Predator Hunting – A Few Basics

No tactics were involved the last time I harvested a coyote. In fact, I became excited when I first glimpsed hair moving through the brush thinking it was a giant Illinois buck. I slowly stood up and checked my mechanical release. Trijicon sponsored the deer hunt and I was one of a few select writers putting Trijicon’s first archery sight, the AccuPin, through its paces.

Normally, I may have let the coyote walk. A coyote is not worth disturbing the deer woods when monster bucks are due to start cruising, but the deer action had been slow the entire hunt and I wanted to chalk up a critter to the new sight. I zipped an arrow through the vitals from 17 yards and the song dog piled up about 20 yards later.

You can’t beat luck. It can be just that easy; however, most often it’s not. While that was an easy one, I must admit it did not bring near the satisfaction of calling a predator in at eye level. If you are looking for a little off-season action coyotes are not only fun, you’ll be helping out the local wildlife and domestic livestock.

The Right Setup

Coyotes are ripe year round. They can devastate local livestock and wildlife during calving season. Calves and fawn are easy prey for a coyote. Just as the deer or elk rut is prime season, late February through early March is the coyote breeding season and the best time to thin the pack.

Coyote hunting can be an all-day sport, but peak movement will be in the early morning hours and at dusk. Well, that is only half-true. Most states consider coyotes a varmint and unregulated. That means no tags and few restrictions. With the right gear, you can go all night long for a completely new experience for most. Imagine being out on the range, coyotes howling and yipping at each other on the hilltops and you are the hunt. It is an experience.

Coyotes depend on sight, sound and smell rather equally. If the coyote has a vulnerability, it would have to be the hearing, but the nose would certainly be its best defense. Once a coyote hears the call signaling an easy meal, it will normally try get a whiff from downwind to check thing out first. Cover scent will help, but a large rock or cliff base, river or steep embankment is better. If possible keep the dog from getting downwind. If that is not possible, keep one eye pointed in that direction.

Calling and Decoying

I received a real education on calling when I hunted with World Calling Champion, Al Morris. Beyond understanding the terrain, Al can speak the right language and brings ‘em in like they were on a string. The downside—if you are not hunting with a world calling champion—is your calling will bring the coyote right to your spot. That’s why I prefer electronic calls. You can place electronic calls several yards away. By using several calls, and randomly alternating which one you use, you can simulate wounded prey on the move to keep from being pinpointed.

There are several quality motion decoys on the market and where legal they work to add the motion that makes the noise seem real to coyote. However, electronic decoys are illegal in many areas, but here is a cheap alternative. Tie a couple of turkey feathers to an old arrow shaft or fishing pole. The feathers will dangle and blow, catching the song dog’s eye and keeping it away from you.

Share your favorite coyote hunting tips with us in the comment section and be sure to check back soon for follow-up articles about coyote hunting.

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Comments (17)

  1. Montgomery Co. in Maryland is one of the wealthiest in the US. It is 72% democrat. You wanna talk rich, look at the democrats.

  2. Come on guys, not all Californians are liberal loons. Unfortunately, we are a little outnumbered by them though. That being said…Fred I’m in California if you don’t want to travel as far. Come and get it…

    …oh wait. I forgot that the liberals are all to big of pussies to actually do anything. …and Fred take a look at your payroll taxes (if you have a job) and tell me who your master is? Last I checked it wasn’t the big bad successful bussinessmen who were getting roughly half my income in taxes.

    “Inflation is the one form of taxation that can be imposed without legislation.”
    Milton Friedman

    “The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation.”
    Vladimir Lenin

  3. James, just give him a pat on the head, instruct him to put on his baseball cap on backwards and give him a small stipend to mow the lawn. Fred really can’t help himself and will undoubtedly end up in San Francisco on taxpayer-paid assistance as a homeless person. Just make sure you don’t step in his sidewalk-saturated urine.

    You will know Fred when you see him: He will be sitting next to his absconded Safeway grocery cart, with heavy weed-stained beard, and clothes that have that well-known SF sewer odor, with his back to the nearest sun-soaked wall. Don’t worry about him; he is considered a hero in SF, what with free rent, free medical and dental, plus a never-ending supply of liberal “compassion” from the locals. The tourists call it “color.”

