How to Hunt Coyotes in the Timber
Seal the deal on deep-woods ’yotes right under your nose.
Coyotes are an iconic species of the wide open West, but they’re equally at home in the deep woods of the Northeast and wet forests of the Pacific Northwest. In heavy timber, coyote calling is an in-your-lap affair, and the dogs can get on top of you quickly. Here’s how to pull them into the open and make the shot.
Zero (In) to Fifty
You won’t need a scoped rifle for shots within 50 yards. Instead, opt for a semiautomatic scattergun loaded with BBs or No. 2 shot. A heads-up holographic optic, such as the EOTech XPS2 sight ($539; eotechinc.com), can speed up target acquisition and improve accuracy. While you call, keep your gun resting on shooting sticks with the muzzle pointed in the direction you expect to shoot.
Find an Opening
Make sure there’s a large opening out front with enough room for you to see and shoot a coyote as it tries to circle downwind. In deep cover, a dog can sneak into and out of a setup without the hunter’s ever knowing it was there.
Split the Suit
Traditional camouflage will work fine for your bottom half, but 3D camo is the best hide from the waist up. Cabela’s new TCS Hybrid Jacket ($150; cabelas.com) is a lightweight alternative to a conventional gillie suit and controls odor.
Move Them Faux-Ward
Like turkeys but with teeth, coyotes will lock onto a decoy on their way into your set. Fake fawns, rabbits, or even a bit of fur or feathers on a stick can bring a ‘yote in those last few yards.
Stump with Stench
Milliseconds matter, so use a cover scent to confuse a coyote just long enough for you to get a shot. Dip a scent wick in skunk or fox urine and hang it from a branch above you.
Just Press Play
You won’t have time to consult a user manual. An electronic call that plays entire calling sequences with a single push of the button lets you focus on spotting a sneaking coyote. (Check out our Coyote Callers Buyer’s Guide.)
Thick-woods coyotes may be closer than you think. Loud squeals may blow dogs right out of your area, so start with soft squeaks before increasing volume. If a dog does come running or busts you, a short, loud bark can bring it to a halt just long enough for you to shoot.