Going Commando for Coyotes

Leave all of that gear at home and take a Special Forces approach to hunting coyotes.

Going Commando for Coyotes

Running and gunning for coyotes means leaving most of that bulky gear at home. (Gordy Krahn photo)

Like most predator hunters, I’ve got a pile of gear stashed in my closet at home, much of it that I never use. I’ve got a box full of various mouth calls, several electronic callers, lights, chairs, camo, you name it. And like a lot of hard-core predator hunters, I like to experiment with different gear and sometimes go into the field loaded down like a pack mule. But when it’s time to get down to serious predator hunting, I like to go commando-style. By that I mean leaving the bulk of my gear at home and taking a Special Forces approach to hunting coyotes.

Going commando means you want to sneak in and out of an area undetected, often covering a lot of ground. And that means going in light, taking only the equipment you absolutely need.  

OK, let’s go through my run-and-gun gear check list, starting with my clothing.

It’s important to dress in layers because you’re going to be on the move and you’re going to want to be able to conveniently shed or add clothing. I dress in camo layers so as I add or discard clothing, I’m still fully cloaked in camo and comfortable as temperatures and my level of activity changes throughout the day. And that leads to my next vital piece of gear, my daypack.

Here I go light, too. Just big enough to hold the few pieces of gear I might need: a bottle of water, a couple of granola bars, maybe some skinning gear and most important, the clothes I’m not wearing. A bonus is that the daypack will also serve as a rifle rest in those situations where I’m able to shoot from the prone position — my favorite for predators because it gives me the most solid rest and provides the most concealment.

My gun is going to be Spartan as well: no huge bench rest optics, no bull barrels — just the basics to get the job done. All of my fur guns are equipped with a shoulder strap and many of them have bipods. But bipods add weight and I’m more likely to shoot off my daypack in the prone position leaving the bipod at home when I’m hunting the outback. 

For all other shooting positions, I’ll use my shooting sticks and I never leave home without them. I go light here, too. Collapsible shock cord sticks are easy to carry and deploy and can also be easily stashed when not in use.

I typically carry three mouth calls — a howler, an open-reed call and a closed-reed call — plenty to give me the versatility I need. In might carry a spare or two in my daypack if I want to mix it up a little more. 

Having lots of gear is great, and it’s fun to experiment and try new things. But there’s a time when it’s best to keep it simple and go commando on coyotes, and that means leaving most of it at home.

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