Steel leghold traps of size No. 2 or 3 can be used to catch porcupines where legal. Cubby sets with salt baits, trail sets in front of dens, and coyote urine scent post sets near dens and damage activity are effective. Scent post and trail sets must be checked daily to release nontarget animals that might be caught. Leghold traps should be bedded, firmly placed and leveled, and offset slightly to the side of the trail. The trapped porcupine can be shot or killed by a sharp blow to the head.
The No. 220 or 330 Conibear® body-gripping trap can be baited with a salt-soaked material or placed in den entrances to catch and kill porcupines. Care must be taken to avoid taking nontarget animals, since salt attracts many animals. The Conibear® trap does not allow the release of accidental catches. Some states do not allow the use of No. 330 Conibear® traps for ground sets.
Porcupines are rather easy to cagetrap with large commercial wire traps (32 x 10 x 12 inches [81 x 25 x 30.5 cm]) or homemade box traps. Place the trap in the vicinity of damage and bait with a salt-soaked cloth, sponge, or piece of wood. Cage/box traps also can be set at den entrances. Move the porcupine 25 miles (40 km) or more to ensure that it does not return. Since most areas of suitable habitat carry large porcupine populations, relocation of the porcupine often is neither helpful nor humane since the introduced animal may have a poor chance of survival. Additionally, some states prohibit the translocation of any wildlife without explicit written agency permission.
Porcupines are mobile and continually reinvade control areas. Complete control is not desirable since it would require complete removal of porcupines. Try to limit lethal porcupine control to individual animals causing damage by fencing and management of the plant species. In areas of high porcupine populations, plant ornamentals that are not preferred foods. Intensive predator control may encourage porcupine population increases.