31. Hunting with a Partner: One of the most overlooked items is the “pre-brief” and “stand procedures” rundown when hunting with a new hunter. Remember, everything you take for granted, the new guy may not be aware of. At a minimum you should discuss the following.
- Limit your noise, whisper when talking, etc
- Do a stand area rundown: Are there any hazards, potential human activity, livestock, equipment, buildings, or any areas to avoid shooting towards.
- Shooting etiquette: Who’s the primary shooter for the stand. Go over the fields or zones of fire.
- After the shot: No back flips or “rebel yells” after the first one hits the dirt – continue calling for the double or triple. Some rookies might not know that there is a possibility of another coyote showing up.
Article by Tom Austin: Partner Up To Kill More Predators.
32. Hide your vehicle: Make sure your vehicle will be out of sight to an approaching predator. Any sheen or reflection from a window, gloss paint, or chrome trim will quickly end a stand that could have been successful. Coyotes are laser focused looking for anything that will help them determine what all the ruckus is about.
33. Be quiet! Don’t drive through your stand. Do your best to limit the noise and scent around your stand. Don’t slam your door when you get out of the vehicle. Carry your gear so that it doesn’t clink together.
Article by Tom Austin: Hunting Coyotes With the Stealth Approach.
34. 12″ Whisper: Use a whisper if you need to speak. Many hunters go out alone and have success, then when they bring a friend along their productivity declines. Stop talking so loud. Don’t speak unless you have to. Use simple head and hand gestures to communicate. Know before you go who is going to be setting up the call and decoy.
35. Movement: Keep movement slow without quick gestures, like pointing at possible setup locations. You might as well get a white flag as if you’re trying to alert every animal within visible range.
36. Wind: Perhaps the most important thing to understand is where the wind is blowing. Coyotes use their nose as their primary source of investigation. They have a stronger sense of smell than a bloodhound! Watch your downwind, setup so you know where the wind is blowing. I really like to use a wind checker like the picture I’ve posted here. These will tell you a lot about the subtle changes in the wind. It will make a visible pattern of the wind and this helps especially with a light breeze when it’s not as easy to detect. Well worth it to pack in the yote hunting bag.
37. Sun Direction: The sun at your back works in your favor (unless you’re sky-lined). Coyotes have a harder time spotting you while looking into the sun. If the sun is shining on your face, they’ll have an easier time seeing you, and it can present a challenge seeing them in the scope, especially on a clear winter morning when the sun is low. Use the sun in your favor if you can.
Article by Dustin Butler: Predator Hunting Pre-Stand Checklist.
38. Scent: You will get a variety of opinions on scents and covers. Some say you can’t hunt without using some odor eliminator, or scent cover. I tend to disagree. If you spray any scent on yourself you’ll probably smell like a human being with scent cover on them. A coyotes sense of smell is stronger than a cadaver dogs. Cadaver dogs can scent a body 10 feet underground. Think about all of the other elements that dog can smell before it pinpoints a dead body. Like I said, coyotes will smell every particle of your body scent covered with something else. Nonetheless, here are the products that my friends give me all the time.
39. Walking in: Follow each other to prevent multiple scent trails approaching your setup. Step quietly, and watch your step. If you break a twig, hold still for a moment before proceeding forward. Walk in the shadows!
40. Skyline: Don’t skyline yourself. It’s easy to pick out the movement of a person or animal if the sky is the background. Try not to crest hills, go to the side. Move several yards down a hill as you maneuver to your stand location. Too many newbies walk to the top of a hill and then proceed to stand out like a sore thumb.
Setting up a Coyote Stand
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41. Stand Selection: Learning how to setup a coyote stand is based on a few simple guidelines. There are many elements to each stand that make EACH stand unique. Here are some factors to consider on how to set up a predaotor stand, it’s not complete, and every item does not always apply. There aren’t any hard and fast rules, because once you say “a coyote will always…” You’ll be fooled and find out you’re wrong!
Article by Dustin Butler: Selecting the Perfect Stand.
42. Elevation: It’s ideal to be higher up looking over terrain below. Coyotes tend to use elevation to their advantage too, common sense knows you can see better from a higher point of view. Try to avoid setup to where the animal is coming down to you. It’s easier for you to see up higher, and it’s easier fro them to see you too. Remember no hard and fast rules, just guidelines to improve your chances. Not every stand is going to be perfectly suited to call.
