4 replies [Last post]
Joined: 10/01/2013
Posts: 31
Coyote hunting!

      Hi guys I live in Colorado and I am thinking about doing some coyote hunting. I am very new to this type of hunting and was hoping someone could offer me some tips. I have a basic mouthcall. But would like to invest in something different. What calls are good for newbies? What areas near Colorado springs hold decent numbers of coyotes?Will a 3.08 rifle be suitable for this kinda hunting?What are tactics that have been successful for you guys?I can't get out to go often so I am hoping to make the best out of my next trip. Thanks in advance.


Critter's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 4433
There are a couple of members

There are a couple of members on here from your area that should chime in here to give you a hand.  But in the meantime a .308 rifle will work very well on a coyote as long as you don't intend on keeping the hide.  It will blow a fairly large hole out on the oppisit side when you shoot the dog, that is unless you only take head shots. 

For a call, a friend of mine uses a Fox Pro electronic caller with a attractrant that will wave up in the air and he has been quite successful using it.  He actually hunts in Utah where there is a bounty on coyotes and he makes a fairly good living hunting them during the winter. 

Striker's picture
Location: Kuna, ID
Joined: 10/29/2012
Posts: 223

I'm not in Co anymore and can't help you there. If you decide to stick with a mouth call it's best to have another hunter or two with ya. A decoy woul help as well. Their eyes and ears will be focused on where that sound is coming from. Thus an electronic call is ideal if you are hunting by yourself. They have remote control giving the oppurtunity to hide away from the sound and not draw all the attention in on yourself. I recommend doing some research online. There are tons of magazines, videos, ecc. on calling in coyotes. Rabbit distress call is probably the most commonly used call but howls and coyote yips can be very effective as well but probably take a little more practice and know how. Watch the direction of the wind and set up accordingly. Sneek into your spot and make sure it's a place with a good view. There are some southern CO guys on here that can probably really help you out. Sounds like they go a lot. Good luck. Also, cattle ranches can be money in the winter when the cows are calving and most ranchers will give you permission. I'm no pro by far but these are tips I've learned.

SoCoKHntr's picture
Location: Pueblo Colorado
Joined: 12/18/2006
Posts: 1821

Welcome to the wonderfull world of predator hunting! With that being said if you truly want to reach some success as a predator hunter be prepared for having a high level of patience. You will need this to carry you thru the dry hunts for there will be many. It's not like the TV shows where it seems like they call coyotes on every stand. Coyote hunting like other forms of hunting can be very simple at it's core. Like Stryker said the basics are sneak into an area, watch the wind, and play a tune that will elicit a response from a coyote or bobcat that will make em come in and check it out. The finer nuances will come with time such as getting a feel for setting up, knowing what sounds will likely work at a given time, and other little methods and tactics. If you stick with it thru the hard times when you finally have succes and kill a few dogs in a day or call in a bobcat and take it, it's thrilling to the core. That's what makes me keep going back again and again even if it takes me several dry hunts till the stars align for an action packed day again. Plus everything you are learning will make you a better big game hunter as well.

With that out of the way I'll share some of the things I've learned over ten years of predator hunting that I learned from trial and error. I knew no one who did predator hunt so had to read what I could or watch videos and then go out and try it as you will. First thing is addressing your question regarding a call. The advantages of a good E call are multiple sound selections and again, as Stryker said, keeping the focus away from your ambush spot. Also, with a higher end call like a Foxpro or Primos call volume for when you need to get the sound out there aways. If  all you have is a hand/mouth  wounded rabbit call that particular sound might be dynamite on one given day or one given stand in a day and draw blanks the rest of the time. Also, as more people try predator hunting and wail away on dying rabbit calls coyotes are getting educated to that game and can be harder to fool with that one sound. It will work at times but not all the time or with  very smart dogs. So, if you have three to four hundred dollars or more to invest in a higher end Foxpro or Primos it can be money well spent if you stick with it. You can also purchase E calls in the 100 to 200 range only thing is they will have less sounds and generally the volume won't match the higher end ones. Or you can invest in a variety of hand/mouth calls and get good with them to mimic different sounds on your own. This will obviously be the lowest cost method, but you will have to deal more with masking your movement so as not to alert incoming targets to your presence. Guys have been highly succesfull with hand calls for years so it is a good option. You just need to get proficient with them. A mix of both hand calls with an electronic one is never a wrong move either.

Regarding camo, you don't need high dollar break the bank stuff. Any decent dark earth colored clothes will work. Setting up in the shadows whenever possible and not freaking moving while on stand is much more important. Eyes, whether theirs or ours, pick up on movement like a magnet so sitting still is paramount. Going along with that removing or covering anything that is shiny or can shine in sunlight is important. That might seem obvious but I'll recount a lesson I learned over the years. Some years back using my stoney point shooting sticks I began to notice when I couldn't be totally enveloped in the shadows and on very sunny days little glints of light coming off my sticks since they had somewhat of a black glossy finish. I decided to wrap them in camo tape from that point on to eliminate this and guess what? I noticed my success rate in calling in critters go up. Coincidence? I don't know for sure but I stick with it. I actually wrap my barrels if big game hunting if they have high shine blued or stainless barrel. I figure I don't want a glint of sunlight off of my barrel alerting any game in the vicinity to human presence.

