Few attractants peak a predators curiosity like urine. A predators nature is to protect its territory, so when it smells the scent of a competing animal it feels compelled to investigate. Urine's are very effective at dirt hole sets, flat sets and of course, scent post sets. Urine used alone is effective but used in conjunction with a gland lure, food lure or bait it can be part of a deadly combination.
When purchasing urine seek out a high quality product. Its perfectly normal for urine to have an ammonia smell to it after sitting awhile. That smell will quickly dissipate at the set or when uncapped and allowed to breath for a few hours. As far a color goes, urine color varies widely based on diet, collection method and animal. The color of urine isn't usually a good gauge of quality. Good quality urine can be light, dark or anywhere in the middle. I have noticed it get darker over time but it does not affect its effectiveness. If urine has a strong sewage smell its usually a good indicator that bacteria has been introduced and has started to destroy the urine. This may be due to poor collection methods and allowing fecal matter to be collected with the urine. Urine with a sewage smell should be discarded.
Storing urine is best done in a cool, dark place. Temperature is less of a factor in destroying urine than light. Light breaks down urine. Urine should always be stored for long periods in darkness and when possible, in a cool place or even frozen. When purchasing urine from Dougherty & Sons Fur Stretchers and Trapping Supplies you can be assured you are getting a quality product. We obtain only the best urine from reputable partners and package it ourselves so we smell every bottle before capping them.
As far as which urine to use its generally accepted that in most parts of the country, coyotes are at the top of the food chain. bobcats come next, then gray foxes, then red foxes. Using the urine of subordinate species will typically yield interest from that animal and all that reign above it. With that in mind Red Fox urine is considered the universal urine when trapping predators. That doesn't mean the others don't have a place in your bag of tricks. If coyotes and coyotes alone are your target by all means use coyote urine. You may help keep foxes out of your sets. I say "may" because you will surely catch other animals with coyote urine if you trap enough, this is just a general theory concerning hierarchy in the predator world. If trapping bobcats is your goal you should absolutely, 100% use bobcat urine. It has proven to out trap all other urine in most parts of the country. Other urine's will take cats sure, but bobcat urine seems to be more effective based on feedback from the big time cat trappers.
When applying urine at a set you don't need to go nuts, sometimes more isn't better. It's unlikely you can use too much to turn an animal off but why waste it if you don't need to? Squirt an amount that an actual canine would discharge when urinating at a level a canine would mark. Watch your dog next time it's let out for the evening. Squirting urine 4 feet up a fence post probably isn't the most effective use of that product. Think about where a male canine would mark that fence post, maybe 9-12" up? A flip top, pint sized bottle is my preferred applicator. Reapply after a rain or about every 3-5 days.
I offer this information with the caveat that nothing in trapping is 100%. Try things for yourself and experiment. You may find things that completely contradict the information in this article end up working best for you.
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