-By Rich Miller
Throughout the year, as I am working shows and talking to people about hunting, I’m hearing more and more people talk about predator hunting. Predator hunting includes fox, bobcats, and coyotes as far as most of us are concerned. It seems every year more people are starting to pick up the hobby of hunting these sly animals. The most popular of these animals is the wily coyote.
Depending on where you go in the country the way people hunt coyote will vary. I have hunted them driving a truck through huge prairies and stopping to shoot them when spotted. This is a pretty sporty way to hunt these dogs. When you’d spot the coyote he’d take off running and after he ran about a hundred yards, stop and turn around to look back at us. This would allow us to get settled and have enough time to make a shot.
A couple of years ago I was in Kansas on a whitetail hunt and had filled my tag early, which is when I got invited on a coyote hunt using dogs. I have two words of advice if you ever get invited on one of these hunts: “proceed cautiously”. This was the wildest hunt I had ever been on, and when I say “wild” I mean these guys were crazy.
They had flat bed pickups with dog boxes built on to them. In those boxes were about six greyhounds. After we spotted a coyote they got as close to them as they could, then slid the truck sideways and released the dogs. Now, the chasing them down part was what was so wild. We were driving through cut soybean fields running 80 mph trying to get as close to the coyote as possible before releasing the dogs. Once these dogs hit the ground they were on the coyote in less than a hundred yards. I am glad I got to hunt like this one time, but now that I have a wife and child at home I doubt I will be going on any more.
I have had a lot of success over the years taking coyotes while out hunting other animals. On the properties that I hunt we have a rule about coyotes if you see them you need to shoot them. I normally see a lot of them during deer season but those dogs have a knack of picking me out in the tree when I am trying to get drawn on them, but I still manage to get an arrow in a couple of them. I haven’t had the opportunity yet this turkey season, but it seemed like every day last year I was having trouble with coyotes messing up a bird I was calling. I have even had them attack my decoys from time to time.
Of all the techniques used, calling them into a hunter in a hidden position seems to be the most popular. Hunters are putting rifles together for the sole purpose of hunting coyotes. Call companies are doing as much business with predator calls as deer, turkey and other game calls. The good thing about coyote hunting is that you can hunt them year round. It really doesn’t matter what technique you want to use to hunt them as long as you do. You might want to think twice about getting into a pickup truck with a load of greyhounds on the back though!