I am far from a coyote-calling champion, and certainly do not get as much practice as I would prefer—too many hobbies and the boss still expects me to somehow get my work done. That’s why, when I headed out to do a little predator hunting the other day, I opted to use a digital call. I have a couple of dandies with a ton of different buttons and sounds. I wasn’t sure one would work best, but I was bound to try at least a handful and see what kind of results I could get.
Coyotes are a funny lot. They are driven by hunger and a natural suspicion that make them extremely skittish. If Yogi Berra were a hunter he may have described coyotes as being driven by fear 90 percent of the time and hunger the other half.
I remember learning that lesson the hard way. I once lined up a coyote at about 100 yards. It was just trotting along, searching for food and acting like it did not have a care in the world. That is until the safety made a slight ‘snick’ as I switched it off. At that distance, I didn’t give much thought as to whether or not the dog would hear anything. The noise was so slight and the coyote so far. Anyway, as soon as I had the crosshairs on it, I was going to whistle or something. I figured the noise would cause it to post up for a second and give me a good shot.
I learned the difference between the brainpower of song dogs and myself that day. As soon as that safety broke, the coyote was in high gear and looking for a neighboring zip code. While I did not get the dog that day, I did walk away with an education that has served me well since.
I have learned not to take them for granted. Occasionally, you can get away with a lot movement and noise. You can squeal like a cottontail in area that have never seen a cottontail since time immemorial and still be successful. You can also use the same call in a cottontail Mecca and send the coyote scampering away with its tail between its legs.
To be a successful predator hunter, you must remain agile and be prepared to change tactics as the conditions dictate. Electronic calls can aid in this effort by removing the requirement of relying on a single sound or call. E-callers allow you to play multiple sounds at once. You can make it squeal like a dying rabbit and rustling leaves at the same time. You can play a soft squeaking mouse to pique a dog’s curiosity bellow out a call that get some distance or locate a predator in dense hardwoods such as a feral hog in distress.
I must say, I do not have all of the answers nor have I had the pleasure of pursing dogs in all states. So I leave the question up to our readers. What is your go-to coyote call? Do you prefer to do the work and blow on a mouth call or rely on modern-day technology to do the work for you? Have a particular sound that works every time? Let us know about your favorite tactic or set up. This is your chance to be the expert for a change and tell us about your favorite call or strategy. I’ll then collect the best responses and tactics and feed them into another article crediting the author.
Can you unlock the secrets of calling predators close? Let us know in the comment section.