As coyote populations expand across North America, their presence threatens vulnerable wildlife species and livestock operations. In response, many hunters aim to curb coyote numbers in impacted regions. Though hunting these adaptable canids poses challenges, hunters can target areas with known higher densities.
In particular, some hunters may travel between multiple states to bolster control efforts where abundant coyote predation severely impacts farmers and ranchers. Even as these canids permeate diverse habitats from forests to cities, their management remains a priority for protecting livestock and preserving balanced ecosystems.
Indeed, coyotes (Canis latrans) thrive not only in western prairies but also in wilderness, suburbs, and urban landscapes. Closely related to wolves and domestic dogs, coyotes can interbreed with both species to produce viable hybrid offspring. This reproductive adaptability, paired with their intelligence and rapidly expanding populations across North America, underscores the necessity of managed hunting to mitigate their influence.
Captain’s Key Points
- Coyote populations increasing, causing problems for wildlife and livestock. Hunters motivated to help control population.
- Hunting coyotes challenging due to adaptability and presence across habitats. Possible to target abundant areas.
- Important coyote hunting factors:
- Good cover
- Ample sight distance
- Scouting for signs of coyotes (tracks, droppings, dead animals, vocalizations) helps identify areas to target
- Gear like callers, rifles/shotguns, scopes, camo, predator hunting packs important
- For new hunters, familiar rifles like .243s or 12 gauge shotguns good starter options before specialized gear
- Hunting public land popular but requires scouting good areas. Safety paramount with other people possibly present
- Finding open areas to call from important. Be patient when calling – coyotes may take 15+ minutes to respond
Coyote Hunting Basics
The success of your hunting trip starts the moment your boots hit the ground in the area you will be hunting. Your approach is essential to your success. You’ll scare away the animals if you’re noisy. The four most important factors that lead to an effective set-up are finding good cover. Then being downwind of where you feel the coyotes will approach, having ample sight distance of approaching coyotes and being patient.
Good cover – minimize movement and maximize cover!
Downwind of coyotes – besides sight and hearing, coyotes have an excellent sense of smell.
Ample sight distance – having a rifle that can reach out and touch coyotes is a plus. However, ample sight distance also means having the ability to shoot multiple coyotes at a time.
Patience – coyote calling can often result, especially in wide open landscapes, with coyotes coming in well after 15+ minutes.
The success of your hunt depends on the density of the coyote population in the area.
Look for signs of coyotes in the area, such as fresh tracks, droppings, dead animals, and vocalizations. The best way to find out where coyotes typically den or roam on your hunting property is to ask farmers, land managers, or landowners. You can often find out where coyotes are dens by listening to their vocalizations at night. This can also help you identify multiple packs. Howling can help you find packs of wolves. Howl, and see if any wolves howl back.
A coyote’s movement is motivated by three main prompts:
- Territorial claim
They will roam to find food when hungry, to find a mate for breeding, or to protect their territory and domain at any given time. Coyotes are more active at night, but as opportunistic feeders, they take advantage of daylight hours to look for food. You are more likely to see coyotes during cold days after a storm because they will hunt for food to stay warm.
People tend to hunt in areas that are easily accessible, meaning that these areas are often hunted extensively. Suppose you want to explore topics in more depth. In that case, you must invest some effort and utilize available resources. The local game warden or conservation officer can be a great source of information for finding coyotes on public land.
Coyote Hunting Gear and Clothing
Success in coyote hunting depends greatly on proper preparation and equipment. Crucial gear ranges from coyote calls to firearms and ammunition choice to a reliable predator pack and effective camouflage.
Careful selection of tools and attire makes all the difference in outmaneuvering these crafty canids. Camouflage proves especially vital for concealment, allowing minimal movement and maximum coverage. The key lies in versatile layering that enables adjusting to shifting environmental conditions while avoiding overheating.
The Browning Hells Canyon Speed Camo line epitomizes adaptable concealment patterns tailored for varied terrains. With options suited for arid, urban, foliage, wet, cool, warm, and cold climes, this system allows bespoke customization to match the hunt’s precise setting and climate. Such strategic choices in gear and dress help determine the hunter’s effectiveness in engaging these adaptive adversaries on their own turf.
Tools for the First Timer
If you are interested in hunting, starting will cost less than $50. Want to go hunting at night? Spending an extra $150 on a scanning light will make you more likely to succeed.
Don’t spend too much on coyote hunting in your first year, and get a caller and a red scanning light to put on your gun. I will explain the advantages of these tools later in the article and provide some videos demonstrating how to use them quickly and easily. choose. But first, we need to discuss which weapon you should choose.
