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Calling Coyotes: The Approach

Calling Coyotes: The Approach

By Tim Titus

The “Get-Your-Attention” howl was followed a minute later by Jack Rabbit Distress from a run-of-the-mill production open reed call. Nothing more high tech was necessary to have a mature pair of coyotes running at us through the sage one abreast of the other. My son, Ben, twelve at the time, sat across the sage from me and I whispered, “Left and right, Little Buddy. Left and right.” indicating how we’d engage the targets. I “woofed” and, as luck would have it, the coyotes each stopped in the open and the simultaneous shots from our rifles dropped them both in their tracks. It was one of our first doubles together. We couldn’t have been happier.

Calling Coyotes: The Approach
A careful approach set the author and his son up for this coyote double.

This stand didn’t start with that Lone Howl, however. It began before we left home, and included many small things we did and didn’t do which set us up for success. I’ve been around enough new callers to know that many have already defeated themselves before their lips ever touch the call or their fingers ever contact the remote. The Approach is what I refer to as the series of actions leading up to actually setting up for the stand. The Approach can open you up to success or scare every coyote in the country away before you begin to call.

If you’re serious about calling coyotes, get serious about your Approach.

Coyotes vary in their sophistication in different areas. Coyote age, density and exposure to people (including hunting) all affect how much tolerance coyotes in a given area have for noise and human activity. Tim Lewis and Mike Messina of L&M Productions have some great footage on their Coyote Rage video of a coyote responding to their call in an active ATV area. The coyote climbs up on an elevated spot to look for the source of the call and several ATV’s race past just yards away. The coyote barely gives the ATV’s a second glance! The ATV’s had become a part of the coyote’s daily life. In another area the coyote would have run for its life at the first sign of an ATV. But, even tolerant coyotes will become suspicious when human activity veers from the norm.

Your calling vehicle is a great place to start when analyzing your Approach. If you’re in ranching country, a diesel powered truck may not be a disadvantage but, generally, the quieter your vehicle, the better. If forced to use a louder vehicle, resign yourself to walking further before calling. If your truck’s exhaust system causes the testosterone to flow when leaving a stoplight, it may not be an advantage when trying to achieve stealth while approaching your stand. Same goes for that subwoofer taking up half the back seat. During my oldest son’s high school years, as he neared home, my wife could feel the vibration of his stereo system before she could hear the music. Once we are within a mile of our calling area, we turn the stereo off completely. Don’t underestimate your quarry.

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