Coyote Hunting/Calling

Posted by: Whiskers

Coyote Hunting/Calling - 07/25/07 03:21 PM

Here is a short and to the point article on the basics of coyote calling and hunting.

Clothing: You want to pick a clothing that matches the surrounding area you are going to be calling in and a clothing that will be suitable for the weather. For the summer months pick a type of camouflage that matches the color of the foliage that you will be hunting in. Camo works great for concealing you as it breaks up your outline. For the snowy months anything white will do. I usually wear painters throw-away coveralls. They slip over my regular coveralls and they only cost around $5 at Wal-Mart.

Rifle/Caliber: You will never get a straight answer when you ask people what their favorite rifle or caliber is. A light weight rifle is almost a must if you make many stands in a day and walk many miles. Some people prefer bull barrel rifles but it makes walking a lot more difficult. Picking a caliber is based on what you want to do with the coyote. If you want to save fur then anything from a .17 to a 22-250 will work. If you want a caliber that will reach out and touch a coyote 500 yards away and donít care about saving the fur then anything from a 243 and up will suit your needs. The smaller calibers can reach way out there also but the light bullet is easily effected by the wind and doesnít quite pack the punch as the bigger calibers.

Picking A Stand: You want to pick a stand where you have seen sign of coyotes such as scat and paw prints. It is best if you can find a slightly elevated area above the surrounding ground so you can see the coyotes as they come in. Coyotes usually try to come into the wind to smell the prey so face with the wind to see them while calling. When you are walking to the stand try not to silhouette yourself against the sky. Walk in valleys in ravines and try not to make much noise.

When To Call: It is best to call in the early morning or in the evening. Coyotes will be out and about at this time. They like to rest during the day so if you call in the middle of the day your chances of calling in a coyote are not as great as calling in the morning or evening. Calling coyotes is also best in the winter months. The furs are prime and coyotes will come to the call easier because of the lack of food during winter. If you live in the southern states it does not matter as much but it matters if you live in the north.

Calls and Calling: Coyotes are opportunists and will eat anything that is edible if it becomes available to them. Cottontail and Jackrabbit distress is most commonly used for calling coyotes. Rabbits are to coyotes as steak is to us, its hard to pass up a juicy piece of meat! If you are starting to call I would start to learn these two distresses.
After you have mastered them its time to try to learn coyote vocals. Howls are very important. They can locate coyotes so you know where they are, they can challenge coyotes so coyotes will come into fight, or they can invite coyotes in for a little Chicka Chicka Bow wow during mating season. Pup distress also is a very good call year round because coyotes will come in to either help the pup or kill it.

When calling with distress calls it is best to call for 30 seconds to a minute and then stop for a minute. After you have waited the minute start calling again for about 30 seconds to a minute and then stop. Keep doing this for around 15 minutes. Some people like to call longer just in case there is a coyote far away that needs time to come in. Other people call shorter to get more stands in but 15 minutes is a good time to start out at until you figure out what time limit is best for you.

This is what works for me in my area. Lets hear what some of you have adapted to your areas to call coyotes.

Thanks for reading,
Posted by: Verminator2

Re: Coyote Hunting/Calling - 07/25/07 03:30 PM

Pretty good write up
Posted by: berettaman

Re: Coyote Hunting/Calling - 07/25/07 03:34 PM

Very good advice!
Posted by: Born2BWild

Re: Coyote Hunting/Calling - 07/25/07 05:47 PM

Good stuff Jerret, good stuff.

I haven't adapted much beyond what you have mentioned there. I call the same with the same style and principles, you nailed it as far as gun size goes, and hunting is better in the winter, as you said.

The only thing I'm going to add is that most of our predators (bobcat, fox, coyote) are night time predators. They would rather hunt under the cover of darkness, or when the sun is just rising or setting. But with night hunting you will need a good light and that could cost some $$$.

And also, if your up north where it DOES snow, and your hunting in it, you may need to get some white camo. A dark spot in the middle of a white feild doesn't look natural in the eyes of a predator. And making white camo isn't hard. make a poncho from a white bed sheet with a hole in it.

But other than that, you said it!

Posted by: Whiskers

Re: Coyote Hunting/Calling - 07/25/07 06:00 PM

The throw away painters coveralls that I put on are white. They slip over my dark clothing.

Good add about night hunting. I have only hunted once at night but we cant use lights in SD so I have to use the moon. Called a coyote that night but missed him.

Thanks for adding that Born2bWild.

Please tell us how you hunt in your areas guys!
Posted by: PlainsRedneckOK

Re: Coyote Hunting/Calling - 08/03/07 01:39 PM

You covered all the basics plus some of what I pretty much go by.

Any deer rifle will suffice, but as Whiskers said, a gun dedicated to the task of predator calling is probably going to be recommended and wanted sooner or later.

When it comes to clothing I like to mix and match. Yes, a camo pattern matching your enviroment is usually necessary, but I've found mixing different patterns helps to break up an outline better. The game might see you faster, but they'll be less likely to recognize you as a human than if you were all in one pattern, therefore, possibly pausing to give you a shot.

