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#3176070 - 12/06/18 07:48 PM If they are not there, you can't kill them!
6724 Online
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 01/19/11
Posts: 2716
Loc: colorado
This thread is for all of you guys out there that have posted about lack of success, hunting pressure, and whatever reason for not killing coyotes.
Yesterday morning I left just after feeding the horses, right after daylight. It took me 2.5 hours to get to a spot that I have had great luck calling in the past couple of years, but success earlier in the season, not December. There was an inch of fresh snow on top of 4 or 5 inches. There were tire tracks down every blm and county road. I did two stands that should have, and in the past years have produced coyotes. The wind was perfect, the weather was perfect, I got into the stand with minimal exposure. But, both stands were blanks. Last year I called in roughly that area the same week, that time I called in nothing as well. Suspecting that the area had been called extensively this late in the season, I continued on to my primary destination, another 45 minutes drive north west.
I arrived at the area I wanted to try, it looked great on the map, it was at least a 45 minute drive to the nearest small town. The area is approximately 40 miles square with no private inholdings, BLM as far as the eye can see. There were no fresh tracks from that day, but tracks in the snow from previous days. It was a huge wide sand wash, about 2 miles across in places. Tributary washes of sage and high desert dumping into the main wash. It is probably what every person back east thinks of as coyote country when the say "out west". It looked great, but after 8 miles of road I found only one set of coyote tracks crossing. In 8 stands I only cut one set of coyote tracks from that day, but it was now after noon. I did 8 perfect stands, the wind was right, the terrain was right, the sky was overcast, I set up in good cover calling vast areas of sage with ravines and gullies.
I never called in a thing! I never saw a coyote run off after the stand. I never had a coyote hang up at 500 yards, or any distance. I saw nothing but one jack rabbit and a handful of tweety birds.
I left that area to go to another spot that I have had great success calling coyotes. An area where the first time I hunted it I called 5 and killed 3 in 2 hours, and killed 8 in a weekend. I got 3 stands in before dark, on the last stand I saw a truck turn its lights on about a mile across the highway, presumably a hunter. Not much else to do in a sea of BLM in December. I spent the night in a spot where I could hide the car and make a couple of stands without driving in the morning.
In the morning the sky was clear to the north and high clouds to the south. I did the first stand about 300 yards from the car, that was not visible from any area I was calling. It was a wash about 400 yards wide where it reached the river and went about a mile and a half to the north east. The wind was straight down the wash, the stand was perfect. I called on in there years before. I was set up a little before shooting light so I waited until I could see. That stand produced nothing. I walked up the road about 1/2 mile and then off to the south and called another was that was about 1 mile across and 3 miles long to the east, the wind was straight down that wash too. I have called and killed 4 coyotes in that wash in the past. I approached my that stand walking in a 15' deep ravine, being only exposed long enough to set the caller and sit down. I handcalled the first 8 minutes and then switched to sounds I rarely use, sounds that most people would not think to use in the high desert, and then back to normal sounds like snowshoe hare. Again, I saw nothing. Nothing hanging up at 500 yards, nothing running away at 1000. There was complete snow coverage and sage that is not real dense, they are not that hard to see with quality binoculars even at 600 yards or more. Stand 3 for the morning was calling to the east, no sun as the clouds were covering the sunrise, with the wind in my face again, I saw nothing, anywhere. Stands 4 through six of the day were all great stands, in areas where the night before I had found a couple of tracks down the road, they were snowed on but tracks nonetheless. That entire morning from about 8:30 to 11:00 I was hearing a helicopter to the south, changing to west and then within a couple miles to the south where I could see it. I thought they were doing game counts for deer and elk, it is the time of year they do that. By the way it was flying that also made sense. But, during one of my last stands I thought I heard a shot from that direction, and I heard the helicopter set down. Through the binoculars I could see the helicopter idling with two people outside it about 50 yards from it. A few minutes later I heard a shot again, this time no mistaking it, and then the chopper sitting on the ground again. They were hunting from the air.
So not only were there tire tracks down every road, presumably predator hunters, as there is nothing else to hunt out there except the pretty scarce rabbits. There was also someone shooting coyotes from a helicopter. No wonder I could not find anything to shoot!

Its pretty hard to call in coyotes, when there aren't many around and those that are around are being called by hunters for the previous month or more.
I have been very successful in those same areas, but NEVER after Thanksgiving. Its a small window to get out there and hunt before the pressure has taken its toll.
Quite frustrating to take two days off and drive 3.5 hours one way to do stand after stand after stand, in great looking country, doing good stands, and never seeing anything!

I did see two coyotes along the highway on the way home, both on private property.

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#3176073 - 12/06/18 07:51 PM Re: If they are not there, you can't kill them! [Re: 6724]
6724 Online
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 01/19/11
Posts: 2716
Loc: colorado
My guess is that this scenario happens to plenty of hunters, it just doesn't get reported like the days of multiple dogs.