To address your caliber question as Critter informed you the 308 will work fine provided you aren't saving fur as unless you went with a full metal jacket bullet it will be destructive. And, in my opinion a full metal jacket is never a good option for any kind of hunting as they leave pencil hole wounds and even with a good hit thru the vitals the animal can still escape and take a long time to die suffering the whole time. So, if you aren't saving fur use the 308 and kill dogs, but here are a few pointers good for any caliber you use. Run your load thru a ballistics calculator and see what your trajectories are. Coyotes and other predator varmints are small targets so the standard 2 to 3 inch high at 100 yards sight in for big game which is fine for elk and deer out to maximum point blank range can cause you to shoot high and miss more often then not on small coyote vitals at ranges of 200 yards and less where most coyotes called in are killed. The reason hunters like the 22 and 24 calibers for predator hunting is their fast and flat. With a 22-250 pushing a 55 gr bullet at 3600 fps you need only sight in one inch high at 100 yards which still keeps you in the kill zone out to 250 yards where again, most of your called in coyotes will be shot at ranges under that. So, from 50 yards to 250 yards you just put the cross hairs on the vitals and light the torch. Even at 300 hundreds yards where a bullet this fast will drop about four to five inches you need to just hold at the top of the back but still on fur. Check the ballistics on your 308 load and sight in with the best possible maximum point blank range for a coyotes vitals from 50 to 250. Then shoot at longer distances to see what your bullet drops are if you want to take a shot to four hundred or further. But, remember to hit a coyotes vitals, the size of a softball, at 400 yds you need to be shooting a gun capable of sub minute of angle accuracy at 100 yds in addition to knowing your drops and doping the wind at that distance. If your gun is shooting 2 to 3 inch groups at 100 save your ammo and keep shots at 200 yards or less. I also highly recommend as it is essential a good pair of shooting sticks. You are not going to make a 300 plus yard hit on an animal holding off hand really past a hundred yards to be realistic and 75 to a hundred yards is tough for most of us. Sticks if you learn to set up on em right can get you pretty solid sometimes purt near being on the bench, not quite, but purt near. Oh, and a good range finder for pre ranging distances at your call site and a good pair of binos which are just always need when hunting period.

Now let's say you got your call and your rifle is dialed in solid. You get out on your first trip sneak in play the wind set out the call and voila, you spot a coyote coming in. Now let me till you and I'm not afraid to admit this those first years I was calling when I first actually had some success and succeded in bringing dogs in to the call, I flubbed many an opportunity because of buck fever or I guess you'd call it coyote fever. Whatever the proper term I blew it and dogs escaped my grasp unharmed and educated to boot. I was so amped that I actually had one finally come in I'd turn to a bowl of jelly heart rate soaring not able to get keep the cross hairs from moving on a shot or moving to shoot at the wrong time and scaring em. It was just being a rookie combined with the excitement and utter disbelief I had something on the line coming in after a year of dry stand after dry stand. Took me awhile to get over that initially but now I must say I'm pretty cool when I spot a coyote coming in. I become a statue and wait till he gives me the vitals and move to shoot when he's least likely to see me move. In fact killed a fair share with shotgun not moving till they broke the 50 yard line and it was too late, for them that is. So, unless you have killed a lot of other critters already or are just naturally cool when hunting expect this and work to overcome it by breathing deep if it hits you and think thru your shot before taking it.

And finally, call selection! As I stated earlier knowing what sounds to use and when has importance. For instance right now coyotes are denned up and having pups and with the weather warmer and a winter of other hunters squealing on the rabbit call your wounded rabbit call will leave a lot of dry stands. Coyote vocilizations can work right now as the mating pair are very territorial of their den site. If you sneak into this area and throw some howls out they may come charging in to kick butt on the tresspassing coyote. In a few months after the pups are born pup distress can be dynamite on the adults. In late summer or early fall any non threatening coyote sounds are howls can bring curious pups in that are out on there own for the first time as well as good ol prey distress sounds. Distress sounds mixed with some howls can bring dogs in anytime but especially in winter. The Primos pre-recorded hunts on their e call is great but remember if you over use it or they hear other guys playing the same pre-recorded sequence a few times they will get wise to it. They are not dumb and learn rather fast you constantly have to be trying to keep your sounds or sequences a little different each time. You don't want to over call an area and educate them. They can be called anytime during the day but first and last few hours of light are the best, especially to hear them howling.

lastly, if you are confined to public land which usually gets hammered they will be harder to call. If you can get some access to private that's great but if public is your only option get to some areas where you either have to drive far to get to and or once there you can hike or walk in a great distance. Many people are running out and buying a hand or e call these days. Most, if they don't have private access, will drive somewhere close and try a few times before hanging up their predator experience. This results in a lot of educated coyotes in easy to reach places. Most people won't burn a tank of gas and walk their legs off in their quest. If you are willing to do that get to out of the way places and work for it is likely coyotes are there and will be easier to call then the ones at the local State Wildlife Area ten minutes from downtown USA.

Well, it seems I wrote a book but I hope if you bother reading this long winded post there is a thing or two you pick up that might help you!

Best of luck to you

Joined: 10/01/2013
Posts: 31

Thank you so much, I picked up more info right there than I have gotten from anything else I have read.I am hopefully going to get some private land to hunt on. From asking around in my local area. But if I don't I know a national forest area with coyotes and little pressure. I will hunt this Thursday. I will be looking at calls this Monday. I am really looking forward to this hunt. I will have a few friends with me. So I am sure we will have a good time. Again I really appreciate you guys taking time to share that info. I wish you the best luck on your next hunting expeditions.



Joined: 01/12/2016
Big Ben's Advice

Tristanmagruder wrote:

Thank you so much, I picked up more info right there than I have gotten from anything else I have read.I am hopefully going to get some private land to hunt on. From asking around in my local area. But if I don't I know a national forest area with coyotes and little pressure. I will hunt this Thursday. I will be looking at calls this Monday. I am really looking forward to this hunt. I will have a few friends with me. So I am sure we will have a good time. Again I really appreciate you guys taking time to share that info. I wish you the best luck on your next hunting expeditions.



I would go ahead and buy yourself an entry e-coyote call. Many FOXPRO units (brand suggested by someone above) are quite expensive.

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