The hay set works best in snow, as the visual of the hay on the snow is a real eye catcher for coyote. This set produces for me when other sets would not operate due to snow and frozen ground. If you have fox in your area, this set will catch them also.
Like any coyote set, you must make the hay set where you know the coyotes roam. Some good locations are farmland tractor paths, and especially where such a path meets a hedgerow or multiple crop edges. Coyotes like to travel the “waterways”, the green grassy strips used for drainage in crop fields. Check these locations out for coyote sign in mud or snow. Because coyotes hunt small rodents as a main food source, they will work wherever there is brush to support the small animals. Find the pathways coyote use to get from one place to another.
There is not much more equipment needed for this set than other coyote sets. Of course you will need hay. Bales of hay are easily obtainable from farmers, or even farm stores sell them. If you can get hay that has been in a chicken coop, that works best. The coyotes will be attracted to the odor of the chickens on the hay. Each set will require two traps. But if your traps are set up to be cross-staked (they should be for this set), you will only need two stakes per set.
Set so the chain lengths from trap to trap are about 12 to 18 inches. Set the traps right on level ground and be sure they are not real wobbly. It is not necessary to dig out a trap bed, but I often dig out a bed if the conditions will allow in the ground for them to set into, and bed them solidly. If you can’t, do not worry too much about it. Whether I dig out a trap bed, or not, I like to set the trap on waxed dirt. This will allow the set to keep working in freeze-thaw conditions.
Take a small slice of hay and set it between the traps. This is where you will place the coyote urine and/or gland lure when you are done making the set. The urine goes right on top in the center, gland lure to the sides facing the traps, just a few drops each side. Do not put urine or lures on until you have finished the hay arranging, and do not let any get on the traps.
Take some hay and lightly sprinkle it over the 2 traps, breaking up the outline of the traps. When satisfied with this, apply the urine and/or gland lure. Just a squirt of the urine will do, and a few drops each of the gland lure on each side as already stated. This is all there is to constructing a hay set. It is simple to make, and will catch coyotes when other sets are frozen in the ground. Do not get too close to check. If you can drive up, do so, but do not get out. Or use binoculars. Any unneeded human odors will hurt any coyote set.