By: Heath Baker
In my opinion, hunting pressured and educated coyotes are just as difficult as hunting a 200″ deer. It is insanely difficult to fool them. They’ve likely heard every predator call sound that comes stock on todays popular electronic game calls. These educated coyotes have been shined by multiple green and red predator lights and then followed by a varmint round flying 3000fps into the dirt next to them or into their comrade standing close by. These same coyotes have learned to run when a vehicle passing by quickly decreases the acceleration because they learned that will usually be followed by more loud cracks from a rifle. These coyotes have caught scent of a variety of different hunters that even if those hunters were in the middle of hunting a completely different type of animal, if they see a coyote their deer hunt, duck hunt, pheasant hunt, etc quickly changes gears and turns into a coyote hunt. Damn near every hunter that takes to the woods is in some form a coyote hunter, whether they go out calling coyotes or if they are opportunist coyote hunters that will take the shot at one if they see one but don’t set out only to coyote hunt. In order for the coyote to survive this type of hunting pressure the ones that do survive are very wise. In this article I am going to discuss coyote hunting tips and strategies that I and some of my fellow coyote hunters have used to fool some of the smartest and wary coyotes. Be mindful of this one thing, to successfully hunt educated coyotes you have to step outside of your comfort zone and do things you typically would not do. You now have to become completely unpredictable.
Educated coyotes likely will not come running into an open field. They typically circle hard to catch your wind if they do decide to investigate, and stay close to tight cover or in the timber. To give yourself the best opportunity possible, get in the timber, sneak in closer to their cover. Now, this all starts with not slamming truck doors and having a full blown conversation as you walk into the stand. If you are hunting at night with a coyote hunting light be very cautious not to shine it on yourself, your hunting partner of close by objects that will cause the light to silhouette you and refract light back onto you. You have to be stealthy, be mindful of things like the sun and stay in the shadows, use the terrain to your advantage and do what the coyote does and take low ground. And when you exit the stand and head back to the truck, use the same amount of caution as you did walking in. Decent chance there is a coyote that you were unaware of standing motionless in the distance watching you get up and start chatting it up with your better half on your cell phone about the things you need to grab from the local supermarket on your way home.
Play a Different Predator Hunting Sound
If you hunt an area where there are a lot of predator hunter’s then you might as well mark the most used sounds on your e-caller off of the go-to list. Forget about them, and instead think about what coyote sounds you haven’t tried before and other hunters don’t typically use. For example, I hunt a property that is pounded by coyote hunters back in Missouri. There are a ton of coyotes in this area still today because they are educated and hard to kill. Most of the guys who hunt it, I know personally. I know they are running the same distress sounds and sitting in the same spot every time they make a stand year after year. When I coyote hunt the property I ease deeper into the cover and play sounds such as red fox distress, woodpecker distress, and other sounds from my coyote call. Again, a key thing is using new and fresh predator call sounds that are high quality. New and unheard predator hunting sounds will spark curiosity for educated coyotes.
Anytime I call coyotes I stay subtle. Especially when hunting educated coyotes. Start off choosing a soft distress sound from your e-call at a volume just loud enough to catch a coyotes curiosity. Do not blare your call on full power with some crazy intense distress sound. Instead start with a subtle predator distress sound on low and gradually increase the volume over the duration of the stand. Lower the volume to the point where it is nearly off and give the coyote time to get anxious and curious enough to come in. Sometimes when the predator call is continuously going, educated coyotes will lock up and may actually run the other way. Also don’t jump from sound to sound, try and give at least a two minute break between distress sounds.
Hunt Tight And Put The Call Up Wind
As I noted above when you are hunting educated coyotes refrain from sitting in the most obvious spots that other hunters including yourself would want to sit in. Get out of your comfort zone and get into cover but not too deep that you bust the coyotes. Slip into the edge of the timber or fifty hards from dense cover they may be bedding in. Place your predator hunting call up wind to cut down the distance they may try and circle. Start subtle as noted above and sit longer.
In conclusion to hunt pressured and educated coyotes you have to get outside of your comfort zone and be unpredictable. Play different coyote sounds, stay subtle, get in the cover and hunt tight quarters. There is nothing more gratifying than outsmarting an educated illusive coyote.