Predator Hunting-Best Coyote Hunting Tactics

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Predator hunting is a growing outdoor sport across the country and especially coyote hunting. Both by enjoyment and as sport , but coyote hunting also serves a big need across much of North America to control populations that are getting close to catastrophic numbers. Coyotes prey on small game, turkeys, and deer, especially fawns. In this article we are looking at the best coyote hunting tactics to help you become more successful and protect our other wildlife from predators that in most cases are apex predators with no natural population control .

The Coyote threat

There are many threats from the over population of coyotes. Not the least is the havoc it plays on naturally indigenous game species populations across the U.S. and much of North America. iIn areas of the coyote’s range they are indigenous and have other predators such as wolves that help keep the populations in control. But in much of the continental United States that is not the case. Take the southern states in the U.S. for example. Coyotes are thriving in an area where they are not indigenous and are skewing the populations of other species of wildlife quite dramatically.

In South Carolina researchers for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources attached radio tracking collars to 216 fawn deer in 2006-2007 . The collars emitted a mortality signal when they were stationary for over 4 hours. These deer were tracked for 7 years and through DNA saliva tests on dead deer it was determined that around 60% of the mortality rate was due to coyote predation.

In fact the Eastern united states has been invaded by these predators since the early 1900s. It is believed that the decline of the wolf population in the northeastern US combined with deer restocking efforts in the east cause a migration of the species to the proportions we see today. These proportions have enticed states to offer reward programs and contests through the DNR to shoot coyotes on site. And many hunters have adopted the philosophy, but most hunters interviewed state that they only shoot coyotes when it’s late on a morning hunt, mid day, or when deer seasons are closed. The reason is usually that shooting a coyote will hurt their chances of harvesting a deer. Trapping helps but in no way keeps up with the control of populations, so convincing hunters to take part is of even bigger concern.

While most of the recent research has been published out of South Carolina, states like Kentucky, Tennessee, and other Atlantic coast states up to New Jersey are seeing the potential issues and devastation and are developing plans to confront the problem Considering coyote breeding patterns and their new range as Apex predator those plans better come soon, and they better include hunters at the center!

Getting started Coyote hunting

The getting started part of coyote hunting is pretty simple . The gear posessed by deer and other big game hunters is very sufficient to get started. In fact it is overkill in most respects. That .300 Win Mag that you keep for your 750 yard shots on elk in Montana or a deer hunt on a 500 yard power line is far more than sufficient. Most Coyote hunters prefer 22-250 or .223 caliber rifles for that long range ballistic coeficient shot. And many coyote hunters are choosing to carry a rifle for the Coyote that hangs up at 100-200 yards and a shotgun for the ones who come charging to 20 feet.

In fact World Champion caller,Torry Cook of M.F.K. (Made For Killing) game calls.of Arkansas make diaphram calls and digitally recorded calls for the Fox Pro electronic callers, hunt primarily with shotguns. They hunt mostly thickets and in the day time. While about half of the dedicated predator hunters hunt at night with scoped rifles and shotguns .

Les Johnson of Nebraska and host of Predator Quest has his own spin that is unique. He gets up close and long range kills on daytime hunts that he posts to YouTube and has hif own line of high quality predator calls. I really like watching his Coyote hunts in really deep snow. Watching this type of content on YouTube is a good primer and learning tool.

As the hunter progresses he can slowly change over to coyote based gear and firearms, but it is perfectly fine to start your new adventure with your deer hunting gear. But there are two big differences. You must have a means of calling. Either 2 or 3 different style tube and diaphragm calls or the base model Fox Pro or Icotek elctronic caller with many pre-programmed sounds that can be accessed at the push of a button, you need to get one or the other. And I’m a strong believer in the mouse squeeker. When that wary coyote hangs up out of range or out of sight, a few subtle mouse squeeks can bring him on a string! Just make sure you don’t get carried away, too much of a good thing will spook em.

That second big difference is a bipod or tripod. You want a steady rest when taking a shot at a likely moving animal at 100-200 yards . Bog Pod is one of the big names and is a high quality product. I have a Bog Pod tripod that cost me about $30, so you don’t have to worry about breaking the bank. Practicing with the rest is as important as practicing with calls, And make sure you practice if you’re using mouth calls! I can’t tell you how many times I sat for 30 minutes between sets with a dry mouth and then blew my howler only to hear it sound lie a wounded goose !

