Have you ever considered calling coyotes with the wind at your back? I know it sounds crazy, but hear me out. Nearly all predators boost their confidence by circling downwind. The few that don’t are either bold or suffering from adolescent disease. My teenage kids have that right now. Because of this scent-checking reality most hunters call with the wind in their face and then try to intercept predators circling before they get downwind.
But couldn’t you make it work in reverse as well? Wouldn’t it make just as much sense to set up with a large, downwind window to watching for incoming predators? If the predator is going to circle downwind anyways why not have them circle into a clear shooting lane as opposed to your backside? If they circle to your backside you have a very little chance of catching the predator. And if they do catch a whiff of you, it’s game over in either setup.
I first contemplated this idea years back after hunting with predator call pioneer Ed Sceery. I was lucky enough to hunt with Sceery in the big, open country of South Dakota and when he set up with the wind at his back I was about to tell him maybe he should read an article on calling coyotes. He quickly set me straight on the “hows” and “whys” of the strategy and if my memory is still working, he killed a coyote using that tactic later in the day.
What makes this tactic especially inviting is the fact you can hunt nearly every property with slight adjustments to your entrance. The factor affecting success the most is keeping large blocks of habitat on your left and right where predators would likely be hiding out. Don’t allow your scent to contaminate those regions and then work toward an opening with a downwind view.
You’ve likely spooked anything in your path behind you and even though your scent is streaming downwind, you have cover on either side to produce sightings from your calls. Lastly, be ready to shoot fast. Once a predator trots through your opening the angles will be tight and you’ll only have seconds to get the shot off before they receive a blast of you on the breeze.
Because of this strategy I always have a place to hunt. Changing winds are part of the Wyoming world I live in when hunting mountain foothills. This past winter I set out to hunt a property with a stout northwest wind in my face. Just as I was about to set up I used my Windicator puff bottle to check the breeze. It switched 180 degrees! Remembering my Sceery education I set up anyway and 30 minutes later a curious coyote was circling right into my downwind shooting lane. My Bergara barked and the Hornady bullet caught up with the coyote before he could snatch my scent on the wind.
Consider an upwind setup next time when the wind confounds you in the predator world.