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Old 01-31-2012, 10:12 PM   #1
texag93
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Default What I know about calling coyotes.....

I get alot of PM's asking questions about varmint hunting....specifically calling coyotes. I have been asked by several to impart some of my knowledge in a thread. Well here goes....

I will start by saying I am no expert coyote hunter. I don't make a living at it and I haven't won any contests doing it. It's a 25 year long hobby that I have just gotten serious about in the last 5 years. There are many on TBH with more experience than me. I hope they will chime in and add their knowledge as well....especially about night hunting. All of my info is based on daytime calling.

This is what works for me.....

Equipment: Here it is in a nut shell(or photo)

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-Remington R15 in 223 with 18" barrel, P.E.P.R Burris mount, Leupold 3-9x40 VX II, 20rd mag.
-Winchester SX2 3" auto shotgun with 24" barrel, Hevi-Shot Dead Coyote choke and Tru-glo adjustable turkey sight.
-FoxPro Fury
-Hornady 223 55gr. VMax
-Remington 3" #4 buckshot(41-24cal. pellets)
-Mojo Critter decoy
-Mojo Woodpecker decoy
-Stoney Point bipod(for AR)
-Primos Trigger Stick(for shotgun)
-Assortment of hand calls and squeakers

I usually take most everything pictured on every trip. Thats what the back seat is for. I never no what the situation will dictate, so take it all.

My rifle will shoot under 1 MOA at 100yds and the shotgun will put 15+ pellets in a 15" circle at 50yds. It took me many targets, many brands of shells and a very sore shoulder to find the combo that would do this.


Now, to the coyote part. Learn your enemy. Here is some reading that I'm not going to get that far into: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coyote For the most part, everything seems factual here. Gives you some good insight into Canis latrans.

Stands: I hunt some private land and some public access land. Here is what works for me on stand selection. If you take away one thing from all of this.......I'll repeat that.......if you take away one thing from ALL of this....it's, which way is the wind blowing!

The single most important thing to me when setting up in a particular area is which direction is the wind blowing. Coyotes will 95% of the time come in down wind of the call. Here in west Texas, S-SW-W is the predominate wind direction unless there is a front blowing in. Most of my stands are set up for these winds. I like to sit with the wind at my back or crossing me. If wind is at me back, call goes down wind and opposite(left or right) of where I expect them to come from. If it's a cross wind, call goes out in front and upwind of me. The exceptions to this rule are young coyotes(that year's pups, they are dumb as a bag of hammers) and coyotes coming to a pup in distress call. I don't know what it is about that call but they come running....use it sparingly.

I like to be somewhat elevated when calling. It gives me the advantage of being able to see longer distances. As well as they some times blend into their surroundings, they stand out when coming into a call. The sooner you see them, the better. Surprises tend to end in coyote 1, you 0. Elevated anything out here is tough. It's flat, real flat. A small hill, edge of a draw or a mound of dirt that was pushed up is a prize! With elevation comes the opportunity to silhouette yourself. Don't do it! Always keep cover behind yourself. High is good, to high is bad. If the sun is low in moring or evening, keep it at your back if at all possible. Ever walked into the sun? Can't see much, neither can they. It's a big advatage in your favor to keep them blinded.

Wide open elevated stands aren't always what I am looking for. When the cover is thick, it's down and dirty, close up.....shotgun time!

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I use the same set up as above but at much closer ranges. Leave as much open ground as possible on down wind side of your call or you if you are using hand calls. This is where the decoy comes in handy. When you are going to be this close to a coyote who hears and smells(I left out sees because I believe we have better vision with the ability to see in color) better than you, you need an advantage. They like wiggly, wobbly things. It's possible dinner to them. This will take their attention off of you for that split second you need to fill them full of lead. I have had them run in and grab the decoy. Decoy is cheap, shoot the coyote. FoxPro is expensive, don't shoot the FoxPro.


Calls:I'm always asked what is the best call for coyotes.....it depends. I use and try many different ones, it's trial and error with alot of error. Whether you are using mouth calls or an ecaller, you have to learn what works best in your area.

Here is a list of my favorites:
Jackrabbit
Snow Shoe Hare
Starling
Blue Jay
Woodpecker
Pup distress
Gray Fox distress
Red Fox distress
Fawn distress
Calf distress
Female coyote invite
Male coyote challenge
Female coyote challenge

All of these sounds revolve around the 3 F's. Food, Fight and procreation. This is what a coyote does. It eats, defends it's territory and reproduces. A coyote has to eat almost daily. They are very territorial and are social. Play on these three things to get them in range.

