Coyote hunting gets harder and harder the farther the season goes on. By March most of the coyotes have been either educated by calls, already made a fatal mistake or are starting to den up and are more interested in mating then in distress calls. Here are some tips on how to call in those weary late season coyotes, and extend your hunting season.
When I approach my set up I keep the wind in my face, wear camo, stay low to the ground being careful not silhouette myself against the skyline and be as quiet as I can. Starting by not slamming my pick-up door. If a coyote hear, sees you or smells you (especially smells you!) he will not come in. I try to stay on the high ground, so I can overlook a lot of territory, and I use some homemade decoys.
I start with a male howl, and then listen for a response for five minutes or so. Then I hit my distress call for another five minutes or so. If your go to rabbit distress call is not working, mix it up maybe try a deer fawn bleat. Another thing that works well is birds calls especially woodpeckers, magpies and crows. After another five minutes I will hit my female coyote call. I am letting a territorial male coyote know that there is not only wounded prey, but a female coyote there as well. I hit my distress call again for another few minutes. Then I start introducing barks, trying to immediate a fit over the prey.
Most coyote hunters will tell to only call for only 15 to 20 minutes, and if nothing comes in move on, but I will work my set ups for 45 minutes to an hour, as a weary coyote will take longer to coax in. The best hunting times are right after sun up and right before sun down. I like to walk into my first set up in the dark, so I am ready to start calling as soon as day breaks. It may take all day just to get one coyote called in, so don’t be afraid to hunt until it’s dark.
Tools of the Trade
Good Luck & Good Hunting
2017 was quite possible my best year hunting. The year started out slow last spring, when I couldn’t get permission to hunt turkeys at any of my previous honey holes. So, I went turkey less last year. Although, I do have a couple of good leads of places to go this spring. I started a new job last January, so I didn’t have any vacation time available in 2017. I really didn’t have any time to go chase bears last spring, I hope this changes this year. Montana is a good place to live, but a hard place to make a living!
I actually saw a real live wolf about 50 yards away from me on an elk shoulder season hunt, I had a wolf permit, but it was two weeks before wolf season opened, so it was that wolf’s lucky day.
I got a nice 13” antelope buck the first day of antelope season, and a nice four-point muley buck the second day of deer / elk season last October. Then I sprained my knee running on my treadmill (it’s a bitch getting old), which kind of put a damper on looking for a bull elk.
But thanks to the kindness of Montana FWP, and the luck of the draw I drew a late season cow elk tag, and a buffalo tag. I filled both tags, and now have a freezer full of meat.
Last year there was 5000 applications submitted for buffalo in my area, and only 40 permits issued. So, it was kind of a once in a lifetime opportunity. The buffalo hunting season ran from November 15, 2017 to February 15, 2018. The Montana FWP has a Bison hotline that you can call, check to see if any buffalo have migrated out of Yellowstone Park and legal to hunt. I called every week, and every week there were no buffalo sightings to report. Finally, on Thursday January 25th the line reported some Buffalo where close to crossing the line. I and two of friends went early the Following Saturday morning, and I harvested my buffalo. Last year Montanan and Native American hunters harvested 600 buffalo in the Gardiner area. My buffalo was the tenth buffalo harvested thus far for the season. Some times it is better to be lucky than good. I having the head mounted European style, and the meat is very tasty.