trapped a wolf using straw from his dog box and that I should try it. I am always trying new things and this one seemed pretty good. At a place where wolves travel and where at one time I saw where a wolf urinated on a tree I bedded two traps about four feet apart. Then I grabbed an arm load of straw and put it against the base of a fir tree in a big clump. Next, I spread it out from thick to thin away from the tree and over one trap.
The trap was the lowest point inside the straw pile and lightly covered with straw pieces. The other trap was bedded outside of the straw ring but located where the last wolf that came through stepped while peeing on the tree. This was all blended in but the obvious pile of straw was a big eye catcher amidst snow and dark soil.
The result was a 95 pound male wolf a few days later. This wolf makes number 4 for the season and is the first wolf taken with this type of set on my trap line. Also worth noting is that several sets in the same general area made with gland lures have not received a visit.
Wolf trapping success seems to be more about proper location and very subtle sets than it is about the latest and greatest baits and lures. Here’s one more thing to add to your bag of tricks for wolf trapping.