When calling my best advise is call a little and sit alot. Less is better. I have called a coyote from right at a mile away. They can hear you. Slip in, set up, call quietly at first. You never know how close one way be. Think of a coyote like your best furry friend. When they aren't doing the 3 F's, they are sleeping. Coyotes lay up and dose alot. If they are close and awaken to some hellish racket, well he's gonna be outta there. If you get no response, up the volume a little. Wind cares sound very well....and remember, you are set up to call them from that way right.

I may start with a simple female invite call. This gets the coyotes in the area thinking someone is on my turf! Then go to a "dinner distress" call. Now they are thinking somone is stealing their dinner! Know your enemy. They are starving half the time and very territorial. Bingo, you have set them off on two of the three things they are on this earth to do.


Taking the shot: Whether its a rifle or shotgun, take the shot at the first opportunity. I've had coyotes coming in on a string and disappear at the last second. They are masters of disappearing. Once they are inside of 100yds, not much is going to get past them. It's their world, you're just hiding in it. Always assume there is more than one coyote. If you get one, immediately go to a coyote distress call. The other will likely be right behind.

Camoflage: This includes your appearance and SMELL. I am covered head to toe in camo. Mossy Oak Brush and Predator Brown are my faves. And.....wash your stinkin' arse. You think a deer has a good sense of smell....coyotes are up there with blood hounds. Prep clothes and yourself just like you are bowhunting.

Closing: I heard an old man who hunts coyotes for a living say,"You'll call alot(of stands) and shoot a few." Success rate for me is low. I'd say in the 20% range. Some days better, some worse. It happens, get use to it. Enjoy the success, learn from the failures.

I learn something new every time out. You should also. Keep notes, mental or a journal. Learn from mistakes, don't chaulk it up to bad luck. Replay a failure on a coyote and don't make the same mistake twice. You are going up against an apex predator, they are smart. You can be smarter if you hone your skills.

Good luck and K A C!


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Old 01-31-2012, 10:18 PM   #2
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Thank You Jason for posting this.

>E
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Old 01-31-2012, 10:20 PM   #3
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Great write up. Thanks for taking the time
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Old 01-31-2012, 10:23 PM   #4
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Dang good article that sums it up very well.

One of these days I am going to have to get one of those fancy Foxpros.

Now we just need some one to pitch in about night hunting.
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Old 01-31-2012, 10:26 PM   #5
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Heck ya....
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Old 01-31-2012, 10:31 PM   #6
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Subscribed and in!

Awesome write up! I can't wait to go call now! Next week as soon as I can
I'm hitting the brush!
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Old 01-31-2012, 10:35 PM   #7
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Will be at the ranch next tuesday... eager to use this advice and see what happens. Been needing to extinguish the local pack we have. Hope to have some LDP's soon. - c
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Old 01-31-2012, 10:36 PM   #8
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Great post. Thanks.
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Old 01-31-2012, 10:38 PM   #9
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You about covered it all buddy, good write up.. Ive won a lot of varmint hunts over the years but im no profesional either. Im a night time hunter, never been any good at the day time stuff, lack of patience . If you can kill during the day the night time is a piece of cake. I always set up if I can with the opening to the down wind side and use a 12" shield on my Light Force lights with a red lense and never shine the beam at the ground if I can keep from it simply letting the glow of the light light up the eyes and when we see a critters eyes we hold the light off to the side untill ready to shoot and we say fire and who ever is holding the light hits the target normally stopping them in their tracks for a shot.
We always cover the windows and windshield of the rig with a black blanket to keep any refelections down and from spooking game. We shine withing the first 3 minutes of calling and then only every 5 minutes with cats normally taking up to 30-40 minutes to come on in. Ive passed many yotes over the years waiting on a cat and Ive killed a ton of them by doing this, mainly because cats are worth more points in a contest normally.
Its not hard but just cover your bases, get a red lense and a shield on your light and the killing will come.
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Old 01-31-2012, 10:40 PM   #10
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Great write up.

My brother and I predator hunt quite a bit, and this is spot on. As far as night goes, same rules apply with wind direction being #1. Move the light in a quick manner just above ground level. If you get eyes, you will know it. Rookies think everything is glowing eyes until they see some a couple of times. You will know eyes when you get eyes, I promise. Keep the eyes in the halo and DO NOT take the light off of the animal. Have the shooter ID the animal and know what it is before you shoot. Key info, predators (coyotes, fox, bobcats, coons, etc...) have eyes that are very close to each other. If you can only see 1 eye, it is 99.99999999999% not something you are hunting. Also, you can not dependably I.D. an animal by the color of eyes.

As mentioned before, after identifying your target, take the first good opportunity to shoot the animal. Those critters are too smart to let hang around too long.

