Coyote, also known as Canis latrans, is a native of North America. The canine is a relative of the gray wolf but smaller. It is also smaller than a red wolf and eastern wolf. Many zoologists call coyotes the American jackal as they thrive in the same ecology as golden jackals in Eurasia. However, coyotes are more predatory and also larger than jackals. For reference, coyotes are half the size of wolves and jackals are half the size of coyotes. The Eurasian jackal and the red fox are around the same size. Read on for the rest of the Coyote hunting guide.
Coyote Hunting: Know the Hunted
Coyotes are one of those few animals that are not in any way endangered. The species is listed as being of least concern according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. This is primarily because of the abundant population of the canine native throughout North America. Coyotes are a versatile species. They are extremely adaptable and hence they can explore environments that are not historically their natural habitat. Coyotes can thrive even in places that have been extensively altered by humans.
There are nineteen subspecies of the coyote. Male coyotes usually weigh eighteen to forty-four pounds while female coyotes weigh fifteen to forty pounds. Coyotes can have varying fur colors, from light gray to red to black and white. This varies across the length and breadth of the continent. Coyotes are also found as far south as the Central Americas. The coyote can live and hunt with its family or form packs without any specific relationships among the individuals. Coyotes predominantly feast on deer, hare, rabbit, rodents, and birds, fish and amphibians, invertebrates and reptiles. Coyotes are also known to like some vegetables and fruits but they are primarily carnivorous.
The greatest threats for a coyote are gray wolves and cougars but their archenemy is humans. This is mainly because coyotes are widely hunted all across the continent. Coyotes have historically mated with gray wolves despite the latter being a threat, thereby leading to distinct subspecies or hybrids. The canines are also known for being stealthy and a trickster. It is unclear if the widespread hunting has anything to do with the coyote being deceptive and unintentionally rebellious. In popular folklore or even pop culture, the coyote is largely disrespected because it is treated as untrustworthy. It is also described as cowardly among canines.
Hunting a Coyote
Coyotes are one of the most hunted species in the United States. Their large population and hence the lack of stringent regulations against hunting coyotes, the fact that coyotes can be a problem as they hunt livestock and pets along with the thrill of seeking out a deceptive smaller variant of the mighty wolf make coyote hunting a satiating adventure. However, it can also be a complete dud. If you do not have enough experience, skills or resources and acclimatization, then you may end up wasting your time and encountering no coyote or missing out on one owing to unpreparedness. You will need to not only endorse some serious coyote hunting tips but also practice them so you can become an ace.
In this comprehensive guide, we shall talk about various types of coyote hunting tips. We will shed light on how to seek out an elusive coyote, how you can pull them in challenging situations depriving them a chance of easy escape, how you can use coyote calling and the right equipment you need to ensure you do not miss shooting one dead when you would have only a few moments to respond. You need to choose the right weapon to hunt coyotes, seek out the right locations, use coyote calling and other techniques, prep before you begin your hunting and then give it all you got. The technicalities make coyote hunting an amazing adventure.
Coyote Hunting Tips
The Perfect Weapon to Hunt a Coyote
The first thing to do is choose the perfect weapon. The truth is that there is no ideal weapon that would suit everyone and every terrain. You have to factor in the local conditions and your skills to make sure you can shoot a coyote with the weapon you have. Usually, hunters prefer a rifle. Most semipro and pro hunters wield a rifle with a caliber range of .220 to 6mm.
Many people in America are familiar with deer hunting and it is not uncommon for such hunters to possess what is known as a deer rifle. There are obviously more than a dozen different brands and types of deer rifle. If you have any of these, then you can use it to hunt a coyote.
You can choose semiautomatics with .223 caliber. You may choose .22LR rifles known for their high-velocity ammunition. The .223 caliber semiautomatics are gaining more fans than others because of their accuracy. They facilitate flat shooting and the follow-up shot can be swift if needed. You may also choose a crossbow or any large compound bow if you are deft at bow hunting.
You should always choose a rifle if you are not skilled with a bow with the only exception being when you are hunting a coyote in a substantially dense terrain. If you in the woods, in the thick of things and a coyote has a chance of getting a little too close to you before you are able to spot it, then using a shotgun is more effective than anything else. A twelve gauge shotgun is much more effective when you are trying to shoot down a coyote twenty or thirty yards from you. Go for a pump gun, set a tight choke and choose magnum loads. This is a weapon of choice for many hunters who like to get close to the hunted.