43. Wind: Check the wind direction before your final setup. It can change between the time you checked at the truck, and now that you’ve reached your call position. Grab a bit of dirt, or use a wind checker to know the breeze. When the breeze is not very noticeable, that’s when it’s probably going the direction you didn’t think about. Coyotes tend to arrive downwind.
44. Chamber a Round: The worst feeling in the world… Coyote! Click. Make sure you put one in the chamber before you start calling!
45. Camouflage: Make sure you put on your camo BEFORE you walk into the stand. Get your gear ready, gloves on, facemask pulled down before you start calling. I don’t recommend getting dressed after you get there. Camo helps disguise you while your moving as well as when you’re sitting still.
46. Shade: Shade is your best camouflage. Sit in the shade if possible. On high contrast days, animals can barely distinguish a person sitting still in the shade. Sitting in the daylight can emphasize slight movements with reflections from your face, remote, or weapon. The downside to the latest greatest remotes is a gigantic display screen otherwise known as an emergency signal mirror. Direct sun on the face of your remote is bad news.
47. Breakup Your Outline: It’s more important to have trees, shrubs, bushes behind you than in front of you. Sitting against a tree or bush will break up your outline. Shrubs and bushes in front of you will inhibit your visibility and ability to adjust your shooting sticks. Keep the area in front clear, let the foliage behind you do the work!
48. Power On: Turn your caller and remote on. Sounds obvious, but you’ll want to create a routine of turning it on and off. Leaving the unit off, then walking back to sit down, get situated, press play…. no sound. That get’s old. Then you have to get up, walk to the call, turn it on… well you get the point, make a routine and train yourself to turn it on and off the same way each time.
49. Ecall Distance: One of the most common questions I am asked, how far should I set the caller. I typically set it no more than 30-40 yards away. Some hunters dream of setting the call 200 yards away and then sniping a yote with their custom rifle. This is not typical. The best electronic remote on the market will barely reach 100 yards in general hunting conditions. The further you are from the caller, the further your shot is likely to be. Walking 150 yards out, then 150 yards back leaves a gigantic scent line. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you’re going to trick the trickster that way. There are those who kill coyotes long distance, but it’s not typical.
Article by Tom Austin: Deadly Predator Decoy Combination.
Article by Bob Connell of Texas Predator Posse: Electronic Caller Tips for Predator Hunting.
50. Decoy Distance: Place the decoy within three feet of the caller. I like to set the caller and decoy near a small piece of brush to break the outline of the call. Open fields can be challenging, use a branch or dirt pile to help if you can. Sometimes placing the decoy in a bit of debris can excite the coyote into pouncing on the call or decoy. I placed a critter inside some sage brush about 10 feet away one time, and a coyote came in so fast I didn’t have time to blink. He bit the FOXPRO Fury, then spun off and exited without a shot. I just laughed out loud at myself for not having a shotgun.
51. Caller Direction: I face the call speaker in the direction I anticipate the coyote will come from. I don’t always guess right, but sometimes a coyote will approach the call trying to determine the sound source. It’s always louder straight down from the call speaker. A fox almost always come “down sound” as its called, and coyotes do it occasionally as well.
How to Use an Electronic Coyote Call
52. Sound Selection: What should you play? There are so many factors that go into this selection. Time of year, time of day, can all play a factor. I typically base my selection off of the next four factors.
53. Curiosity: Playing any sound is likely to pique a predators curiosity. Don’t be afraid to try sounds that are not native to your area. I constantly have success in Arizona, Nevada, and Utah with sounds like “Snowshoe Hair,” “Whitetail Fawn,” and “Wild Pig Distress.” Let them be curious!
54. Hunger: Early in the year up until mid January, rabbit distress, fawn distress, bird distress, and rodent distress are effective sounds for me. They can work anytime of the year, but playing on this instinct is critical for calling success.
55. Paternal: Pup distress is a key sound in the arsenal. I use coyote and canine pup distress almost all year around as well. I end almost every set with at least two minutes of pup distress, just to try and catch a hesitant yote that I might not see off in the brush.
