Yamaha Outdoors Tips — Calling All Coyotes

Predator hunting is a winter option as you wait on spring.

Predator hunting is a winter option as you wait on spring.

By Steve Hickoff

Yes, it’s technically still winter. The late deer seasons and even the Super Bowl have passed. Baseball’s spring training is kicking in, and spring gobbler hunting for that matter down south, but still there’s that lull—especially up north where snow still hangs on.

That old couch in your den has had enough of you. Time to get on your Yamaha off-road vehicle and go coyote hunting. Fooling these abundant animals is easier said than done—but you can; here’s how:

Find a spot where you’ve seen coyote sign before, particularly scat, i.e. the droppings they leave behind. This might seem odd to the uninitiated, but it’s basic stuff to the hunting kind.

Take along a rifle, where legal, though a shotgun will do if you care to call a coyote to close quarters. That’s the fun of it—the up close and personal stuff. As firearms go, a Remington 870 pump is a solid choice, as is a .22 Hornet rifle with an appropriate cartridge. Turkey shotshells work fine for the former.

Set up in tight cover, with a view of shooting lanes. Sit on a seat cushion, or fold-up chair. Dress warmly—in camouflage. Pick spots near game trails that other animals use. If the coyote decides to work to your calls, it will do so by also moving through cover, checking scent. Stay alert. 

To mask scent, note the wind at all times. Face in the direction with the prevailing wind in your face. If that animal comes from behind, you’re busted. If he comes with the breeze, he won’t smell you until it’s too late.

The coolest thing about this form of hunting is that the animal—the predator mind you—is hunting your calls down. I defy anyone not to get goosebumps (under their camouflage of course), and an upgrade to the beating of their heart.

That’s why we predator hunt: to feel like the prey. 

The Yamaha ATV or side-by-side will get your gear there. Calls like cottontail screamers or even kissing the palm or back of your hand to imitate a mouse will lure coyotes closer. Many predator calls are available. Try them all. 

I’ve had coyotes stalk my calling, trotting right up my shotgun barrel. I’ve had them slam in fast, running past, checking the wind dramatically. I’ve seen them far off, unwillingly to buy into the game. Sometimes too, I just let them go—catch-and-release style. 

And your time afield—action or not—is always better than sitting at home waiting on spring.