Coyotes are an animal which suffers from a poor image. Hollywood routinely uses their distinctive howl as a prelude to danger and ranchers see them as a constant threat to livestock. Until recently many states viewed them as a nuisance and allowed kill on sight hunting with little or no regulations. But in recent years, that has begun to change.
Once limited in range and found primarily in the western U.S., coyotes can found throughout North America. While still viewed as a major predator, often blamed for not only the loss of livestock but also large numbers of whitetail deer & turkey, they have also gained popularity as a game species. Because of this many jurisdictions now have seasons and bag limits, although hunters in most states can still pursue them without too much trouble.
Some of the reasons coyotes are growing in popularity, aside from their broad range, and include their weariness and the fact that they can be hunted without specialized equipment. While the avid predator hunting can purchase a wide range of specialized equipment, it is not necessary to get started. If you have ever thought about trying your hand at outwitting Wile E Coyote. here are a few simple tips to get you off on the right foot.
- Rifle – coyotes required a flat shooting rifle light enough to be carried easily for extended periods of time. While many beginners have been very successful using their deer rifle or even turkey shotgun a flat, fast shooting .223 is a near perfect varmint rifle.
- Camouflage – coyotes are a very wary predator with extremely keen senses. Camouflage is not an option but a requirement. If there is any chance of getting a coyote to come within range, you must make sure to conceal yourself, your gear and any trace of your entry into their world.
- Sight and Sound – the biggest challenge when hunting coyotes, is tricking the evasive hunter to crossing the line from being predator to becoming prey. Two of the mainstays in achieving this goal are decoys and calls. Decoys need not be overly fancy. Although full body, fur covered decoys are available many hunters use little more than a rabbit tail or stuffed toy on a spring mounted holder. Coupled with a mouth or electronic call, imitating either a rabbit in distress or another coyote looking to mate, you’ve got a setup that says “Come and get it” to any coyote within about 1/2miles area. One of the latest trends in decoying coyotes involves using turkey decoys, which are reportedly very successful during any season.
Now it’s time to find coyotes. Open fields, hedgerows and the edges of new growth forests are all areas which attract and hold mice, rabbits, and other small game species. They will also attract coyotes. When selecting your shooting position remember that coyotes are predators. Make sure the wind is in your favor and whenever possible place a natural obstacle (stream, cliff, etc.) to your back.
Good luck, good hunting!