Gone Outdoors

How to Trap a Raccoon Using Bait

by Carole Ellis

Whether you like to hunt raccoons, train hunting dogs or have a raccoon pest problem, you may need to trap a raccoon using bait. Raccoons are very intelligent animals, and they have to be trapped in a certain way or they will almost always escape. Unfortunately, once a coon escapes, you will never be able to trap it again. Make sure you follow the instructions carefully to catch your raccoon once and for all.

1. Set the live trap. Generally, this involves setting up the box of the trap and propping the door of the trap open. Place your trap in an area you believe the raccoon will enter or investigate. If you are having raccoon troubles at your house, set it near your garbage cans or near where you believe they are entering the house. If you are just trying to trap a raccoon, put the trap near a creek where you have seen raccoon prints. The trap does not need to be disguised in any way. Raccoons are extremely curious, so the bait will likely be too much to resist and they will want to explore the unusual apparatus.

2. Bait the trap. You will need to open the food and spread it in the trap. Although the trap will have a bait holder that also acts as the door trigger, do not place the bait on it. Place the can of food on the other side of the bait holder, away from the doorway. If the trap is a wire cage, do not place the bait near the edge or the raccoon will reach through the side of the cage to get it. Most raccoons are so cautious that if the bait is merely left on the holder, they will reach in with their paws and pull the can of bait towards them. Even if this action triggers the trap, most raccoons' arms are long enough that the door will not capture them in the trap, and they will be able to back out and get away successfully.

3. Be patient. You may have to leave the trap in place for several days before the raccoon gets tempted enough by the food to enter the trap. However, if you wait long enough, you will be rewarded. If the bait is placed on the other side of the bait holder away from the door, the raccoon has virtually no choice but to go inside the trap to reach the food. When he does so, whether he reaches for the food and triggers the door or physically steps on the bait holder and triggers the door, you will have successfully trapped him.

Items you will need
  • One live trap
  • Canned fish cat food or canned tuna