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Coyote Hunting: Where to Start?

Where to Start?

Predator hunting is very different from the more conventional hunts that we are used to practicing in Quebec. When it comes to equipment, this is much more true. Of course, you probably already have everything you need in the cupboard to start this hunt. Try your first experiences! If you’re planning on getting serious, a few essential pieces of gear that are a little less used on the big game will be essential. So let’s see what the coyote hunter equipment is made of!

Tear

The first thing to remember is your weapon. What caliber? This question keeps coming back. The answers that emerge are all vague since it is often a very personal decision. However, it is inevitable that the expression  “ speed kill ”  takes on its whole meaning for predators! The maximum speed feasible is what you should be looking for. Why? Because you are going to shoot at a target that offers a vital area of just a few inches at distances varying from 100 to 350 yards.

The fastest calibers will give you a massive advantage on the side of the ball’s ‘ drop. ‘ ‘ You’ll see it when the time comes to pull the trigger on a target at long range! However, if you don’t want to injure your game needlessly, you must find a balance between speed and strike force.

A topic that often comes up on social media is rimfire-type caliber for this type of hunting. Although it is allowed,   the “rimfires ” are mainly lacking in power. This is particularly true when we exceed 50 yards; see 100 yards for the 17HMR. Trappers generally use them for still alive coyotes trapped. I suggest you go and consult the terminal ballistics of these calibers. Having tested many calibers on predators over the last decade, I would rank the standard calibers in that order.

  • Retention of skins and shots from 200 yards or less: 17 Fireballs
  • Less than 300
  • yards: 223, 204 Ruger, 22-250
  • Up to 450 yards: 204 Ruger, 22-250, 243 Win
  • 450 yards and more: 243 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6mm Creedmoor

Any rifle in your cabinet will do the trick for a start, but over time, buying a real ‘ ‘ Varminter ” caliber will be a significant advantage.

In terms of accuracy, in my opinion, your weapon must be able to produce clusters of less than an inch at 100 yards and ideally less than half an inch.

Sight

Regarding the optics, a magnification of 4-12x or 3-15x is, in my opinion, a minimum. A 300-yard coyote is not a big target, so high magnification is a big advantage when firing. A reticle graduated in MILS or MOA will also be a precious tool for those who want to use the maximum efficiency of their weapon!

The Rangefinder

Now a piece of equipment that is often overlooked and yet, in my opinion, the most important part: the range finder! Long-range shots at predators are commonplace, and to have any success with these shots every time, Before firing, it’s critical to know the exact distance. This is when the rangefinder comes into play.

An old unwritten rule is that you pay $ 1 per yard for a range finder to be effective. I tend to subscribe to this old belief, although a few relatively affordable models offer outstanding performance. Of the ones I have had the chance to try, the Leica 2700 and the Sig Sauer kilo 2200 are two rangefinders that are very hard to beat for the price and will give you good performance such small targets as coyotes at a perfect distance.

The Calls

The most exciting part of hunting predators is the fact that we call the animal to us. To do this, two options are available to us: electronic calls and mouth calls. For my part, mouth calls, although more challenging to master, offer greater versatility and, above all, a more significant challenge.

The marked advantage of the electronic call will be that you can position it a good distance away from you, thus looking the coyote away from your position as it approaches. As for the mouth call will allow you to put more emotions in your calls and especially to react more quickly to changing situations since it is close at hand and quickly accessible without having to play with remote control. Plus, it won’t let you down for lack of batteries!

For electronic call models, the company par excellence is undoubtedly Foxpro. No matter which models your budget will allow you to buy, Foxpro has a habit of delivering a great product.

When it comes to mouth calls, I recommend Recall design custom calls. It is a long-established Quebec company. It offers excellent service in addition to providing the best predator calls on the market. The model par excellence, to begin with, will be Snack time. It will allow you to perform a ton of different distress calls in addition to allowing you to produce vocalizations if you manage to master it.

Bipods or Tripods

Finally, one last piece of equipment not to be overlooked: the rifle holder! To make shots from 200-300, see 400 yards, you will undoubtedly need stable support. There are several options available to you, and each of them will do the job very well if you practice correctly with your weapon in the hunting position. For my part, I use a bipod, the Vanguard Equalizer model.

What I like about bipods over tripods is their low weight and that they are easy to move around quietly if you have to change positions to complete your shot. On the other hand, for those on a higher budget and who want incredibly stable equipment, a tripod is without a doubt the best option! The Hog Saddle Company offers perfect tripod models with several types of attachment to adjust to your weapon.

