Setting up in the sun makes it much easier for predators to detect you, while the sun shining in the approaching predatorís eyes makes it more difficult for them to see. If youíve ever forgotten your ball cap or brimmed hat and hunted towards the rising or setting sun you will understand the wisdom of this. Pay attention the next time you watch an episode of Predator Quest and see where the shadows are falling. If the sun is out, the shadows are falling away from the camera and hunter. Sure, it makes for better footage, but it also puts the predator at the disadvantage. Whether you like Les Johnsonís show or not, he knows a couple of things about predator hunting.
What are my current favorite camouflage patterns for the desert? Although it is fairly even in tone, the color of Mossy Oak Brush works well in our sage and greasewood areas. Kingís Desert Shadow and Snow Shadow are favorites and lately Iíve been using the Vais camouflage pattern from KUIU. It is a high contrast, open pattern that works in more environments than a person would think at first glance. The new Highlander pattern from Kryptek is going to be a winner in the desert. When specifically attempting to shotgun coyotes, I wear a lightweight ghillie jacket from Cabelaís made with strips of MO Brush cloth and a Quick-camo hat/facemask combination in Desert Shadow. Any gloves that hide the shine of your hands are also helpful.
My son Ben and I met a friend, Dale Casey, to hunt a property he was living on. After the rancher finished feeding the cows, we slipped out and set up next to an island of uncut grass and brush in a hay meadow. Although there were three of us in a relatively small area, we were all wearing appropriate camo clothes and were setting with brush or tall grass behind us. Less than four minutes into the set a mature female came hard across the meadow towards the call. She ran straight to the caller and stopped and stared at the decoy, totally oblivious to our presence less than five yards away. A load of number four buck was more than effective at that distance. I looked over at Dale who had a big grin on his face. I grinned back as if it happened every day. Memories were made and fur was in the truck. Would we have been successful without the camo? Possibly, but it was a circumstance that made a high level of concealment necessary.
The next time you think camouflage, broaden your perspective and try to think in terms of concealment. Camo is good but concealment is the real objective. The level of concealment required will depend on your circumstances and the wariness of the coyotes in your area. I tend to err on the side of caution when hunting predators. Predators are some of the most difficult animals on the planet to hunt. Take every precaution necessary to get sufficient concealment. It will put more fur in the shed and fewer coyotes will leave with their degree in their paws. Besides, when it all comes down to it, I just like gear.
Tim Titus has been calling coyotes for 35 years. He lives in the coyote rich country of Southeast Oregon where he and his son spend their winters calling predators and their springs and early summers shooting varmints. Tim owns and operates No Off Season, an on-line predator and varmint hunting store and guiding business. You can check it out at No-Off-Season.com.
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