Coyote Hunting 101 by AllPredatorCalls.com Pro Staff

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by Pro Staffer Chad Clark of BiggBo Outdoors

 

Coyote Hunting can be severely addicting! Don't start unless you love hunting, spending time in the outdoors, and sharing good times with friends and family.

General Information

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1. Be safe! Hunting is great fun, and a great way to make memories with friends and family. Make sure you take every precaution when dealing with firearms and wild animals. Coyotes and other predators are susceptible to disease just like any other mammal. Be careful when handling animals, be sure to wear gloves. (Prairie Dog Story)

Article by Andrew Lewand: Safety First When Predator Hunting

2. Know The Law: Predator hunting regulations vary from state to state. Make sure you are hunting within the laws established by your state and county. Some states allow year round hunting, others do not. Some require a permit, others do not. Some allow night hunting, others do not.

Preflight: Before You Go

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3. Water: Always bring lots of water, you never know what could happen, and lots of times you will be hunting in remote areas. It's pretty cheap to buy water in bulk, or fill up some containers and throw them in the truck.

4. Food: Bring extra snacks, especially nuts and seeds. High calorie snacks can keep you alive if something were to happen. If you are moving a lot you'll be burning more calories than usual, you'll need to replace that energy.

5. Gas up: Make sure you have enough to get there and back. Know how much fuel your vehicle will accept, and how many miles you get per tank. It's always smart to fill up before you hit the dusty road.

6. Fire: Put a fire starter and fire staring material in your pack or vehicle. You'll be glad you did that one time something goes wrong.

7. First Aid: Anything can happen in the wilderness. Hopefully nothing goes wrong, but it's nice to have something heaven forbid something does go wrong.

8. Tell Someone: Where you're going! Pull up a Google Map and show someone where you are. Google Earth is a free download (great for scouting too), and it could save your life if you happen to go missing.

Preflight: Calling Gear

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9. Camouflage: We prefer to use the Kill Suits, in the Sapper style. The Kill suits are lightweight, breathable, and blend into any environment. They don't pick up stick and twigs, making upkeep easy. The traditional Ghillie Suit can be heavy, warm, and picks up debris easily. We designed the Kill Suit to avoid that. See a video of the suits: Desert | Woodland

10. Shooting Sticks: We won't go out without sticks anymore. One trip without sticks leaves you regreting it and usually no coyotes in the back of the truck. Sticks are more important than anything you can bring on a predator hunt. We Like sticks more than a mounted bipod for versatility reasons. Most popular set in the office: Vanguard B62 Pro.

11. Electronic Caller: Here at All Predator Calls we have the luxury of field testing our products. Every call we sell has been tested out in the field. We prefer to hunt with an electronic call. Ecalls take the source of the sound away from you, making it easier to make minor movements in preparing to take a shot. The predator will foucus their efforts based on the sound source. The favorite calls in the office CS24B | Shockwave

12. Mouth Calls: There are a ton of different mouth blown calls available. Some of the brands we particularly like include: Carver, Zepp's, Dan Thompson, Verminators, Burnham Brothers, and Tally Ho. See a full selection of Calls and Lanyards. Can't Decide, read the article below.

Article by Dustin Butler of Predator Down: Mouth Calls vs. Electronic Calls.

 

13. Decoy: Nothing will improve your odds more than a decoy. Coyotes are cautious when they are coming in to a call. They want to see something associated with the sounds they are hearing. If they can't see anything they will generally work their way down wind of the sound source. If they see something moving, and don't see another predator or threat to their survival they will charge the decoy. Get ready for fast action! Our favorites include the Mojo CritterMojo Super Critter, and any of the FoxJack models.

Predator Xtreme Article by Dustin Butler: When Should You Use a Decoy.

 

Video by Tom Austin of Predator Strikeforce: Decoy and Calling Tips.

 

14. Weapon: There will be endless debates on what to use for Coyotes. Here's what we prefer to do. We use AR-15's for almost every stand. The AR setup in a .223 caliber allows for quick follow up shots increasing your odds for double's and even triple's. Most competition callers use a shotgun and an AR15.

Article by Dusting Butler: The Fine Art of Shotgunning Coyotes.

Article by Tom Austin: Double Trouble: Shotgun and Rifle.

Article by Dusting Butler: Predator Hunting with a Shotgun.

Article by Brian Downs: Patterning Your Predator Shotgun in 10 Steps.

15. Ammo: blah

16. Butt Pad or Shooting Chair: Sit in the snow, get a wet backside just once, and you'll never go without it again. They might seem like a gimmick, but they will make you more comfortable on stand. After 20 minutes of holding still you will realize your leg is dead, and if you'd had a nice seat, you'd be walking back to the truck, instead you are limping around like a girl. We use these: Twin Cheeks Pad or this: Hideout Stool. Al Morris likes this seat: Deluxe Strut Seat. (Video of Al using the seat)

17. Gloves: You move your hands more than anything else on stand, make sure you cover them. A light skin tone will stand out to an approaching predator, and if you have the sun on you at all, it can be a dead giveaway. We prefer the HS Camo Max 1 Spandex Long Cuff Camo Dot Grip Gloves 05512. These are great for where we hunt because they are thin and cool. You may need a couple of pairs depending upon temperature and time of year.

