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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