  4. Fred… I guess you are intimidated by finding people you consider your peers who are well beyond your limited thought process. Actually, your attitude on refusing the strength of the Constitution certainly demonstrates your size 8 understanding of a size 12 concept of life in the US. Yes I am trying to make this comment in terms you can relate to.

    I guess you also agree with the South Carolina board of education which suspended the 12 yr old who disarmed the student on the bus and was confronting other students. He was suspended because the schools policy was 0 tollerence on guns… even when the confermed story shows he saved lives, because he had the gun when the police got there his effort wasrewarded with a suspension last month. I am sorry your self confidence on being able to control yourself in challenging situations is so low. I am sorry I can not teach you to fish. I sure do not want to give you the fish otheres have caught. Please go pick your navel lint elsewhere you are to repulsive here.

  5. Hey Fred, come to GA, we like to have open season on varmits. You’ll fit right in. Just remember down inb the southern part of the state we have big lizards with big ol teeth and th hogs have long cutters.

  6. Fred learn to spell distroy spelled destroy. Altra spelled ultra. You are another fine example of the product produced by our left wing teachers unions.

  7. Beware folks, have been reading about a wealthy leftist (sorry I cannot remember his name) that is buying up pro gun media (TV) and magazines, with the purpose of gutting them, but I also suspect that some will remain with insidious anti 2nd amendment and gun messages that will be part of “re-education” campaign. Just a heads up, and it may well be a good time to ID these magazines and develop competitors that should do well. Also might be a good time for a litmus test on pro gun media to state clearly, they are pro 2nd Amendment without infringements.

  8. Say, Frederic, this is not a political forum. Your comment has nothing to do with varmint hunting, DOES IT?? If you want to crow about your liberal politics, take it somewhere else. (I wonder if Frederic’s post is just another government-sourced computer-generated post I read about recently; it is too absurd to be from a real person).

  9. Speaking of varmints, I like using a 223, 17 or a 22 mag depending on how I feel that day or night but I have been looking for a sporterized version of a 5.5. The stock could be either wood or synthetic and the action bolt or semi-auto, the reason is both the 5.5 and the 223 can befired safely from this breech, thus having the advatage of adding a few more yards to a shot and having a bit more power plus there is the ammo cost savings. I just happen to like a traditional stock but it doesn’t appear that anyone has decided to make a sporterized 5.5….anyone ever hear of a make or model with these traits?
    I may just buy the parts and assemble my own…..

  10. Fred, you’re an idiot, and probably a government employee (or former). Obama over hyped everything. The Sky is not falling. Scare tactics, just like with guns. You somehow got on the wrong web site.

  11. I have to think it is painful for a Democrat to live in a Republic. If you don’t know what I am talking about Fred, and I suspect you don’t, then repeat after me “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” In a nut shell Fred, we are a Representative Republic not a Democracy, and we are under the authority of a supreme law, The Constitution. Being under the authority of a constitution is what keeps us from being over run by changing popular opinions and moral relativism. The reason the founders set us up this way is because they knew that people aren’t as smart as they think they are and the weak minded and morally weak can be influenced by charismatic leaders that could potentially topple a democracy. By this point you may start to realize that we are a Republic, Republic is the root word of Republican, so it is the Democrats that are destroying the Republic, not the other way around.

  12. Hey Fred I am in Florida if that is closer for you, Although I am not often concidered a preditor but if you want to label you can call me your huckleberry and i will give you ground, then it’s my turn!

  13. Hey Fred,
    If you want to take out a Republican so bad, I’ll give you a location and you can come find me. Just remember, there is a reason Man is called the most dangerous game. But like most liberal f@#ks, you are essentially a coward.