18. Face Mask: There's nothing more obvious than a large human face staring out at a predator. If you aren't tucked into the shade they will know something is up. The Kill Suit has a hoodie and veil attached, but we also like the HS Camo Flex Form II .75 Real Tree AP Green Camo Face Mask 05305. Or just grow a beard like... Tom Austin!

Article by Tom Austin: Organizing Your Predator Gear.

Scouting

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19. Location, Location, Location! Get out there and scout your potential hunting areas. You can't kill a coyote if they don't live where you're hunting. If you aren't seeing tracks or scat, odds are you won't have much luck. Move on to new areas, and do your best to pick up private ground by speaking politely with ranchers and other land owners. Don't be upset if they don't allow it, just move on to the next place. Ask Ranchers where they've been hearing them, they'll know where it's all at.

Article by Dustin Butler: Scouting Secrets the Pro's Won't Tell You.

Article by Grand View Outdoors: Xtreme ATV's For Xtreme Predator Hunting.

20. Online scouting: Our greatest tool for scouting is Google Earth. Download it for free: Google Earth. You can use this to find places you can't see from the road. Find water holes, ravines, tree groupings etc...

21. Private ground: Help everyone out and don't hunt on private property unless you have permission. Take the time to contact the land owner, in person if you can. Let them know you're intentions and ask politely. If they decline, be nice and say thank you. You never know, they might change their mind based on your behavior. Be willing to help out too, fix a fence or report problems you see on the land.

22. County Recorder: Check online to see if your county has a digital county GIS. The county we live in does: Washington County Recorder. You can go to the county offices and get land owner information and use it to contact owners of potential hunting ground. Again be courteous!

23. Locating: Were not talking about howling on stand. Getting up really early in the morning and going to possible stand locations. You can use a siren sound, or howl to elicit a reaction from nearby coyotes. Competition callers win by locating coyotes! Not recommended for urban coyotes.

Article by Dustin Butler: Serious Coyote Scouting.

Article by Grand View Outdoors: Use a Siren to Locate Coyotes.

24. Habitat: Coyotes adjust their hunting style to what foods are available. When they hunt small prey alone, they usually stalk it and then pounce. If the prey is larger like a deer, they will often hunt in small packs and work together to kill the prey. Coyotes are known for how well they adapt to different habitats. They can even be found living in and around large cities. In the Desert, coyotes can be found in all habitats from desert scrub, grasslands, foothills as well as in populated neighborhoods.

25. Cow Town: Coyotes often live and hunt around cattle. They occasionally try to pick of a calf, but they benefit greatly from livestock. When hungry they'll even be seen eating a cowpie! They like to hunt for mice and rodents amongst the fields usually coverd by cows. Don't overlook areas with cattle, but make sure you are safe, don't shoot towards a cow!

Article: Cow Country Coyotes.

26. Oh Deer: Some hunters are incessant about following the deer herd, and finding coyotes. Coyotes do tend to found around the deer. However it's not always the case, I called in a double one time in late December at approximatly 7500 feet. The deer were much lower, yet these two coyotes were finding plenty to eat at even this high elevation in the winter. If you don't think a pair of coyotes can't take out a deer, watch the video below.

Video: Coyotes vs Whitetail Buck.

Video: Coyote Pack Kill a Mule Deer Fawn.

27. Water Holes: Animals flourish when there is water. Coyotes need water to survive. It would be wise to find the water sources in your area and scout it out. We plan stands allday long based around water sources. We mark them on Google Earth, then scout them, then hunt them. Trail Cameras are effective tools for checking the activity around water holes.

28. Scat & Tracks: One of the first things I learned about blank stands was the fact that I was not finding scat or fresh tracks around the area. While driving into your areas you need to be on the lookout for fresh scat and tracks. Old scat will be dry and usually start to turn white. Fresh scat is usually darker, and occasionally has flies on it (that's a real good sign). You need to become familiar with coyote tracks. they are distinct, and appear to be narrower than a domestic dog. Canine tracks show indents from claws, cat tracks don't show signs of claws because they retract. Little things like this will let you know if you're near a coyote, a dog, a fox, or a bobcat.

29. Cover: Coyotes are defensive drivers. In other words, they are always leery of their surroundings. They pay close attention to anomilies in the area, and they usually seek to protect themselves before piling in on your caller and decoy. They tend to prefer areas with cover to protect themselves from potential danger. Videos can be deceiving, they often show a coyote out in the wide open. Coyotes aren't prone to do this, however they often will cross an opening if it means a free meal. Mark Zepp comonly calls coyotes across ravines in his videos. Here is a preview of Free Grass No Fences showing clips of these type of stands. The videos you see might represent one out of ten coyotes actually called. It might take 40-60 stands to get the video "just right" for TV. It ain't just whack em' and stack em' like you might think!

