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Top Ten Questions Answered

By Todd Sullivan
Dogbreath Coyote Calls

What’s the best gun for coyote hunting?

Your first decision is between a rifle and shotgun. If you find yourself hunting in the thick stuff and your shots are 40 yards or less you should consider using a shotgun. Shotgun loads include T shot, BB, #4 Buck or a coyote specific load called Dead Coyote. Some of the more popular rifle calibers are the .204, .223, 17Rem, 22-250 and the .243 and are all excellent choices. A 22LR or 17HMR is just too small for coyotes. A 22 mag will work out to about 100 yards but is on the lower end of acceptability.

You want to carry a firearm that you are comfortable and confident with and that will dispatch a coyote quickly and efficiently. You'll want to understand your gun's shot distance and your own shooting capabilities. Your gun needs to be accurate and dependable with a proven track record.

How long do I stay on a stand?

Time on stand usually depends on the terrain you're hunting in.Guys that hunt the wide open spaces usually stay 15-20 minutes. Because you can see further you can often see if a coyote is approaching from a long distance.

If you're hunting in the thick cover you might stay 30-45 minutes. Coyotes move slower and with more caution in the thicker areas. If you only stay on stand for 15-20 minutes you may be leaving just as the coyote is getting there.

The distance between your stands will also depend on the territory you’re hunting in. If you're in the wide open spaces you'll have to move farther. Sometimes in the real thick stuff you only have to move 300-400 yards.

What’s the best time to hunt coyotes?

Although you can call in coyotes in at any time, the best time is usually early morning and late evening.Like many animals they are more active at these times. Night hunting offers its own set of challenges like target identification and hunter safety.

How long do I make a call sound for?

There is no definite answer on how long to make a sound. Some hunters if they’re using an electronic call with a distress sound just let it keep running. Some hunters start and stop the call. Both techniques seem to work.

Most hand callers make the sound for 30 seconds to a minute and then stop for 1 to 5 minutes and repeat. That also works. The bottom line is that there is no set proven system that is best. You will develop your own style.

What’s better hand calls or electronic?

Most coyote hunters will wind up using both hand calls and electronic. Don’t ever leave home without your hand calls. Nothing will end a hunt faster than an electrical problem or dead batteries. Also, there is something special about calling in a coyote with a hand call.

Do I need to use cover scent?

You can't fool a coyote's nose so the best thing you can do is learn how to work with the wind. Coyotes will even spook if they smell a new strange smell in their area.

What time of year is best for hunting coyotes?

You can call coyotes all year. Some states have seasons. Most hunters will take off the summer months to allow the coyotes to raise their pups. Mating season is time of increased activity and is probably the easiest time to get a response to your calling.

How big is a coyote’s territory?

The size of a coyote’s territory will always depend on their food sources and security. If there is plenty of food and they feel safe they will stay in a smaller area. On the other hand, they will permanently leave an area if they are continuously harassed and will travel a long way in search of food.

Will a decoy help to bring them in?

Decoys should be looked at as a distraction rather than an attractor. A decoy probably won't help bring a coyote in but it will help focus its attention especially if you are the source of the sound. A decoy that has a little motion to it works best.

What’s the best camo?

You want to try to match the camo pattern to the surroundings. It's really movement that will catch a coyote's eyes. Coyote hunting is one of the most challenging of all hunting sports. Coyotes will test your patience and persistence along with all your hunting skills. Now go shoot some coyotes!