Flat shooting rifles and quality optics are very important at night. It also helps to have a light man that can give you good yardage estimates.

Finally, it is key to have a good flashlight and a side arm when retrieving your animals. Walking up on an injured bobcat is for the birds. Experience has proven this more than once!

Last edited by Tommy_V; 01-31-2012 at 11:15 PM.
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Old 01-31-2012, 10:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ol Thumper View Post
You about covered it all buddy, good write up.. Ive won a lot of varmint hunts over the years but im no profesional either. Im a night time hunter, never been any good at the day time stuff, lack of patience . If you can kill during the day the night time is a piece of cake. I always set up if I can with the opening to the down wind side and use a 12" shield on my Light Force lights with a red lense and never shine the beam at the ground if I can keep from it simply letting the glow of the light light up the eyes and when we see a critters eyes we hold the light off to the side untill ready to shoot and we say fire and who ever is holding the light hits the target normally stopping them in their tracks for a shot.
We always cover the windows and windshield of the rig with a black blanket to keep any refelections down and from spooking game. We shine withing the first 3 minutes of calling and then only every 5 minutes with cats normally taking up to 30-40 minutes to come on in. Ive passed many yotes over the years waiting on a cat and Ive killed a ton of them by doing this, mainly because cats are worth more points in a contest normally.
Its not hard but just cover your bases, get a red lense and a shield on your light and the killing will come.
I had never thought about getting a shield for our spotlights. Now that I think about it that is a dang good idea I will have to rig some up before I go out again.
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Old 01-31-2012, 10:45 PM   #12
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Here is a pic of my original Varmint light, this one is over 15 years old and still works great but my others have a shorter shield. I like the handle on the bottom as well. I just put a new lense on this one so I having finished wrapping it up in electrical tape. This light has killed hundreds of yotes and cats over the years.
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Old 01-31-2012, 10:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westtexducks View Post
I had never thought about getting a shield for our spotlights. Now that I think about it that is a dang good idea I will have to rig some up before I go out again.
If you ever get about a hundreds yards away with someone shining a light around without a shield you can see people moving and a ton of things are reflecting light, this was the biggest change we ever made and it helps a TON in not spooking them.

Ive used stove pipe material and rolled my own out of aluminum, the handle is really nice though on the bottom
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Old 01-31-2012, 10:51 PM   #14
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I use a Silent Halo Shied, a neoprene shield that works great. Here is the link:

http://www.boondock-outdoors.com/Sil...lo_Shield.html
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Old 01-31-2012, 11:00 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy_V View Post
I use a Silent Halo Shied, a neoprene shield that works great. Here is the link:

http://www.boondock-outdoors.com/Sil...lo_Shield.html
I will defenitly be getting a few of these ordered I have taped up my lights around the edges but have never really gotten rid of all of the over flow that shines on the truck when you are doing you circle this is a dang good idea.

Thanks for the link.
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Old 01-31-2012, 11:04 PM   #16
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Where did you guys get red lenses for the lightforce spotlights. I currently use cyclops spotlight but would really like to upgrade to the lightforce spotlights.
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Old 01-31-2012, 11:08 PM   #17
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Wherever you buy the light they will have lenses, Im running the dimmer on my current rig and im liking it quite a bit, might be something you want to check out as well.
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Old 01-31-2012, 11:08 PM   #18
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allpredatorcalls.com...here's the one for the 140

http://www.allpredatorcalls.com/prod...ghts-FRLD.html
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Old 01-31-2012, 11:10 PM   #19
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I use a magnalight, which is built just like a lightforce...just another option for a quality light. They are both really good.
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Old 01-31-2012, 11:15 PM   #20
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Great write-up!

Thanks!
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Old 01-31-2012, 11:22 PM   #21
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I have a Brinkman Varmint Special that I've had for years. Also have a Goblin Hawglite. I got the stuff to hunt at night, just need to get out and do it.
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Old 02-01-2012, 12:04 AM   #22
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Good read
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Old 02-01-2012, 06:41 AM   #23
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Ok gang, what is the best spotlight?
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Old 02-01-2012, 06:50 AM   #24
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great thread, thanks guys
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Old 02-01-2012, 06:56 AM   #25
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Great write up! Makes me want to get out there right now! Only thing I do different is leave the call running. Some do, some don't. I'm also planning to get a rack built soon and try the night time stuff!
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:10 AM   #26
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how about how long you call? how long in between calls?

ive only tried this a doz times and have called in 2 yotes. so i am very new to this. i call for about 1-1.5min. and then give it a rest for 10-15mins. then repeat. i repeat this cycle 3-4 times then move to a new location
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:16 AM   #27
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Great write up.....it makes me want to give it a try on my lease, which would probably make my landowner very happy.
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:17 AM   #28
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Great Write Up...
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:19 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mesquitecountry View Post
Ok gang, what is the best spotlight?
Ive used them all or should I say I own them all and Light Force hands down is the best IMO. The 170 Stryker is my favorite model.
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:22 AM   #30
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Good thread, Sutton. You still need to make a trip to NE Texas and help me rid the lease of a few dozen yotes, we are covered up with them up there.
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:29 AM   #31
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I just got smarter!! thanks Texag for taking the time to share your wisdom.

