I have see educated coyotes before. One time one would not only spring the trap, but leave a cigar shaped present behind to let the trapper know what he thought of him. So in stead of the urine soaked branch, a three sided house was built complete with top from prickly pear ears. A cottontail was shot and left inside. To get to it, he had to cross the area with the buried trap. He would spring the trap and take the cottontail and leave us a present. We repeated the process three times always with the same results. Then we set the normal set but added three more traps to the set. The next morning when we checked the trap he had sprung the usual trap, but stepped in one of the new ones and while bouncing around to get free stepped in a second one. One on the right front and one on the left back. When we approached him he had a look of resignation. He knew he had played too long and had be outsmarted. He never gave an inch though. He just accepted his fate. I taped his muzzle and took the traps off. He never resisted. When I took the tape off his muzzle he never moved. He finally stood up and took about three steps. Then looked back and with a quick motion he whipped his muzzle in the air like to say "up yours, buster" and slowly trotted away. We couldn't help but laugh. It is a big no, no to ever let one go after he is caught, but who would have the heart to kill such an animal. A trappers job is to just control an out of control population not to eradicate them.
While live capture traps are required here, because this is an urban area I would likely still use them. I catch a heck of a lot more cats, coons, possums and skunks than I do coyotes. Those are all released with the exception of some rabid coons a few years back. Rabies took quite a toll on them, but strangely never did much to the coyotes.
You are right about not looking like a cage. Natural camo,, dirt over the wire floor, back of the cage not covered to where they can see through it are all things to do.
One trick I had to do a few times that I did deploy cages.
I wired it to where the cage door would NOT fall if one got in it. And I set 4 cages out like that in an area. Baited,, let them find & get the easy meal a few times,, (watching things with game cameras to make sure it was coyotes visiting things.) Then,, switched things by adding fresh bait,, and setting the traps. Got my pair like that. Took almost 2 weeks of work for them. The customer was willing to pay for all the work.
The 'boys' have caught 2 yoties and a bobcat in a full week of having traps set. That's not much considering the coyote population in the area of operation. One big male yote was caught in a location that has produced 3 catches over the past 5 years.
Far less productive than an insomniac geezer in a heated blind watching a bait pile with a nightvision scope. I plead the 5th on how I know this.
Human scent is noticed by them,, but a concentration of it where food or an attractant may be will cause them to be extra cautious. And if you are trying to get them to place a foot in a spot with a trap,, you do not want them standing back, sniffing & cautiously digging around it to see what that human left behind.
Many a trap has been dug up & moved,,, without tripping it by canines.
Because I deal with urban coyotes I don’t have to worry about my scent to a large degree. These critters are used to human scent and as they have no fear of man they just ignore it.
Apparently some folks are thinking I set traps in my front yard. Never tried it but my camera has picked up a few. My rear property line extends well down into a canyon and most of the property is undeveloped. The canyon is the yotes version of a freeway. I set my traps well away from my home.
The only problem I’ve had were a few neighbors who took offense to my trap and kill program. One went so far as to destroy one of my traps. What he didn’t know is I have a game camera covering the area. He ended up moving after he finished dealing with the sheriff and paying for a new trap.