Coyote Hunting Gear
For the do-it-yourselfer an arrow shaft with a feather tied to the end will work if there is a breeze. Predator Sniper makes a commercial version of this that also folds for carry. Outfoxed Products makes the Whirling Woodpecker decoy that can be attached to a tree limb or a bush. I also like the MOJO Critter. It has pretty radical action but its small size is unintimidating.
Coyote carriers in use.
Along the same lines as the MOJO Critter, FOXPRO has just released what may be the most advanced decoy on the market--the Jack Attack decoy. I was able to get my hands on one just before my last coyote hunt to test it. The Jack Attack looks similar to the MOJO Critter. (Coincidence? You decide.) The FOXPRO Jack Attack has two significant features setting it apart from the competition. First, it has two speeds and a pause. Fast mode, slow mode and pause can all be remotely controlled. It can be used either with its own stand alone remote or can be controlled from a FOXPRO caller remote when using a cable. The remote allows you to shut the decoy off if you feel itís either scaring a coyote or causing them to respond too fast. (Yes, I believe coyotes can come too fast to the call.) Many other decoys are available. Choose one based your budget and on these criteria to see what works on your coyotes. Again, coyotes can be called without a decoy but in some cases they can add fur to the truck.
There are also other items that may find a place in your coyote calling bag. Radios can be a benefit if you call with a partner and donít always sit close enough together to communicate. We rarely talk on our two way radios but we use the vibrate feature to let each other know when a coyote is responding. Ear buds can keep the noise down if you do talk over the radio. Avoid the voice activated microphones. The sound of a hand call or the report of a rifle is best heard from a distance! I only occasionally use radios but, again, there are times they can benefit a pair of callers.
Many, if not most, readers of this site already have a good rangefinder. I use the RF in my Leica Geovids before I start my stand. Iíll range some land marks to determine what my sure shot range is after that they donít get used unless a coyote hangs up at a distance. The binoculars themselves are used sparingly until the end of a stand. Itís always a good idea to take a look around for the animal on the fringe of your vision that is holding out. This is especially true when hunting bobcat country. Move slowly while using the binoculars or youíll lose more animals than you gain.
A lanyard for your calls and remote keeps them handy. Separate your calls and remote into layers of clothing or different pockets while walking into the stand to avoid noise. E-caller slings keep your hands free while going to and from your stand or dragging your coyotes back to the truck. Speaking of dragging coyotes, coyote carriers (or ĎYote Totes) and coyote drags can be a real blessing if you either canít skin on the spot or choose not to. Timber Butte Outdoors, Reese as well as others make these. A simple drag can be fashioned out of a five inch piece of ĹĒ PVC pipe and a piece of parachute cord. I only drag my coyotes when snow is on the ground, otherwise I carry them out to avoid fur damage.
Coaxers are small, manually operated bulb type calls that produce rodent squeaks with minimal movement. They are used to help pull coyotes in that last few yards for the shot. Your coaxer can be taped to your rifle or attached to your bipod or sticks. Chemical hand warmers can save the day if youíre cold blooded or find your shooting glove is better for trigger pulling than it is for warmth. A fanny pack or day pack will help you keep your gear together and organized. My calling duffle stays in the truck and everything I take to a stand goes in my pockets or over my shoulder. This way I can deploy my gear and start calling quickly. The more I stands I make the more coyotes I can call.
The list seems somewhat endless but as the addiction hits and you pursue the sport, youíll begin to assemble your own list of gear. If you like to have the best tools for a given job, your list will evolve as you begin researching, testing, refining and upgrading your gear. Hopefully, the hints here will start you on the right track assembling the ideal gear while saving you some common mistakes along the line. And, hey, there probably is room for one more thing in your stocking anyway!
Good luck and good hunting!
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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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