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#3176078 - 12/06/18 08:02 PM Re: If they are not there, you can't kill them! [Re: 6724]
reloader326 Online
Seasoned Member

Registered: 12/11/17
Posts: 435
Loc: Ohio
Lol, welcome to our world, bud.
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#3176084 - 12/06/18 08:08 PM Re: If they are not there, you can't kill them! [Re: 6724]
gotspots Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 08/25/13
Posts: 152
Loc: Colorado/Wyoming

Was the Chopper Yellow??
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Consignment agent for the Colorado Fur & Antler Auction
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#3176091 - 12/06/18 08:18 PM Re: If they are not there, you can't kill them! [Re: 6724]
204 AR Offline
Die Hard Member with a vengeance

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 4303
Loc: Nebraska
Originally Posted By: 6724
My guess is that this scenario happens to plenty of hunters, it just doesn't get reported like the days of multiple dogs.


I can't say for sure that it happens to everyone, but it sure has happened to me! Last year, after deer season, I think I went almost 2 months, and only saw two coyotes. That was probably around 100 sets.

If it makes you feel any better, today wasn't one of those days. Called in a quad, 3 are dead and the 4th should be.

Honestly, around here your best bets aren't what looks like "great coyote country", its pockets here and there. Maybe a big shelterbelt 1/2 mile from a feedlot or prairie dog town, that kind of stuff has been way better for me than the huge hill or canyon country.
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#3176101 - 12/06/18 08:31 PM Re: If they are not there, you can't kill them! [Re: 204 AR]
6724 Online
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 01/19/11
Posts: 2716
Loc: colorado
Originally Posted By: 204 AR
Originally Posted By: 6724
My guess is that this scenario happens to plenty of hunters, it just doesn't get reported like the days of multiple dogs.


I can't say for sure that it happens to everyone, but it sure has happened to me! Last year, after deer season, I think I went almost 2 months, and only saw two coyotes. That was probably around 100 sets.

If it makes you feel any better, today wasn't one of those days. Called in a quad, 3 are dead and the 4th should be.

Honestly, around here your best bets aren't what looks like "great coyote country", its pockets here and there. Maybe a big shelterbelt 1/2 mile from a feedlot or prairie dog town, that kind of stuff has been way better for me than the huge hill or canyon country.


Thanks, but I know how to find coyotes. Its not that they don't live there, but that they have been pressured hard and are being taken out with aerial gunning permits. Two years ago in that area I took out several, the next year a few. The first area I went to yesterday I took out 14 in 3 days of hunting two years ago.
Most of my hunting around where I live, is hunting 200 acre patches of BLM in between houses. Literally calling within a couple hundred yards of front yards. Killed 3 last weekend, farthest on from a house was 200 yards. I hunt little patches of BLM, rocky steep stuff, heavy brush, etc... Hunting around here has been, and always will be picking off one here and there, often in the morning before the housewives get out for their walks! Don't bother with weekends, and forget about holidays. Everyone is out for a walk then!
I drove hours to try a new area that I was hoping was too far from any population center to have been hid hard already. To try and find a new place to get my numbers up this year. And, I get tired of hunting in deep snow sometimes.

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#3176110 - 12/06/18 08:54 PM Re: If they are not there, you can't kill them! [Re: 6724]
OKRattler Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 02/17/08
Posts: 2982
Loc: Ok Panhandle
Trapping,greyhounds and shooting out of helicopters are probably the top 3 most effective ways to knock down coyote numbers. Of course that's just my opinion but I know that from the air there ain't nothin getting away. I've witnessed first hand the effectiveness of it on groups of feral hogs. Unless it's a older wiser animal that knows to hunker down in the thick stuff until danger passes it's done for. If there ain't nothin to hide in they're not getting away from that. No way,no how.

I compare hogs to coyotes because they're just as prolific. If they can do a sweep over a piece of land and completely wipe them out it's a piece of cake doing the same thing to coyotes.


Edited by OKRattler (12/06/18 08:58 PM)
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#3176112 - 12/06/18 08:55 PM Re: If they are not there, you can't kill them! [Re: 6724]
204 AR Offline
Die Hard Member with a vengeance

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 4303
Loc: Nebraska
Definitely wasn't implying you don't know how to find coyotes. Keep in mind I'm fairly new at this, learning as I go. I was just relaying a facet of the game that maybe some that are reading posts like this one might not have thought of.
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photobucket sucks

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#3176126 - 12/06/18 09:25 PM Re: If they are not there, you can't kill them! [Re: 6724]
Lodgepole Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 12/16/15
Posts: 457
Loc: montana
You worked at it and you are not inexperienced .I call that reality ! Good honest writing no BS .Thanks for you post and I am sure there are MANY callers out there who have experienced what you wrote about. Tally Ho
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Two times in 66 years I wished I had spoken out,five thousand times I wished I had remained silent !

