Culling spring coyotes can have a huge beneficial impact on wildlife. Females will be having pups shortly which will increase the overall population and put consistent pressure on the adults to kill. At the same time, fawns are being born and are particularly vulnerable to coyote populations. If you are not a predator hunter, you should still keep your skills in order should an opportunity happen.
Coyotes are often lured by calls and decoys, yet you’ve handled that decoy many times without regard to human scent. A coyote can smell human odor from a considerable distance and you can bet it will burst into speedy retreat mode at the first whiff. The trick is to have your shotgun ready, especially if you are sitting in a blind. Even though no toms are answering your calls, having your shotgun or bow within easy reach can give you that split-second advantage. Of course, be sure to review the regulations in your area, to make sure you can legally take a coyote during your spring season.
Watch for Incidentals
I was hunting in the Great Plains last year where I’d covered a couple of miles calling to turkeys with no luck. Leisurely walking back to the truck, I suddenly caught a glimpse of a coyote. Immediately, I ducked down and took a couple of steps toward it. As I slowly stood erect, the big dog was just passing and I swung and fired. The range was about 20 yards and I knew I’d hit it hard, yet it still traveled 100 yards before cashing in. I didn’t get a gobbler that day, but save many whitetail and mule deer lives in the coming summer months.
Carry a Call or Howler
In areas where you can hunt turkeys all day, you will often hear coyotes sound off just before sunset. If your prospects aren’t good for a gobbler, why not give your rabbit squealer or diaphragm call a try. Additionally, a coyote howls make wonderful long-distance locators. It sounds crazy that toms will gobble at coyote calls, yet they do. Distance is the key factor. You can howl at a distant roost and get a response, yet using the same call within 100 yards of roosting turkeys will shut them down.
The Right Load:
Lastly, be sure you have the right load, that will get the job done ethically if a coyote comes across your path. I’ve been using Hornady’s Heavy Magnum Turkey loads for the past couple of years, it’s a go-to, and #4 for my 12 guage it’s heavy enough to get the job done for a Coyote too.
Here’s a link to a Hornady video on the Magnum loads: