If coyotes aren’t responding to your calls, maybe it’s time to leave your caller in the truck.
Stalking coyotes doesn’t work in every landscape but, in most regions of the country, you can find enough open terrain to spot a coyote from afar. Here are tips to plot a downwind course and ultimately find success.
Start Where They Are
Coyotes cruise their territory on the hunt for food and mating. In between jaunts, they’ll rest. Oftentimes, they may plop down in the open to soak up the sun like a pooch on a porch.
Begin in a high-density coyote area and scan for movement.
Focus on grasslands, valleys, rivers, creeks, livestock herds and around brushy thickets. Coyotes often hunt these locations, and you might catch them crossing an opening or edge. They may also bed nearby to conserve calories. If the weather is comfortable a coyote will settle down in any rugged or thick habitat for a nap. Conversely, on cold, sunny days you may find them napping on south-facing slopes for solar heat. Instead of looking for a larger, moving target, scan carefully to pick out small balls of fur.
For a successful stalk, you must spot a coyote without being noticed. That means easing up to rises or peering over the top of grass. Be careful to have a backdrop so you don’t silhouette yourself. Just like a calling setup, elevation is desired for a commanding view. To boost your view look for ridges, canyon rims and even old barns for elevation platforms to oversee good coyote country.
Use Your Equipment
Optics are invaluable regardless of whether you’re glassing a midwestern farm or a cedar basin in Colorado. Research has proven that most hunters pick out game using a six- or eight-power binocular, like Nikon’s Prostaff 3S, better than when using a higher power.
To take advantage of optics, be sure to steady yourself and sweep your area in smaller zones.
If lucky, you may be able to shoot the coyote you’ve spotted from your current position. If not, stay out of sight and make a move. Keep the wind in your face and silently cut the distance. Once you believe you’re within range, slowly ease up. A coyote that’s busy hunting often misses activity in the background; but a coyote sitting and scanning will bust you every time.
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