  14. Wow Dave, thanks, and my favorite kind of hunting, Quail being next probably. You’re absolutely right about all you’re facts. You see ’em daily, when you’re not even hunting. As road kill. That’s wher you memories those areas, and mark the times (as close as you can determine if possible, maybe if it wasn’t there 3 hours earlier), the date, and keep these patterns in your head. Also, as soon as you see road kill, start looking off both sides of the road, providing you safetly can. They get as used to constant traffic sounds more than you get used to seeing their road kill evidence. I’ve seen them in areas where they cross like that within a mile and a half of my place many times like that among other places I’ve spent much time driving between smaller rural type crossings with a red light, and big cities. Sometimes, thet’re just ten yards across the right of way fencing, either slowing to re-c,ompose themselves and establish their next course of action. Sometimes, they might be that close or closer to the fence, standing still, erect, and very intent on the spot across the road they want to get to. Running 60ish, come on, be honest with yourself, and a Coyote standing broad side five yards over the fence, you have to be very alert.
    I was very fortunate to get to meet Murry Burnham once, more than twenty five years ago, of Burnham Brothers Game Calls. In my day, before Varmint hunting was cool, before it was all over the Sportsman Channel, before everybody hunted everything that didn’t fly with an AR platform, (well, that too, now.) I hunted with shot gun/handgun more than with .223 to ‘.06 bolt guns(remember them?). I used mouth calls, (electronics were just a new idea, not nearly as widely used, or avalable, like today.) Handguns usually meant my un-scoped Super Blackhawk, and the shotgun always had 28″ or more of barrel, with nice bluing, and real Walnut stocks. I understand your comments about deciding on either a deer or coyote. I can tell you that if you just walked 3/4 mile on a hot fall afternoon early to let the woods settle down, the last thing you want to do is climb 26 feet up in your folding chair in a Live Oak, catch your breath, take a drink……….and shoot straight down at a six foot Rattle Snake with your ‘.06. It’ll take at least 30 minutes for the rattles to stop rattling, and even 26 ft straight up, it’s so loud you could hear what sounded like constant Locusts, thru a P.A. one of those cherished hunting memories, and a lesson. I waited ’til his head was on top of a saucer sized slab of Limestone, held my 3X Bushnell about 2″ to the left of his head, and there was only about half an inch of hide keeping the head attatched to the body. My taidermist did a great job, so yeah Dave, been there, done that. One thing about the way I always hunted; I had always been taught not to over call an area, to move half a mile to caall again, and to let that area remain un-called for a few weeks. Most Predators learn very quickly and remember very well, when you make a mistake, I’ve also been taught that you usually see and call more males, that the females usually will lay back, letting males investigate for food. I have a beutiful female, a full hide that I salted on half a sheet of plywood, like a rabbit. I shot it in December ’83 when it was 4 degrees at night, and 10 to 12 degrees in the daylight…… For two and a half weeks. I chalked it up to her beeing desparete for food. About a 40 pounder. I wonder, about the rest of the readers, if they’ve experienced any of the same tendancies.
    The trick about thr Turkey feathers is a new one on me, thanks. I guess if you call it visual, i have taken a few rabbits I’d shot for bait, (around large metro areas, many of the rabbits you see have parosites, not fit to eat.) And just gut them, leaving the entrails hanging 2 or 3 feet from them, and tye them to Mysquite limbs, so it’s hanging about a foot off the ground, and use that as an attractant/odor masking scent.
    Oh, and if doing it at night, (new moon being best) be carefull to wear a hat you’re not to fond of. Somehow, a dark brown or camo tobogan looks just like a rabbit to an Owl, or Hawk. Both illegal to retaliate on, by the way. Still, after blow the call, and listening for brush noises, and looking up and down wind while feeling your heart pump, a 4 ft ceiling fan trying to take your hat off, will catch you rather quickly off guard.
    Yeah Dave, I’m dis-abled and don’t really hunt anymore, and I’m not sure I could kill another deer, although I could skin, quarter, butcher, and wrap 3 or 4 a day in my sleep, Predator hunting is largely considered an aid to the ranchers, and a pest, but I like to think of most of them as trophies of the highest order. Hunting Coyotes, Foxes, and Bobcats makes deer hunting about as exciting as shooting a cow.

  15. If you REALLY WANT TO DISCUSS, “Predator Hunting – A Few Basics”, you should think about disposing of those Republicans that want to distroy our Democracy and give total power to the altra (sick) rich.

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