Short Sleeve Coyotes

Summer vacation takes on a whole new meaning for traveling predator hunters.

Short Sleeve Coyotes

Summer coyotes can be aggressive and often charge the call with reckless abandon, but Torry Cook accepts the challenge of taking them with archery tackle. 

The year was 2000, and Dad and I were making our annual pilgrimage from New York to South Dakota for a combination prairie dog and coyote hunt. The trip took place in June because that was the earliest time of year that my job as a schoolteacher would allow. The prairie dogs were plentiful, as expected, and the coyote hunting was better than one would think. Back home, we typically pursue coyotes all winter long. However, since we were traveling across the country, it only made sense to take advantage of some bonus coyote calling action in addition to hunting prairie dogs.

Following the letter of the day, I would play cottontail distress sounds out of my Foxpro Model 416-B. The results were modest with a few coyotes appearing as the din of rabbit filled the air. Then, things changed drastically when I mistakenly pressed the wrong button on the remote. Instead of rabbit distress, I sent coyote pup distress sounds across the prairie and the result was immediate. Coyotes were now rapidly approaching at each of my setups, and I was thrilled with the new sound I had “discovered.”

Twenty-three years later, I am still using pup distress sounds to lure in summertime coyotes. The difference is that Dad is no longer around to share the hunts, and I now approach my summer calling stands with much more purpose and planning. I am not alone in my warm weather efforts as legions of hunters are taking advantage of calling during the dog days of summer. Summer hunting is now in vogue.

I clearly remember purchasing my furbearer license over the counter and having the cashier ask, “You are hunting coyotes now?” Back in the day, and up until recent times, the consensus was that coyote hunting was not to take place until after deer season when fur was prime. Nowadays, year-round coyote hunting is far more accepted and practiced. For good reason, too. There are many advantages to hunting during the summer. First, the population is at its highest during this time. Coyotes have not yet been targeted by fall coyote callers and deer hunters who happen to take out coyotes from their stands.

Furthermore, the family units are still together and that means multiple coyotes might appear at a single stand. Folks need not worry about the total eradication of coyote populations due to hunting during the summer. Coyotes can quickly re-establish their numbers by producing larger litters during the following breeding season. Nature works wonders that way!

Tennessee’s Marc Larese, a Foxpro field staffer, cites summertime calling as his hands down favorite time of year to call. He simply loves the aggression of the coyotes as they respond to his calls. Larese says the action is always fast paced, as coyotes hang near the edges of freshly cut hay fields. He adds that summer hunts are far more intense than he experiences during other times of the year.

Torry Cook, from MFK Game Calls, echoes Larese’s enchantment with summertime calling. He says coyotes come in aggressively, running hard and fast to the call. Summer means short stands which are action-packed. Cook also points out that summer is the best time of the year to thin out local coyote populations that are threatening livestock and game species because the family units are still located in a single area.

Savvy Summer Tactics

Hunters who are eager to give summer calling a try will be well advised to employ tactics that are summer-specific. Larese says time of day is vital for success. In early June through July, he attempts to make two to three stands beginning at first light. By mid-morning, it simply becomes too hot to enjoy the hunt. Not to mention that coyote movement is typically stifled by the rising heat. By August, Larese makes only one stand in the morning due to the summer heat. He also notes that the last hour of daylight is also a productive time to hunt. Larese always attempts to set up as close to field edges as possible because he knows coyotes are hanging out in the thick brush nearby as a means of avoiding the sun. “When fields are freshly cut, the coyotes will be there, so plan hunts accordingly,” he advised.

Cook says locating summer coyotes is the key to success. They will be in specific areas during summer, and the hunter must know where they precisely are to hunt them efficiently. He locates at nighttime with a lone howl with a diaphragm call or an e-caller. If nothing answers, he tries a group howl on an e-caller. If there is no response, he moves a mile away in thick cover or 2 miles away in open terrain and repeats the process.

For hunters who prefer targeting mature coyotes vs. pups, Cook offers some solid advice. “Adults can be targeted by setting up farther away from denning areas. If you are within 200 yards of a den site and howl, you will most likely bring in the pups. Play adult fight sounds and add distance in your setup and you will up the odds for bringing in adult coyotes.” 

A Different Kind of Calling

Hunters who rely solely on using prey distress sounds might be in for disappointment when they fail to frequently see coyotes. Surely, prey distress sounds can work at any time of the year. However, hunters must realize that coyotes respond to calls for a variety of reasons. Curiosity, protection of territory and pups, breeding and, of course, hunger all come into play. It only stands to reason that by appealing to several of these triggers success should soar.

Additionally, to fully maximize the calling potential at this time of year, hunters should realize what is going on in the daily lives of coyotes and maximize this knowledge. In a nutshell, the prime rut time for coyotes is February 14/15. By adding a 63-day gestation period, we can assume that pups will be in the dens in April. By May, the pups will emerge from the den. By the end of June, they will be out and hunting by themselves (but they are still part of a tight family unit). During July and August, pups will be actively foraging and hunting. They will still be part of the family unit but will be exploring their terrain and rendezvousing with the pack. When hunting during the summer months, hunters will have the opportunity to call in and kill coyotes across a wide age spectrum. But the question remains: What are the best sounds to use?

Marc Larese loves hunting right after hay fields have been cut because he knows coyotes will be nearby dining on the exposed rodents.
Marc Larese loves hunting right after hay fields have been cut because he knows coyotes will be nearby dining on the exposed rodents.

