The coyote is one of nature’s most versatile animals. The growing coyote species is eating alive fawns, small wildlife, cattle, and even our pets. They are unstoppable hunters due to their keen eyesight, hearing, sense of smell, and ability to eat almost anything.
Predator hunting is one of the most exciting activities in a hunter’s career. The strategies are the same whether you’re hunting for coyote fur or to keep your land and cattle secure. When planning where to assemble your camp and what to use to attract coyotes, you should consider what they are doing during that particular season. And perhaps the most important thing is to be patient.
Coyotes are typically subject to fewer hunting restrictions than other game types, provided the hunt is executed sensibly and responsibly. Follow the steps below to start coyote hunting.
Step 1: Best places to seek coyotes
In the majority of North and Central America, coyotes are common. They were previously mostly found in plains, grasslands, and deserts. The ideal place to seek coyotes is near where their natural prey (small game, birds, mice, etc.) resides. Hunting is best done in fields, brushy rivers, riverbeds, and light woodlands. Most farmers will also be glad to allow you to hunt coyotes on their agricultural land because they are livestock pests.
Step 2: Carry a suitable weapon
Coyotes can weigh up to 50 pounds, so you won’t need a powerful weapon to take one down. In fact, it’s illegal to hunt coyotes with heavy weapons in several regions. For coyote hunting, flat-shooting 22 rifles are good options. Shotguns can also be effective at close ranges, such as at night or in wooded areas (where legal). Select a 12-gauge shotgun with a tight spread that can hit targets at up to 32.0 m.
Step 3: During the hunt, keep quiet
Coyotes are known for their excellent hearing and vision and have a long history of being considered clever animals. They might run away when they hear you approaching unless they’ve gotten used to human contact. It’s crucial to be as quiet as you can while hunting.
Step 4: Secretly approach the hunting location
In addition to making as little noise as you can while hunting, it’s critical to minimize your visual profile and scent as much as you can. When the natural cover is available, hide behind hilltops, tree lines, and rock formations. Avoid areas with good visibility, such as open areas. When the wind permits, attempt to approach your hunting location downwind to reduce the chances that a coyote will pick up on your smell.
Step 5: Look for coyote presence
Coyotes leave visible traces of their presence even though, like all creatures, they may be sneaky and cunning. The following are some coyote warning signs:
Coyote tracks are tiny footprints that resemble dog prints. The coyote’s front feet often make prints a little larger than their back feet, roughly 1.75 to 3 inches long and 1.3-2 inches wide.
Coyote screams are barks, howls, and yelps that sound like dogs. Most often during sunrise and sunset.
Step 6: Decide a suitable shooting position
When hunting coyotes, you should choose a hidden location where you can stand still without discomfort for up to 30 minutes at a period. A clear view of the area in front of you, comfortable seating or lying space, appropriate cover, and a location to rest your weapon are all characteristics of ideal shooting positions. When you’ve located a nice site, sit quietly there while watching for the coyote and scanning the area.
Step 7: After waiting 15 minutes, make a call
Stay calm and quiet for a moment after assuming your shooting stance while keeping an eye out for any movement in the area in front of you. Use a call if nothing comes up after about 15 minutes. Small gadgets called calls, which mimic the sounds of specific animals, should be available at any hunting supply store. Your best bets for trapping coyotes are calls that resemble the cries of their prey and the coyotes’ own screams and sniffles, which they use to communicate.
Step 8: Wait for more for 15 minutes
Coyote hunting is a waiting game, like most forms of hunting. Coyotes won’t likely appear right away, so have patience. Wait for 15 to 20 minutes after your calls are finished before placing another. To gauge each call’s efficacy, you might want to repeat your sequence of calls. Stay alert between calls and keep an eye out for any activity.
Wait another 15 minutes if you’re still not having any luck, then leave and go to another site. A hunting superstition believes that the game will appear just as the hunter is about to go.
Step 9: Utilize a dummy or bait
If you’re having difficulties attracting coyotes into shot range, think about utilizing an artificial dummy (such as an old stuffed animal or a decoy readily available in stores) or a real dead animal (rabbits work well). Place your bait or dummy at a suitable shooting distance from where you are hidden, then go back there and wait. Use a distress cry that is similar to your bait or decoy, if at all possible.
If utilizing a dead animal, it could be a good idea to slit it open so the odor of its insides can escape. With any luck, the strong aroma will increase your chances of attracting coyotes to you.
Step 10: Fire a perfect kill shot
Although it is highly uncommon for hunters to kill coyotes for their meat, some hunters admire the softness and beauty of their furs. Suppose you want to hunt coyotes for their skin and attempt to kill each one with a single, accurate shot. It has a double benefit:
It lessens the risk that the coyote will be able to escape and hide before dying, losing the catch and leaving you without fur.
It minimizes damage to the coat.
Make a clean kill shot even if you don’t want the coyote’s skin, such as if you’re just killing it to protect your livestock. The quickest and most gentle method of killing an animal is with a shot to the vitals. Messy kills may extend the pain of an animal in a fall.
Step 11: Ensure the coyote is dead
Check for signs of breath or activity as you go closer to the coyote you killed. The fastest way to end the suffering of a coyote that is injured but not yet dead is to shoot it safely in the head or slash its throat.
Although it’s highly uncommon for a person to be killed by a coyote, much less one that’s dying, you should still take caution near injured coyotes since they could still bite you. Get medical attention if a coyote bites you, just in case. Even if you are not seriously hurt, you should see a doctor be sure the bite wasn’t disease-bearing.
Step 12: After the kill, field dress
The coyote’s body will start to attract bacteria after death. Nearly all hunting guides suggest field dressing an animal as soon as it is killed for the greatest possibility of preservation. It also helps to minimize the weight of the animal’s body. Although there’s no need to panic, if you want to take a coyote’s skin, it’s preferable to start field dressing or to skin the animal as soon as possible to ensure its general freshness.
The area and weather where you hunt the coyote will affect how quickly you need to act; typically, colder temperatures allow dead animals to “keep” for longer. Any animal parts you leave in the forest will either decompose or become food for other creatures.