Call Our Complex Coyotes

Call Our Complex Coyotes

We Coyote hunters spend a lot of time ringing the dog's dinner bell when we call. But we are overlooking a key element of coyote social behavior. Consider challenging their dominance instead, appeal to their need to procreate, or simply call to pique their curiosity.

Coyote Calling

LEARN THEIR LANGUAGE

Coyote vocalizations are extraordinarily complex, and biologists have spent years trying to decipher their collective yips, howls, barks and whines. So if you think there's a simple call that works every time, you're wrong. For years the challenge call, or threat howl, or threat bark-howl, or whatever it happens to be called in the literature you're reading, has been the go-to coyote call. But this is an aggressive call. Rather than drawing coyotes, it can send them running. Ultimately, aggressive calling is one of the reasons that many hunters never bring a dog to the call. This aggression might work when there are pups in the den and dogs are less likely to run, but nomadic coyotes that don't have an established pack, subordinate dogs and the young are likely to shut up and move out if you lay down the gauntlet with too much vocal bravado.


Instead, try a mix of less threatening, more inviting vocalizations. The various lone howls, greeting howls, lost howls, and other relatively friendly vocalizations will elicit a response from coyotes of all ages, genders and ranks. You can even add in a few whines and yips in your call sequence, and this mix of vocalizations might just be the trick to get a dog to show itself — even for a split second. Remember, these howls don't go on and on, so keep things short and sweet.


FOCUS ON TRAVEL ROUTES


Coyotes tend to utilize the same trails frequently. You want your setup to draw dogs into areas where they would likely be anyway, and you shouldn't try to pull them across open ground because they probably won't forsake cover.

Calling along travel corridors seems to put dogs at ease since these are the most likely places to encounter other transient coyotes moving through the area — the exact type of coyote that you're trying to mimic. By finding coyote highways, you're selling the notion to the dogs that you're the new guy in town. Other nomadic dogs may venture to the edge of cover to see what you're about and since you aren't using that brash hate talk, resident coyotes may come in a hurry to investigate and perhaps to push out the intruder. Once you have the area mapped and the travel corridors marked, follow these trails as you call. Coyotes are far more likely to show themselves when they're on familiar ground, regardless if their intention is to fight, to mate, to simply say hello or to chase you away.

PRACTICE GIVE-AND-TAKE 


Coyotes are a very vocal bunch when it comes to communication, so make your call setup a give-and-take. For instance, let's say you offer up a greeting howl — subdued, relatively short and clean. As the last note dies off you hear a response, such as a yip. Maybe you've startled a dog, or maybe it simply is announcing its presence.

Now's the time to keep things simple, and this is why I use a mouth call in addition to electronics. I can respond, in tune, directly back to the coyote with a short yip or bark. Since coyotes are such keen vocalists, I don't want to show my hand and instead I mimic whatever the real, live coyote does. If it howls, I'll howl. If it barks, I bark. If I hear a yip, I echo it. But — and here's the key — I always keep my response shorter and softer than the real coyote's call. In my experience, that approach has proven to be more effective, and less likely to reveal any flaws in your response.

Recommended for You

Crankbaits mimic exactly what they eat when hungry — other fish! Bass

Baitfish for Bass: Search, Suspend or Sink Crankbaits

Jason Houser - May 21, 2019

Crankbaits mimic exactly what they eat when hungry — other fish!

Memorial Day sale offers 15 percent off everything website-wide. Coolers

Get Ready for Summer with Cordova Coolers

May 23, 2019

Memorial Day sale offers 15 percent off everything website-wide.

Shooters across the U.S. are using this competition shooting mat. Guns

MidwayUSA Pro Series Shooting Mat

G&F Staff

Shooters across the U.S. are using this competition shooting mat.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Minn Kota's Brad Henry shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead that there's much to like in the new Minn Kota Riptide Terrova saltwater trolling motor that comes with I-Pilot and an 87-inch shaft.

MLF Pros: What

MLF Pros: What's Your Go-To Lure?

When all else fails, here's what these pros tie on.

13 Fishing Pathfinder Weedless Walking Bait

13 Fishing Pathfinder Weedless Walking Bait

Fresh off catching the biggest bass in ICAST Cup history, 13 Fishing pro Jessie Mizell shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead the new Big Squirm soft plastic worm and the company's unique Pathfinder topwater walking bait that is totally weedless in design.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

While catfish are still catfish, the difference between day and night tactics and strategies can be profound, even when fishing the same lake or river. Catfish

How to Catch Catfish Day and Night

Terry Madewell - April 04, 2018

While catfish are still catfish, the difference between day and night tactics and strategies...

Who needs live bait when the big 'gills are so eager to strike these lures? Other Freshwater

5 Great Lures For Bluegills

Stephen D. Carpenteri - March 10, 2011

Who needs live bait when the big 'gills are so eager to strike these lures?

When it comes to fishing baits, you won't find a more unusual variety than the strange brews of smelly ingredients often used to catch catfish. Catfish

How To Make Your Own Catfish Dough Bait

Keith Sutton - August 04, 2015

When it comes to fishing baits, you won't find a more unusual variety than the strange brews...

See More Stories

More Stories

 Missouri hunter Tim Phillips is all smiles after using his late grandfather's worn Marlin 30.30 Stories

Grandpa's Gun Tags Giant Buck, Ends Multi-Year Quest

Lynn Burkhead - November 21, 2017

Missouri hunter Tim Phillips is all smiles after using his late grandfather's worn Marlin...

Calling all coyotes:'These predators are efficient, so finding and calling them to the gun can Stories

Predator Hunting: 3 Ways to Find Elusive Coyotes

Brad Fitzpatrick - June 26, 2018

Calling all coyotes:'These predators are efficient, so finding and calling them to the gun can

Behind the Badge is a regular series of perspective stories by Oklahoma game warden Carlos Gomez. In this article, Gomez recounts his experiences from his first nighttime poaching bust. Stories

Behind the Badge: A Warden's First Night-Poaching Bust

Game & Fish Online Staff - July 30, 2018

Behind the Badge is a regular series of perspective stories by Oklahoma game warden Carlos...

See More Stories

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.