The Right Location to Hunt a Coyote
It is easy to choose a region or area where you can find plenty of coyotes. The preferred region or area will also depend on where you live and where you are on a hunting trip. More important than which part of the country you are in is the exact location where you will have to base yourself to have the most adventurous hunting experience. At the end of the day, you must be able to spot a coyote and shoot one. Many people fail to spot one after several hours of waiting. Whether or not you lure them in any way, you have to pick the right spot to hunt a coyote.
After you have chosen your preferred weapon, you should work on camouflage. Coyote is a wary animal. It can be the wariest at times because getting spooked comes naturally to the species. This is one of the few reasons why coyotes are considered cowardly. If there is something amiss in a natural setting or anything odd in the eyes of the coyote, it will scoot. You should not expose yourself in any way. You must also conceal your skin. Go for military camouflage with the cream, face veil, and gloves. You can use laser rangefinder or compact binoculars meant specifically for hunting to be abreast of what is happening in the area under surveillance. You need to be aware of the accurate distance to be able to shoot a coyote in one attempt. You may not get another shot unless you hit the first somewhere on target.
Coyote is a learner. It may be treated with disrespect and there may be an astounding negative perception of it among people. Yet, its learning ability has to be acknowledged, especially if you are a hunter. Coyotes can spot movements. You do not need to move around for a coyote to spot you. If you are lying still at one place and you move even just a bit, a coyote in the vicinity will know and you would perhaps not see it again. It is not just movement or motion but also sounds that can launch a coyote on a spree.
Find a nice place where you can spend some time without being restless, impatient or uncomfortable. Use cushions if you want, dress comfortably and do not carry anything that will make you fidget. While you will have telecommunication devices with you, they should be turned off or silent. You cannot have voices screaming out of a walkie-talkie. You must avoid even static, the common nuisance in radio communications. If you are a casual hunter and would want to keep company, you should avoid chatting. Resist smoking, chewing, eating and doing anything that will create a distraction. Coyotes are good spotters and they are also effective at smelling danger. The species is familiar with smells associated with humans as they know who their greatest threat is.
You should try to find a safe place for yourself if you are going to use downwind to your advantage. A coyote is likely to try and circle an animal or a luring call to check things out before it strikes. If you let a coyote to circle you and it gets to a position where downwind helps the animal smell your presence, then you might be in trouble. Use obstacle behind you if you want to be covered and make sure it is enough for a coyote to be discouraged from taking that route. If you are using downwind, make sure it is to your advantage and not for the coyote. Choose a place, settle down and let five to fifteen minutes pass before you initiate calling. You do not want disturbed wildlife to in disarray when you start the call.
Calling Tips and Techniques
Coyote calling is mostly about using an appropriate device or equipment and knowing the right methods. You should know that coyotes can be as heavy as fifty pounds and their bites can be dangerous. Coyotes are natural predators so they will attack or fight back when threatened or cornered. You should be ready to shoot when a coyote is around. Do not hesitate after you have initiated calling. Coyotes may also be carriers of rabies.
You may use a rabbit squealer for the call. Hunters usually have their preference and this is influenced by successes in the past. You can always have different types of calling devices to suit the particular terrain or location. The season may also be considered while choosing a particular type of call. While a rabbit squealer is a must have in your hunting kit, you should also go for calls that mimic other animals. Choose calls of relatively smaller preys as they are easier for a coyote and hence would be more tempting.
Midwinter is the mating season for coyotes. You can hence choose a coyote howler. This is a female coyote calling out a male. You may also use coyote distress calls. Coyotes have a distinct squeal when they are in distress. The species tends to respond to fellows in danger. Coyotes are vocal so it would augur well for you to become familiar with their various calls. This will enable you to alter your calls depending on the situation. Some of the actions and reactions of a hunter will have to be influenced or determined by circumstances.
One of the coyote hunting tips that really work for many hunters is the use of rapid squealing sounds of pups. Female coyotes tend to their pups. They also adopt pups of others. They are particularly compassionate towards pups in distress so the rapid squeals signaling the same can draw out a few female coyotes in your hunting range. This strategy works really well towards the late winter and early spring. The mothers or female coyotes are usually out in search for food and away from their den, where the pups are, so a distress call will draw them back or towards the call.
Choose realistic calls, be pragmatic and try to avoid everything unusual or unnatural before and during hunting a coyote. Use decoys if necessary but do not opt for mimics that are a poor attempt at fooling coyotes. You ought to be patient, alert and precise while hunting coyotes.