30. Agricultural Fields: This one should be fairly obvious. Any time a coyote can get an easy free meal, they will do it. Hunting near agricultural fields can produce like no other, pun intended. Farmers usually know where they are having problems and a good contact can put you on coyotes in a moments notice.

These are just a few samples of potential areas to scout and hunt coyotes. It's not exclusive and only represents a small portion of ideas and areas to hunt. Post your comments below to share areas that produce for you!

Bringing the New Guy

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31. Hunting With a Partner: One of the most overlooked items is the "pre brief" and "stand procedures" rundown when hunting with a new hunter. Remember, everthing you take for granted, the new guy may not be aware of. At a minium you should discuss the following:

  • Limit your noise, wisper when talking, etc
  • Stand area rundown. Any hazards, potential human activity, livestock, equipment or buildings and areas to avoid shooting towards.
  • Shooting etiquette.  Who's the primary shooter for the stand. Fields or zones of fire
  • After the shot. No back flips or "rebel yells" after the first one hits the dirt - countine calling for the double or triple.

Article by Tom Austin: Partner Up To Kill More Predators.

Arriving on Location

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32. Hide your vehicle: Make sure your vehicle will be out of sight to an approaching predator. Any sheen or reflection from a window, gloss paint, or chrome trim will quickly end a stand that could have been successful. Coyotes are laser focused looking for anything that will help them determine what all the ruckus is about.

33. Be quiet! Don't drive through your stand. Do your best to limit the noise and scent around your stand. Don't slam your door when you get out of the vehicle. Carry your gear so that it doesn't clink together.

Article by Tom Austin: Hunting Coyotes With the Stealth Approach.

34. 12" Whisper: Use a whisper if you need to speak. Many hunters go out alone and have success, then when they bring a frind along their productivity declines. Stop talking so loud. Don't speak unless you have to. Use simple head and hand gestures to communicate. Know before you go who is going to be setting up the call and decoy.

35. Movement: Keep movement slow without quick gestures like pointing at possible setup locations. You might as well get a white flag if you're trying to alert every animal within visible range. 

36. Wind: Perhaps the most important thing to understand is where the wind is blowing. Coyotes use their nose as one of their primary sources of investigating. They have stronger sense of smell than a bloodhound! Watch your downwind, setup so you know where the wind is blowing. Primos Wind Checker.

37. Sun Direction: The sun at your back works in your favor (unless you're skylined). Coyotes have a harder time spotting you while looking into the sun. If the sun is shining on your face, they'll have an easier time seeing you, and it can present a challenge seeing them in the scope, especially on a clear winter morning when the sun is low. Use the sun in your favor if you can.

Article by Dustin Butler: Predator Hunting Pre-Stand Checklist.

38. Scent: You will get a variety of opinions on scents and covers. Some say you can't hunt without use some odor eliminator, or scent cover. We tend to disagree. If you spray any scent on yourself you'll probably smell like a human with scent on them. Coyotes sense of smell is stronger than cadaver dogs. Cadaver dogs can smell a body 10 feet underground. Think about all of the other elements that dog can smell before it pinpoints a dead body. Like we said Coyotes will smell every particle of your scent covered with something else.

39. Walking in: Follow each other to prevent multiple scent trails approaching your setup. Step quietly, and watch your step. If you break a twig, hold still for a moment before preceeding forward.

40. Skyline: Don't skyline yourself. It's easy to pick out the movement of a person or animal if the sky is the background. Try not to crest hills, go to the side. Move several yards down a hill as you manuever to your stand location. Too many newbies walk to the top of a hill and then proceed to stand out like a sore thumb.

On Stand

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41. Stand Selection: There are many elements to each stand that make EACH stand unique. Here are some factors to consider, it's not complete, and every item does not always apply. There aren't any hard and fast rules, because once you say "a coyote always..." You'll be fooled and find out you're wrong!

Article by Dustin Butler: Selecting the Perfect Stand.

42. Elevation: It's ideal to be higher up looking over terrain below. Coyotes tend to use elevation to their advantage too, common sense knows you can see better from a higher point of view. Try to avoid setup to where the animal is coming down to you. It's easier fo you to see up higher, and it's easier fro them to see you too. Remember no hard and fast rules, just guidlines to improve your chances. Not every stand is going to be perfectly suited to call.

43. Wind: Check the wind direction before your final setup. It can change between the time you checked at the truck, and now that you've reached your call position. Grab a bit of dirt, or use a wind checker to know the breeze. When the breeze is not very noticeable, that's when it's probably going the direction you didn't think about. Coyotes tend to arrive Downwind. Primos Wind Checker.

44. Chamber a Round: The worst feeling in the world... Coyote! Click.

45. Camoflauge: Make sure you put on your camo BEFORE you walk into the stand. Get your gear ready, gloves on, facemask pulled down before you start calling.

46. Shade: Shade is your best camouflage. Sit in the shade if possible. On high contrast days, animals can barely distinguish a person sitting still in the shade. Sitting in the daylight can emphasize slight movements with reflections from your face, remote, or weapon. The downside to the latest greatest remotes is a gigantic display screen otherwise known as an emergency signal mirror. Direct sun on the face of your remote is bad news.

