I’m pining for that first coyote of the fur season. Are you? Like many obsessed outdoor enthusiasts I hunt a variety of species during the fall. My freezer has packages of pronghorn, elk and deer. It’s been a spectacular autumn for me and I hope you’ve found success as well, but as the big and small game seasons wind down the fur season is just heating up. The skull boiling is done and coyotes are calling to me. If you’re looking for that first prime coyote then consider these locations to kick off the season.

First, hit that favorite public parcel near you. Why? It won’t be long before every predator fanatic in the area makes plans to invade the same space. The earlier you hit it the higher your odds for success on coyotes or other predators that haven’t heard the whines of a digital caller. With the wind in your favor, hike to remote sections of the property and use your gut feeling on whether to sound like prey, a competing coyote — or both.

It may be frightfully cold outside, but think summer. To be more precise, think back to where you may have seen a coyote den or witnessed young coyotes prowling together. Coyote pups disperse, but some are homebodies and stay near where they were raised. Many continue to hunt with litter mates until February breeding finally drives a wedge between strong family ties. By placing yourself in close proximity to where you saw litter activity you may be able to call in an uneducated coyote … or two!

Finally, return to your big-game hunting haunts. There’s ample reason to return. For starters, you already know the area well so slipping into great setup locations doesn’t require much sleuthing. You also have likely reconnoitered the zone for predator density. Most good elk and deer locations also hold coyotes. They’ll prey on weakened individuals as winter takes hold and those that perish from the elements are easy pickings. Finally, leftovers in the form of de-boned carcasses and past gut piles keep coyotes coming back to see if new delicacies have hit the ground. I’m betting my Bergara rifle that my go-to deer hunting location is holding a coyote. Why so smug? I watched coyotes from afar on several deer hunts with my Nikon binos, but didn’t shoot for fear of spooking bucks.

There are numerous other locations that may produce your first fur of the season so make your choice wisely. More importantly, enjoy your first outing of the year. Good luck!