56. Territorial: February 15th is the peak of the breeding season. Coyotes become very territorial and so usually coyote vocals are more effective in luring in a song dog. Learning how to master coyote vocals and vocabulary is a feat all in itself. The reality is, no human can truly understand the language that coyotes speak. We give names to certain howls like, “territorial howl,” or “challenge barks” but we can never know the intentions of the coyote. Sometimes they respond and never come in. The videos on TV give a false idea that if one responds, you’re going to howl one in. It doesn’t usually work that way. You can practice and have success with territorial sounds however.
57. Call Volume: I get this question a lot. I usually play the sound at full volume. Occasionally I start at low volume and then work it up over one minute. Some prefer to start on really low volume, then work their way up to fool a coyote into thinking it’s getting closer to them. Louder = closer to a coyote. Try out different techniques, find your own method!
58. Continuous Play: Another common question. I play the sounds continuously over the period of about 15-20 minutes. Some people play for a few minutes, then pause for a few, then repeat. Dan Thompson is one of the greatest callers to ever live and he only called for 30 seconds or so, then he would sit and wait. Find your method that works for you. Try out different techniques, and don’t be afraid to experiment.
59. Switching Sounds: I’m not afraid to switch sounds during a set. While calling coyotes I normally play at least three different sounds. I might play “Lucky Bird” for eight minutes, then pause for one minute, then play “Mule Deer Fawn” for eight minutes. I finish with two minutes of “Coyote Pup Screams.” The next stand will be different. I might play “Jackrabbit Distress” for ten minutes, then switch to “Canine Pup” for five. Find your own calling sequences, don’t be afraid to try.
If you’re afraid to change sounds… one time I had a double come in, I dropped my mouth call from my lanyard, it hit my remote and foxbang switched from “Lucky Bird” to “Pup Distress.” I hit the recall button and it went to “Deer Fawn” for some reason. Three sounds in 15 seconds didn’t phase the coyotes, they were curious. I accidentally overexposed the pictures or I would have had about 200 shots from that stand.
60. Stand Length: As mentioned before I typically go for about 15-20 minutes. Some like to call up to 30 minutes. I rarely stay on stand for any longer than that. I’ve only called a few coyotes after the 20 minute mark, it can be done, but most come within 15 minutes. Try 30 minute stands one day, and 15 minute stands the next. You need to experiment.
How to Use a Coyote Mouth Call
61. Mouth Calls: There are still many callers who prefer the tradition of mouth calling. It requires practice, good lungs, and patience. Some use both e-calls and mouth calls with success. You can be successful with a mouth call, but you need to learn the techniques to make you successful or you’ll see the south side of a lot of north bound dogs. Coyotes are professionals. They are looking for the slightest movements as they approach. Blowing like crazy, moving your hands, whipping your head might not be the best technique. Consider a face veil to help disguise your hands as you recreate your best rendition of flight of the bumble bee. Know that when a predator approaches they will try to pinpoint the source of the sound. Many mouth callers us a decoy like a Mojo Super Critter, or Mojo Puppy Dog placed 15-20 yards away. These decoys have a small speaker, and start playing a sound two minutes after you turn it on. Once you see a coyote, stop calling and let the decoy do the work.
62. Closed Reed: The easiest style of mouth call to learn is a closed reed call. The reed is installed in the “call body” and you don’t touch the reed or the “tone board.” All you need to do is blow air through the call, and voila dying animal distress. There isn’t a special technique or secret series of sounds that you need to master, however most successful callers will talk about “raspy” sounds, “whines” or “cries.” Remember you’re not only trying to mimic an animal in distress, you’re trying to evoke an emotion in a predator. Watch the video below to see the rhythm, the rasp, and aural image Al Morris is trying to paint.
63. Open Reed: Open reed calls are more difficult to master. They require a bit of practice. The best way to learn is to first watch others (see Tom Austin Video below). Then put an open reed call in your vehicle. As you drive to a from work, or wherever you’re going (preferably alone) you can practice perfecting you predator peace pipe. You’re going to sound bad at first, everybody does. I still haven’t mastered it yet, but I’m getting better and I am not afraid to let a howl fly while on stand. Open reed calls are extremely versatile!You can howl, bark, whine, make a pup distress, rabbit distress, and about anything you can come up with. I’ve seen guys do a woodpecker, grey fox distress, and many other with just one open reed call. There are many to choose from, my personal favorites are any of the Dan Thompson Howlers.
