As mentioned in the April 2016 issue of Predator Xtreme, I spent March 2015 conducting field test of a coyote-specific calling sequence. Although I made several outings, some hunts were more memorable than others. The following journal entries exemplify how effective the sequence was at targeting coyotes:
March 16: I joined forces with a good buddy who happens to have access to some prime coyote-calling grounds. Our dusk set up started with high hopes as we heard a pair of coyotes howling a few hundred yards away in the cover of a strip of woods. We had hardly reached our seats and I was digging for my lanyard to answer the coyotes. I choose a lone howl and listened to the sound echo down the field and into the woods. We then sat and waited. I could tell my partner wanted to get more aggressive with our calling efforts, but I reminded him these coyotes might be more susceptible to a dose of quiet. Sure enough, after four minutes one of the coyotes emerged at the edge of the woods. It stood there and surveyed the terrain as if looking for a rogue coyote. Because I had no coyote decoy, I chose to emit some squeaks with my bulb squeaker. That did the trick, and the coyote broke from his position and trotted across the field. Fearing the coyote might detect us, I took the 150-yard shot and suffered an embarrassing miss as my partner watched in disbelief. Although he was clearly upset with my lack of shooting prowess, I took solace in waiting in silence after only one lone howl worked dupe the coyote. I thought to myself of the effectiveness of this sequence being off to a nice start — despite my miss.
March 18: This late-night hunt found me solo at one of my favorite hillsides. Snow was still somewhat deep, but I yearned to get out and hunt. I started the set with the series of male howls, adequate silence then female yodel howls. Nothing showed, so I played five minutes of jackrabbit distress and followed with silence. Still nothing appeared as I continued to scan the terrain with my red LED light. Coyote pup distress was the next sound to be played and it had rung out for only a few minutes when I detected the red glowing eyes of a coyote bounding toward the remotely placed e-call. The coyote continued its quest and raced across the snow-covered hillside. I grew anxious, thinking the coyote was going to wind me. I hurried the shot and suffered another dejecting miss. I looked at the timer on my FOXPRO remote and noted my time on stand was 22 minutes. The hunt illustrated that coyotes can appear at any portion during the sequence without announcing they are coming. This mature coyote did not howl back to any of my initial howling efforts and seemed to ignore the rabbit distress sounds I previously played. It took the pup distress sound to finally bring in the coyote and that was quite late in the stand.
March 24: This proved to be my last hunt of the season and my last chance to test the sequence. The first stand was empty and the second featured howling coyotes that refused to come to the call. The third setup, however, was one of the most rewarding hunts of the season. As I exited my truck, I could hear coyotes howling down the road from where I was going to originally set up. I jumped back into the truck and drove down the road to make a more manageable setup. With the wind in my face, I was able to make a proper approach. The howling stopped prior to me setting out the call and I scurried back to my stool to commence calling. Following the protocol, I let out a lone male coyote howl then another. This was followed by silence as I scanned the area and listened for subsequent howling. I then turned on FOXPRO’s Female Yodel Howls and immediately noticed the reflective eyes racing down a laneway toward the call. Through my scope, the coyote appeared huge as it loped into rifle range. The 60-yard shot almost felt too easy as the coyote fell in its tracks. I turned on the call and played pup distress to lure any other coyotes that dare to approach. None did, as it occurred, but that was alright by me. To finish the season and my field testing with this rewarding hunt was excellent. It proved coyotes can and will respond during any portion of the sequence — early, middle or late!