View Full Version : Position Preference - Coyote Hunting

Chris Phelps
April 23, 2007, 03:03 PM
This is a "vs" between two different ways I have heard of people hunting coyote... Im curious on your personal preference and why.

1) "sniper style" low-profile, on the ground, Ghillie Suit and the whole nine yards.

2) Treestand.

April 23, 2007, 03:14 PM
I just put my back to a tree, or stack a few rotting logs in front of me. Nothing fancy, just regular old camo and a face net/gloves. Wind direction is WAY more important IMO.

The 'yotes almost always circle downwind so take your shot early.

Chris Phelps
April 23, 2007, 04:00 PM
Fisher do you call them, or just sit it out?

I hunt 'yotes in two different states (one anyway... the other, I will start hunting in this year), and my technique will have to vary (I think) between the two due to laws.

In Maine, calling them is legal, so what we usually did was set the speaker up in a well hidden spot near the middle of a field, then sit on the tree-line facing the dense wooded side of the field... well hidden with netting, laying prone of course. We could watch the yotes circle the speaker before moving in... so we had all the time we needed to take the shot. At least, until they got within 5' of the speaker.

We also had to hunt during the day, as the night hunting season goes from dec to april. that made hiding much more important than usual.

In vermont, I was always told it wasn't legal to call them (unconfirmed, though), but there is no closed season on night hunting. The only stipulation is that you cannot use lights. (you can use night vision, as long as it isnt IR illuminated). This means, of course, being much closer to them for the shot than what I am used to. That also means, hiding your smell. If it isnt legal to call them, I'm not even sure that setting up (ie;hiding or camping anywhere and waiting) is possible. Thats why I am asking this question.

April 23, 2007, 04:04 PM
I use a call similar to the one you described (with a speaker). I have a wounded rabbit mouth call too. Sometimes I will throw a rabbit skin out on a stick near the speaker. It keeps their attention if I need to move for a shot.

Chris Phelps
April 23, 2007, 04:13 PM
I thought about doing that as well... but that would mean rabbit hunting. I've yet to try that.

April 23, 2007, 04:26 PM
I sit on the ground just below the crest of a hill. Just earth toned clothes with no camo.I have light brown carhartt pants a green/grey shirt and a ranger style hat that I wear so i kind of blend in with the prairies. I always have a good vantage point and make sure the wind is at my back.

I get coyotes to come in close every time im out. We dont have many trees so its mostly wide open prairie that i hunt on.

April 23, 2007, 04:36 PM
I use a wounded rabbit "mouth" call. I left out the word mouth in my post. I went back and fixed that.

No, it's for predator hunting. You make the squeals of a wounded rabbit and that brings in other predators in who think they can steal an easy meal. It sounds just like the electronic caller but the noise comes from the shooting position.

Jseime, do you mean "wind in your face"?

Chris Phelps
April 23, 2007, 04:52 PM
No, it's for predator hunting. You make the squeals of a wounded rabbit and that brings in other predators in who think they can steal an easy meal. It sounds just like the electronic caller but the noise comes from the shooting position.

haha, I know what you were talking about.

I was refering to your "Rabbit skin". I've never hunted rabbit, so I dont have a rabbit skin anywhere around.

April 23, 2007, 05:14 PM
Oh, I understand.

I bought the rabbit skin at a flea market decades ago.

You could use a white kitchen rag. The whole idea is to give the 'yote something to look at (in order to get away with movement on your part.) It's essentially a long distance slight of hand trick....diversion.

April 23, 2007, 07:31 PM
I set up in a number of positions. I always try to match my surroundings with the camo. I like to use my leafy suit if possible. Maybe it isn't necessary. Maybe it is.
I keep the wind from my right or left due to the fact that the yotes come up on prey from down wind.
I predator hunt in more dense timber than your previous posts. I take a 12 ga. and rifle both. The shotgun is for close-up quick shots.

I like to hunt next to creek beds along side pastures. They really use creek bottoms to travel around. I set up 50 or so yards off the creek bed with my back to a tree or something to break up my outline. Shady side of a tree if possible for more cover.

I use a Johnny Stewart electronic call with a 30 foot cord and a speaker. I put the speaker somewhere close to my Rigor Rabbit.

I have my rifle on the shooting sticks before I make the first call. I start off soft and work my way up. I pause between calling sequences for 1 to 3 minutes and scan the surroundings.

