How to Hunt Coyotes with a Decoy
Coyotes are sly and sneaky from birth, making them fairly tough creatures to hunt. A hunter’s success hinges on an eternal awareness of the wind direction, attention to camo pattern in relation to the landscape, and the tools employed. Of course, patience helps too. Then, when all of those things fall into place, and a coyote closes the distance on your hunting decoy, the anticipation of a clear shot is a feeling unlike any other.
How to Find Coyotes
Coyotes inhabit a variety of landscapes, including suburban areas, and of course, the expansive woods, but there has been a noticeable population increase in agricultural areas. First things first, take some time to scout for coyote sign on your property. Start by searching for scat and tracks. You may even find the remains of a recent kill. Look to large fields and river bottoms, especially areas where rodents, a coyote's main food source, are abundant. Coyotes like to communicate with one another, so keep a howler call on you at all times just to see if one answers. And if you’re going to carry a call, might as well have a rifle on your shoulder and decoy in your pocket. Check out this sample of a Coyote howl.
Choosing the Right Firearm
Because hunting coyote means trekking through sprawling landscapes, that means you’re going to shoot at long distances.. Choose a rifle with a 50-200-yard range for this kind of predator. There are some hunters who would prefer to use a shorter range like a shotgun, handgun or bow, but realistically, the evasive coyote requires a firearm that can reach from long distances.
Set Up Your Decoy
Coyotes have likely heard many distress calls. But even if the dog is leery, it will still be likely to investigate. Call for 10-20 minutes, then pause. Pressured coyotes will find a vantage point and remain hidden while they search for what’s making the sound, which is where using a coyote hunting decoy comes in handy. The best predator decoys pair well with calling to grab their attention and hold it while you setup for a shot. If you’re using electronic calls, set up your decoy next to your call and conceal yourself 50 to 75 yards away in order to reduce the likelihood of being spotted.
Use a rabbit-in-distress call with Miss Hoptober, a seven-ounce rabbit decoy. This is one of the most popular coyote hunting tactics, as rabbits make up a large part of the their diet. Later in the spring when does are beginning to give birth, pair a fawn-in-distress call with Fanwzy or use the Kojo coyote decoy. Add in some yips and howling to give coyotes within earshot the impression that others are inspecting your spread.
Work With the Environment
As we mentioned earlier, coyote habitats vary. So no matter what terrain you end up in - rolling dairy hills, grasslands, or wooded river beds - always remember to set up across fields or open areas to give yourself the best view possible. Call into thickets, ditches, or other areas where coyotes may be prowling for their next meal. Pay attention to the direction of the wind. It should always be in your face. Be stealthy, silent and stay low when approaching a good spot to set up, because coyotes have a keen eye.
Whether you’re out in the wide open spaces of the west or in the hardwoods of the east, using a coyote hunting decoy increases your odds for success. Each year, as predator hunting grows in popularity, canines will become more savvy. But that’s why we produce the most life-like predator decoys we can, to ensure you have every advantage in the field.