Match Terrain, Tactics for Predator Prowess

When you’re pursuing predators for fun or as part of your deer management plan, suit your methods to the terrain in which you’re hunting for better chances at success. These weekly tactics, ideas and suggestions from Trapper & Predator Caller can help with your predator problems on private or leased lands.

By Ted Stotler

After years of exploring the endless expanses of the West’s Mojave Desert, I began to travel and call other parts of the country. In time, I had called from Mexico to Montana and hunted almost everywhere except swampland.

My experience has tended to verify the adage that a coyote is a coyote. But I also have learned that a plains coyote is not a desert coyote, and that wild canines in close cover or on the urban edge call for methods of their own.

While fundamentals always apply, and most callers usually hunt in one type of habitat or another, it is also a challenge to master the demands of varied environments. Much the same as seasonal shift means changing tactics, calling sounds and weapons, varied methods suited to different habitats can also mean greater success.

The Urban Edge

One biting winter morning on the outskirts of Seligman, Ariz., I had just left my truck and was crossing a fallow field when I heard a long roundup call from a nearby wash. Though it seemed like a bad ambush site, I had no choice but to take cover in the shadow of an old stock tank. I called for only a few minutes when a big coyote came running to my setup.

Every autumn I begin scouting the local towns in my area and find that sightings near civilization often means calling will prove productive. One benefit is vehicle presence does not seem to cause much caution or alarm, especially if other man-made objects like farm equipment, outbuildings and other vehicles frequent the locale. In fact, these can make great cover if a hunter calls from their shadows. These same objects might sometimes be climbed and provide good elevated firing sites. Many coyotes don’t look up for trouble or food but keep their eyes focused at ground level.

The urban edge often harbors a considerable number of coyotes. This is especially true of early season when young coyotes are on the move in search of new territories. This means t