One of the biggest complaints I hear from beginning predator callers is that they make set after set in attempt to call up a coyote, but continue to come up empty handed. They can’t seem to figure out why they fail to get a response in an area that looked to be an ideal location for calling coyotes. When I dig a little deeper, these hunters usually say that they rely simply on cold calling rather than attempting to locate coyotes prior to their hunt.
Cold calling takes place when a hunter simply walks into the field and begins calling without knowing whether a prospective coyote is actually in the area or not. It’s a common tactic that many hunters rely on. However, it’s typically a gamble compared to locating.
Locating involves a hunter locate calling in a scouting effort to pinpoint tracts of land where coyotes are hanging out at any given point. It’s the MRI (Most Recent Information) that clues you in on what piece of land is holding coyotes.
The bottom line is, if you want to call up and kill more coyotes, you should consider locating coyotes before moving in for the kill. Locating helps you cut straight to the chase. No more wasting time with stands you hope and pray will have a coyote on it. When you locate coyotes in an area you can hunt with confidence knowing you are hunting in territory that’s got coyotes on it.
Big Al Morris of Foxpro says the numbers are pretty staggering when you consider cold calling vs. locating for coyotes. “I’ll call up coyotes 70 percent of the time, or better, when I’ve located coyotes in an area, whereas it may be 10-15 percent of the time when cold calling,” he says.
Cold calling lends itself to a lot of wasted time. If your sound is not falling on the ears of coyotes, you simply will not get it done. The key is to hunt stands in areas you know coyotes have been hanging out in recently. And the way to know these hangouts is to locate call prior to the hunt.
Locating coyotes prior to the hunt is not a tough endeavor. It can be time consuming depending on how far you have to travel, but for the most part you are making quick stops to check each location. Under the cover of darkness, you can drive to your hunting grounds to locate coyotes. I typically pull off the side of the road at the farm I’m planning to hunt and crank up a siren or let loose on my howler horn in an effort to get a response. If coyotes are in the area, they will usually respond. The siren works great. Think about when you hear a fire truck or paramedic siren going down the road. Pretty much every dog in the area will be howling back at that siren. Coyotes are no different. They will respond with howling to the siren, if they are in the area. The howler works well to get a response at night, but I’d rather save my coyote vocals for the actual hunt, so I use my howler sparingly when trying to locate.
Most electronic callers have a coyote locater call built in designed to help you pinpoint a coyote’s whereabouts.
Scouting for Success
Like any animal we hunt, scouting is the key to success. Sure, you can luck up and stumble across an animal you never knew was there, but to consistently kill more critters, scouting should be a part of your tactics. Coyotes tend to make the rounds, easily traveling for several miles. Just because you saw coyotes on your farm in deer season doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be there when you’re going after them with your calls. Take the time to scout (locate), and you’ll kill more coyotes, guaranteed.
A lot of hunters rely on coyote scat or tracks in their scouting efforts, but nothing provides the most recent information like locate calling the night before a hunt.