Green River Star -

By Fred Uhrich
Columnist 

Coyote hunting for the first-time hunter

 


I am not a professional coyote hunter, nor an expert caller. What follows will help someone new get started if they should choose so.

Coyote hunting is a way to extend your hunting season and assist with conservation. For some that have gained the experience and passion, it is an additional income. But it is the challenge of hunting the hunter that brings hunters to this sport.

The easiest way to start is to go with someone that knows how to hunt coyotes. If you don’t have someone that is experienced, you can buy a how-to-call DVD, some even come with a couple of calls to get you started learning with the DVD in your own home. From the DVDs, you not only learn calling, but tactics and were to setup too. Of course if you don’t want to learn to call, you can start right off by buying an electronic caller. Electronic callers range from as little as $40 for a hand held caller, to $700 with all the bells and whistles. But don’t kid yourself that an electronic caller will make you an instant expert; it takes experience and success to tie everything together.

Be prepared to do some walking. I generally don’t make my first setup till I am a quarter to half a mile from my truck or ATV. You need at least a half hour of quiet time from when you shut off your vehicle. Your following setups should be a quarter mile or more apart. If I do shoot, I will head back to my vehicle and move a few miles away. As for a weapon, the smaller bore center fires such as the .223 through .243 are pretty much the norm. Just remember to be careful of where you are shooting, and know where your bullet is going. It can travel more than a couple miles.

You don’t have to have a high tech, expensive AR-15, a lower end priced New England Arms single shot handy rifle will work just fine. Shots could be over 150 yards, so a rifle scope can be a big help. You will also need a small pack for carrying water and extra gear if you are heading out on a long hike. I use shooting sticks instead of a bipod, they are quicker and lighter to use and carry.

Coyotes have sharp eyes, and can see the slightest of movement like most wild animals, camouflages clothing from head to toe is a must. Don’t forget to camouflage your rifle too because a long black stick waving around is easy to see from a distance. I use a non-stick wrap camouflage tape on the front half of the rifle and the scope. It’s reusable and quick to apply and remove. Try to setup bellow the top of a hill so you have a good field of view and you are not sky lined. If possible, you want some sage brush behind you to breakup your outline. A good pair of binoculars for glassing is a must.

Some hunters prefer to have their calls tied to a cord, and hung from their neck. Another choice is a hunting vest. A vest has easy to reach zipper pockets for calls, wind indicator bottle, range finder, and a GPS.

You can find how-to guides on the internet for pelt handling. There are buyer’s that come through our area in the winter once or twice a month. I am unaware of anyone around here buying whole coyotes.

Go with a partner, be sure to let someone know where you are going, and what time you will be back, and that your cell phone is fully charged.

Be careful and good shooting!

 

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