The predatory coyote has roamed the forests of North America for over 2,000 years now. And although it is one of the most hunted animals in America it has found a way of thriving. Today, close to 500,000 coyotes are hunted and killed every year.
The coyote’s love of wildlife and livestock meat has earned it the title of the most hated animal in America. And in most states coyotes are hunted year round, this is in a bid to control their population.
Generally speaking, coyotes are nocturnal animals and are most active at night. This means that as a hunter you need to learn how to hunt coyotes at night. Hunting coyotes at night can be exciting and challenging at the same time. It is, for this reason, that night hunting of coyotes is the topic I am focusing on, in this article.
In this article, I will be discussing some useful Coyote hunting tips and techniques. To make things easy for you, I have divided this article into sections.
Coyote Hunting Tips And Techniques
In this first section, I will be discussing some of the techniques used by hunters when hunting coyotes. Also, I will be sharing some useful tips on how you can increase your chances of killing coyotes.
Technique number one is knowing where coyotes frequent. Based on personal experience, coyotes are likely to be found in swampy areas, brushy creeks, river-bottoms or any other areas frequented by small rodents and varmints. Apart from these areas, coyotes are also found near sheep ranches.
According to the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, one in every ten ranchers report the loss of lambs of up to 20%. This means that coyotes love lambs and will be found hanging around ranches that have a large number of lambs. In most instance, ranch owners will give you permission to hunt coyotes around their property.
Ideal hunting conditions will depend on time and day of the hunt. Personally, I do not recommend hunting on windy days. Coyotes have an extraordinarily good sense of smell. Therefore, a coyote is able to sniff you even before you spot it.
The best time to hunt coyotes is on cold and calm days. Needless to say, learning how to how to hunt coyotes at night will involve learning how to be stealthy. When hunting ensure that you have parked your car at a safe distance. Also, do not make noise, if you are hunting with a partner, or bang the door of your car.
One of the techniques I use is settling in on a comfortable place where I am able to see everything around me. Once I am settled in a comfortable position, I use my electric call to try and attract nearby coyotes.
Speaking of electronic calls, how much is too much calling? Different hunters differ on how long or frequently you should call. However, the general rule of thumb is that open areas require longer and louder calls. In areas with large coyote populations, a long string of calls will scare away coyotes.
Additionally, in areas where coyotes are frequently hunted, it may take some time for you to get your first kill, especially if you are new to coyote hunting. This is because coyotes in this areas are smart and are unlikely to fall for the same coyote hunting tips and techniques used by other hunters. Therefore, patience is important when hunting coyotes.
Use A Dog
One of the more controversial techniques you can use when coyote hunting is using a dog. Coyotes, just like other wild predators kill dogs for breakfast. That being said, using a dog to lure coyotes works well, especially if you have a loyal dog.
To ensure success, make sure your dog does not wander off too far from where you are. Additionally, make sure your dog can outpace a coyote and is good at taking commands. This way you will command your dog to run towards where you are.
What You Need To Hunt Coyote At Night
Hunting coyotes at night can only be challenging if you are not armed with the right set of tools. So what kind of tools do you need to successfully kill coyotes at night? Below are some of the important tools that you should never leave behind when going coyote hunting at night.
One of the most important things you will need for coyote hunting is camouflage. Coyotes have excellent sight, especially at night. To prevent coyotes from spotting you while you are stalking them camouflage will be important. A ghillie suit makes for a great camouflage.
Rifle With Scope
Obviously, you will need a rifle to kill a coyote. However, not all rifles will work for coyote hunting. A small gun will do great. Therefore, do not use the same rifle you use for deer hunting. A shot gun will be the ideal firearm to use for coyote hunting. This is especially if you are hunting in thick cover. For ammo, the best ammo is to use the .223 Winchester round. Apart from the right ammo, it is also important to have a rifle with a good scope. The best scope for coyote hunting is one with a large objective lens and high magnification.
A call allows you to trick a coyote and attract them to you. Electronic calls are great as they offer a wide variety of sounds. Also, hand calls work great. It is up to you to decide which caller works best for you.
As I stated the best time to hunt coyotes is on a cold and calm day. Thus, one of the most important things you will require is a glove. A glove will keep the cold at bay and also prevent your hands from being spotted in the moonlight. A pair of thick gloves will serve you well.
Scout Ahead Kit
Scouting ahead is of great importance when hunting for coyotes at night. One of the things you will need for scouting is a trail camera.
Trail cameras will give you a more accurate picture of the area you plan on hunting. Also, you will need a pair of binoculars to get a wider view of the area you plan on hunting.
How To Spot Coyotes At Night
Coyotes are cunning and agile animals that are able to see better at night than we can. In this regard, hunting at night puts you at a natural disadvantage. This raises the question of how to spot coyotes at night.
The best way to spot coyotes at night is by use of lights. There are two lights used for coyote night hunting, green and red, and the coyote night hunting light you settle on will influence the outcome of your hunt. If you are hunting area has thicker cover and moisture in the air and is a small field, I recommend using the red light.
On the other hand, if you are hunting in an open field with minimal to no moisture, I recommend using the green light. Also, a spotlight for coyote hunting will come in handy for scanning an area. Thus, do not rely solely on your rifle mounted light. Avoid switching the light on and off when calling, especially if you are hunting in any one of the Western or Southwestern States.
Also, if you are hunting with a partner avoid pointing the light in their direction. While hunting coyotes at night with a red light is preferred by many, I believe using a headlight with an adjustable focus and multiple LEDs is better. With such a headlight you can easily switch to green, red or even white color without the need of any extra gear.
How To Hunt Coyotes At Night Without A Light
There are some hunters who prefer hunting without a light. If you want to join the league of hunters who hunt without a light, you will need to learn how to hunt coyotes at night without a light.
The first thing you will need to do is scout an area during the day. When scouting identify the areas where coyotes frequent. Just like all animals coyotes can be found in watering holes. Also, map all the areas where coyotes frequent before the hunt. This will make it easier for you when you go out hunting at night.
At night, use prey distress sounds to call a coyote. Such sounds will attract coyotes at night. Finally, equip yourself with a rifle with a good rifle scope attached to it.
For night hunting uses a scope with a large objective lens and high magnification. Preferably use a scope with a 50 mm objective lens. Also, a rifle with an illuminated reticle will do a better job of helping you spot a coyote at night.
As I have already stated, coyotes are cunning animals that are able to see better at night. Also, they have a better sense of smell than use. Therefore, to be successful, you will have to utilize all the coyote tips and techniques discussed below.In conclusion, it is my hope that this article has been of great help to you, in your quest to how to hunt coyotes at night.