As freezers fill and deer tags get punched, hunters may be looking for another source of outdoor recreation. Coyote hunting is the answer at a time when food is becoming more scarce (making them easier to call) and song dogs have the best fur of the season. Additionally, if you call in one coyote, you may get a bonus, since the breeding season isn’t far away.
Late season deer hunters should be pro-active when sitting a stand or making a drive. Last year, I was posted on a mid-December muzzleloader deer drive in South Dakota. Normally, coyotes are so wild or cagy that they outrun standers who may be reluctant to take a shot with good prospects of seeing deer.
In my case, two huge coyotes appeared at 50 yards and stopped to look back at the drivers. I didn’t hesitate a second and soon dropped the large male in its tracks. Unfortunately, the female escaped before I could reload.
Coyotes can be called with subtle calls and howls. If you hear a coyote howl in your vicinity, often a single howl will bring it searching for you. Likewise, keeping a “squeeker bulb” handy can bring a coyote 50 yards closer and into bow range. These tiny plastic calls make a very subtle sound that won’t spook deer, yet bring predators running for a tasty mouse meal.
This post by Mark Kayser contains a host of how-to tips. Kayser grew up in the Great Plains and has been chasing song dogs successfully for decades:
Two coyotes coming fast, I said to myself, thinking a double was about to materialize. That’s when two more coyotes materialized, and instead of a double, I started thinking trouble.
It was December 2, and the pack barreling toward my medley of calls was likely an overexuberant band of siblings. Unfortunately, their rushing entrance was likely leading to a quick encounter. As scenarios played out in my mind, a shift in the wind or the sixth sense of one of the coyotes shouted danger. The entire packed skidded to a halt, then started a fast retreat.