47. Breakup Your Outline: It's more important to have trees, shrubs, bushes behind you than in front of you. Sitting against a tree or bush will break up your outline. Shrubs and bushes in front of you will inhibit your visibility and ability to adjust your shooting sticks. Keep the area in front clear, let the foliage behind you do the work!

The Setup

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48. Power On: Turn your caller and remote on. Sounds obvious, but you'll want to create a routine of turning it on and off. Leaving the unit off, then walking back to sit down, get situated, press play.... no sound. That get's old. Then you have to get up, walk to the call, turn it on... well you get the point, make a routine and train yourself to turn it on and off the same way each time.

49. Ecall Distance: One of the most common questions asked at All Predator Calls, how far should I set the caller. We typically set it no more than 30-40 yards away. Some hunters dream of setting the call 200 yards away and then sniping a yote with their custom rifle. This is not typical. The best electronic remote on the market will barely reach 100 yards in general hunting conditions. The further you are from the caller, the further your shot is likely to be. Walking 150 yards out, then 150 yards back leaves a gigantic scent line. Don't fool yourself into thinking you're going to trick the trickster that way.

Article by Tom Austin: Deadly Predator Decoy Combination.

Article by Bob Connell of Texas Predator Posse: Electronic Caller Tips for Predator Hunting.

 

50. Decoy Distance: Place the decoy within three feet of the caller. We like to set the caller and decoy near a small piece of brush to break the outline of the call. Open fields can be challenging, use a branch or dirt pile to help if you can. Sometimes placing the decoy in a bit of debris can excite the coyote into pouncing on the call or decoy. I placed a critter inside some sage brush about 10 feet away one time, and a coyote came in so fast I didn't have time to blink. He bit the FOXPRO Fury, then spun off and exited without a shot. I just laughed outloud at myself for not having a shotgun. 

51. Caller Direction: We face the call speaker in the direction we anticipate the coyote will come from. We don't always guess right, but sometimes a coyote will approach the call trying to determine the sound source. It's always louder straight down from the call speaker. Fox almost always come "down sound" as we call it, and coyotes do it occasionally as well.

Let the Music Play - Ecalls

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52. Sound Selection: What should you play? There are so many factors that go into this selection. Time of year, time of day, can all play a factor. We typically base our selection off of the next four factors.

53. Curiosity: Playing any sound is likely to pique a predators curiosity. Don't be affraid to try sounds that are not native to your area. We constantly have success in Arizona, Nevada, and Utah with sounds like "Snowshoe Hair," "Whitetail Fawn," and "Wild Pig Distress." Let them be curious!

54. Hunger: Early in the year up until mid January, rabbit distress, fawn distress, bird distress, and rodent distress are effective sounds for us. They can work anytime of the year, but playing on this instinct is critical for calling success.

55. Paternal: Pup distress is a key sound in the arsinel. We use coyote and canine pup distress almost all year around as well. I end almost every set with at least two minutes of pup distress, just to try and catch a hesitant yote that I might not see off in the brush.

56. Territorial: February 15th is the peak of the breeding season. Coyotes become very territorial and so usually coyote vocals are more effective in luiring in a song dog. Learnig how to master coyote vocals and vocabulary is a feat all in itself. The reality is, no human can truly understand the language that coyotes speak. We give names to certain howls like, "territorial howl," or "challenge barks" but we can never know the intentions of the coyote. Some times they respond and never come in. The videos on TV give a false idea that if one responds, you're going to howl one in. It doesn't usually work that way. You can practice and have success with territorial sounds however.

57. Call Volume: We get this question a lot. We usually play the sound at full volume. Occationally we start at low volume and then work it up over one minute. Some prefer to start on really low volume, then work their way up to fool a coyote into thinking it's getting closer to them. Louder = closer to a coyote. Try out different techniques, find your own method!

58. Continuous Play: Another common question. We play the sounds continuosly over the period of about 15-20 minutes. Some people play for a few minutes, then pause for a few, then repeat. Dan Thompson is one of the greatest callers to ever live and he only called for 30 seconds or so, then he would sit and wait. Find your method that works for you. Try out different techniques, and don't be affraid to experiment. 

59. Switching Sounds: We aren't affraid to switch sounds during a set. While calling coyotes I normally play at least three different sounds. I might play "Lucky Bird" for eight minutes, then pause for one minute, then play "Mule Deer Fawn" for eight minutes. I finish with two minutes of "Coyote Pup Screams." The next stand will be different. I might play "Jackrabbit Distress" for ten minutes, then switch to "Canine Pup" for five. Find your own calling sequences, don't be affraid to try. If you're affraid to change sounds... one time I had a double come in, I dropped my mouth call from my lanyard, it hit my remote and foxbang switched from "Lucky Bird" to "Pup Distress." I hit the recall button and it went to "Deer Fawn" for some reason. Three sounds in 15 seconds didn't phase the coyotes, they were curious. I accidentally overexposed the pictures or I would have had about 200 shots from that stand.