The best weapons for new predator hunters are an old deer rifle with a 1.5 x 3 scope or a 12 gauge shotgun. You don’t need to buy an expensive gun just because the big brands say you should. You’re looking for a different type of rifle than what Benelli or Barrett offers.
To be a successful coyote hunter, you need to be able to shoot accurately with a familiar weapon. The .243 or the Sears Model 200 is more likely to be something you are familiar with. You’ve used it before. You know how to operate it safely. It has a history of dependability. This loyal hunting companion deserves an annual bonus season. Be sure to clean your trophy buck properly and oil it lightly after you drop it. You both still have many months of coyote hunting left to enjoy this year.
Although electric game callers are straightforward, they are expensive and tend not to work well in colder temperatures.
Coyote hunters increasingly turn to electronic calling devices to improve their chances of staying undetected.
Even when you are alone in the darkness and cold, you figure human beings can recognize you if you use an extravagantly priced electronic howler. No one will hear you, notably at night and when winter sets in. Although a coyote electric game caller produces a dreadful noise, they could still have the capacity to draw a coyote very far from the desolate country.
Open and Closed Reed Calls
Two types of hand callers work well when hunting coyotes: those with a closed reed and those with an open reed.
Closed reed calls are simple to use because the reed length is preset and fixed in place by the manufacturer. This device limits the number of sounds you can create and the volume of these sounds. However, it allows users to produce a consistent sound quickly and reliably, which is helpful in the field.
If you practice, you can make the same noises as the people in YouTube videos. The sound you create will be better than the mass-produced electronic callers, but that can be advantageous if everyone else makes the same sound. The imperfections in your sound might attract coyotes, who will be drawn to your call like metal shavings are drawn to a magnet.
But be prepared! It would help if you were ready to shoot as soon as you make your first sound. So be locked and loaded, as you only know how close they are once you start calling them.
The Best Color of Light to Use When Hunting for Coyotes
Greenlight reaches farther than other colors but can look and feel unnatural. I felt like it gave away my position.
The color green appears to scare coyotes, at least those I hunt in the east. Green lights don’t work well when hunting coyotes in some areas, but red lights can work better.
Public Land: Coyote Hunting on State and Federal Properties
This section is the most essential for many new coyote hunters. I would appreciate it if you would stay with me; I should be able to help you find a few good locations.
Scouting for land to hunt on is the first step. Then you must scout that land to see if coyotes are present.
Approximately 40% of all land in the United States is “owned” by federal or state governments. Much of this land permits appropriately licensed hunters.
You can find all of the coyote hunting areas near you by visiting Where to Hunt, selecting “coyotes” on the species tab, and finding the location on the map you are interested in.
Hunting on public land has advantages and disadvantages, but this is true for every other hunting location.
Hunters who hunt on public land are likelier to encounter other hunters and non-hunters than those who hunt on private property. People often jog, hike, fish, and camp on public land, sometimes even during winter. Although most people who use public land are unaware of it, coyote hunting is a popular sport. Ensure the safety of your shot by identifying your target.
When hunting coyotes on public land in New York, finding a large, open area to make the call is crucial. You can’t trim branches or remove obstructing shrubbery. That is illegal in some areas.
Coyotes, scientifically known as Canis latrans, are not just confined to open areas like the West. Still, they can also adapt to living in urban areas, forests, mountains, and even cities. They are closely related to domestic dogs and wolves and can interbreed with them. Due to this adaptability and intelligence, combined with their increasing numbers in North America, they are becoming a significant problem for wildlife and livestock. Many hunters are motivated to pursue these animals actively to help mitigate the problem. Hunting coyotes can be challenging, particularly given their adaptability and presence in various habitats. Still, it is often possible to target them in areas known to be particularly abundant. To successfully hunt coyotes, you must have good cover, be downwind of the coyotes, have ample sight distance, be patient, and scout the area for signs of coyotes, and talk to farmers, land managers, or landowners can also help find coyotes.
Captain Hunter is a seasoned hunting mentor with over 20 years of experience in the field. His passion began as a young man on trips with his father and grandfather in the Colorado mountains. Today, he shares his unmatched skills in survival, tracking, and marksmanship through his website CaptainHunter.com. When he's not volunteering with youth hunting programs, you can find Captain Hunter providing expert hunting tips, gear reviews, and answers to your most pressing questions. His decades of experience make him the trusted guide to help any outdoorsman master the sport.