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Coyote Hunting, Predatorial Series #1 - "Basic Behavior"

Coyote Hunting

Predatorial Series - #1 "Basic Behavior"
By Greg Ballard

coyote huntingIt has been a lot of years since I shot my first coyote. I remember my Dad and I sitting in the darkness on our first coyote hunting trip, shotgun in hand, and listening to a cassette player we had rigged up with a small external speaker. The tape we had in it was a yellow hammer woodpecker in distress. I could hear the coyote’s approach through the leaves as it made its way off the hillside and down to the clearing where we sat in a brush pile in ambush. When it sounded like the coyote was close enough Dad turned on his light that had a red lens on it and at the end of the beam of light were two big coyote eyes glowing and the bead of the shotgun moved to the shoulder of the coyote and I squeezed the trigger. The coyote wheeled and started to run, but he was already dead. It only took a little bit of time before the coyote realized it and crashed to the ground. I was hooked on coyote hunting for life. Fast forward 30 some odd years and many hundreds of coyotes later and I still get just as excited as I did when hunting that night.

coyote hunting
The results of a morning coyote hunt in Oklahoma in 2007. We called in 9 coyotes this morning and were able to take 5 of them

Coyote hunting has become quite popular in recent years and with good reason. Coyotes make for very exciting hunting that takes a good amount of knowledge and skill to become consistently successful. You are hunting the hunter and beating him at his own game. This adds a whole new level to your coyote hunting as you get to be an interactive part of the equation and not be a passive part. To be able to beat the coyote on a regular basis is no small feat as the coyote has a lot of skills and abilities of his own. I believe that the best way to get to this level of consistency in coyote hunting is to first take some time and learn a bit about the quarry. By learning more about the coyote and his behavior and life cycles then we will be able to take the advantages and behavior of the coyote and turn them against him when hunting.

The coyote, Canis Latrans, is found just about everywhere in the United States. If you don’t already have coyotes in your area then it is just a matter of time before you will. The coyote is a very hardy animal and can easily survive in nearly any climate and condition found in the country. A full grown coyote will have a body weight that can range from 20 pounds up to over 50 pounds depending on the location the coyote is found. The body fur of the coyote is generally a grayish and the legs are a reddish brown coloration. The coyote tail is fully furred and black tipped. They will carry their tail lower than their back which differentiates the coyotes from a dog. Their underbelly and fur under their neck is generally whitish in color. They have a very elongated nose and large pointed ears that gives the coyote a quite distinctive look. Their feet are more elongated than that of a dog and the front feet of the coyote are generally larger than their rear feet. This helps you to distinguish the tracks of a coyote from those of a dog when you come across them during your scouting.

coyote track
The coyote track can be distinguished from a domestic dog as the tracks will be more elongated in appearance and the coyote's front paw will be larger than the rear paw

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