60. Stand Length: As mentioned before we typically go for about 15-20 minutes. Some like to call up to 30 minutes. I rarely stay on stand for any longer than that. I've only called a few coyotes after the 20 minute mark, it can be done, but most come within 15 minutes.

Sing Your own Songs - Mouth Calls

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61. Mouth Calls: There are still many callers who prefer the tradition of mouth calling. It requires practice, good lungs, and patience. Some use both ecalls and mouth calls with success. You can be successful with a mouth call, but you need to learn the techniques to make you successful or you'll see the south side of a lot of north bound dogs. Coyotes are professionals. They are looking for the slightest movements as they approach. Blowing like crazy, moving your hands, whiping your head might not be the best technique. Consider a face veil to help disguise your hands as you recreate your best rendition of flight of the bumble bee. Know that when a predator approaches they will try to pinpoint the source of the sound. Many mouth callers us a decoy like a Mojo Super Critter, or Mojo Puppy Dog places 15-20 yards away. These decoys have a small speaker, and start playing a sound two minutes after you turn it on. Once you see a coyote, stop calling and let the decoy do the work.

62. Closed Reed: The easiset style of mouth call to learn is a closed read call. The reed is installed in the "call body" and you don't touch the reed or the "tone board." All you need to do is blow air through the call, and voila dying animal distress. There isn't any special technique or secret series of sounds that you need to master, however most successfull callers will talk about "raspy" sounds, "whines" or "cries." Remember you're not only trying to mimic an animal in distress, you're trying to evoke an emotion in a predator. Watch the video below to see the rythym, the rasp, and aural image Al Morris is trying to paint.

63. Open Reed: Open reed calls are more difficult to master. They require a bit of practice. The best way to learn is to first watch others (see Tom Austin Video below). Then put an open reed call in your vehicle. As you drive to a from work, or whever you're going (preferably alone) you can practice perfecting you predator peace pipe. You're going to sound bad at first, everybody does. I still haven't mastered it yet, but I'm getting better and I am not affraid to let a howl fly while on stand. Open reed calls are extremely versatile!You can howl, bark, whine, make a pup distress, rabbit distress, and about anything you can come up with. I've seen guys do a woodpecker, grey fox distress, and many other with just one open reed call. There are many to choose from, my personal favorites are any of the Dan Thompson Howlers. 

Watch Al Morris at the World Predator Calling Championships (Open Reed)

64. Squeek Squeek: One tool I won't leave home without is a simple squeeker. If you have a dog you know how effective a little kids toy can be on attracting your dog. My little dog goes bonkers over the slightest toy squeek at home. I like to Camo Tape my Deluxe Rodent Squeeker to my shooting sticks. That way if I happen to change weapons, I still have my squeeker taped to the bottom of my shooting stick yoke. My rest hand goes right to my yoke, and the squeeker helps lure them in the rest of the way.

65. Howling: This is an art form. Learning how to howl is the first challenge. Then learning different types of howls can be daunting. When to use certain howls over another, well now you've got a lifetime of learning to do. Watch videos and learn from those who are successful. Randy Anderson uses almost exclusivly coyote vocals to hunt. Learning to howl, and using different techniques can add a lot of value to your calling setups. Don't be affraid to get up and move toward a coyote if they howl at you. Go get them, make them think you're moving in, they might do the same!

Article by Tom Austin: Howling Good Time.

Article by Grand View Outdoors: Understanding a Coyotes Will to Survive.

Here is a playlist (9 Videos) of Randy Anderson explaining his method and techniques. 

Watch Tom Austin Demonstrate two different Open Reed Callers

Yote on Approach

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66. Don't Move: Well, keep your movement to a minimum. The hardest part of predator hunting in the beginning is learning to SEE a coyote. They usually are within range and scanning the terrain before you've spotted them. Scratching your nose, raising your remote up, shifting you weight can draw attention to a coyote that you can't see yet. Learning to see them takes practice, and being in the field. It amazes me when I go hunting with my friends how long it takes them to pick out a coyote on the approach. HE'S RIGHT THERE!!! SHOOT! It might take seeing ten coyotes coming to the call before you really start to look for the color and movements of a coyote. It reminds me of one of my favorite books, Hatchet, "The "foolbirds" seem to be everywhere, but at first Brian can't figure out how to catch them; they blend in to the woods so well that one of them might be two feet away from him and still he doesn't see it until it suddenly explodes upward in flight. Tricky little buggers."

67. Predator Approaching: Customers always want to hook their decoy to the caller. They want to be able to start and stop hte decoy on demand. I'm sorry but this is a bad idea. Let the decoy play the entire time. The coyote will see your decoy long before you see them! The decoy will take the attention from you and pin it on the decoy. This allows you to adjust your weapon to get the best shot.

Article by Dustin Butler: Predicting the Coyote's Approach.

