Thursday, January 26th, 2023
Thursday, January 26th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

It’s time to take on the winter fur

When the fall gun season has passed and winter means working a
jig line in a fish house, a few sportsmen take time to work a
predator call. Dressed in snow camo white, they head out on full
moon nights and clear, cold days.

There’s real satisfaction in hunting the best open country
hunter of them all, but if you have not hunted the coyote before,
there are some things you should understand prior to taking on this
wild canine. There are several methods when approaching these
animals. First, learn to work a predator call. Calling yotes is not
rocket science, and any good calling tape can help you learn the
skill quickly. Head for you local gun shop or sporting goods
store.

If calling does not fit your profile, then using an electric
calling machine is next up on the list of ‘yote-gunning tools. Many
different systems are currently being built for calling game and
varmints. Calling tapes as in wounded rabbits or an assortment of
20 other critters make up the tapes used in these calling machines.
The best tapes will depend on your local area.

There also is the drive-by method in which you drive backroads,
search out a target with field glasses or a spotting scope, then
walk out from a downwind direction to take on your target. This is
a great system if you have cover, but remember, coyotes can see a
long way. You are in his home turf, not the other way around.

Regarding clothing, you don’t need the most expensive outfit in
the sporting goods store, but you should wear dull, drab clothing
from head to foot. Hunting partner Larry Symes, a hard-nosed hunter
from Oklahoma, kills better then 1,200 ‘yotes a year by way of a
deadly .22-250 Remington turn bolt varmint rifle, and a light
weight set of washed-out dull camo. Larry says movement is
everything in camouflage and the gear need only to be nonreflective
and blend with the ground cover around the hunter.

Carry a flashy rifle, plant your butt as a silhouette against
the sky, and leave that white undershirt showing around your neck,
and you wouldn’t be able to call in a house cat effectively, he
says. By paying attention to wind direction and setting up
correctly in the first place, you can get away with less camo then
you may think. I use GI winter camo over parkas that are deadly on
heavy snow cover fields, or wooded glades. When snow is not
present, the standard GI field pants in green camo or even desert
brown can be very effective.

The element of movement is still far more important. One of most
flexible camo tools I own is a German surplus camo poncho laced
with dark green spots over the white background. I use it, my dog
uses it when hunting winter field waterfowl, and it has served just
about every purpose you can imagine. The cost was $8.

Guns for coyotes

This is not deer hunting. If cost is getting in the way of your
coyote hunting, make use of that scatter gun you hunt birds with
during the fall. By using heavy charges of lead BB’s or some of the
new high-tech non-toxic large pellet tungsten loads by Kent and
Federal, you can effectively gun called ‘yotes to 45 or 50
yards.

Many ‘yote hunters, even if they own a varmint rifle, will opt
for the use of a scatter gun. They are fast, easy to handle in deep
cover, and at night especially, safer.

True varmint rifles like the Winchester Coyote in .223 Rem, or
the Remington Model 700 VS, and Seven short calling rifle can
return great field results. For the most part, you’re going drop
about $500 for a good, accurate ‘yote rifle, and another $200 for a
workable scope. That’s no small amount of money, so stay in the
game before turning to the high-dollar department in ‘yote killing
tools.

As to the best calibers for gunning yotes, I believe that the
.223 Remington is tops because the ammunition is readily available,
the cartridge is flexible in grain weights, as well as bullets, and
you can shoot it at a reasonable cost.

Where to hunt?

As to actually getting out and hunting coyotes, the best areas
for these critters are northern and southeastern Minnesota,
northern Iowa to the Nebraska boarder, then across the river into
almost all of Nebraska. Farmers and ranchers are almost always
friendly to a coyote hunter save for the few slobs who drive
through fences.

Wherever you hunt, scout or you’re wasting your time. Check for
scat, tracks, and talk with local folks. ‘Yotes will sound off on a
moon-lit night, and everyone will know it.

Be mindful of local land use laws and don’t trespass. By
scouting an area prior to calling, you can line up spots and handle
the landowner introductions, too.

Don’t run your calling locations too close together. Remember
sound travels, and yotes hear well. I space my calling sites about
a half mile to a mile apart. Line up a hot farm or ranch, and
you’re not likely to get many calling stands on a smaller place.
Even big ranches often will offer only five or six good calling
sites, and these tracts of land can be as large as 8,000 acres.
Larry and I will cover 80 miles in one direction calling ‘yotes on
a single day.

Don’t expect success at every stand. I have hunted several days
without an incoming ‘yote in country that is being over-called by
too many hunters. ‘Yote calling has become big business with all
the new gear, guns, and toys. If you hunt the lone spaces of the
Dakotas and Nebraska you’ll do better, but the farther east you
travel, the tougher the calling.

This is exactly why I hunt Oklahoma. While the drive is long,
the results are outstanding. It’s worth it to me as a dedicated
‘yote hunter.

I would rather hunt coyotes than even big game animals. You got
to love it when that song dog comes flat out running into your lap
looking for dinner on a full moon night, or busting through long
grass at first light with the boiling red sun to his back. After
that first dog comes into your call, you will be like me a hopeless
song dog addict.

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