Using Common Scents to Kill More Coyotes

Coyotes live and die by their noses — and that’s why it’s important to use scent control tactics to get by this formidable defense.

Using Common Scents to Kill More Coyotes

Coyotes use the wind to detect danger — and that’s why it’s important to mask your scent. But they also use it to find food — and other coyotes. (Photo: Gordy Krahn)

Back in the day, we used skunk scent to help mask our human scent. And while we were aware that no amount of cover scent was going to render us “invisible” to a coyote’s nose, it would often give us that extra second or two we needed to get the shot. I’ve seen enough coyotes, foxes and bobcats turn inside out when they hit my scent stream to know that every second gained can provide a needed edge.

Using cover scents along with scent elimination products will help reduce your human scent footprint, but there’s another trick you can use to fool a coyote’s nose — and that’s the use of attractant lures. 

Coyotes use the wind to detect danger — and that’s why it’s important to mask your scent. But they also use it to find food — and other coyotes. And that’s why food- and gland-based lures are effective for attracting coyotes to your setups. These are the same types of lures that fur trappers use  — they refer to them as call lures — to lure furbearers from long distances to their trap sets. But how you apply them is critical.

When suspicious, coyote’s typically circle downwind of the calls, and once they encounter your scent stream the jig is up. If they circle within range of your tack-driving fur gun, no problem. You should be able to get the shot off before they wind you. But coyotes are masters at using terrain features to stay out of sight and undetected. And that’s where using lures comes in. 

Attractant lures generally fall into one or more of three categories: Social, food-based and curiosity. Gland/urine lures are typically specific to the target animal — in other words, coyote glands or urine would be used to attract other coyotes. Food-based lure — as the name suggests — appeals to the animal’s need to feed. And curiosity lures, sometimes referred to as call lures, are attention grabbers, formulated to lure a critter in to investigate a setup.

Attractant lures can be used to divert coyotes that are circling downwind. (Photo: Gordy Krahn)
Attractant lures can be used to divert coyotes that are circling downwind. (Photo: Gordy Krahn)

In open areas you can get up high on a hill where you have a good view of the downwind area. Place your lures 30 or so yards to each side of your setup. I use the same scent dispensers that I use for deer. As the coyote circles downwind, it will detect the smell of the lure before it gets completely downwind of your setup and should turn and approach your setup before it winds you. 

Same goes for tight terrain or when hunting at night. Set up the lure dispensers so that they will draw the coyotes in at an angle from your setup, so they don’t get directly downwind of you. And remember, you might not see the coyote until it’s nearly on top to you — so stay alert! 

Don’t fool yourself into believing you can completely outwit the canine nose. The best you can hope for is creating enough confusion to buy a little time. Canines live and die by their nose and judging by the proliferation of coyotes across the countryside, it seems to be working out pretty well for them. Calling success hinges on getting by that nose and avoiding detection long enough to make an effective shot. And with coyotes, that’s the best you can hope for.

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.


Discussion

Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.