Hunting coyotes can be fun and challenging at the same time. A great time to chase coyotes is during the late winter and early spring when coyotes are feeding young pups. During this time of year coyotes are both hungry and extremely territorial. These are all things that can exploited by the coyote hunter.
TIMING IS EVERYTHING
Shane Mowery, the host of the Bone Maniacs, spends a lot of time coyote hunting. According to him, late winter is a great time to chase song dogs because they are hungry and aggressive. “I like to run and gun this time of year, hitting as many spots in a short period of time as possible,” Mowery explained. “My favorite call is a pup in distress or a rabbit in distress. Either of these calls will typically bring in a coyote quickly.” Mowery likes to sit in one location for 15-20 minutes before he heads to another spot. “If I don’t see or hear a coyote pretty quickly, I pack up and leave.”
A HUNGRY COYOTE MAKES MISTAKES
One of the greatest reasons to hunt coyotes this time of year is because they are often in need of a lot of food for them and their pups. They sometimes make mistakes. “Coyotes are very smart animals and they will often check the wind before coming to a setup. When they are hungry, that is not always the case. “Coyotes are smart but they make mistakes. I find that if they are going to make a mistake, it is this time of year when they need food the most.”
BE A CHALLENGER
Other types of calls that work well this time of year is a challenge bark. “Because coyotes have young pups around this time of year, they can be super aggressive towards other coyotes in their area. If they think another coyote is challenging them, they will often come running in for a fight.
START OFF QUIETLY AND BUILD ON IT
Regardless of where Mowery is calling, it starts out with a few quiet calls before he gets super aggressive. “I think many hunters get loud and aggressive too quickly,” Mowery noted. “I like to start softly and build on the sounds I am making. Rarely does a coyote start with extremely aggressive and loud noises. They often start softly and the excitement builds from there. When hunters are super loud, it can often spook the coyotes.”
Although Mowery starts off quietly, he doesn’t wait very long before he starts calling loudly. “I am somewhat impatient and I know that if a coyote is close this time of year, it isn’t going to take long to respond. I start calling softly and quickly turn up the volume. If nothing comes in, I am out of there.”
A GOOD SHOOTING REST IS A MUST
Mowery believes this time of year hunters should be extremely mobile and hunt as many places as they can. To increase his odds of success while maintaining his mobility, he uses a Final Rest Shooting System. “The Final Rest Shooting System is packable, lightweight, and is super steady when I place my rifle in it. I have shot a coyote at over 350 yards with the Final Rest. When I am done shooting, I can pack it into a backpack and go to my next spot. It truly is a game changer for hunters who want to run and gun. I take a lot of long shots. I don’t like to let the coyotes get too close to my setup because the closer they get, the better odds there are of the dogs catching my wind or catching on. I like to take longer shots and having a good shooting rest greatly increases the odds of success when taking long distance shots,” Mowery explained.
Coyote hunting can be fun and challenging. It is something we can all do when there aren’t other hunting seasons open. Get outside this spring and kill a coyote. You might save a fawn or a few turkeys in the process.