Coyote Hunting Tips
The piercing sound broke the early dawn silence. Then it faded. All was silent. The rabbit, caught by a predator, fell silent. Or so it seemed. Actually, the sound emanated from an electronic game caller. Its purpose was to attract a hungry coyote, coon, or fox.
Suddenly, across the field, a coyote loped along, nose to the ground, in search of an easy meal. He had just appeared on the edge of a thicket and was a silent figure moving along toward the source of the sound.
Everyone calls animals in their lifetime. We often begin with here kitty kitty.
The use of a call can lure hungry predators into more open areas and close proximity to the concealed hunter.
Calls fall into two categories: electronic and mechanical. The electronic calls use a recording of animals that are played back on MP3 or CD. Mechanical calls are made of plastic, wood or steel through which a caller blows air in a prescribed manner to achieve the same sounds.
Electronic calls have powerful output, a longer duration of play, more accurate sound, a wider variety, can be operated hands-free and usually use distress sounds to attract predators. The advantage to the mechanical calls is that they are lighter weight, compact, inexpensive, have a variable pitch and offer great personal satisfaction.
Both types of calls also have disadvantages. The electronic call is a more expensive investment, has more weight to handle in the field, is larger and requires maintenance as well as the changing of batteries.
Mechanical calls can have too much or too little volume according to the skills of the user. They require movement of the caller which can call attention to his location. They take some practice and in cold weather can freeze up due to saliva accumulation.
A key to varmint success is to set up in a good habitat situation. It might be brush near a creek. Many animals use these waterways as highways to their feeding areas from a den or bedding area. The caller sets up downwind from where he believes the prey might come. Hunters must be ever mindful of his ability to conceal himself from the prey until it is too late.
The ability to remain motionless is vital in this type of hunting. Therefore, good optics and warm clothing are a must. If the air is cold, then being underdressed can be miserable. The good optics enable the hunter to see the quarry long before he would otherwise be able to spot him.
Unlike deer, waterfowl and turkey calls, the predator calls are not types of communication between members of the same species. They imitate food species that are in distress. Most common is the sound of a rabbit that has been caught by either a predator or fence. The shrill, high-pitched call is ear splitting. As the predator comes closer to the sound he will become more wary of his surroundings.
As a way of coaxing predators the last few yards, callers implement “squeaker” or coaxing calls. Usually used are those calls that make a squeak of a mouse, a much softer sound.
Coyotes are a normally nocturnal animal. But, with the use of a call, one can lure them into range in the early morning or late evening. On cloudy days, the sound of a call can stir the hunger pangs of my coyote during most any part of the day.
Landowners welcome coyote hunters as a way of controlling the predation of their livestock. The varmint hunter also is aiding ground dwelling birds and upland game by taking away a major source of predation on them. By learning the daily habits of the quarry, studying the vocalizations that attract him, and exercising some patience, the hunter can find himself in possession of a fine trophy.