68. They Move, You Move: If a coyote is sitting 300 yards out watching you, don't move. Once the dog starts moving again, reposition slowly. If they go behind a tree or dip into a ravine, move quickly. If they stop, hold still. the coyote is scanning the area looking for the slightest movement. Why is that animal in distress? Is their another coyote? A Mt. Lion? A Bear? They want to get downwind to smell whatever it is attacking that animal. The last thing they want to do is run up on a lion and get whipped. Sometimes a decoy does the trick and they bolt in! These are called "shotgun coyotes" because they enter and exit in a flash, and if you don't have a shotgun, you ain't puttin down any fur! Trust me, it only takes one time to learn the speed of a shotgun coyote.

Article by Tom Ausitn: Coyote Body Language.

69. Coming in: If a dog is slowly working its way in, let them come. These are the best type of coyotes, but don't get greedy. Take the shot when they present one, don't fool yourself that they will walk in a stop for a perfect shot, take what they give you. Sometimes you can be a little more patient with a slow walker.

70. Heading Downwind: Sometimes you'll see them reach a point to where they change direction. They don't appear to be leaving, but they're trying to get downwind. Always know where your downwind is. Shoot before they reach your "scent cone." If you know where they will eventually hit your scent you have to make a decision.

71. Looking Back: This usually means the coyote is not alone. They're waiting for their partner or partners. An early shot can ruin what might have been a chance at a double. Don't get greedy though, shooting too late can also spoil the whole stand. Too many times a double comes in, and no fur hits the ground. Pick a dog and shoot it. Most recommend shooting the lead dog. I say get fur in the shed, then work on the double. AR style setups are ideal for this situation providing for quick follow up shots if needed.

72. Walking Away: Don't panic if a dog stops at 400 yards and decides to walk away. If you don't have a shot, wait patiently then leave quietly. You can return to the same area and make a different approach the next time. Don't shoot out of your range and educate a coyote, instead you take the experience as part of your education and move on.

73. Breathe: Control your breathing. The more experience you have hunting, the better you'll be at this. Adrenaline starts to pump when they come in, and getting a shot is difficult. I tell my friends who hunt big game that they need to hunt coyotes so they can practice being cool in the moment. Last year on the deer hunt I shot my buck at sunrise at about 150 yards. I was calm and collect, no nerves, I just put the crosshairs on him and gently squeezed. Perfect shot, meat in the freezer. All of the coyote hunting in the previous year had taught me how to be calm and collect when my trophy approaches.

Article by Dustin Butler: Conquering Coyote Fever.

74. Moving Shot: Avoid taking a moving shot at a coyote. Get them to stop by muting the caller, squeeking, or barking. Taking a moving shot decreases your odds of hitting the coyote, or at least hitting them in a vital area. Sometimes you don't have a choice when they are on the dead run, but try to avoid a moving shot if at all possible.

75. Bark: The best way I get them to stop where I want them to stop is to bark. It doesn't always work, but I find it doesn't usually scare them eaither. They're used to hearing a bark sound, so they perk up and try to identify the source of the sound. That's when you take a clean shot. 

76. In the Thick: Hunting in the thick woods or timber will force you to change your style. Coyotes can be less weary when they have cover, but they also tend to "wind" a hunter easier because you can't see them working to get downwind. You'll need to change your technique and use a shotgun. This can be a balst though if you like fast action!

Article by Steve Criner: Stand Up for Thick Cover Coyotes.

Article by Grand View Outdoors: Look Low for Incomig Coyotes.

After the Shot

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77. Rebel Yell: Don't jump up and down and start screaming, "Fried Chicken!" (Steve Criner ribbing ;) You never know if another coyote is just over the bend. Shots fired don't always scare a predator away, and playing a pup distress or KiYi distress sound might entice a second or third coyote within range.

78. KiYi: KiYi is the name of a coyote in distress. If you've ever heard a dog get hit by a car, you've heard a kiyi call. Most predator hunters use a pup distress on their ecalls, or use an open read distress to mimick the sound of a dog in distress. Do this after every coyote you shoot, and then wait before you go pick up your trophy.

79. Foxbang: This is our favorite feature on any of the ecalls on the market. Setting foxbang to a pup distress or kiyi increases your odds to kill more predators. We use it all the time to call and kill multiple gray fox, and have had it work on coyotes as well. Switching quickly to a kiyi can make the difference between dropping that sceond coyote or watching it high tail into the sunset.

80. Killing Multiple Coyotes: All of the tips mentioned previous will determine your ability to kill multiple coyotes. We do several things to increase our odds. We use AR15's to allow a quick follow up shot. We set foxbang before we go out so that foxbang will always be ready. We wait until the second coyote presents a shot, we don't shoot at a coyote on the run. I usually let them go if they don't turn around. I will wait and miss a chance rather than shoot and educate another coyote. I prefer a standing coyote at 300 yards over a running coyote at 200 yards.

Article by Dustin Butler: Killing Multiple Coyotes on Stand.

81. Don't Chase: If you've hit and injured a coyote, but it doesn't immediatly go down, sit and wait for a minute. Give the animal time to lay down and die. Sounds simple, but chasing after them can allow adrenaline to flow and a coyote to travel further than you want to track it. I made this mistake once, and on a hot day watsed time tracking a coyote that I couldn't find.

