Predator Hunting Outside Your Comfort Zone

A good coyote hunter will follow his own set of rules, but a great coyote hunter will break his own rules to achieve success and think outside the box when the predators won’t play fair.

Predator Hunting Outside Your Comfort Zone

The sun was at its apex in a clear and cloudless September sky as I exited the cab of my Tacoma. I studied the vast rolling hills choked with sagebrush in front of me and I knew there had to be coyotes hiding within.

Without a sliver of shade, calling this stand would be futile, right?

Oh, but it looked so good and I really wanted to play a stint of the dying-rabbit blues. If only I had some shade to hide my 6-foot-4-inch frame. Just then, an idea popped into my head. I blindly felt around beneath the seat of the Tacoma, finally settling my hand on the handle of an umbrella — a large camouflage umbrella that I keep in the truck.

I slid it out and tethered it to my belt loop as I gathered my calling gear and firearms. On stand I chose a hip-high piece 

camo umbrellaof sage and deployed the umbrella, resting the handle within it’s gnarled and twisted branches. This created just enough shade to  hide me. The dying-bunny screaming was brief, as I noticed a large, beautiful coyote walking towards the Foxpro caller. He was totally unaware of my existence. A 3-inch load of cooper-plated lead and it was all over for the toothy customer.

Bend the Rules

I've often had to bend or even break the “unwritten” rules of successful predator calling, such as 'call with the wind in your face.' One windy blustery day in January, I found myself making a stand with the wind directly at my back. It was all that I could think of in an effort to trump the howling wind. A coyote entered dead downwind of me at 249 yards and died at 248.

Coyotes, as well as other predatory animals, haven’t read these so-called rules. They follow none and maintain a flexible attitude to survive.

A good coyote hunter will have his own set of rules to follow, but a great coyote hunter will break his own rules to achieve success and think outside the box when the predators won’t play fair. The words always and never don’t exist to a coyote, so don’t bank on predictability. In the past 26 years of calling, nothing has brought me more success than training myself to be ready for anything.

Here’s an example.

A client visited my webpage and called to book a coyote hunt. As we traveled to our calling area he began to explain the hours upon hours of practice he had shooting targets off his sticks. He assured me that any coyote, which stumbled into view of his reticle, was as good as dead.

First stand of the day found us screaming in some thick evergreens. A coyote stepped out of the trees at 60 yards and walked right past us at 15 yards. He never fired a shot. I jokingly questioned him about the incident. He explained he was unable to get his sticks into position for the moving shot. The fact that he didn’t need sticks on a 15-yard coyote never even crossed his mind because he hadn’t practiced for that. Next time he has a coyote that close, you can bet he’ll forget about the sticks and make an easy offhand shot instead.

Think outside the box when the normal tricks aren’t working for you. Toss the rules out the window, get out of your comfort zone and try something new.


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