Find a suitable location to place your camera. Coyotes are territorial animals that often use the same paths. Places such as valleys, old stream beds and logging roads are common travel routes. Another good location is near beaver dams between wet areas. Many animals, including coyote, prefer to keep their feet dry when possible. In desert country, a water hole is perfect.
Where legal, you can add some types of food as bait, such as road kill or table scraps. It may take time to lure in the predators, but it’s hard for them to pass up a free meal. When using a food source, be aware that coyote aren’t the only ones looking for a free meal. You frequently get a variety of animal pictures. Last winter, I set out a camera by a deer rib cage leftover from hunting season. The animals captured by the camera included a pine marten, fisher, weasel, skunk, jays, crows — and yes, a pair of coyotes.
Make sure your equipment is as scent-free as possible. Walk into the area with rubber boots and scent-reducing clothing, if you can. Find a location for your camera that will allow you to attach it to a tree at least 20 feet from a trail or bait. Wipe your camera with scent-eliminating wipes while wearing rubber gloves. I leave the camera out for at a week or longer before even checking for pictures. This gives the area time to settle down and the scent to dissipate.
Setting out trail cameras for predators can be extremely effective and educational. You learn what is visiting the site and when so you can use your limited hunting hours to your best advantage. Plus, it’s fun to see all the different critters that show up!