Hunting at night?

Discussion in 'Coyote Hunting - From 10 Yards to over 1,000 Yards' started by jmason, Feb 3, 2009.

  1. jmason

    jmason Well-Known Member

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    I wasn't sure weather to post this here or in the section under my location. My question is for those that hunt in and around PA, or have hunted around here. Are you hunting mainly at night? I have almost no experience hunting coyotes. From just living around here I have seen them out mainly at night. On occasion prior to our rifle season I've seen them during the day. Would I be better served hunting at night? Is there a preferred time range like just after dark or just before day?
     
  2. brushcountry101

    brushcountry101 Well-Known Member

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    dusk and on full moon nights with a spot light would be my first choice.
     

  3. ol mike

    ol mike Well-Known Member

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    Become a skilled night hunter and you can kill a lot of coyotes..
    I have night hunted coyote and fox and really enjoyed it -you can hunt them from dusk til dawn that's when they're very active as you already stated.

    Have you read up on nighthunting predators ?
     
  4. jmason

    jmason Well-Known Member

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    I haven't read much of anything yet. I literally just got the bug to go out on my own. I figured this would be a good cure for the "cabin fever" I get this time of year:D. I'd love to hear any advise you all have to give. I really have no basis for hunting at night other than the observations I gave above.

    I'm going to give it a shot this weekend. I have done some scouting and know where some must frequent. I went to an old coworker's farm and found where they had got into a calf that had passed the evening before. I'm guessing they frequent the farm cause they got into the calf within hours of it passing. They also have what they call a "bone pile". It's where they put the expired animals. I haven't checked it yet because I just learned of it, but I'm guessing the coyotes will visit that location as well for a free lunch.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2009
  5. msalm

    msalm Well-Known Member

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    Depending on PA state laws you have a few options. Here is WI we can now use artificial lights 'at the point of kill' when calling predators at night. Even so, I've still had a lot more luck hunting with a full moon and a good snow. No light is required as it's very easy to pick up an animal with a scoped rifle (or a shotgun with #4 Buck for that matter). At night I've had a lot more luck calling them in and they'll run across open fields with wreckless abandon at times. Not so in the daytime (around here anyway). Even then, I've found it more productive to do your calling from small patches that already have a lot of rabbit sign with a good field of view around you. My perspective is those coyotes know every square inch of that area and probably have hunted or killed rabbits in the past from those areas. When they hear the squealing, or another coyote howl from that location, they'll run in for the easy meal. That said I've also laid in the middle of a field with whites on and called them into the open too. Just be sure and stick it out for a good 45 minutes at each location, and if you know they're there, one hour isn't out of line at a calling setup. There have been many that ran into the call within the first few minutes, but I've had enough come in after 1/2 hour of calling to make sitting longer worth while.

    The few I've called in during daylight hours have ALMOST always been in thick cover/woods where they spend the majority of their daylight hours.
     
  6. jmason

    jmason Well-Known Member

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    That's good info, thanks. I didn't think I'd be able to see through the scope even with the moon and snow so I ordered a light. Snows gonna start melting here this weekend.
     
  7. msalm

    msalm Well-Known Member

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    The few times I tried a light I had a rifle-mounted optronics with the red filter. All I got for my trouble was a flash of eyes and the backside of the coyote/fox hightailing it out of there. And on the topic of calls, for some reason I've had more success KILLING called in animals when using a mouth call. When using electronics, the track keeps playing which tends to bring the runners right into the call. They'll hit my trail where I walked out to place the call and switch to the afterburners and light out of there. When using a handcall, typically when you first see the animal you stop calling and get ready for the shot. When you do that, the animal either stops to locate where the sound was coming from, OR sees the slight movement of you raising your rifle. At night I've never spooked a running coyote by raising my rifle. It always ended with them bouncing to a stop and staring at you. By that time the crosshairs are on them and they drop to the shot. I still use the e-caller as it does call in more animals, but I try and turn it down or shut it off when I spot an animal coming in. Trying to pick up a coyote running full bore 30 yards away broadside while sitting on you butt is not the easiest thing to do sometimes. I'd suggest taking a kneeling position if you think they'll be close as you can swing on a running animal far easier from that position than off your butt.
     
  8. jmason

    jmason Well-Known Member

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    Uh-Oh! I got the same one. All I currently have is the mouth calls. I'm trying not to spend a bunch of money. I want to make sure I maintain an ongoing interest 1st.

    After reading your advise I'm going to set up in a small cluster of trees and brush near the barn used for calving. I'll be able to sit hidden, see well, and I know that at least once they've come there for veal.

    Would you suggest that if I'm in the woods i use buck shot? I have never used it, so what kind of choke or barrel are you using?
     
  9. msalm

    msalm Well-Known Member

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    I'm just saying that was the reaction I got from that light. Others use the things with great success. Set the beam so it highlights ABOVE your sight though, so just the lower edge of the beam will illuminate the eyes. You really don't want to hit them in the center of the beam (from what I've read).

    Also, I'd set up at the edge of cover looking towards where you expect them to come from. Hopefully that includes open ground they'd have to cross. I almost never set up IN thick cover at night. I much rather prefer to see them coming. If there's a wind, watch the downwind side too. If setting up in thicker cover, the 12ga and #4 buck will take a coyote past 50 yards easily. I think I used an elongated full choke. It's worthwhile to pattern your load as some are better than others. Heavishot's dead coyote is supposed to be real good too, and I think they have suggested chokes for that load, but I don't know what it is.



    This is just what I've garnered calling here in WI, but by an large my best results have come from no lights, full moon, and a good snow calling at night. Just like any animals, after an extended bad spell of weather the next few decent nights seem to be good calling times. We're just hitting that here in WI, 4 or 5 nights of sub-zero (F) weather is coming to an end. Tomorrow night is suppose to be a low of 16 deg F with a high of 35 on Fri. AND the moon is getting full. I'll be out Thurs. night and possibly Fri night to give it a shot...should be a lot better than last month when Coyboy, Len and I tried it...just too cold (bitterly cold would be a better description).
     
  10. jmason

    jmason Well-Known Member

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    msalm,

    Thank you again! I hope to have a success story for you by weeks end.

    Sincerely,

    Grasshopper:D
     
  11. brushcountry101

    brushcountry101 Well-Known Member

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    i dont think i would use to tight of a choke with that #4 buck. i think a modified would be plenty just to be careful. pattern it and see what it does.