If you want to catch that obnoxious raccoon that's been digging into their garbage at night, you will need to know how to set a coon trap. While a number of different traps can be made to catch animals in the wild, many of which will incapacitate or kill them, you always have to worry about catching other animals like your pets or a neighbor's pets. To avoid this tragedy or confusion with other animals that may wander into the trap, it is important ot follow the directions below to ensure you catch a raccoon and only a raccoon.
Unless you are a raccoon hunter who wants pelts to show off, you probably don't want to kill the raccoon you are trying to catch, at least not with the trap itself. So you ideally want to catch the raccoon alive and turn it loose somewhere in the wild a long ways away from your home or turn it over to the local wildlife authorities. There are traps called Havahart traps that are simple steel traps that close behind an animal that wanders into it so they are stuck in one place. They will not be physically harmed and will be there whenever you check the trap the next morning. Make sure you buy a Havahart trap or one like it, so that you can catch raccoons humanely.
You will want to place the trap by the area the raccoons have been frequenting, like your back porch or trash cans, in order to catch them. If this doesn't work, place the trap near a water source that the raccoon will probably use in the future. You will also need to cover the trap in some way, either with a trashbag and leaves or a blanket. Raccoons are very smart animals and they can often identify traps if they are not well disguised, so make sure you do this.
Inside the trap you will need to place something that will draw the coon into it. One of the raccoon's best senses is smell, and this will draw them into the trap. So you will either need to purchase an anise scent that is similar to an animal a raccoon feeds on in the wild, like fish or fowl, or you should put especially smelly food garbage into the trap to draw the raccoons. However, some raccoons can be finicky about what they eat on a regular basis, so this may take some trial and error of baiting the trap with different types of food. Another idea is to put shiny objects in the trap, as raccoons are big fans of shiny things and will be drawn to them.
Once the trap is set, don't go near it. Raccoons also have a very good sense of sound and night vision, so if you are waiting outside to see the coon get caught, one probably won't even show up. So go inside and forget about the trap until the next morning. When you return to it, you will usually be happily surprised by what you find inside.