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#3176134 - 12/06/18 09:42 PM Re: If they are not there, you can't kill them! [Re: OKRattler]
6724 Online
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 01/19/11
Posts: 2716
Loc: colorado
Originally Posted By: OKRattler
Trapping,greyhounds and shooting out of helicopters are probably the top 3 most effective ways to knock down coyote numbers. Of course that's just my opinion but I know that from the air there ain't nothin getting away. I've witnessed first hand the effectiveness of it on groups of feral hogs. Unless it's a older wiser animal that knows to hunker down in the thick stuff until danger passes it's done for. If there ain't nothin to hide in they're not getting away from that. No way,no how.


I have spent quite a bit of time shooting hogs and coyotes from a helicopter. Killed 3 coyotes in one hour last year, probably 30 minutes. In the terrain and vegetation of the high desert, with snow cover, they are not going to get away. Most times when you pursue a coyote with a helicopter, it will try to take cover, but if you hover over it, it will flush, then when it gets in the open it often stops as if to fight you. That's when it gets real easy.

I hunted to the west of this area last year, in 40 miles of BLM calling in the early fall, I called in 1 coyote. In this area I was hunting there are a few very large sheep ranches, I know they kill anything that doesn't eat grass. When I was out yesterday, I was wondering if that area had been poisoned, I saw only one rabbit, few rabbit tracks, no tracks of voles, mice, or other small rodents, no birds of prey, no ravens or crows, only wild horses.

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#3176140 - 12/06/18 09:56 PM Re: If they are not there, you can't kill them! [Re: 6724]
Mr. Poppadopalis Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 06/25/13
Posts: 2758
Loc: Metro Denver
Sounds like you need to move!

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#3176222 - 12/07/18 10:18 AM Re: If they are not there, you can't kill them! [Re: 6724]
SnowmanMo Offline
Director/Moderator

Registered: 09/23/08
Posts: 2703
Loc: Phoenix, Az
I think that there may be other variables at play. While there might be pressure from other hunters, the moon cycle combined with weather and the other variables might combine to create blank days.

I too have had them, in areas that I know have and do hold coyotes. This weekend I went into an area that I have had success in, and after 3 stands and drawing blanks, I changed it up. I had been running bird sounds with a lot of success lately. But with the colder weather, I wondered if they might be a bit hungrier. So on the 4th stand, I ran bird sounds but added in some cottontail calls. I called in a double, shot one. Then the next stand, same sequence, called in another that we shot. So on a hunch, the next day, I ran that same sequence, and called in and dropped another.

I appreciate the post. It helps those guys who think that we all see coyotes all the time, which ANY predator hunter knows, isn't the case.

Thanks for sharing.
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Mama always said, coyotes are like a box of chocolates...

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#3176269 - 12/07/18 11:52 AM Re: If they are not there, you can't kill them! [Re: SnowmanMo]
Flesh Eater Online
Die Hard Member

Registered: 03/09/17
Posts: 581
Loc: 2D Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: SnowmanMo
I think that there may be other variables at play. While there might be pressure from other hunters, the moon cycle combined with weather and the other variables might combine to create blank days.

I too have had them, in areas that I know have and do hold coyotes. This weekend I went into an area that I have had success in, and after 3 stands and drawing blanks, I changed it up. I had been running bird sounds with a lot of success lately. But with the colder weather, I wondered if they might be a bit hungrier. So on the 4th stand, I ran bird sounds but added in some cottontail calls. I called in a double, shot one. Then the next stand, same sequence, called in another that we shot. So on a hunch, the next day, I ran that same sequence, and called in and dropped another.

I appreciate the post. It helps those guys who think that we all see coyotes all the time, which ANY predator hunter knows, isn't the case.

Thanks for sharing.


I think weather has the biggest role for ME, in MY area. It seems if the weather's nice, no animals show up. If it sucks and is miserable for me, everything comes running.
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We keep odd hours.

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#3176275 - 12/07/18 12:15 PM Re: If they are not there, you can't kill them! [Re: 6724]
mhammer Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 11/08/11
Posts: 279
Loc: NE
Maybe try hunting the private land since the public is so over pressured. Just a thought.

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#3176316 - 12/07/18 02:24 PM Re: If they are not there, you can't kill them! [Re: 6724]
K-22hornet. Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 11/06/03
Posts: 1487
Loc: Colorado
This past Saturday, I was up in Middle Park, hunting a piece of BLM that has produced very well in years past, and got skunked, not even seeing a coyote. In about a 4 mile round trip on foot, I cut one relatively fresh coyote track, and saw 3 more individual tracks that were covered over with snow. There are very few coyotes on this place, at the moment.

I also find that my calling success goes down in December, then picks back up in January. December seems to be the month for coyote 'dating', and by January, they have picked mates and have territories to defend.

Did you hunt this area before the big game seasons started? If so, how did you do then?
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