Coyotes are hunted for many different reasons. They are good off season practice, some areas pay bounties for pelts, and they are a serious threat to existing deer and other game populations as well as pets and livestock. Here’s how to get started.
Choosing a Gun
Coyote hunting can be as simple or as complicated as you want it. You can use anything from a 12 gauge shotgun, to a specialized varminting gun, to an AR-15. There are also usually loads available to use your regular deer rifle. Accuracy is key and use a gun you are comfortable with.
Rifles chambered in .223 or .243 make good long range coyote guns. The new .17 rimfire cartridges are also a good choice. A .22 Mag is good out to 100 yards. Stay away from .22 LR, not enough energy to make humane kills.
Calling coyotes is the most efficient way to get them in gun range. There are two basic lines of thought on call song dogs. Hunters either use mouth calls similar to duck calls or electronic calls. Either of these two offers both sounds mimicking small animals or other coyotes. Mouth calls can be a little tricky to use, requiring some experience. That has brought forth the electronic call.
The most effective way to hunt coyotes is via an electronic call. Check with your local Fish and Game office to verify this is legal in your area. The Foxpro line of calls has been the established leader for years, but there are other less expensive options out there. Most calls will sound like small animals and there are calls out there that mimic rabbits, birds, and other potential meals.
Camo and Scent
Coyotes possess both great hearing and excellent eyesight. It is very important to utilize camouflage hunting clothes and ground blinds or tree stands to overcome this. It is a good idea to use some sort of cover scent, particularly if you are planning on taking coyotes with a shotgun at less than 60 yards.
You are going to have to find a stand that is in an area that coyotes frequent, one that is comfortable for several hours at a time, and one that is easy to shoot out of. Your stand has to be out of the coyote’s sight and preferable is down wind of the approaching coyotes.
All the preparation and the nicest equipment don’t mean much if there aren’t coyotes in the area. The best thing to do is to ask around and be sure to do some scouting ahead of time. Often at night, you can hear the coyotes busting out in song. After practice, you will be able to distinguish different coyotes. While out in the woods, be on the lookout for tracks or scat. The best way though is to talk to other hunters and farmers. They can give you quite an education on coyotes in the area. Both are also highly motivated to keep the population in check.
I hope these tips are of use to you.
Have fun hunting and be careful.