By Luke Gilbert | Casper, WY
As my predator hunting skills have improved over the past couple of years, the success rate of my hunts has also seen the desirable increase that one would expect. When I first started hunting coyotes in Wyoming during high school, my tactics consisted of not much more than driving around the country and clipping off shots at coyotes running 300 yards away. Though the occasional prairie wolf would have an unlucky day and meet his match against my flying lead, the number of coyotes that hit the ground was no where near what it is today, now that I have incorporated structured calling techniques in my hunting.
My hunting partner, Nick, and I have made over a hundred calling stands this winter. Though not every single one produced an opportunity at a shot, I was still able to walk back to the truck having learned something new. Humans will never understand the patterns of the coyote completely, but I believe my bank of knowledge of its habits and actions are strong enough to at least produce a coyote in every four or five stands. As I've learned through experiences, the approach is the most crucial component of forming a successful stand. I always attempt to walk around the base of hill, not over the top. If a coyote sees the hunter approaching, it will undoubtedly never come in to the call. Next, the truck or four-wheeler must be hidden from sight. I always park behind a hill or somewhere low enough that conceals the vehicle from the area that will be called. Finally, and most importantly, I always call country that is abundant of life. If I don't see antelope, tracks, water sources, or rabbits, I skip the area completely and move on to a location where I can logically expect a coyote to call its home.
I grew up hunting any creatures that I could in central Wyoming, but coyote hunting will always be my number one passion. The adrenaline rush that results from witnessing a coyote charging towards the call from hundreds of yards away cannot be matched by any other experience. Because shooting a deer, elk, or any other big-game animal no longer curbs my appetite for excitement, I will always call myself
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