KAC
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:31 AM   #32
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Quote:
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Ok gang, what is the best spotlight?
We use a cyclops for a couple of reasons.
1. you can get them at academy or walmart for $25 bucks, so if we have one break it is easy to find a walmart to replace it.
2. We are pretty rough with our lights so while Im sure lightforce makes a much better light, we didn't see the point in spending that much money on a light that we will probably have to replace each year.

I recently purchased the XLR250 in red, I am anxious to try it out. If for nothing else to be able to better identify animals before shooting.

We also use the halo shield from Boondock outdoors on our cyclops, makes a big difference.
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:33 AM   #33
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Great write up Jason!

Looks like alot of fun!
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:37 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ol Thumper View Post
We always cover the windows and windshield of the rig with a black blanket to keep any refelections down and from spooking game.
The covering the windshield is a great idea! Is it a pain to take the time to cover the windows? I know during contest you usually only have 24 hrs to hunt so every minute you aren't hunting decreases your chances.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ol Thumper View Post
We shine withing the first 3 minutes of calling and then only every 5 minutes with cats normally taking up to 30-40 minutes to come on in.
We have hunted in our fair share of contest and learned over the years to never turn the light off. As "wylie" as the coyote is, we didn't want to take the chance of a coyote being able to slip in and out during 1 of those periods of our light being off? I'm not trying to say your wrong for using the method you use but I am curious to know if there are particular reasons you do it this way?
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:45 AM   #35
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The covering the windshield is a great idea! Is it a pain to take the time to cover the windows? I know during contest you usually only have 24 hrs to hunt so every minute you aren't hunting decreases your chances.

Ourt black blanket will cover the side windows and windshield all at once.

We have hunted in our fair share of contest and learned over the years to never turn the light off. As "wylie" as the coyote is, we didn't want to take the chance of a coyote being able to slip in and out during 1 of those periods of our light being off? I'm not trying to say your wrong for using the method you use but I am curious to know if there are particular reasons you do it this way?
We came to the conclusion years ago that cats will spook if the light stays on non stop, we basically hunt for cats and the yotes are a bonus.
Do we loose a few in the process? Im sure we do but how many do we gain by not spooking them with the light going around like an airport beacon? Its not a perfect science but its what we found to work the best for us and we consistantly kill lots of ctitters when others are struggling.

Now im not saying if your hunting a 10 acre field to only shine once every 5 minutes either, the time between shines to a point is determined by the size of the field. If its a small field I will shine more often and the bigger the field the longer I wait.
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:48 AM   #36
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Makes sense!
We will have to try that we have always had trouble killing more than 2 cats in a 24 hour period, this could be the reason.
Thanks
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:52 AM   #37
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Makes sense!
We will have to try that we have always had trouble killing more than 2 cats in a 24 hour period, this could be the reason.
Thanks
Its worth a shot, we have killed up to 9 cats in a night using this method and when you throw in a few yotes with that you normally have yourself a payday
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:54 AM   #38
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Cool write up..
I went on my first 'real' coyote actual hunt..where i was actually trying to call them in..not just shooting the ones that i saw...
had a older Hunter Specialties electric call with like 5 voices... and they seemed to really like screaming cottontail... although we did get some peekers with the jackrabbit in distress.... of course so did the hawks...
I have really crappy camera phone video of the electric call being molested by a hawk while three others sit in trees nearby waiting their turn to try to kill it.
Also got footage of a pack of 6-7 coyotes hunting rabbits in mesquite thickets on either side of the sendero.. be a dog or two in thicket on each side... 2 dogs in the sendero and theyd chase the rabbits out and the ones in the middle were supposed to catch them..
neat to watch... 700 yard shot...so they got away, this time...
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:27 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by TRB_Outdoors View Post
The covering the windshield is a great idea! Is it a pain to take the time to cover the windows? I know during contest you usually only have 24 hrs to hunt so every minute you aren't hunting decreases your chances.



