Re: Do you hunt coyotes?
There are alot of coyote calling/hunting competitions during the late fall and winter in alot of western states. However, these competitions are rarely advertised. They are usually a "jackpot" type of event (some award trophies too); where each two man team pays an entry fee (usually $100-$150 per man) and the majority of entry fees are paid back to the contestants. Some even have calcutta auctions, where teams can be "purchased" and additional money goes toward this. Most pay at least the top 3 teams, if there are enough teams, they may pay 10 or 12 places. Basically, the team with the most coyotes turned in at the check in time is the winner. Usually the combined weight of the coyotes determines the winner of a tie. Sometimes, the team that checked in first determines winner of a tie.
A person could probably go to 3 or 4 a month if they wanted to travel the "circuit".
They are usually a one or two day event. Some allow night hunting and some are daylight hunting only.
Generally held on weekends after the big game season in the vicinity is over.
Generally there is a Pre-Hunt Banquet where the rules of the contest are discussed. If there's a calcutta, this is when the teams are auctioned and bought. A team can usually buy themselves.
Different rules for different contests; but usually, blocks of wood with a number (1-10) are given to each team before the hunt begins. The hunters must put their names and the time of kill on the appropriate block and it is then zip tied into the coyotes mouth.
Judges will usually be present at check in to inspect the coyotes, weigh them, take a deep muscle or core temperature, and ensure that all coyotes turned in were indeed shot from ground level (no arial hunting allowed) They will also inspect for signs of poisoning, trapping, snaring or road kill damage. The core temp is used in conjuction with the wood blocks and other signs to ensure that all coyotes were indeed taken by that team during the contest hours and not before.
Other rules generally are No Dogs and No Snomobiles.
Sometimes, PUBLIC LAND ONLY hunting is allowed, this prevents someone from leasing a particular ranch or group of ranches a year in advance for the sole purpose of these contests. Also less likely to be "baiting" ahead of time this way. In other words, most of these contests are designed to be true calling and hunting contests. Any team found to be cheating is usually disqualified and never allowed into that particular contest again, but word travels fast and they probably wouldn't be allowed into any contest in that State again either.
Smaller hunts (fewer teams) are usually better in this way because there is not enough money in the pot for most people to even consider using dishonest methods of winning.
Awards Banquet and Dinner usually follow the check in process. A portion of the teams entry fees go toward funding this and paying the judges.
There may be some of these contests being held in your area, but again they are very rarely advertised.
I've been in 8 of these contests. Won 1st place in two, 3rd place in three, and nothing in three. Sometimes you find the dogs, they come in good and you shoot good............sometimes you just plain "get skunked" doing the same things that "won" only a month prior.............a little good luck goes a long ways at these events. Don't get discouraged, stay after it and remember that the coyote is the best teacher......it takes alot of humbling lessons to get very good at anything, coyote hunting is no different.
Last edited by SBruce; 12-22-2009 at 01:56 AM.