Basics of Coyote Calling
January 20th, 2017
Now’s a great time to get out and do some coyote hunting. Getting access to coyote hunting ground is relatively easy and provides a great way to spend time with friends and family. Here are some basic tips to get you started.
Coyotes tend to come in downwind, or at least try to circle in downwind in their final approach. If you are hunting by yourself, it’s helpful to have an electric caller. This way you can set the call upwind of your position and try to catch the coyote circling in downwind. It depends what type of country your hunting but in the Midwestern farm country, it seems that coyotes will try to follow cover such as a draw or creek bed to the call. Best case scenario you have the wind in both your favor and the coyotes. They’ll usually come in faster and won’t be so edgy.
You can call a coyote in with a variety of different calls. Some of the most popular distress sounds are cottontail, woodpecker, and rodent distress. These calls are simple to use and are effective throughout the coyote’s range. It’s best to try and match the distress sound your using to the type of habitat in the surrounding area. The picture on the right is a healthy female that came into the rabbit distress.
Howling is another effective way to call in coyotes. There are a variety of different howls coyotes make and each has its own specific meaning. Locater, interrogation, female invitation, and pup howls can all bring in coyotes. During the breeding season, mid-January to March, female howls and interrogation howls can work effectively. If you get a response, try to mimic the sound they are making. Just because a coyote doesn’t respond to your howling, doesn’t mean there not out there. Many times, you won’t get one to howl back and yet call one in. The bottom picture is a big alpha male that came into the female invitation howls.
Ideally you want to set up where you can see a couple hundred yards and cover your downwind side. You can really cover the ground if your hunting with a partner. The caller can set up upwind of the other hunter 50-100 yards. I usually start off with howls of some variety wait about 10 minutes and then begin a distress sound. Different areas will yield better results with different calls. I usually start with a rabbit or bird distress sound. Again make 2-3 calls spanning about 5 minutes with the distress and wait another 10 minutes or so and repeat. If that doesn’t yield any results, I like to finish up with the pup distress.
Coyote hunting takes a lot of patience and perseverance. If you make 10 sets, you might call one in 3-4 times. To up your percentage, keep an eye on the downwind and try to sit at least 45 minutes.