93. Pre-Scout: Don’t expect to find good locations to hunt in the dark! Spend time to locate good places to hunt at night. As you travel the area, or hunt it in the daytime make notes of places you’re saving for hunting coyotes at night. It’s really hard to drive around and spotlight places you want to hunt. Scout it out beforehand.
94. Setup: I prefer to stand while night hunting (unless I’m in Texas). I use shooting sticks that allow for a standing position. I stand in an open spot away from trees and brush. The light can hit trees and branches around you making them noticeable to approaching animals. A large white barked tree can act as a reflector and shine light onto you. It’s quite the opposite of day hunting in some regard.
95. Light Color: Ask three hunters and you’ll get four answers. I’ve started using white. I film my night hunts, and I’ve noticed that coyotes, fox, and bobcat will come in to a white light. White is ideal, but I know some prefer green or red. You can see a little better with green vs. red. Eyes pop with red. Red is more traditional. Green is more popular. See, now you’re even more confused. I say choose what you’re leaning toward. Watch the episode below, and see they’re using white light, and a lot of it.
96. Scanning: While hunting with Texas night hunters you learn real fast how to scan at night. Do it quickly. Scan back and forth really fast. You’re objective is to catch eyes, not see an animals full body. If you realize your goal is to hit something reflective, you’ll understand that quick scanning is best. If it takes you more than five seconds to cover a field, you’re going too slow! When scanning with a partner, split the field in half, then don’t overlap your scanning until you see something.
97. Halo: Once you’ve identified a pair of eyes, use the edge of your light as a “halo” effect to follow the animal. Most of the time you want to avoid shining the brightest part of the beam directly into their eyes. Some don’t care about using a halo method, the video above shows that it doesn’t matter much. Not all coyotes respond the same, no two dogs are alike. Treat them different as you watch their body language. Remember, the light is your camouflage!
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98. Wiggle it: When hunting with a partner and especially with a cameraman, let them know you’re on an animal by wiggling the light every once in a while. The person with the light can see the eyes reflecting, but a person standing five feet away might not be able to see the same thing. Let them know by wiggling the light that you have something in your line of sight. This also prevents you from speaking, it’s best to use non-verbal communication when you can.
99. Distance: Judging the distance at night can be hard to do. Make some mental notes before you start calling as to what you think the range is in the area you’re calling. Talk to your partner about range estimates and familiarize yourself with the terrain. It looks a lot different at night. I will not shoot much further than 125 yards at night. I don’t feel it’s ethical to take long range shots at night. You never know if it’s the neighbors dog, a deer fawn, or what’s behind the animal that could cause potential harm. Be safe and make good shooting decisions at night. Don’t do something that you’ll regret later.
Article by Grand View Outdoors: Judging Distance at Night
100. Moon Phase: Most night hunting occurs around a new moon. Canines can see really well at night, and a moonlit night is perfect for them to hunt and peruse for food. This is why you need to use the light as your camouflage. The light forces their eyes to adjust to the brightness. They can’t see as well because it “blinds” them to anything in low-light. You’ve created a new contrast, and their eyes won’t pick you out like they might have done under the moonlight. Just like when a cop approaches you at night with a flashlight, it’s blinding because your eyes have to adjust.
Final Wrap Up
101. Have Fun! Here’s what you should do next!
- Find Us: Subscribe to our YouTube channel, Follow us on Facebook, on Instagram, on Twitter, and on Pinterest!
- Share This: Share it on Facebook, Twitter, or whatever hunting forum you might frequent. Help me share the word.
- Get Out: Get off your backside and go out and hunt! Stop watching videos, reading books, this article, and get out there and just do it. Learn by doing. If you fail, learn from it. I’m not the ultimate expert, but I will be better after each time I go hunting.
- Take Time: Share this sport with your friends and family. Take your kids out and teach them something they won’t learn in a classroom. Take a friend out who spends his days stuck in an office. We’re supposed to be a part of nature, it rejuvenates the spirit, and too many people miss out on the outdoors! Every time you go out you will find new places to hunt turkey, deer, and many other critters along the way.
- Be Thankful: Take the time to thank whomever and whatever it is that allows you to exercise your right to bear arms and explore this green earth. Don’t forget those who put up with you being in the hills all the time, and might have food hot and ready when you return.
- Be Safe: Don’t put yourself in a compromising position. Take the pre-flight list seriously. Always have a plan, and let other know what that plan is. Be safe around guns, don’t let a little carelessness ruin your day, or your life.
- Respect The Animals: Some “predator hunters” feel like a coyote is nothing more than a bug that needs to be squashed. Take the high road, respect the animal. They are a unique species, a survivor, and an opponent that should be commended for their resilience!
- You Tell Me: What did I miss? What do you do different? What technique helped you or might help another hunter? Add your comment below.