When it comes to stands I like to: be elevated above the rest of the land, keep the wind in my face, keep my downwind side in the open, and be backed up into/against some foliage.

When calling, give them everything you got. If one thing doesn't work, try another sound. Also, try to put a story in their heads. Give a locator howl, then give a deeper locator. Next, throw out a higher pitched challenge howl followed by a deeper challenge. To finish it off give some pup kiyi's to give the impression that the younger coyote is being beaten up. Obviously this scenario shouldn't be used all the time, but you see what I mean. It's kind of like a buck coming into some rattling. They're curious and can't help themselves.

Well, that's pretty much all I got. Call long and hunt hard!
Posted by: Duffman121

Re: Coyote Hunting/Calling - 08/05/07 12:33 AM

Good advice guys.

I'd like to add that shotguns work great under 50 yards. 12 gauge loaded with #4 buckshot will put em down.

For the eastern hunters- You might set up on coyotes for up to an hour in some cases. But 25-30 minutes is about in good range during the first couple months of season (September, October). After deer season, like i said could be up to an hour because of the coyotes being chased around and shot at during deer season and it might take awhile for them to come in.

Spring time calling (April-May) is a great time to use interigation howls and a challenge howl. Coyotes can be very protective over their ground with raising their pups. So when you have an answer from a dog and throw a challenge howl, get ready because you might have some fast action from an ol coyote wantin to woop some a**. Or even just a lone howl can set them off.

Electronic calls can be expensive but boy they really work. It gives you a chance to get that sound away from you so that predator focuses on that instead if you were using a mouth call. So this gives you a chance to move (if needed) for the shot. And a decoy is very very effective when used with a e-caller. (check with statle regs. before doing so). With this the coyote doesnt rely on his nose as much because he sees what hes hearing. A decoy could be as simple as a squirrel tail hanging on a fence post attached to some fishing line. And I'm telling you, an e-caller with a decoy is deadly.
Posted by: berettaman

Re: Coyote Hunting/Calling - 08/17/07 02:50 PM

You guys have put out some really good info here!!
Posted by: Duffman121

Re: Coyote Hunting/Calling - 08/17/07 08:48 PM


But with night hunting you will need a good light and that could cost some $$$.

That is true, but also false. Your most expensive brand of light is going to be Lightforce. They cost a pretty penny but they are really bright, considering I use one. But Nitelite lights are also great lights to use for night hunting. They aren't as big as the Lightforce might be, but they do get the job done and are considerably good. I know alot of guys here in PA that use NiteLite lights and have great success with it. And NiteLite lights on the average cost anywhere from $75-$120. Compared to a Lightforce being over $150. Both are excellent lights to use for night hunting.


most of our predators (bobcat, fox, coyote) are night time predators. They would rather hunt under the cover of darkness, or when the sun is just rising or setting.

Dawn and Dusk will sometimes be your most productive times of the season.


A dark spot in the middle of a white feild doesn't look natural in the eyes of a predator.

I would say this is needed when the sky is clear and there is a half to full moon out. If its a new moon, snow camo isn't really needed.
Posted by: themadbowhunter

Re: Coyote Hunting/Calling - 08/21/07 05:17 PM

Great info whiskers never been a good coyote hunter but that sounds like it would work pretty good have to try it out myself.
Posted by: smackanstack

Re: Coyote Hunting/Calling - 11/20/07 07:30 PM


they can invite coyotes in for a little Chicka Chicka Bow wow during mating season

Posted by: getfoxy

Re: Coyote Hunting/Calling - 02/12/08 10:22 AM

I would like to add on rifle/caliber that it be a 17 centerfire and not a 17 hmr..this will save trouble down the road.
Posted by: Whiskers

Re: Coyote Hunting/Calling - 02/13/08 10:40 PM

Big difference there.

Thanks Foxy.
Posted by: getfoxy

Re: Coyote Hunting/Calling - 02/14/08 07:39 PM

Your welcome
Posted by: outlaw from Idaho

Re: Coyote Hunting/Calling - 06/30/08 07:49 PM

My vote going to the 222Rem. and the 223.Rem. For a calling caliber. Both handloaded @ about 2950fps with hornady 55gr SX bullet. Kills good and very small exit holes if any..
Posted by: varhunter

Re: Coyote Hunting/Calling - 09/27/08 09:07 PM

I got a question about how you say to use distress calls. You say to blow for 30 seconds to a minute with the distress, is that just solid calling?
Posted by: getfoxy

Re: Coyote Hunting/Calling - 10/07/08 09:03 PM


I got a question about how you say to use distress calls. You say to blow for 30 seconds to a minute with the distress, is that just solid calling?

