By Kevin L Webster
I love to go coyote hunting and teach others how to hunt them as well.
I'm going to give me some coyote hunting tips here and I'm going to assume that you're new to the sport, so I'll do my best to keep it simple.
Step One: Scouting Before You Go Coyote Hunting
We need to do a little scouting in order to find a coyote or other predator to hunt. Scouting is nothing more than looking for coyote/predator sign in the area you plan to hunt. Sign would be classified as tracks, scat, or any other indication that coyotes or other predators are in the area. I do a lot of scouting around waterholes, creek banks, grass patches, timber edges, etc. Coyotes and all other predators have to have water.
Another method of scouting I use is to talk to landowners and farmers in the area I'm going to hunt. They often times can tell me when and where they have seen coyotes and all other predators for that matter.
One other way I use to scout is to go to an area I plan to hunt on the night before I'm going. I'll get out my old howler coyote call, and let out a long lone howl. If there are any coyotes in the area they will usually respond back to me with a howl or bark of their own. This is really a lot of fun and you'll learn a lot about coyote behavior and vocalizations by doing this. I highly recommend it.
I also recommend that while you're scouting you make notes about the area you are going to hunt. Notes should include where you would expect a coyote to come from when you're calling. In other words where the cover (ditches, timber, grassy area, etc) is on the property you plan to hunt. This is important for our setup process which we are going to talk about next.
Step Two: Proper Entry And Set-Up For Coyote Hunting
So now we found an area with coyotes/predators that we're going to hunt. To give you an example, I am going to say that your hunting spot has the cover that you expect the coyote or other predator to come from on the northern edge of the property where you can hunt. So in this example it would be ideal if the wind was either from the north, east, or west. Certainly not from the south or you are going to be smelled by every varmint in the that cover. You'll be busted before you ever begin to call.
Here's a point that's vital to your success. "If you can't get into an area without being seen, smelled, or heard, your chances of successfully hunting a coyote/predator are very small." They have excellent senses.
So here's the scenario. You've pulled up to the spot you plan to hunt. Hopefully you found some cover of some kind or at least somewhere a ways away to park. From this point on your going to have to be quiet. Coyotes also have an excellent sense of hearing. Hopefully you also have on some kind of camouflage clothing that blends in with the season. This is not a necessity but it is very helpful.
Let's continue with the scenario...
Our covers is on the north. The wind is either out of the north, east, or west. Now we're going to walk to a spot where we can sit down and begin calling. Choose your spot wisely. Find somewhere to set where the outline of your body can be broken up by either a tree, some grass, or something behind you. Hay bails were great as well. A lot of times I will set in the shade of a hay bale.
Step Three: Begin To Call
Now it's time to begin calling. After I sit down I will usually wait just a couple of minutes to let things settle before I begin to call. Here's how I begin.
I'll start by blowing a long lone locate howl. Not too loudly though. Just in case there's a coyote close by. If after a couple minutes no coyote has appeared, I'll begin calling at a fairly low volume with my distress call. I predominately use a cottontail rabbit distress call. Reason being, here in Missouri a large part of the coyotes diet is cottontail rabbit. If you live out west you are most likely going to want to use a jack rabbit distress call. Jack rabbits are more prevalent there.
Now keep in mind when you begin calling that you are trying to imitate a very small animal that is in some kind of trouble. Either a hawk has got a hold of him, he's tangled up in a barbed wire fence, or something else is bringing him to his demise. When you call you are going to want to use short waa, waa, waa sounds. While you're blowing waa, waa, waa into your call, your going to want to be opening and closing your hand over the end of the call. This will help with making your call sound more distressed.
When I am calling I will do this for about 45 seconds at a time and then I will stop and look for approaching varmints. If none appear in a couple of minutes, I will begin the sequence again only this time I will do it a little louder and with even more emotion in my calling. I'm really trying to sell this varmint on the fact that I am a rabbit in a bunch of trouble. I'm the easy meal he's looking for.
I'll continue these 45 second calling sequences. Wait a couple minutes while looking for customers, then repeat the sequence. I'll do this until a varmint appears or until 45 minutes is up. Which ever comes first. Then I'll move on to my next hunting spot.
That's it for now. I hope this has been helpful for you.
Good luck and happy hunting!
Kevin Webster is an avid outdoorsman with over 20 years experience hunting coyotes and predators of all kinds. You can watch videos and get more Coyote Hunting Tips at his blog. You can also visit his Coyote Calling lens on Squidoo.
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