Top 3 mistakes to avoid when coyote hunting


Avoid these mistakes and your coyote hunts will be more fruitful

We all were beginners at one time. We all have made mistakes in everything we try out, including coyote hunting. But if we can identify the biggest mistakes, we can become successful more quickly.

Here are the three biggest mistakes made by beginning coyote hunters that cost them harvests.

Calling too much

Every hunter dreams of the perfect exchange in any type of hunting that requires calling. From turkeys to deer, we dream of a constant back and forth that brings game running. Reality soon hits beginners when that dream scenario seldom works.

Quality of quantity is the name of the game here. Now I’m sure someone will chime in with a story of a coyote coming to 30 minutes of rabbit distress. But in most instances, this just isn’t the case.

Getting the attention of a wily coyote can be done with short sequences of calling mixed with time spent scanning for an approaching predator. A howl followed by short bursts of fighting coyotes or your favorite prey distress will outproduce a long, unrealistic sequence that just doesn’t sound natural.

This tactic also brings in your quarry at a pace that will up your odds as we look to the second biggest mistake beginning coyote hunters make.

Rushing the shot

A hard-charging coyote gets the adrenaline pumping. There really is no other feeling like seeing a hard-charging coyote coming to the call. That adrenaline may not be the best thing for a coyote hunting beginner.

The right calling will bring in a searching coyote that is much easier to stop and drop with a great shot. Charging coyotes that stop abruptly will generally give you one shot opportunity. A searching coyote will give you multiple chances at bagging your game as well as teach you about animal body language.

Reading the body language of an approaching animal allows you to pick the perfect time to stop the animal with a lip squeak or bark. This allows a hunter to pick when to shoot, rather than letting the coyote choose when to stop. 

Pause or mute your caller when you first see a coyote and allow it to search you out. Patience will allow you the better odds with a well-timed shot.

The dreaded mag dumps

We all have seen the video online of guys making the perfect long range running shot that sends a coyote tumbling. Such videos gain a lot of attention, but in reality, we don not see the multiple times the hunter flat out missed, and a good shot may have been ruined. 

Having a one-shot rule ups your odds for harvesting more coyotes. First off, it makes you pick your shots better. Second, most coyotes will run a short ways and look back, presenting a second shot opportunity at a stopped target. Lastly, with a one-shot policy, that coyote will return sooner if missed. It may even come back that very night, or it may be in the near future. That coyote will return sooner because it truly did not know what happened. A yote looping away and looking around after one shot is far more likely to return than a coyote really stretching out like a greyhound to get out of Dodge.

Read the body language of leaving coyotes and gauge your response accordingly. You will be pleasantly surprised at just how many coyotes loop back for a second look only to find the smart hunter one step ahead of them.

Less calling, patience and a one-shot policy will help you put more coyotes on the ground. Try these tips out on a few of your properties and just see if your numbers don’t increase.


For more tips on predator hunting, click here to check out the Mailman’s YouTube channel.

Click here to read about the 9th Annual Carolina Coyote Classic, where hunters killed 315 coyotes.

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