Coyotes are smart night hunters and can be elusive. You’ll need to be extremely smart to outsmart coyotes. Hunting coyotes is one most the most challenging adventures you can do.
After a summer season of hunting deer, turkey, upland birds, and waterfowl, winter is not the time to relax. It s time to hunt these night predators. And the good news is that most landowners will let you hunt coyotes.
But how do you go about hunting coyotes? First, you must locate them. This can be done by attracting them with sounds of prey in distress, taking a deep breath, and shooting.
Keep reading below for tips to help you hunt coyotes.
Benefits of hunting coyotes
Hunting coyotes is beneficial in so many ways. First, hunting coyotes helps manage their population. Few wolves and large pumas mean coyotes have few predators. Mountains lions are also few leading to an increase in the coyote population.
This leaves hunting coyotes as the only way to manage their population. According to National Geographic, the coyote population is increasing every year despite increased hunting efforts.
You can also hunt coyotes everywhere without a kill limit. Keeping their population down also helps deer and small game populations thrive. Coyotes impact deer. Livestock and small game populations.
Hunting coyotes also affect deer hunting strategies. Wounded deer cannot be left as coyotes are good at tracking them down. Lastly, coyote hunting helps you stay active throughout the year.
Coyote Hunting Preparation
Coyote hunting starts with early preparation of the necessary gear, weapons, clothing, etc. You’ll then need to scout and lure them.
The first step is choosing the right equipment. You need different accessories, hunting rifles, and products for efficient hunting. Below is some essential gear to have ready before heading out to hunt.
- Mouth calls
- Electronic calls
- Seats and support
- Shooting support
- Other essentials
These are the essentials, but you still add more depending on the hunting habitat. These are things like high-quality boots, sunglasses, range bags, etc.
First, coyotes don’t just live anywhere. You must know their habitat to scout them. A good hunter must understand prey behavior and habitat.
Understanding coyotes’ behavior will help you plan well and outsmart them. What food do they like? What do they hate? You will need a good hunting scope to zoom them from a distance.
Knowing what coyotes eat is a great way to narrow down their habitat. Their diet changes throughout the year. Most coyotes will depend on small mammals like mice, rabbits, squirrels, and rats throughout the year.
You can also check them on brushy creeks, CRP fields, marshes, swamps, and river bottoms. Knock on nearby farmhouses and ask about coyotes’ habitats.
Lastly, try and look for tracks or listen to barks. Coyote howls can be heard at dawn and dusk.
Now that you know where the coyotes live, you must lure them to a shooting position. You also need to understand how coyotes react to new scents and sounds.
You can lure coyotes with calls, deer carcasses, deer meat, decoys, etc. Coyotes have a great scent and call smell fresh blood from a distance. You can set a coyote carcass in the woodline to give coyotes a sense of cover in a good shooting area.
Coyote calls also mimic animal sounds in distress and can easily lure coyotes. Coyotes are always after injured deer. So if you can imitate a sound of an injured deer, then you can lure coyotes.
Calls can be made by hand or using electronic devices.
Coyote Hunting Techniques
Now that you know where to locate coyotes and how to lure them, it’s time to learn the hunting technique. Below are some techniques to learn.
Knowledge of Terrain
When hunting coyotes in specific areas, you must understand the terrain. Coyotes are adaptive creatures and can live in different terrains. In flat country areas, you can find them cover seams, marsh areas, logger’s landing, meadows, and clear-outs.
A combination of transitions, clearings, and thick covers will help take your calls further. In hill country areas, you need knowledge of the valleys, hollows, draws, washes and gullies.
Techniques of Spotting Coyotes
How do you know if coyotes are around? Coyote spotting techniques include checking for tracks and scats and listening to howling. Howling for coyotes happens for various reasons. It can be a show of bonding, territory occupancy, etc.
Make sure you listen to various coyote sounds like whines, howls, and barks. You can also check for scats that are feces. Coyote scats are rope-like and filled with bones and hair.
Tracks also indicate the presence of coyotes nearby. However, you must be able to differentiate between coyote tracks and wild dog tracks. Coyotes travel in a straight line, while coyotes travel in serpentine.
Different types of traps
Apart from luring, spotting, and shooting coyotes, you can also trap them. Foothold traps are the most common and are broken down into three different categories. These are jumps, long springs, and coil springs.
Coil spring traps are the most common and available in different sizes. But the most important is setting the trap at the right location. You need a location beside a fence where coyotes often walk.
Lastly, when hunting coyotes, you need to be safe. Coyotes are wild animals and can charge. They can also be susceptible to diseases. So be careful when handling them. You also need to be safe when handling firearms.
Staying Safe in Coyote Country
Coyotes are skittish around humans and will always try to avoid them. But if you encounter them, below are some safety tips.
- Never feed or tame a coyote
- Never turn your back or run away
- If coyotes approach, make loud noises
- Throw a rock or object if the coyote keeps coming
- If there are children around, keep yourself between the coyote and children
- Use lights and motion detectors to scare coyotes
- Keep garbages in tight seals if you live near coyotes
Rules and Regulations
There is no closed season for hunting coyotes. There is also no bag limit. But when hunting coyotes at night in areas with a coyote hunting permit, make sure you get a permit.
When hunting on private lands, take note of the time. Hunt half an hour before sunrise and half an hour after sunset only.
That wraps everything from us on coyote hunting tips. Preparation is everything when hunting coyotes. You need to know the importance of coyote hunting, essential ear, scouting, and how you can lure them.
Learn the necessary coyote hunting techniques, traps, and how to be safe near coyotes.
Travis Mike is a firearm enthusiast and author passionate about all things guns. With 10 years of experience in the industry, Travis Mike has gained a wealth of knowledge on the subject. He is skilled in gunsmithing and tactical training. In addition to professional experience, Travis Mike is an avid hunter and shooter, regularly participating in local shooting ranges and hunting trips.