Coyote Bait Pile

Larry R

Old Mossy Horns
As some of you are aware I do my best to maintain bait piles for coyotes. I really like coyotes, especially in the cross hairs of my .223 and night scopes. . LOL.
Several years ago I shot a small buck the first day of bow and arrow season. I noticed it was slightly limping but it didn't appear to have a serious injury. Anyway I shot it, took it home (less than a quarter mile) to gut and hang in in a walk in cooler. Hanging in the cooler to age we do not skin the animal until after we consider it aged.

After aging my nephew and I started skinning the deer. At one point before removing the hide from that area I felt something sticking out on the side but not penetrating the skin. I mentioned it to my nephew and as we skinned down over that area we found an excessive amount of puss. I found a broadhead and about 6 inches of an arrow shaft in the body but underneath the skin. It was obvious that someone had shot that deer prior to the opening of the bow and arrow season. After that we decided it was probably best that we not attempt to salvage ANY of the deer. I took the entire carcass and placed it on my coyote bait pile, wiring it down so the coyotes couldn't drag it away. That carcass remained there until it completely dried up. NOTHING, not even possums, buzzards, crows, hawks and coyotes touched that carcass. It didn't appear to rot at all, just dried up.

Last month a friend called and had a baby calf that had died and asked me if I would like it for the coyote bait pile. I took it and wired it down at my coyote bait pile. Every time I took additional bait to place on the bait pile, the additional bait would disappear BUT THAT CALF HAS NOT BEEN TOUCHED. it too is just drying up, doesn't appear to be rotting at all just drying up. I have had probably at least 200 video clips of coyotes and untold number of coons, crows, possums and hawks on my game cameras consuming the added bait but not one of the video clips show ANYTHING even approaching that dead calf carcass.

Somehow they all know that those carcasses were not edible. I would be interested in knowing just how they know, just what was wrong with those two animals.


Twelve Pointer
No clue, but during my Idaho days, a few ranchers would call us when a calf/cow died and we'd haul it off for bait, and sometimes, the same result as you.


Old Mossy Horns
Have no clue on the deer carcass but suspect it had something to do with the odor caused by the infection.

On the calf, if it had been medicated, that will cause the wild critters to leave it alone. It is a common occurrence for trappers to see this refusal around dead piles or pits where farmers dispose of animals that die after being given medication. Again, I believe this to be due to the smell of the medicated critter versus one that had not been given medicine. After all, smell is the number one sense for a lot of wild critters, especially so for those who make their living as predators.


Ten Pointer
I was trapping where calves were being taken. A cow died so I had the rancher drag it to the back where I set around it for two weeks. I saw the same thing happen. Two weeks and not even a possum.

Larry R

Old Mossy Horns
Just for the records I have had farmers call me when they had cows/yearlings die and I went and set up during the day time on those carcasses and I have killed coyotes. As far as I know those animals had NOT been medicated. Since it happened to the deer then the calf I didn't connect it to possible medication but now considering Harold's comments it is a good possibility that the calf had been medicated. It's also a good possibility that the yotes could smell the infection in the deer and that caused them to completely ignore the carcass.

Out of curiosity when I get back home I'try to remember to ask the owner if the calf had been medicated.