Personal prefrence really. If you want you cant call the entire time, ot call for 30 seconds to a minute, wait a few minutes, and just keep the sequence going. if you feel the need to call then call if not, then dont
Posted by: critterdown

Re: Coyote Hunting/Calling - 04/28/09 05:33 PM

What about E callers? I just got a johnny stewart call and have a 12 year old nephew just dying to go predator hunting. I have only been once but i want him to be able to do anything in the great outdoors he wants. I am looking forward to this weekend we are going to give it a try. Thanks for all the advice in here
Posted by: Rmitch223

Re: Coyote Hunting/Calling - 04/29/09 03:59 PM

Good Write up! Thanks!
Posted by: WyRdnk

Re: Coyote Hunting/Calling - 10/26/09 03:25 PM

Great posts, lots of good advise here..
Posted by: Bam Bam

Re: Coyote Hunting/Calling - 02/07/10 01:17 PM

for you guys and girls that hunt in areas like New Mexico where you can travel a hour in any direction and the terrain changes dramatically. if you want to blend in well with out having to buy more than a couple sets of camo, go look in army surplus stores for the new army digital camo. itll be so much cheaper than buying the different kinds of camo for winter or forest or even grasslands. if you cant find any in the surplus check out if you get the regular army digital and the forest camo youll be able to blend into any terrain. i still use the regular digital during the snow fall and its like as if you were never there.
Posted by: lon0121

Re: Coyote Hunting/Calling - 06/23/10 03:34 PM

i have the primos e caller. as well as the lohman call,
they work ok, the primos one is good for the money.

id use mouth calls and electric calls, also throw in a howler too!
Posted by: YoteSnuffer

Re: Coyote Hunting/Calling - 07/26/11 09:57 AM

I don't know about Johnny Stewart E-callers but I have heard great things about Foxpro's line of callers.
Posted by: Coyote_Hunter_AZ

Re: Coyote Hunting/Calling - 01/04/12 03:14 PM

Why would the color of the camo matter?

Coyotes don't have color vision. Their eyes consist of all rods, no cones. That means no color vision, everything is black and white and shades of grey. However, they have great night vision and can pick up on motion easily.

If you want to evaluate your como, take a black and white picture (or Photoshop a digital picture into 256 shades of grey) of yourself with a typical background. You will see what the predator sees.
Posted by: JFOZ

Re: Coyote Hunting/Calling - 09/23/12 06:04 PM

Iam going Coyote hunting next month using a 22 and so I and hoping to find a coyote. But what will I need.
Posted by: Russdogg91

Re: Coyote Hunting/Calling - 10/09/12 07:47 PM

that was going to be my question. I have a .17 hmr and was wondering if that would suffice. I'm in michigan where theyre wont be many long shots.
Posted by: canislatrans54

Re: Coyote Hunting/Calling - 10/10/12 12:06 PM

JFOZ & Russdogg91...

Fellas, some friendly advice.
IF a rimfire is the only gun you have access to, or your local laws state that is all you can use, then give it a try.
But, don't expect to have a killing shot with either caliber...unless you're within 50 yds, & make a "dead-center of head" shot.
Rimfires just don't pack enough "punch", regardless of what some folks say.

If you have access to either a 12 gauge, or a centerfire rifle, do so. far as what you truly "need", (aside from the gun), a call that you are comfortable using that creates a prey distress sound, such as cottontail, or jack rabbit. (Doesn't matter if you have those critters in your area, as long as your sound is convincingly "hurt")

If you have an open-reed call, this time of year pup distress works well, as pups are dispersing, & there are still plenty of other things to eat besides rabbit.
If you're new enough to not know what pup distress is, (sounds like you might be), think "stepping on a dog's tail".
You make this sound on an open-reed by "pulling" your top lip/teeth back across the reed, towards the tip..."yip, yip, yip, yip".

Having camo is great, & should be worn head-to-toe, but not absolutely necessary to get started.
Having a soft foam pad, or something, to put under your butt is a good idea.
If you're hunting in a brushy, or heavily timbered area, binocs aren't necessary. However, if you're hunting in open areas, they are a help.

Aside from that, the best advice I can give you, is...#1) PRACTICE your calling long before stepping foot onto your hunting area; #2) Sit as still as possible, using your eyes to scan the area, with super-slow head turning; #3) Have patience. Don't expect a coyote to come bounding into sight within the first few minutes. BUT, be prepared in case one does; #4) See #1; #5) See #1, again; #6) Don't get discouraged if nothing comes in. That's why it's called "hunting".
Posted by: UncleHef-A.

Re: Coyote Hunting/Calling - 11/04/19 06:32 PM

I'd like to add if I may.
For a lot of young hunters a shotgun is the first tool of the trade they will own. Excellent. From where I am in northern Minnesota on east to the Atlantic there is primarily bush and brushy woodland type environments. Again excellent. Third part of the trifecta that makes for great youth calling experiences is all the deer stands that hunters have built in every corner of creation it seems and they all sit empty during the best calling time of the calendar.
If young people do some leg work and find different existing deer stand locations and put together a milk run of sorts to use 3 or 4 consecutively mornings and evenings ([beeep] anytime may work) I think they will do very well, shotgun and all.
I have called many bears for hunters utilizing these ready to go blinds. They work for all.