Proven Summer Sounds

Foxpro Pro Staffer Al Morris says that many people think that summer months are the time for decoy dogs. While using dogs is highly effective and exciting, Morris says dogs are not necessary for successful hunting. He believes that calling can be terrific when coyote vocalizations are employed.

Morris refers to recent research that indicated single, lone howls are the No. 1 sound that a coyote will approach. As a result, he begins his June and July stands with lone pup howls. He says his favorite is Foxpro’s C5 Young Pup Howls. Morris emits two or three pup howls and then after two to four minutes of silence, he plays a series of MFK’s Lil B Whimper Pup Howls. After another couple minutes of silence, Morris goes to his fight category and is partial to MFK’s Howl Yeah Fight played for two to three minutes. This aggressive sound is followed by Foxpro’s Pup Distress 314 and then Foxpro’s Pup Distress #3 or MFK’s Lil B Stanky Fight. If nothing shows up to this sequence of coyote vocalizations, he will play three to five minutes of prey distress. 

Morris says his total stand length during the summer months is 18 to 25 minutes and he is not afraid to extend it with more sounds being played. He stresses that silence is important throughout the stand, but it is often hard to determine how much silence to use. It seems as if that variable will have to be an on-the-spot decision based on how the coyotes are behaving and reacting.

Larese is quick to share his summer calling sequence. From May through June and into early July, he uses fawn distress sounds. As July progresses, and fields are freshly cut, Larese switches over to rabbit distress sounds. No matter what prey sound is playing, he lets it run for five minutes while interjecting bits of silence throughout. He also varies his volume throughout the stand. If nothing responds to the prey distress sounds, he uses female coyote howls. He lets the howls loop through twice with a minute of silence between the loops. Larese then answers with MFK’s Bougie Whine Howls. He pauses for a minute and then continues his sequence with some pup growls. 

The average stand length for Larese’s sequence is 15 minutes, but he will expand this if he is sure that there is a coyote in the area. He says coyotes usually show up quickly because they do not want to travel long distances in the heat.

It should be no surprise that Cook relies heavily on coyote vocalizations during his summer hunts. In fact, he uses pup distress sounds until pup dispersal during late fall and uses little prey distress until the “bust up” time, which occurs prior to dispersal. During July, he starts with a series of lone howls. He said, “It doesn’t matter if it’s a male or a female howl. Make the howls and give coyotes five minutes to show up.” At this point, he expects a vocal response from a coyote. If the coyotes seem to be off in the distance, Cook will re-position, so he is closer to the coyote’s location. 

The next sound is a different lone howl series. Then, Cook plays a group howl that consists of both adult and pup vocalizations. He follows this with a social interaction sound such as MFK’s Submissive Beggar. He plays this sound file for two to three minutes. If nothing has shown at this point, he begins his age-class pup vocalizations (see sidebar). Cook says his typical summertime stand length is 15 minutes.

Summer of Love? Nah, Let’s Fight!

Typical advice concerning when to use fight sounds is during and after coyote breeding season. According to our experts, fighting scenarios are not just for use during late season territory protection. They use fight sounds during summer with marked success. 

Cook says summer is the perfect time for using pup fight sounds. At this time of year, siblings are establishing a pecking order and food fight sounds are highly effective at bringing in coyotes of all age structures. He recommends Bam Stanky Pup Fight and/or Den Vicious from the MFK sound library. Older age class fights are also effective during the summer months. Cook explains, “Different types of fights can provide different trigger responses, and subtle details within each sound can cause the triggers. For example, food fights that contain the sounds of teeth gnashing can be a trigger.” 

Cook recommends using growling sounds in concert with fight sounds to create a realistic scenario. He adds: “Social interaction sounds are always effective.” Cook recommends playing MFK’s Submissive Beggar and then Submissive Tap Out for two to three minutes each. Then, he says, use adult fight sounds, such as Table Scraps or Poundtown from the MFK library. Cook also suggests interjecting three minutes of fawn distress into the mix to attract mature coyotes before returning to social sounds.


Ah, summer. It’s a time for baseball, boat rides, hot dogs … and coyotes! There, I said it! Coyote calling can now be viewed as a year-round passion. If your state imposes a season on coyotes that doesn’t include summer, this would be the perfect opportunity to plan a trip to a state that allows year-round hunting. For hunters who desire fast paced and action-packed stands, summertime calling might just be the answer. All you need to do is grab some shade, try some of the sequences and tactics provided in this text and you might find yourself posing for the camera while wearing a short-sleeve shirt!

Summer is the perfect time for using the recorded sounds of brawling canine pups, as siblings are establishing a pecking order.
Summer is the perfect time for using the recorded sounds of brawling canine pups, as siblings are establishing a pecking order.

Analyzing the MFK Sound Library  

With so many coyote vocalizations available to hunters, it can become downright confusing when trying to figure out which sound files to use. This is especially true as calling seasons are expanded and hunters ponder what sounds to use during specific times of year. One might think they need a Master’s Degree in Animal Ecology just to figure it all out.

Hunters can find relief by visiting the MFK website ( for sounds organized in chronological order. For example, the coyote pup distress, fights and howls are labeled by name and week, which indicates how old the pup was when the sound was recorded. Hunters can match the sound file with the corresponding time of year, knowing they are making realistic sounds for the time of year. 


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