It’s that time of the year when coyotes begin to get cagey. The young pups have either been educated or hitched a ride in the back of a Ram truck to the nearest fur buyer and the old coyotes have become smarter than Stephen Hawking. If your old hotspots aren’t producing then maybe it’s time to take the fight to a new location. Here’s a list of common and not so common locations to call in your next coyote.
Coyotes may not be able to take down a full-grown cow, but that doesn’t mean they don’t like to dream about it. For some reason coyotes like to hang near livestock and with cows starting to calve the reasons become even more obvious. Cows occasionally die leaving coyotes with plenty of protein, but as newborn calves hit the ground the afterbirth provides coyotes with a delicious meal. Coyotes also are on the lookout for stillborn calves and even eat the nutrient-rich droppings teaming with milk residue from newborns. In addition to cattle, coyotes like to lurk near sheep, goats, chickens and any other barnyard critter that may tip over unexpectedly or fall into a coyote trap.
Coyote numbers have been rising in all major cities across the country. They show up on subways and in Subway restaurants. I’m not joking. Currently most cities don’t allow shooting within city limits, but hunting on the fringe should be a top consideration. Coyotes regularly move in and out of cities to scrounge for food and hunt bountiful rodent populations within. They’ll move back to the outskirts for undisturbed bedding and that’s where you need to focus. Scout for brushy locations next to the city and you’ll likely find a coyote waiting nearby.
City refuge facilities attract all sorts of scavengers including coyotes. In some rural areas you may get permission to hunt right at the dump, but in most locations you’ll be regulated to hunting the edges on adjoining properties. Seek out refuse centers that take in dead animals, restaurant garbage and other disposal items that coyotes may find of interest. I’ve called coyotes near several of these sites and in nearly every trip discovered an interested coyote waiting in the wings.
Highways are busy, but that bustling activity draws coyotes. Why? Traffic congestion creates conflicts between drivers and other wildlife that usually end up bad for the critter. Coyotes wait on the edges for the opportunity to scavenge and feed on the road kill. Occasionally you’ll see coyotes along roads eating carrion, but oftentimes their main feeding takes place under cover of darkness. This doesn’t mean they aren’t napping close by. Research for properties adjacent to bustling freeways and secure permission to call coyotes from the thick cover near the roadways. This strategy is a definite plus for Midwest coyote hunters in deer-dense states like Illinois, Iowa, Ohio, Missouri and others.
Coyotes get harder and harder to call the longer the fur season goes on, but with a little proactive thinking you can put yourself in the densest population possible for a meeting with a savvy coyote.