Coyotes and Cedar Swamps
Coyotes need food, water and a way to get around in the winter. Cedar swamps fulfill all of these basic needs. In the swamps there are thermal covers that keep snow a little less of a problem for the stout predator. Rabbits and rodents seek the protection there from the harsh weather, thus supplying the coyote with food. It’s best to stay on the higher ground on the edge of swamps and try to coax the animal out with a decoy and a distress call. Make sure your scent is blowing away from the set as much as possible.
Frozen Lakes And River Beds
If you plan to hunt lake and river beds, be absolutely sure of the thickness of the ice before venturing out! Use extreme caution, and check the ice with a spud as you go. Often times you’ll find coyotes traveling on and around shorelines looking for food. Frozen river beds provide “roads” with crusted over snow that makes travel easier for the coyote.
Even if you’re positive the ice is safe, spend as little time out on the ice as possible. Coyotes can spot you across a frozen lake bed faster than you can spot them. If you use a decoy, move slowly and in a straight line out, set the decoy and move back on shore to call. I have called coyotes with a digital call and remote control decoy from half a mile away. As always, paying attention to scent is very important.
Deer gather in areas where food and shelter are available, called yards. Here too, you find predators. As the deer migrate at the first signs of deepening snow, the coyotes follow the deer, hoping for a meal. Sometimes hundreds of deer gather in a yard and the food source doesn’t hold up, leading to weak and sick animals. Late in the winter, a fawn bleat off the edge of the deer yard will signal an easy meal for a coyote.
If you’re looking for good hunting, don’t put away the varmint rifle when the snow piles up. Strap on a pair of snow shoes and hit the woods. Deep snow doesn’t stop the coyotes, so it shouldn’t stop you.