Hunting the wily, elusive coyote is a worthwhile challenge for any hunter. This prey presents a demanding array of sensitivity to its surroundings, keen eyes, ears and nose, making it necessary to pay careful attention to effective hunting techniques. It will be helpful to cover four areas that if used vigilantly, can bring consistent success; scouting, set-up, camouflage and calling (types and techniques),
Scouting has an important place in hunting for any game and is as vitally important when hunting coyotes. One good way to start is to find a landowner that might give you a head start on areas that coyotes are frequenting. When you find coyote sign such as track, scat or dens it won’t be too hard to find where they are getting water and hunting for food. These areas will include water holes, ditches, timber and grassy clearings.
Set-up is next. After finding likely travel routes make sure to note the prevailing wind direction, if your scent is detected, the hunt is done, staying upwind or at least crosswind in your blind is key. Also choose an area to set-up your blind that will break up your outline and put you in shadow if possible. Lastly, try to have the sun at your back but don’t sacrifice being upwind.
All the skill in the world is of no use if your camouflage is ineffective. This means scent as well as sight and movement. As important as covering human scent is for deer hunting, in this case it is even more crucial. It is also a good idea to use an attractor like bobcat, fox or rabbit urine. Where sight camouflage is concerned, always blend with the season and cover all exposed skin or it will shine like a beacon. Keeping as still as possible will make the rest of the camouflage stay effective. If they can’t hear or smell you, they can still see you if there is movement.
Calling in a coyote need not be too complicated, sounding enough like an animal in distress will usually get a coyotes attention if one is nearby. It is good to only spend 20 – 30 minutes calling if there is no response. Common calls used are cottontail distress, mouse squeaker and fox distress. 20 to 30 seconds of calling is sufficient, followed by a 2-3 minute pause. This can be repeated until the coyote approaches or 20-30 minutes elapses without a response. Bottom line a good coyote hunting call is a great help out in the field.
Remember, coyotes are shy but also smart, wary and in possession of exceptional senses of smell and hearing. Taking care in scouting, quality blind set-up, camouflage of scent and sight and effective calling will make a successful hunt.