I recommend scent free: Laundry detergent, body soap and spray everything before you walk into the woods. Rubber boots help alot. Try and sneak into your hunting set-up. Do not walk thru your target area while going to set up.

Yotes are generally smart. They will try and wind you. They sometimes have a sense that everything isn't right and just hang up or bolt. There are the occasional brave or stupid yotes. They can come in pairs after they pair up in the spring. Singles come year round. I have only seen 5 come one time and three held up at 75 yards. It was Thanksgiving Day, north Texas.

If you have rabbit urine in a bottle you can than command three different sensory attractions at once. Sound, sight and smell. If you don't have rabbit urine, use chicken or beef blood.

The problem with most mouth calls is you have to move around to use them.

If you can master them, good for you. Johnny Stewart mastered it for me and I utilize that by pushing a button every 5 minutes. Volume adjustment is thumb up or down.

As with any hunting, trial and error are your best teachers. You can surely educate those yotes and they will not come back for months or longer.

Mix up your calling and give it 20 minutes before giving up on the dogs. Cats will sometimes take 40 minutes to work their way in. Patience and being still are just as important as playing the wind.

Other things you can do to improve your odds are to look for yote sign. Scat and bedding areas are pretty easy to find. The farther you can see unobstructed, the better chance you have of no yotes sneaking up on you. This only works to a point. They can hear for miles in the wide open. The trees and brush block some of the volume.

I do not kill yotes every time I go out. If I expected that, I would be setting myself up for disappointment. My success is about 20% set-up per sighting.
I get busted from behind every now and then. If you can take a buddy, you have an extra set of eyes. You also have another person to move or stink.

Always check with local regulations.

good luck and let us know how it goes. I shot 1 yote from a treestand during archery season in Grayson County Texas. My only bow kill to date. I have been busted deer hunting in a tree. Those yotes know what blaze orange is.

April 23, 2007, 07:51 PM
Sitting on my butt back up against the nearest tree/stump/rock wall and a home made electronic caller. Sometimes if conditions permit I will use rabbit pelt or some chicken feathers tied up in a bundle.

Capt. Charlie
April 23, 2007, 08:05 PM
I use a wounded rabbit "mouth" call. I left out the word mouth in my post. I went back and fixed that.
Every use a blade of grass? I've called in 'yotes and even had a Red Tail Hawk buzz me while doing it. :D

Pick one large and somewhat thin blade of grass. Place it between your thumbs with both thumbnails toward your face in such a way that the grass is stretched fairly tight, but not too tight, lest it break. Blow through the hollow space just below the first joints, and viola! One wounded rabbit! :D The blade of grass acts as a reed, and with a little practice, sounds very real. Works nicely if a sudden opportunity presents itself and you don't have a caller.

Jseime, do you mean "wind in your face"?
I wuz wonderin' 'bout that. ;) :D

April 23, 2007, 08:07 PM
I've done the blade of grass thing as a kid. I never thought of trying that as a call, but the sound is spot on from what I remember.

Great idea

April 23, 2007, 09:17 PM
I use camo clothes, or sometimes just green or beige. Face paint if daytime calling. Just sit against a tree or in a small bush and blow the call. Be very still, movement is the enemy. Have used a tape and have even mounted a toy bunny on it. Seen some odd behaviors from coyotes, bobcats, fox and a couple of Mtn Lions with that rig.

Like to have a partner so we can cover all angles. Too exciting when you hear movement behind you!

Look for ant beds before choosing your spot!:D Experience ... but maybe I was making a good call?? And, snakes. In SoCal sidewinders like to coil and bury themsleves into the top sandy layer.

But, with good Senator Boxer (and others) effectively closing literally millions of acres in CA with a Wilderness designation, I will soon be shootng the toy bunnys with my Red Rider. All in the name of conservation/preservation but the anti-gunners are helping.:barf: :barf: :barf:

Chris Phelps
April 23, 2007, 10:59 PM
There are the occasional brave or stupid yotes. They can come in pairs after they pair up in the spring. Singles come year round. I have only seen 5 come one time and three held up at 75 yards.

I'll give you a wee-bit of "what's what", since this particular part of your post brought my attention to one fact that will most likely be overlooked while I am seeking information.

The type of Coyote we have in my part of the states is refered to as the eastern coyote. Due to its nature and size, there are rumors that this particular breed of yote is a cross-bred variation of coyote and Wolf.

