Natural Baits That Lure Coyotes

As the fur season disappears for another year it doesn’t mean the predator hunting opportunities disappear. They just change in nature, but the challenge continues. Try these natural baits that lure coyotes.

Natural Baits That Lure Coyotes

As late winter transitions into early spring, another transition could be occurring in your coyote hunting area: predator food. It’s something to investigate if your plan is to continue the hunt even as fur value dwindles.

Many of you simply enjoy the hunt while others see the need for continued predator management to help wildlife and livestock with mothering duties ahead. Regardless, here are two factors to consider if late-winter is your game.

The first factor is more for hunters north of the Mason/Dixon line and the north half of the country beyond. As temperatures increase and snow melts it uncovers unfortunate souls of the past winter. Although most winterkills livestock and predators get scavenged soon after death, some are covered in successive storms and only reappear after the big thaw. Hunting areas where you know livestock suffered or near large groups of wintering big game could be productive as the thaw begins. As you investigate, you can incite additional interest in an area by sprinkling coyote urine around carcasses and fence posts.

Also keep a watchful eye on the forecast via your local news or hunting app. Major snowstorms in this time period are killers and could create another wave of bait. Big game and even free-range livestock are at their weakest as winter leaves. They have burned their fat reserves and make calculated moves for everything to conserve energy. When a two-day blizzard hits my Wyoming backyard in March, I can guarantee finding yearling deer dead in my pasture. It’s a sad event, but can be a shorty-term boon for hunters looking for coyote concentrations. Calling near the fringes of large herds of wintering big game and susceptible livestock may increase your success.

Keep that livestock thought in mind as spring attempts to break out in your ZIP code. The other day I hiked in to target a pair of coyotes that spent their winter in a basin near my house. They’ve been hard to call, but I was putting an ambush strategy into play. An hour into my watch with a few added howls, I glassed far into an adjoining valley. Rats, I thought. The rancher had moved cows into the pasture and were undoubtedly beginning to calve. The coyotes had moved.

Livestock producers are calving earlier and earlier with many starting in February and the rest following in March. Coyotes immediately move into these calving areas, but not to necessarily target young calves. Instead, they bulk up on afterbirth. The same can’t be said for smaller livestock like sheep or goats where coyotes are opportunists on any warm protein. In Montana sheep ranchers lost more than $45,000 worth of livestock investment in 2019 so it continues to be a problem.

Before you hunt near livestock you first need to gain permission. Second, ask the owner how close you can hunt to the herd. Third, show your results to keep up good relations with area landowners.

As the fur season disappears for another year it doesn’t mean the predator hunting opportunities disappear. They just change in nature, but the challenge continues.

 

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