We have hunted in our fair share of contest and learned over the years to never turn the light off. As "wylie" as the coyote is, we didn't want to take the chance of a coyote being able to slip in and out during 1 of those periods of our light being off? I'm not trying to say your wrong for using the method you use but I am curious to know if there are particular reasons you do it this way?
Are you talking about a moving hand held spot light or red lights that are mounted and just light up an area?
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:30 AM   #40
Cajun Blake
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1st thing that came to mind before I read Jason's entire post

..... location, location, location = set up down wind !!!

a coyotes nose will give you away EVERYTIME

for night time calling, I hunt over a LightForce walkabout 170

Last edited by Cajun Blake; 02-01-2012 at 08:32 AM.
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:33 AM   #41
Hawkins
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Great thread. I've predator hunted for 10 or so years. Texag nailed the daytime hunting.

On how long to call, sometimes I'll call 10-15 minutes, sometimes 30. I had a coyote come in the other day at 22 minutes. Thats the longest I have ever had one take.

Night time, on spotlights brighter isn't better. Get a 250,000 candle power or so, with a red lense, trust me you will see those eyes lit up. Get a shroud to keep the reflection off of you. There is an exception to every rule, we try to keep them in the halo until ready to shoot. But I don't think it is real important. I turn the light on before I call and NEVER EVER turn it off. Keep the light swinging fast the whole time. Not saying Ol Thumper is wrong, there is lots of ways to kill animals. But I think you will miss a lot of animals by turning it off. I swing the light fast and by the time I make a round I've had lots of animals be 50 yards from the truck out of nowhere. If you have the light off for 5 minutes you will never even no they're there. I've had 4 different coyotes come in in 5 minutes. These animals below didn't mind the light running the whole time.

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Last edited by Hawkins; 02-01-2012 at 08:35 AM.
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:35 AM   #42
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Great thread, Jason!!!

I'll second the LightForce light!
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:40 AM   #43
jwstrother
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Quote:
Originally Posted by az2tx View Post
Are you talking about a moving hand held spot light or red lights that are mounted and just light up an area?
Handheld spotlight
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:41 AM   #44
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Success rate per stand is pretty low so don't get discouraged. I use a Foxpro FX3, and handcalls. I really like the primos cat nip hand call right now.

My favorite sounds are..

Old Johnny stewart cottontail duet, I recorded it onto my computer and put it on my foxpro.
Lucky Bird
wacky woodpecker
baby cottontail
dsg cottontail

I had a lot of success last weekend using cottontail duet for 10 minutes then switching over to baby cottontail.

Texag93, do you not have a lot of bobcats in your area? I don't use many coyote sounds because we have a lot of cats. I try to use distress sounds, to try for a yote or cat.

I've heard a lot about the pup in distress, and been using it a few times here lately.
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:44 AM   #45
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Jason- quick question...

"I like to sit with the wind at my back or crossing me"

Why wind at your back, I thought it would be best for wind to be in your face.
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:55 AM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hyperlitejb View Post
Jason- quick question...

"I like to sit with the wind at my back or crossing me"

Why wind at your back, I thought it would be best for wind to be in your face.
They're going to come in downwind of the sound. If you have the wind in your face, they'll be coming in behind you.

GREAT post, Jason!
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:59 AM   #47
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Great points and information here. One piece of information I would add is that if you do not have a high percentage kill shot, DO NOT shoot at all. What I see up here where I live is that a lot of guys are throwing lead at coyotes at distances that they will rarely be successful in making the shot. They will also shoot at running coyotes 400+ yards, hoping the bullet will connect.
The only thing you are doing is educating the coyote and it only takes one time doing this for them to get very smart to it.
Case in point. I was out calling this past weekend and was driving down the dirt road going to my next set when I spotted a coyote about 300 yards out. The very minute I slowed down he started running away and when I came to a complete stop he kicked it into high gear and at that point was probably 600 yards out. I would bet 80% of the people would have lobbed lead at this coyote.
In this case, you DO NOT want to follow the Old Cowboy Wisdom which says, "Lead in the air, maybe... no lead in the air, no maybe!!!
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Old 02-01-2012, 09:00 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane View Post
They're going to come in downwind of the sound. If you have the wind in your face, they'll be coming in behind you.

GREAT post, Jason!
It contradicts Cajun Blakes post though, right?



"1st thing that came to mind before I read Jason's entire post

..... location, location, location = set up down wind !!!

a coyotes nose will give you away EVERYTIME"
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Old 02-01-2012, 09:06 AM   #49
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Waiting on my FoxPro to come in now. I hope to shoot a few yotes real soon.
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Old 02-01-2012, 09:22 AM   #50
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This is a great thread. Thanks for posting.
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