It's a new year, and time to think about some new predator hunting strategies. I love deer hunting, but when I'm looking for a hunt to truly relax and not worry about getting a TV show wrapped, I turn to coyote hunting. It's a sport anyone can participate in anywhere across the country.
Of course, I always enjoy tipping over a prime, fawn-eating coyote, but predator hunting also gives me an excuse to exercise outdoors, take the kids hunting and walk the dog, all in the same outing. And if I don't call in Wile E. Coyote, no problem—there's always the next setup and the next hunt. That said, I try to minimize my mistakes and maximize my time chasing coyotes.
Here are a few quick coyote hunting tips I've learned over the years to boost your success:
1. Get high. No, not that type of high. I'm talking about elevation. Haystacks, treestands, old machinery, barn lofts and terrain give you the advantage to see incoming coyotes.
2. Stay longer. I can't stress this enough. 15 minutes is tradition, but 30 minutes leads to more success, especially in areas where coyotes may be more paranoid than a poacher being visited by the game warden. My standard coyote hunting setup duration is 30 to 45 minutes.
3. Call less. I know call manufacturers want you to call more, but I believe short bursts with long intervals spur curiosity and make a coyote hunt you.
4. Hunt the far corners. Most coyotes retire to secure refuge and that means away from human activity. Walk farther for more coyotes.
5. Finally, give coyotes confidence. Use crow calls, coyote vocalizations and even turkey calls to make a coyote believe everything is normal.
I called in three coyotes the other morning. One showed up in the dark and I likely bumped it, so it just sat outside of rifle range barking and howling at me. Even my dog, Sage, couldn't get it to budge with her pouncing antics.
After it left I mimicked a coyote clan howling and then fighting over a snack using my Johnny Stewart PM-4 Preymaster digital caller. About 20 minutes later, a pair of coyotes showed up and stared at Sage sitting in the sagebrush. One moved in for a show of dominance that was quickly curtailed with a Hornady 50-grain V-Max projectile. The other dashed out of sight before I could get a second shot.
Stay tuned for my next blog post to learn how Sage really saved the day for a buddy of mine in an icy coyote encounter.
If you have more coyote hunting tips, please comment below so everyone can benefit this predator season.