Every year during the deer hunting season, a coyote will wander within range of a camo-clad hunter and he’ll dust his smelly butt with a rifle or slug gun.
Bowhunters get in on the action occasionally, but mostly it’s the gun hunters who perforate the song dogs. Over the course of a season, in a big camp or club, four or five coyotes may get whacked and everyone’s happy happy happy.
Getting rid of them if there’s a population problem definitely is a plus because if you’re practicing any kind of quality deer management, you’ll want to include predator management in that plan. Predator management, too, is not just shooting a coyote now and then when you see them. It’s a year-round commitment to trapping, killing them when you see them and can get a shot, and reducing the threat of predators — coyotes, raccoons, opossums, badgers, whatever is a damaging threat and wherever legal to do so.
Jerry Peterson talked about coyotes on an episode of Deer Talk Now, and it’s good info to revisit. He’s a master at calling and has learned over the years how to kill more coyotes despite their wary ways.
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Some lump feral hogs into the predator equation, but in my opinion that’s a different deal. Hogs are unique, seasonally migratory, and present their own problems. We’ll discuss with them later.
Several years ago I had the pleasure of hunting in Wyoming with Cory Lundberg, owner of CODA Depredation guided hunts. Lundberg has hunted throughout Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Utah, New Mexico and elsewhere. He gets geeked over a good setup for coyotes and then calling them in for a clear, clean shot.
He’ll be the guest on Friday’s bonus edition of Deer Talk Now to discuss setups, calling and more. You definitely want to watch the show. He also had one smart but easy trick to help kill more coyotes.
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The Trick Revealed
One thing I gleaned from hunting with Lundberg, aside from an appreciation for a shot of brown water and double cheeseburgers at The Virginian in Medicine Bow, was the need for an effective setup. Once we picked out a spot with a good vantage point and clear shooting lines, a bit elevated so we could see below, we all got situated and settled before he started calling.
Situated and settled means getting your gear ready, your gun ready, any shooting sticks or other items ready and then getting your butt ready. Skooch in, get your legs set, get any rocks or twigs or anything from under your butt cheeks that would be a distraction, take a few deep breaths and relax. Scan the land. See what’s out there, how the terrain flows, what routes a coyote might take if it’s trying to dip and dodge.
It’s sort of like when you’re fishing and walk up to a stream, lake or the beach; you’re looking for movement, baitfish, any clues to give you a head’s up. Plus, you don’t want to backlash that first cast. When you sit down to call coyotes, you don’t want to call and then realize you have a rock under your left cheek or the bush you’re hiding behind will blow in front of your gun when the wind kicks up.
Get a good hiding spot, get settled in and then start calling with your best coyote/predator calling routine you believe will work.
Trapping, in my opinion, is the best and most effective method to manage or control your predators so you can help your deer, quail and turkeys. But predator hunting is fun, especially when a coyote gets locked on your remote call and decoy, comes in hard and then stops to make sure things are copacetic.
If you’re ready, that’s the last thing on his mind before hitting the ground.