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12 Places to Hunt Predators & Varmints

Trying to find the perfect place to drop that ever elusive predator or varmint can be a daunting task.

Traditional big game hunting has a number of tried and true methods to bring down a target, but varmint hunting is a bit different. This is especially true when it comes to coyotes. These super smart, abnormally tricky predators challenge even the most experienced hunter's technique and fortitude.

Knowing and understanding the habits and travel patterns of predators and varmints alike can make all the difference between bagging that wily coyote and wasting a whole bunch of time being outsmarted by these smart little creatures.

More Varmint Hunting

More Varmint Hunting

Varmints with Big Game Rifles

So, where are you going to find them? One of the following 12 areas to can make the difference between success and failure when chasing varmints.

1. Sunny Hillsides

Sunny hillsides are a great location for coyotes and other varmints. Like most wild animals such as deer or other large game, coyotes prefer to rest or hunt under the heat of the sun, especially when the weather is cold and the sun isn't seen much at all. Finding a spot that overlooks a sunny hillside is a good place to call up an unsuspecting coyote.

2. Southern Hillsides

Like sunny hillsides, southern hillsides benefit from the heat of the sun. When hunting a terrain littered with hills and valleys, it is important to pay attention to the location of the sun and which hillsides get the most amount of sun at each part of the day.

3. Secluded Fields

Varmint hunters lucky enough to have access to farmland have an advantage over other varmint hunters. Grass fields of all shapes and sizes are always a productive environment for predators and varmints. No matter if the fields are grown up and forgotten or filled with livestock, they provide an excellent setup opportunity for varmint hunters.


4. Transition Area

Coyotes frequent transition areas during their daily routines. Transition areas are places in the landscape where two different types of terrain meet. For instance, if the edge of a cattle field is lined by clear cut, mountainous timber land, there is a good chance coyotes will move through that area.

5. Bedding Area

Mid-day hunts for coyotes and other varmints will often have a better success rate if hunters can figure out the bedding areas of their prey. For instance, coyotes like to bed down in secluded areas that are protected from the elements and have thick cover. Hunters who call near these kinds of areas stand a good chance of calling a coyote from his slumber or as it's waking.

6. Low Pressure Hunting Area

As with any kind of hunting, finding a spot where no other hunter treads is rare. However, if a varmint hunter can find an area with the least amount of hunting pressure, success is more probable. Coyotes and other varmints will generally stay as far away from heavy foot and vehicle traffic as they can and hunters should always keep that in mind when deciding where to set up for a hunt.

7. Food, Water, Cover

Varmints will stay in an area that provides the basic necessities such as food, water, and cover. If a hunter is fortunate enough to stumble upon a place that offers all three in close proximity, they stand a good chance of bagging a varmint.

8. Fields of Rabbits

Rabbit hunting is an art form. These little varmints are fast, intelligent, and elusive. To successfully bag a rabbit, hunters need to find overgrown fields, low hanging thickets, or other areas where rabbits feel safe moving undetected. Patience and good tracking skills are needed to effectively bag these wary creatures.

9. Prairie Dog Specific

Prairie dogs are inhabitants of places like Montana and South Dakota. The flatlands or prairies located in these states offer these unique little varmints the perfect environment to grow and thrive. Hunters with a desire to bag a few prairie dogs must first find a prairie dog town and settle in. Prairie dog towns are scattered throughout the plains and prairies.

10. It's a Squirrel World

Squirrels are tree dwellers and thrive in stands of oak, hickory and walnut trees, where they survive from nuts and forage. Squirrel hunters will do well to find a couple of good nut bearing trees and settle in for a short wait. It is possible to find squirrels in all kinds of trees, but they do prefer to nest and feed around larger food sources, such as the aforementioned oak, hickory and walnuts.

Via wikimedia


11. Wetland Raccoons

One of nature's smartest varmints is the raccoon. These tricky little guys are elusive and extremely intelligent. To hunt raccoons, finding a good mixture of wetlands and woodland terrain is necessary. Raccoon hunters will find success in areas with lakes, swamps, or other bodies of water nearby.

12. Groundhog Day in Indiana Fields
Groundhogs are generally found in farmer's fields and along the edges of adjoining woodlots or drainage ditches. Success in groundhog hunting depends on a hunter's patience and ability to meticulously scan a hunting area. These fat, little field dwellers love to sun in the heat of the day and taking the time to do a full scan before moving can mean the difference between success and failure.

Any hunter worth his or her salt knows that hunting is about preparation, timing, and research. Take the time to do the research on where to set up and the rest should fall into place. Varmint and predator hunting are great ways to have a fun day in the field while working on accuracy and shooting skills.

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12 Places to Hunt Predators & Varmints