Although coyote hunting was first popularized in the western half of the United States, it’s quickly becoming one of the most common types of hunting east of the Mississippi as well.
From coast to coast, hunters are learning that the coyote is a challenging, rewarding hunt that lets them test their skills all year long, even in late winter or mid-summer, when most game is off limits.
Are you thinking of joining the ranks of coyote hunters? Make sure you start with the right information for a successful expedition.
About the Coyote
Coyotes roam in pretty much every corner of the United States, making them a viable hunting option for hunters from east to west, north to south. They are generally about 25 to 45 pounds, with males coming in on the larger end. Coyotes in the east usually come a bit larger, as there is more available food in the woods and fields of the east than the dry western states.
Coyotes can be very fast on their paws, reaching speeds of 40 mile per hour in short bursts. They also have excellent stamina and can keep moving for hours on end. While they are often solo animals, they are occasionally seen roaming together in packs.
They have excellent hearing, outstanding eyesight, and a keen sense of smell, but what helps them survive more than anything else is their intelligence and adaptability. They are cautious yet curious, wary yet intrepid. Coyotes are survivors, and if you want to harvest one, you need all the technology, know-how, and patience you can muster.
Where to Hunt Coyote
To hunt pheasants, you need grasslands. To hunt ducks, you need wetlands. To hunt bear, you need woodlands. To hunt coyote, you just need land. These animals range far and wide for food, so nearly any plot of land can carry or attract coyotes.
However, like any game animal, you should scout the area to look for signs of game. Look for tracks, especially in the winter, and you may find yourself a coyote. The best spots will be areas that have lots of small game, birds, and rodents.
The Right Approach for Coyote Hunting Success
Maybe the best thing about hunting coyote is the ease and simplicity. A small-caliber rifle or 12-gauge shotgun, camouflage gear, and a coyote call are really all you need. However, you may also want a decoy for coyote hunting as well.
Stealth is essential. Be quiet and settle into a comfortable shooting position, preferably near the edge of a wooded area or in a tree line for better concealment. If you have a remote electronic call, set it up so the speaker is 30 to 50 yards away from your position, near your decoy. This will draw the coyote’s sharp attention away from your location and allow you to move for a shot.
Choosing Your Firearm
A small caliber firearm is all you need for coyote hunting. While there is an argument for cartridges as small as the .17 HMR or the .22 Long Rifle, you’ll likely want something faster and more power-packed. The most popular cartridge for coyote is probably the .223 Remington, but the .22-250 and .243 Winchester are also good choices for the sport.
As for shotguns, a 12-gauge is your best option. Go with a larger load, preferably buckshot if you’re not planning on using or selling the hide. If you have a shotgun fitted for turkey, you’re on the right path for coyote hunting.
Camouflage Apparel for Coyote Hunting
Did we mention that coyote hunting requires excellent camouflage? You can get the apparel you need for an entire year of coyote hunting when you choose layered garments from NOMAD. From pants to outer-layers, you’ll get it all with our innovative hunting apparel.