Take these tips for coyote hunting to heart for a better chance at the big bad ‘yotes.
If you are a rifle hunter, chances are that you spend most of your time sighting and shooting at whitetail. There’s a reason for this, and it’s not just that deer are the most popular big game animal for North American hunters. Deer are also a choice target for gun hunters because they usually represent big targets that aren’t too tough to hit, even from a fairly long range.
But once deer hunting season ends, what’s next on the docket? What other types of game animals are out there waiting, and which ones are you well equipped to hunt. For many hunters, the logical answer to those questions is the coyote.
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Coyote hunting is a good way to extend hunting season into the deep winter. It’s also a great way to help the community, since coyotes can be extremely dangerous to everything from crops to pets to people themselves. If you live in a suburban area where coyotes have been lurking too close to homes and farms for comfort, then you can do your part in clearing the pests and protecting the residents of the area.
However, coyote hunting is anything but easy. If you are used to the size and shape of a male deer as your prime shooting target, it may take you awhile to adjust to the smaller, swifter, and harder-to-hit targets that coyotes represent. Coyotes also have a great sense of smell, piercing eyesight, and a propensity for moving around endlessly.
If they catch your scent or see your silhouette lurking on the edge of the field, they are going to steer clear and be harder to hit. In order to hit a coyote, therefore – or at least, to have a reasonable chance of hitting one – you need to follow a few strategies that you may or may not utilize in your deer hunting ritual.
The first thing you need to know about hunting and shooting coyotes is that cover is as important as ever. Because of their sharp eyes, coyotes will often be able to catch your position as easily as you will be able to see theirs. In order to shift the odds to your favor, make sure you have the cover of brush – preferably all around you. With some solid camouflage and a layer of trees or bushes both behind and in front of you, you will be able to maximize your ability to blend into your surroundings, in turn giving yourself a better chance of scoring a killing coyote shot.
Secondly, when coyote hunting, comfort is important. Bring along some sort of seat so you can stay in one fixed position for as long as possible without becoming uncomfortable or fidgety. The more comfortable you are, the less rigid and tense you will be, which will effect everything from your grip on the trigger to the way you are holding and aiming your gun.
In essence, a comfortable position is key to aiming and firing with accuracy. If you aren’t a seated shooter, consider bringing a shooting stick, tripod, or bipod with you. This will allow you to steady your weapon from a standing position so that you can get the exact shots you need to kill a coyote.
The biggest thing to remember is that you aren’t hunting deer. Coyotes are a completely different animal, and often work in opposite mind frames from herbivores. Though they have many of the same concerns as deer (food, protection, etc.), their solutions to those problems are totally different.
So take an opportunity to learn about a new species to add a new game animal to your repertoire.