Watch Al Morris at the World Predator Calling Championships (Open Reed)
64. Squeak Squeak: One tool I won’t leave home without is a simple squeaker. If you have a dog you know how effective a little kids toy can be on attracting your dog. My little dog goes bonkers over the slightest toy squeak at home. I like to camo tape my rodent squeaker to my shooting sticks. That way if I happen to change weapons, I still have my squeaker taped to the bottom of my shooting stick yoke. My rest hand goes right to my yoke, and the squeaker helps lure them in the rest of the way.
65. Howling: This is an art form. Learning how to howl is the first challenge. Then learning different types of howls can be daunting. When to use certain howls over another, well now you’ve got a lifetime of learning to do. Watch videos and learn from those who are successful. Randy Anderson uses almost exclusively coyote vocals to hunt. Learning to howl, and using different techniques can add a lot of value to your calling setups. Don’t be afraid to get up and move toward a coyote if they howl at you. Go get them, make them think you’re moving in, they might do the same!
Article by Tom Austin: Howling Good Time.
Article by Grand View Outdoors: Understanding a Coyotes Will to Survive.
Here is a playlist (9 Videos) of Randy Anderson explaining his techniques.
Watch Tom Austin Demonstrate two different Open Reed Callers
Coyote Coming to the Call
66. Don’t Move: Well, keep your movement to a minimum. The hardest part of predator hunting in the beginning is learning to SEE a coyote. They usually are within range and scanning the terrain before you’ve spotted them. Scratching your nose, raising your remote up, shifting your weight can draw attention to a coyote that you can’t see yet. Learning to see them takes practice, and being in the field. It amazes me when I go hunting with my friends how long it takes them to pick out a coyote on the approach. HE’S RIGHT THERE!!! SHOOT! It might take seeing ten coyotes coming to the call before you really start to look for the color and movements of a coyote.
It reminds me of one of my favorite books, Hatchet, “The “foolbirds” seem to be everywhere, but at first Brian can’t figure out how to catch them; they blend in to the woods so well that one of them might be two feet away from him and still he doesn’t see it until it suddenly explodes upward in flight. Tricky little buggers.”
67. Predator Approaching: Hunters always want to hook their decoy to the caller. They want to be able to start and stop the decoy on demand. I’m sorry but this is a bad idea. Let the decoy play the entire time. The coyote will see your decoy long before you see them! The decoy will take the attention from you and pin it on the decoy. This allows you to adjust your weapon to get the best shot.
Article by Dustin Butler: Predicting the Coyote’s Approach.
68. They Move, You Move: If a coyote is sitting 300 yards out watching you, don’t move. Once the dog starts moving again, re-position slowly. If they go behind a tree or dip into a ravine, move quickly. If they stop, hold still. the coyote is scanning the area looking for the slightest movement. Why is that animal in distress? Is their another coyote? A Mt. Lion? A Bear? They want to get downwind to smell whatever it is attacking that animal. The last thing they want to do is run up on a lion and get whipped. Sometimes a decoy does the trick and they bolt in! These are called “shotgun coyotes” because they enter and exit in a flash, and if you don’t have a shotgun, you ain’t puttin’ down any fur! Trust me, it only takes one time to learn the speed of a shotgun coyote.
Article by Tom Austin: Coyote Body Language.
69. Coming in: If a dog is slowly working its way in, let them come. These are the best type of coyotes, but don’t get greedy. Take the shot when they present one, don’t fool yourself that they will walk in a stop for a perfect shot, take what they give you. Sometimes you can be a little more patient with a slow walker.
70. Heading Downwind: Sometimes you’ll see them reach a point to where they change direction. They don’t appear to be leaving, but they’re trying to get downwind. Always know where your downwind is. Shoot before they reach your “scent cone.” If you know where they will eventually hit your scent you have to make a decision.
71. Looking Back: This usually means the coyote is not alone. They’re waiting for their partner or partners. An early shot can ruin what might have been a chance at a double. Don’t get greedy though, shooting too late can also spoil the whole stand. Too many times a double comes in, and no fur hits the ground. Pick a dog and shoot it. Most recommend shooting the lead dog. I say get fur in the shed, then work on the double. AR style setups are ideal for this situation providing for quick follow up shots if needed.