While a white camouflage hunting set can give you some advantage when the ground is snowy, any outfit in your drawer will do the job just fine for a start. The important thing is to stay as still as possible, of course!

You now have everything you need to get started!

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Hunts

Coyote: the Importance of Prospecting!

No matter what game you want, one fundamental element remains: knowing your territory! No matter what experience we have, if the game is not present, our chances of harvesting are zero. This is especially true for the coyote.

The coyote is an animal that moves a lot and can cover very great distances. Some of these canines can cover an area of several hundred square kilometers. It is then imperative to know where he spends the majority of his time in order to hope to have a shooting opportunity.

Coyote: the Importance of Prospecting!

With experience and especially with time, you will come to know your territory inside and out. Your outings will pay more and more. So here are some bit techniques to know where to find mister the canine.

Look for Food

Like any other game, the coyote only thinks of three things: reproduce, ensure its safety and above all, eat! Even if its territory covers tens and tens of kilometers, the coyote still concentrates most of its time where the food is.

Look for streams. In winter, the streams that do not freeze and the small river rapids that run along the fields will overflow with small rodents. The latter constitute the most significant part of the diet of Mr. Coyote.

Obviously, the ravages of deer will also attract the attention of the latter. Look for evergreen canopies because, in addition to being home to many small games, evergreens offer a protective cover in inclement weather.

Think Big

With the coyote, an essential rule is to see more extensive than the piece of territory which one occupies. As mentioned, the coyote is an animal that moves around a lot. So we have to do our homework to make sure we are present at the same time as him.

What does it mean to think big? For me, thinking prominent means knowing all the disturbances and changes around its territory to predict the reactions and movements of the coyotes that occupy it.

Take, for example, a territory crossed by a river. Suppose the coyotes, at the start of the season, are concentrated on the north side of this river, and we hunt the south side without knowing the presence of this stream. At the start of the season, when the river is not yet frozen, all our efforts will be in vain since it will be impossible for the coyote to reach us!

This is why, by hunting this territory at the beginning of the season, we would be wasting our time. But above all, you will educate your coyotes, and when the time comes, when the river is frozen, you will still be wasting your time since the coyotes will no longer be receptive to your calls. They’ll have heard them over and over again earlier in the season and understood your routine.

Another typical example: sweets. The land bordered by a sugar shack can be highly productive earlier in the season and become utterly uninteresting to the coyote late in the season. The man will be more and more present on the territory with the beginning of the sugar season.

Some areas will also be better only in the morning or only in the evening. Why? It’s up to you to find out! Observe human activity in the area to try to understand why some spots are only good early in the morning. In this kind of territory, what’s the point of wasting our time with an evening pass!

This is why it is essential to know your sector as a whole. You have to avoid wasting your time and putting too much effort into the poor-quality territory.

Fresh Traces

During your surveys, you must make sure to discover fresh tracks on EVERY outing. Good coyote territory has new tracks every day, not 2-3 times a week.

During your hunting trips, you will spend approximately 45 to 60 minutes on the lookout. So if you want to increase the chances of being there simultaneously as the coyote, the territory you are hunting needs to be constantly littered with fresh tracks.

Follow the tracks for a long distance to find out if your coyotes are just passing through or if they seem to linger there for a good part of their time! By following their movements, you may also have the chance to discover several clues that could be practiced to you at certain specific times of the season, such as the “scent post [1]” or even a burrow!

Snow Is Your Friend

Nothing better than a little fresh snow to explore the territory and understand how coyotes use the area. Watch in which direction the tracks are oriented. Are the tracks old from early evening or fresh in the morning? This can tell you if you are dealing with a morning or evening spot.

Before the Hunt

With the coyote, the vast majority of your success happens before the hunt. Knowing your game, its territory, and planning its movements will be the key to your success! Keep a record of your territories, identify which sector is good at the start of the season, mid-season, and end of the season, and find out why. Over the years, you will become more and more efficient in rotating your territories, taking into account your surveys from previous years.

Know Your Territory

At the coyote, you will have to have many territories if you want to harvest regularly! In an ideal world, you won’t hunt a spot more than once or twice, and a maximum of three times. So if you want to hunt every weekend, taking the wind into account and assuming that certain spots will be good only at a certain point in the season, then you will need a wide variety of territories!

In short, it is essential to know your territory before venturing there. Coyotes learn exceptionally quickly, so don’t go out unprepared. Put the odds in your favor with good prospecting beforehand!

Happy gang hunting!

Francis Robidoux

[1]   A scent post is a place frequently used by a coyote to mark its territory. It will often be found in the form of a shrub along a fence or a mound of earth at the edge of a forest on which the coyote will urinate there at each passage.

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