Follow these suggestions for coyote hunting in Texas.
Sometimes, there’s no greater enemy to a healthy deer property than a band of hungry coyotes. Texans and Texas hunters have come to know this all too well.
In some situations, these pesky creatures may be preying on your does and killing the reproductive health of your deer property. In other scenarios, you might shoot a buck, track him across half the property, and then find his carcass being enjoyed by a couple of coyotes, all of your hard work spoiled.
In either case, the answer is the same: those coyotes have got to go. To get after them in arguably one of the best states to hunt coyotes, check out these ideas.
View the slideshow to see the coyote hunting tips, and leave your own below in the comments.
1. Be aware of the conditions
The first thing you need to do before heading out for a coyote hunt is to know how certain weather conditions can impact your hunt. In the deepest depths of the winter season, when snow is coming down regularly and there is fresh, deep powder everywhere, you are going to want to call and hunt primarily in wooded areas. Just like your hunting dogs have trouble navigating deep snow, coyotes don’t do well in fresh powder. As a result, they’ll try to avoid it, which will encourage them to stay in the woods until better turns of weather come along.
Later in the season, however, coyotes will be able to better navigate their ways through the woods or fields. In accordance, move your hunt from the thick stuff to food plots or other more open areas. Open fields still won’t do you any good, since coyotes will be able to spot you from a mile away, but areas with slightly less cover and slightly more open shooting lines will pay dividends.
2. Look for tracks
Of course, if you’re not sure about where the conditions will put coyotes, you can just start searching for tracks. If you find a spot with fresh coyote tracks before you start calling, you are going to have a much better chance of getting a varmint to wander into your shooting range. Many coyote hunters in Texas waste interminable amounts of time by calling aimlessly, with little to no idea if they are 100 yards or a thousand yards from the nearest coyote.
If you want to dodge as much frustration as possible, start by looking for tracks, then move onto calling.
3. Consider private property or fringe areas for maximum success
Just like whitetails, coyotes respond to pressure and grow more cautious the more they are hunted. As a result, popular public land areas aren’t going to be your best bets for finding coyotes.
Private land is preferable, of course, since you or someone you know is directly controlling how much hunting pressure the property receives. If you don’t have access to a private hunting property, however, set course for fringe areas where most hunters won’t go. You might have to get a bit creative to find these best-kept secrets of the wild, either by venturing further away from your hometown than you normally would or by looking for areas that aren’t as accessible as a well-trodden trailhead. But know that Texas coyotes can be found in a lot of places, sometimes unconventional ones. As long as hunting is legal where you are, consider getting creative.
4. Get away from heavy traffic roads
This one goes along with number three – and probably goes without saying for most experienced hunters – but bears repeating nonetheless. Coyotes and their sensitivity to hunting pressure and other outside threats extends to vehicular traffic.
As a result, coyotes residing on a property that is close to a heavy traffic road will be more cautious than their deep wilderness brethren. A property that is located alongside an intermittently traveled county road might be okay, but always keep in mind that virtually any presence of car sound can result in coyotes that are skittish and that won’t respond to your calls. A similar problem can be caused by commonly traveled ATV trails. In both cases, you’ll be better off heading off the grid.
5. Play the mornings or evenings
If your main hunting opportunities come in the middle of the day on weekends, you might get lucky and land a coyote or two, but if you want to really bring the varmints in with your calling, you are going to need to hunt dawn and dusk periods.
Ever heard stories of coyotes howling at the moon? That’s because these particular beasts are primarily nocturnal. You may well still see coyotes during daylight hours, since coyotes were once a very diurnal species. However, over the years, consistent hunting pressure has pushed most coyote bands further and further into the nighttime mindset. Head out when the moonlight is shining for the best results.
RELATED: Shooting Tips for Coyote Hunting
6. Don’t overthink your choice of call
As with every other type of game animal out there, hunters will stress about their choice of coyote call more than is probably necessary. The fact is this: if you are hunting in the right spots and at the right times, virtually any type of animal distress call will pique a coyote’s interest.
Whether you choose a closed reed, an open reed, or an electronic call, a fawn bleat call, or a rabbit distress call hardly even matters. Just bring a few call options with you into the field and see which ones work for you. The call may be what actually brings the coyotes to you, but as far as hunting considerations are concerned, your choice of call is not the most important thing.
RELATED: 4 Coyote Calls You Need to Know
Check our web shop for more coyote calls.
7. Approach the hunt like you would a deer hunt
Finally, remember the lessons you’ve learned from deer hunting in Texas, because most of them are relevant to coyote hunts in the stateas well. You still need to approach your hunting spot with the wind direction (and your scent) in mind, and you still need to find a spot that will allow you to see coyotes from a long way off without them seeing you.
With height advantage, proper camouflage, and scent control, you will have a better chance of landing a coyote than with none of the above.