The Next Stand

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75. Blank Stand: What if I blank? Be quiet, sneak out like you snuck in. Don't start talking at full volume because their might be a coyote just over the ridge. I've made this mistake as well, called for 15 minutes, decided to pick up the call, started talking, and on the way out two coyotes started going crazy just over the ridge! I wished we would have stayed on stand for 18 minutes, but talking loudly ruined what might have beena good stand a few weeks later.

76. Distance Between Stands: We setup at least a half mile from where we just hunted. We usually have an idea because of our research on Google Earth. Most stands end up being about a mile apart because we just like to have a fresh place that most liekly didn't hear the calls we just played. I have moved a quarter mile on a windy day and called and killed a coyote before. Weather and terrain can change your approach.

77. Coming Back to a Stand: We typically don't hit a stand twice within a month, however we've got lots of land that we hunt, so there's no shortage of huntable ground. We usually hit a place once in a year, but it wouldn't be bad to space at least two weeks before you hit the smae places. People have called the same spot two or three days in a row and have been successful, but I don't recommend it.

VIDEO: Tips for hunting the same land over and over

Skinning

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78: Skinning the Yote: All I can say is, DON'T WAIT 24 HOURS TO SKIN A COYOTE! I unfortunatly learned that lesson my first time shooting and skinning a coyote. 5 hours of skinning later, I understood why guys do it as soon a s possible. The video below shows how to do it quick. An even better video is Practical Fur Handling.

Article by David Kaprocki: Skinning Pelts Correctly.

Time of Year

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79. Fall: Fall is my favorite time of year to hunt. The weather is just right and coyotes are anxious to be called. Young pups are out on their own, and you're likely to have more success with the "young dumb ones." I typically stick with prey distress sounds this time of year.

Article by Andrew Lewand: Hunt the Early Fall.

Article by Andrew Lewand: Why Wait For Winter To Coyote Hunt?

80. Winter: This is the time that most predator hunters target coyotes. The pelts are "furred up" and they are spending more time in the daylight hours hunting for food. The weather makes them more active in the daytime and food becomes scarce. I change my methods around hitting on the four instinctual areas mentioned earlier in the artice: Curiosity, Hunger, Territorial, and Paternal. They are getting called more, so they are wising up to any old rabbit in distress. Try something different, change it up and find succeess. February 15th is considered to be the peak of the breeding season.

Article by Grand View Outdoors: Coyotes Like Valentines Day Too.

Article by Grand View Outdoors: Hunting Pressured Coyotes

81. Spring: The coyotes are very territorial by now and are working on dens. Coyote vocals are the primary sounds used to call this time of year. They will come to prey distress, but it's not as effective as using it in combination with coyote vocals. This type of hunting can be very rewarding. Howling in a coyote is a challenge, and takes a lot of practice to do it right.

Article by Grand View Outdoors: Sounds of Spring Coyote Hunting

Article by Grand View Outdoors: Keep Pressure on Coyotes and Help Deer Hunting Success

82. Summer: Summer is usually time off for predator hunters, and that includes us. However many still enjoy getting out and hunting during these times of year. Most of the action is by using decoy dogs to attract a pair of coyotes. There are many different tactics used in summer hunting, I don't really know because I'm gone fishing!

Article from Dustin Butler: Consistantly Calling Coyote's.

Article by Grand View Outdoors: Pros and Cons of Summer Coyote Hunting.

Article from Dustin Butler: Hunt Harder for Late Season Coyotes.

Video by Dusting Butler: Early Season Tactics.

Time of Day

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83. Early Morning: If you want to be successful, you need to hunt early in the morning! This should go without saying, but animals are most active in the early morning and late evening. Coyotes will respond to a siren or howl and we start a lot of our pre-sunrise stands with a group howl or locator. We sit and wait three or four minutes, then start into a distress or other howls depending on time of year.

84. Late Morning: I love to hunt from the break of dawn through 11:00 am or so. The coyotes just respond better during this time of day. Have your spots picked out and get as many in as you can during this time. I know you're tired, but you'll thank me later!

85. Noon: Some think coyotes can't be called during the middle of the day. That's true when you're eating lunch. On the other hand, remember that a coyote is an opportunist. If they percieve a free meal, they will often times let their curiosity get the best of them. During colder time periods, as mentioned before, coyotes are more active. While driving down the road, I see more coyotes during the middle of the day than any other time. Sometimes you can spot and stalk coyotes during this time of day!

Article by Grand View Outdoors: Spot and Stalk Coyotes Now!

86. Afternoon: This time of day can be challenging, but good scouting, good locations, and a good setup and approach will allow you to be successful. It's these times of days we get lazy. We don't check the wind, we setup in the sun, we don't hump that last hill for a better spot. All of these things will catch you offguard when you finally notice a coyote 20 feet from your decoy. Then you realize you forgot to chamber a round! Coyotes can be called almost anytime of day. Some people in Arizona call in the middle of the day in the middle of the summer! Why you ask? I don't know, but they call predators in by using good techniques.

Article by Grand View Outdoors: Hunting Tactics for Mid-Day Coyotes.

Article by Grand View Outdoors: Hunt Coyotes All Day Long.