The typical size of the yotes are around 50-60 lbs. Some are larger. There was a 91 lb yote struck by a car in NY last year.

Yotes around here are NOT loners, nor paired up. They travel and hunt in LARGE packs. We have a coyote pack that hangs in a field near my house. They have been here for over 3 years now, and you can set your watch by the time of day they travel through our fields. Their number is 28. Thats right... 28 yotes in this particular pack. If I had to guess size by what I have seen, I would say the average is about 40 lbs in this group. They are exceptionally brave. We can sit on our front porch and watch the whole pack cross the road, not more than 50 feet away. We aren't even quiet... we will be sitting there (3 or 4 of us) talking in normal voices while they do this.

The Coyotes in VT also travel in large packs... the ones around the area I grew up in were anywhere from 15-dog packs to 30-dog packs. Those yotes, unlike the ones where I live now, would actively hunt deer. I have not yet heard of anyone with stories about coyote taking down live deer, but I have witnessed it personally while living down there. Their actions and hunting/movment methods more closely resemble wolf than the breed of coyote most commonly found in the rest of the US.

So much so, that a number of people in my hometown would actually refuse to go walking after dark for fear of coyote attacks. (that and cougars.)

So in closing... we aren't talking about calling in one or two coyotes at a time. We are talking about large packs of wolf-like coyote closing in on our bate/speaker/us.

Now... proceed with the advice. :D

April 23, 2007, 11:03 PM
claymore mine?

Chris Phelps
April 24, 2007, 01:11 AM
claymore mine?

ROFL!!! classic! It would be entertaining a few times... but then I'd want AT-4s... then M-60s... who knows where it would end. For the time being, I think Ill stick to bolt action rifles. ;)

April 24, 2007, 02:48 AM
I always have a good vantage point and make sure the wind is at my back.

I said wind at my back because the coyote will pinpoint the sound and circle downwind to catch the scent. If the wind is in your face youll have the coyote going behind you and youll never get to even see it or youll have a coyote breathing down your neck.

When they are circling downwind of you you can tell exactly when they catch that scent because they stop and pause for half a second and if you dont shoot then youll never ever see that little devil again.

Always make sure that the wind is at your backand you can see lots of area. I have seen some come in to my calls from half a mile or more. If you are high up and have a good view youll kill way more yotes.

April 24, 2007, 04:47 AM
If you can sit on your porch and watch 28 yotes cross the road at 50 feet......... Why in the hell are you asking advice about this?

Get 30 friends out with rifles to sit on your porch and drink beer and talk until 2 minutes before they always walk by and everyone blast one.

Camo optional. Have a nice day.

Art Eatman
April 24, 2007, 07:54 AM
Sitting in the truck while calling is the most comfortable. Coyotes are used to having trucks around. They're not very much accustomed to people wandering around away from a vehicle.

Getcha a baby boom-box and a wounded-rabbit tape. Tweak the tape so you have about 20 seconds of dead-air time.

Go park your truck in coyote country. Set the boom box out about 25 or 30 yards from the truck. Ol' Wily wonders, "What's that fella doin'?"

You hit the "Play" button and go back to the truck, climbing in back and sitting in the chair you so thoughtfully brought along. The dead-air time on the tape lets you do this without attracting a bunch more attention from Ol' Wily. He thinks you're leaving.

The tape starts. Ol' Wily sez, "Aha! That nice fella brought me supper!"

If you sit in a tree stand and call, Ol' Wily's gonna go to wondering about flying rabbits.

If you sit in the truck, you are above the brush and weeds, even if you're not as high as in a tree. And you don't need a ghillie suit, although I guess you could take some plastic sheeting, paint it the same color as your truck, and drape it over you...

The possibilities are infinite.


April 24, 2007, 10:12 AM
Jseime, I almost always catch the 'yotes circling down wind. I know they never come from dead ahead, but I want to project my sound in a direction that forces them to take the long route around. I almost always catch them at 2 or 10 o'clock trying to get behind me if there is any wind. I might try your technique next time if the wind isn't swirling. Thanks for sharing.

Chris Phelps
April 24, 2007, 10:52 AM
If you can sit on your porch and watch 28 yotes cross the road at 50 feet......... Why in the hell are you asking advice about this?

Because it isn't Maine I am curious about. Its Vermont.