72. Walking Away: Don’t panic if a dog stops at 400 yards and decides to walk away. If you don’t have a shot, wait patiently then leave quietly. You can return to the same area and make a different approach the next time. Don’t shoot out of your range and educate a coyote, instead you take the experience as part of your education and move on.
73. Breathe: Control your breathing. The more experience you have hunting, the better you’ll be at this. Adrenaline starts to pump when they come in, and getting a shot is difficult. I tell my friends who hunt big game that they need to hunt coyotes so they can practice being cool in the moment. Last year on the deer hunt I shot my buck at sunrise at about 150 yards. I was calm and collect, no nerves, I just put the cross hairs on him and gently squeezed. Perfect shot, meat in the freezer. All of the coyote hunting in the previous year had taught me how to be calm and collect when my trophy approaches.
Article by Dustin Butler: Conquering Coyote Fever.
74. Moving Shot: Avoid taking a moving shot at a coyote. Get them to stop by muting the caller, squeaking, or barking. Taking a moving shot decreases your odds of hitting the coyote, or at least hitting them in a vital area. Sometimes you don’t have a choice when they are on the dead run, but try to avoid a moving shot if at all possible.
75. Bark: The best way I get them to stop where I want them to stop is to bark. It doesn’t always work, but I find it doesn’t usually scare them either. They’re used to hearing a bark sound, so they perk up and try to identify the source of the sound. That’s when you take a clean shot.
76. In the Thick: Hunting in the thick woods or timber will force you to change your style. Coyotes can be less weary when they have cover, but they also tend to “wind” a hunter easier because you can’t see them working to get downwind. You’ll need to change your technique and use a shotgun. This can be a blast though if you like fast action!
Article by Steve Criner: Stand Up for Thick Cover Coyotes.
Article by Grand View Outdoors: Look Low for Incoming Coyotes.
After the Shot!
77. Rebel Yell: Don’t jump up and down and start screaming, “Fried Chicken!” (Steve Criner ribbing 😉 ) You never know if another coyote is just over the bend. Shots fired don’t always scare a predator away, and playing a pup distress or KiYi distress sound might entice a second or third coyote within range.
78. KiYi: KiYi is the name of a coyote in distress. If you’ve ever heard a dog get hit by a car, you’ve heard a kiyi call. Most predator hunters use a pup distress on their e-calls, or use an open read distress to mimic the sound of a dog in distress. Do this after every coyote you shoot, then wait before you go pick up your trophy.
79. Foxbang: This is our favorite feature on any of the e-calls on the market. Setting foxbang to a pup distress or kiyi increases your odds to kill more predators. We use it all the time to call and kill multiple gray fox, and have had it work on coyotes as well. Switching quickly to a kiyi can make the difference between dropping that second coyote or watching it high tail into the sunset.
80. Killing Multiple Coyotes: All of the tips mentioned previous will determine your ability to kill multiple coyotes. I do several things to increase my odds. I use an AR15 to allow for a quick follow up shot. I set foxbang before I go out so that foxbang will always be ready. I wait until the second coyote presents a shot, we don’t shoot at a coyote on the run. I usually let them go if they don’t turn around. I will wait and miss a chance rather than shoot and educate another coyote. I prefer a standing coyote at 300 yards over a running coyote at 100 yards.
Article by Dustin Butler: Killing Multiple Coyotes on Stand.
81. Don’t Chase: If you’ve hit and injured a coyote, but it doesn’t immediately go down, sit and wait for a minute. Give the animal time to lay down and die. Sounds simple, but chasing after them can allow adrenaline to flow and a coyote to travel further than you want to track it. I made this mistake once, and on a hot day wasted time tracking a coyote that I couldn’t find.
How to Skin a Coyote
82: Skinning the Yote: All I can say is, DON’T WAIT 24 HOURS TO SKIN A COYOTE! I unfortunately learned that lesson my first time shooting and skinning a coyote. 5 hours of skinning later, I understood why guys do it as soon a s possible. The video below shows how to do it quick.
Article by David Kaprocki: