June 26, 2018
Calling all coyotes: These predators are efficient, so finding and calling them to the gun can be a chore.
Over the last several decades coyotes have exploded across the country, reducing game populations and taking a toll on livestock. In suburbs these predators take out domestic pets. So, in addition to excitement, coyote hunting has an ecological aspect.
Unfortunately, coyotes are clever and adapt well to hunting pressure. An educated coyote is, perhaps, the toughest of all North American animals. But there are ways to bring them to the gun.
FOCUS ON RIVERS AND STREAMS
Coyotes aren't particularly water sensitive. However, flowing water has a natural appeal, providing travel paths and congregation of game. The steep banks also allow coyotes to duck out of sight if needed, meaning hunters should concentrate efforts in such areas.
Dogs that won't cross open country for a distress call will pop in the open along watercourses, even if just for a listen. Set up on an elevated vantage to see along the length of the creek. A coyote may stick its head up, offering a quick shot, or may even rush into range seconds after starting a call sequence.
HUNT THEIR TURF
Coyotes have large home ranges but there are areas within their home range where they feel most comfortable. These areas offer cover, and contain large amounts of sign, particularly scat.
Challenge calling in these areas can elicit a territorial response, especially during breeding season or when there are pups at the den. Start off with simple challenges — a few barks, a short howl or something similar; don't make like an army bearing down. Dogs responding to challenge rarely bear down like on distress calls, so stay hypervigilant.
The typical method of calling coyotes has been to blast howls, squeals and squeaks from both mouth and e-calls. However, this means wary coyotes are getting wise, but there are still ways to deceive them, such as a two-part conversation.
Set up either with a buddy or with an e-caller to create a multi-dimensional field sounds to draw in coyotes, even finicky ones.
It can be as subtle as a few territorial barks on the e-caller followed by mouse squeaks or rabbit- squeal.
Or, barks can be added to complement distress calls, or even barks back and forth with a squeal or two, a prime opportunity for another to steal a meal.
Regardless of series, hunters have to be ready, well hid and well prepared with the best possible gear for the price, whether it's a new rifle, call, camouflage jacket or blind; a lot of it is quite affordable.
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