87. Evening: The last chance to call in a song dog. Animal activity picks up again, and the coyote is no different. The evening stands can be the most productive, be patient, pick a good stand you can sit on as the sun goes down. Sometime I sit on the last stand for 30-40 minutes.

88. Moon Phase: Some will tell you that you can't call a coyote in the daytime during a full moon. I've seen them come in on a full moon, a waxing crescent, a waning crescent, and no moon. Those are all secret sound names too. A full moon can make things more difficult because they see so well at night, and night hunting for them menas they will have a full belly by daylight. This isn't always the case, every coyote will be different. By hunting so much in the winter, they also burn a lot of calories. They need to eat whenever they get a chance. Don't let the moon phase stop you from going out!

Night Hunting

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89. Pre-Scout: Don't expect to find good locations to hunt in the dark! Spend time to locate good places to hunt at night. As you travel the area, or hunt it in the daytime make notes of places you're saving for night hunts. It's really hard to drive around and spotlight places you want to hunt. Scout it out beforehand.

90. Setup: We prefer to stand while night hunting (unless were in Texas). We use shooting sticks that allow for a standing position. We stand in an open spot away from trees and brush. The light can hit trees and branches around you making them noticeable to approaching animals. A large white barked tree can act as a reflector and shine light onto you. It's quite the opposite of day hunting in some regard.

91. Light Color: Ask three hunters and you'll get four answers. We have started using white. We film our night hunts, and we have noticed that coyotes, fox, and bobcat will come in to a white light. White is ideal, but we know some prefer green or red. You can see a little better with green. Eyes pop with red. Red is more traditional. Green is more popular. See, now you're even more confused. I say choose what you're leaning toward. We offer all of the colors so you can pick what suits you best. Watch the episode below, and see they're using white light, and a lot of it.

92. Scanning: While hunting with Texas night hunters you learn real fast how to scan at night. Do it quickly. Scan back and forth really fast. You're objective is to catch eyes, not see an animals full body. If you realize your goal is to hit something reflective, you'll understand that quick scanning is best. If it takes you more than five seconds to cover a field, you're going too slow! When scanning with a partner, split the field in half, then don't overlap your scanning until you see something.

93. Halo: Once you've identified a pair of eyes, use the edge of your light as a "halo" effect to follow the animal. Most of the time you want to avoid shinging the brightest part of the beam directly into their eyes. Some don't care about using a halo method, the video above shows that it doesn't matter much. Not all coyotes respond the same, no two dogs are alike. Treat them different as you watch their body language. Remember, The Light is your Camo!

94. Wiggle: When hunting with a partner and especially with a cameraman, let them know you're on an animal by wiggling the light every once in a while. The person with the light can see the eyes reflecting, but a person standing five feet away might not be able to see the same thing. Let them know by wiggling the light that you have something in your line of sight. This also prevents you from speaking, it's best to use non-verbal communication when you can.

94. Distance: Judging the distance at night can be hard to do. Make some mental notes before you start calling as to what you think the range is in the area you're calling. Talk to your partner about range estimates and familiarize yourself with the terrain. It looks a lot different at night. We will not shoot much further than 125 yards at night. We don't feel it's ethical to take long range shots at night. You never know if it's the neighbors dog, a deer fawn, or what's behind the animal that could cause potential harm. Be safe and make good shooting decisions at night. Don't do something that you'll regret later.

Article by Grand View Outdoors: Judging Distance at Night

95. Moon Phase: Most night hunting occurs around a new moon. Canines can see really well at night, and a moonlit night is perfect for them to hunt and peruse for food. This is why you need to use the light as your camouflage. The light forces their eyes to adjust to the brightness. They can't see as well because it "blinds" them to anything in low-light. You've created a new contrast, and their eyes won't pick you out like they might have done under the moonlight.

Wrap Up

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96. Get Out: Get off your backside and go out and hunt! Stop watching videos, reading books, this article, and get out there and just do it. Learn by doing. If you fail, learn from it. I'm not the ultimate expert, but I will be better after each time I go hunting.

97. Take Time: Share this sport with your friends and family. Take your kids out and teach them something they won't learn in a classroom. Take a friend out who spends his days stuck in an office. We're supposed to be a part of nature, it rejuvinates the spirit, and too many people miss out on the outdoors! Every time you go out you will find new places to hunt turkey, deer, and many other critters along the way.

98. Be Thankful: Take the time to thank whomever and whatever it is that allows you to exercise your right to bear arms and explore this green earth. Don't forget those who put up with you being in the hills all the time, and might have food hot and ready when you return.

99. Be Safe: Don't put yourself in a comprimising position. Take the preflight list seriously. Always have a plan, and let other know what that is. Be safe around guns, don't let a little carelessness ruin your day, or your life.

100 Respect The Animals: Some "predator hunters" feel like a coyote is nothing more than a bug that needs to be squashed. Take the high road, repect the animal. They are a unique species, a survivor, and an opponent that should be commended for their resiliance!

101. You Tell Me: What did I miss? What do you do different? What technique helped you or might help another hunter? Add your comment below using facebook comments:

 

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