Many people ask me what tips and tricks I have for hunting eastern coyotes and the best answer I can give is a varmint is a varmint, make them believe there is free food available and they will be on you like spiders on a web. That’s the big picture when hunting any varmint, and if you can keep your eye on the big picture, you should do just fine.
Of course there are a lot of things you can do to improve your chances, and I will talk about what kind of strategies I use in the next few paragraphs. Just keep in mind that all these things I talk about are always in the interest of deceiving a coyote into thinking there is a meal for the taking without letting him know you are there. If you can hone your skills and master that task, you will be successful at coyote hunting.
What Do I Need for Coyote Hunting?
Coyote hunting can be accomplished with very little gear and very little money spent. The most important thing you need to harvest a coyote is a place to hunt! A good hunting location is crucial if you want to be a successful hunter. You wouldn’t fish in a pond without fish, just like you wouldn’t hunt on land that has no coyotes.
Luckily for us hunters, coyotes are more abundant than lawyers in a phone book. If you know someone who has a few acres of uninhabited land, it will probably be a good place to hunt. Farm land is also a great place to try your luck. Most farmers will have no problem with you getting rid of a few predators from their cattle fields or chicken farms.
Another obvious item you will need is a rifle to hunt with. The best coyote hunting rifles are usually small caliber center fire or large rim fire. This is really a matter of preference, as some believe you need at least a .223, while others feel a .22 is plenty of fire power to bring down a coyote. I personally prefer a .223, they are small enough that you won’t lose half the hide on impact, but you can be sure the coyote won’t walk away.
Camouflage is also very important if you want any chance at all at even seeing a coyote. These animals will spook very easily and will most definitely see you if you’re not well hidden. When I say camo, I mean everything but you feet should blend in. Legs, upper body, face and head should all be covered.
It also never hurts to try and use natural cover when you get into your spot. Use leaves, bushes, or whatever you can find in the woods to help keep yourself concealed. The hardest part of not being busted is sitting still. Any movement can spook a coyote and send him running for the woods. The better you can hide yourself, the better your chances will be.
Last but not least, you need an attractant, something to make them come to you. I highly recommend a coyote call, preferably an electronic one with a remote control. The reason I prefer the remote is because you can position it several feet away from you so that they coyote will not be looking in your direction as he approaches. This is just another trick to keep from being spotted by the enemy.
Rabbit in distress is probably the most popular of all coyote calls. I personally have had the most luck with this type. If you prefer not to dish out a few hundred dollars for an electronic model, there are sever affordable mouth calls that will get the job done.
Tips for Coyote Hunting at Night
Night coyote hunting requires equipment I did not mention above, a spotlight or night vision goggles. Obviously, if you are going to hunt at night you need to be able to see and either one of these pieces of equipment allows for exactly that.
If you can afford it, I highly recommend night vision. Good night vision equipment will allow you to see everything around you at all times, therefore significantly reducing the chances of a coyote sneaking up on you.
When using a spotlight, you basically have to turn it on when you think the coyotes are near. The strategy is to call for a few minutes and then check the area with the spotlight to see if your calling has been effective. The obvious downside to this is that you might spook the coyotes before they get close, or you might not turn the light on soon enough and miss your chance.
The important thing with coyote hunting, like any other hunting, is to get out there and try things out for yourself. You will never learn what works and what doesn’t if you don’t experiment and learn from doing. So, the best advice I can give is to get out there and hunt!
For more information on what equipment to use for when coyote hunting, see my post The 10 Essentials for Coyote Hunting.