My favorite go to calls are Eastern Cotton Tail , Coyote pup distress, and a mouse squeeker. If I could only have 3 sounds that wold be the list. I use a base model Fox Pro caller and a Mojo wiggle tail. The Mojo is a battery operated, simulated animal tail that shakes and spins to entice the killer instinct of a coyote and will usually pull the wary old boy in when he is a little nervous.

Coyote hunting daytime adventure

The daytime hunting scenario is quite simple. The coyote has a very keen nose and good eyesight . If you sit on the ground , get some backdrop cover and try to have some brush or grassy medium in front of you. But by all means play the wind direction as though you were trying to ambush that 5 year old mega buck you’ve seen on camera. The coyote nose is keen and if he smells you, it’s over.

I will usually go where I’m going to hunt and try a couple of areas the evening before to use the locator call to locate coyotes. The locator is the sound of several coyotes yelping and howling at once, and is a chilling sound in the woods after dark . In fact a neighbor who farms was in his pasture checking on a new calf when I located one night. Let’s just say that he wasn’t overly happy with me !

When I show up for the hunt the next morning I will slip to the edge of the field I’m hunting, slowly so not to scare any watchful coyote in the distance. I will usually start with a rabbit sound like Eastern Cottontail and use it about 3 times for 15 seconds each. Then if I don’t have any luck I’ll go to pup distress for the same 3 times at 15 seconds each. If nothing shows then, I’ll rinse and repeat. After that I might progress to vol squeeks or another wounded animal sound . If I don’t have any luck after about 20-30 minutes, I’ll relocate. That’s just me. You can experiment and watch videos to come up with what you like.

Coyote Night Hunting Tactics

Night time hunting is pretty much the same routines except one big one. you want to choose either a light, night vision, or thermal scope for night hunting. My preference and setup on my AR15 is a Vortex Diamondback 4x12x40 scope, with a good, powerful green or red light. Green or red lights are the choice of most coyote hunters because it seems not to spook the dogs as much as a clear or white light, but preferences vary . You can spend $100-$300 for a high quality light. But when you are starting out the green windfire I bought from Amazon was great! You can make out the body at 150 yards easy and see eyes farther than you can shoot! Are the specialist lights better? Sure . But considering that these lights can get upwards of $300, my $29 Windfire is great! Just make sure it has Cree LEDs . There are some knockoffs that don’t have Cree LEDs. I also use a Boruit Green headlamp as a scan light. Again$28 on Amazon. I only use the gun light when I’m going to put the animal in the scope. I will scan the area with my headlight to catch eyes first. Then go to the gun light.

Caution: Night hunting has a heightened element of danger if you aren’t careful. Always know what is behind the area you are hunting and know where everyone is at all times. If you play it the correct way with a mind geared to safety, all will be well.

Coyotehunting and other predator hunting such as bobcats isn;t hard, but it’s fun and fullfilling, knowing you are doing the wildlife a favor. And regardless of what anyone says Coyote hunting is no hard activity to learn. In fact it is likely the most simple to learn. Just get out there and get started. You can learn things to refine your setups along the way. But there is no reason you can’t be an effective coyote hunter from the first outing. And did I mention it’s fun?

Every coyote target is a good target

As cruel as it might sound to some people, a good coyote in this scenario is a dead coyote. There are no trophies. Just good times and management. In fact the smaller the coyote the more you can brag about the shot. That coyote will grow to be a deer, and turkey killer while wreaking havoc on the squirrel and rabbit population along the way.

I would consult my local game laws before starting any new and unknown hunting adventure. Some states have rifle caliber and orher restrictions ant night and certain times of year. But you’ll find that almost every state is very warm to coyote hunting .

It’s up to us hunters !

If you enjoy deer, turkey or small game hunting you should spend at least a few days a year predator hunting. As most research results show, hunting is the best option for effective control of the population. The deer numbers per mile have fallen pretty dramatically across the country over the past 10-20 years and the population is growing fast. Many states have changed deer season hunting laws and reduced bag limits and tags to try to offset coyote predation .

So go out, have fun and help the eco system . Anyone can do it, if they want to. Do you want to?

Thank you for reading ! If you have any questions or comments it would be appreciated if you left them in the comment section below and I’ll get back to you ASAP ! Have a great day !.





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