Coyotes are North American native canine species. They are smaller than wolves and possess high intelligence levels, keen eyesight, and a strong sense of smell. Areas with plenty of birds, rabbits, mice, and vermin are their habitat and hunting places. They can also be found in brushy areas near creeks or marshy lands.
Coyotes are commonly found in Kansas, Nevada, Nebraska, and Colorado states. Coyotes are more active during winter and therefore tend to travel more to search for food. An increasing need for heat during cold seasons demands more energy for coyotes to survive in snowy environments.
Best time for coyote hunting
The cold winter seasons are the best time for hunting coyotes although they can be hunted all year round. Naturally, coyotes tend to become less nocturnal during winter seasons and can be spotted easily throughout the day as winter progresses. The high demand for calories leaves coyotes hungrier during winter. This forces them to go hunting for food during the day. Dusk or dawn is the most suitable time for hunting among other opportune times
The cold winter seasons increase energy demand in coyotes to keep them warm and help them survive the cold. The snow makes it easier to locate, follow and track coyotes as they can be challenging to track during the warm seasons. Coyotes often rely on sounds of distressed prey that would offer them a quick meal. Hunters can take advantage of such opportunities to trap coyotes using a call. A fast response is guaranteed when the right sound suggesting a free meal is played.
Hunting seasons and tactics
During winter, coyotes can be spotted easily as they have difficulty camouflaging into brushes and forests. Coyotes can be easily trapped with wounded prey calls due to their susceptibility to the cold seasons. They can easily override their suspicion of wounded calls being traps just to satisfy their hunger. Coyotes are most active during morning hours especially at around 11 am.
Evening hours also present an opportunity to hunt for coyotes although you may have to wait until dusk. Look for an eyeshine or light reflection from an animal's eye when hunting at night. This will grant you time to identify your target and adjust the calling strategy depending on the coyote’s body language. It will be possible to have successful hunts in the afternoon once you have honed your scouting and hunting skills.
Winter is the breeding season for coyotes. Imitating coyote vocals such as howls, barks, and whines alongside playing prey-distressed calls will trigger a quicker response to territorial instinct and breeding curiosity. A few soft howls will be perfect during the breeding season. This can be followed by a short series of howls and lastly a prey in distress call.
Coyotes often appear in the windy direction after quick hurt-sounding calls are made. Take your shot a moment after their appearance. Considering their level of intelligence, coyotes can still be difficult to hunt. It is essential to arrive at the hunting spot early enough for set up. Coyotes would naturally scan the hunting ground for predators. You must be well hidden and still enough not to frighten them.
Forested areas are great hunting spots for coyotes during the day. With the help of snow, tracking and marking coyote travel routes becomes easier. Traps can be laid once you have marked the trails. Prey tracks can also help locate the coyotes. Bush lines and fences are their preferred travel routes. They can also be found on farmlands at night where they hunt for mice and rabbits. Permission must be sought from farm owners before hunting on their lands.
Weather impact on coyote hunting
Barometric pressure has an influence on coyote activity such that a rise in barometric pressure following the passing of a front increases the chances of spotting a coyote on the move and having a successful hunt. Temperatures between 20- and 50-degrees Fahrenheit are the most ideal according to experts as they have a great impact on coyote movement.
Overcast days with less fog and haze is the best time for hunting coyotes. During such conditions, coyotes are more active. Clear conditions with cool temperatures and less wind are also suitable for coyote hunting. Coyote’s sense of smell is heightened when the winds are high, inconveniencing the hunters. It is therefore not advisable to hunt during snowstorms and high wind seasons exceeding 20 mph which will hamper your hunting activities due to poor visibility.
Coyotes are often hunted during the fall season. However, hunting is also possible during spring although animals tend to be very territorial as they begin to create dens during this time. Coyote calls alongside distress sounds are the most suitable tactics to employ. Hunting is less successful in summer although some hunters may still enjoy the adventure.
Coyote hunting is a thrilling venture which can be mastered with practice. Taking note of the appropriate season, weather, time and relevant tactics is a guarantee for successful hunting. It is also important to observe and master coyote behavior which will help with trapping. Coyote hunting for fur harvesting should only be practiced if legal.