coyote on the prowl

Coyote Hunting For Beginners: The Complete Guide

Did you know that coyotes have excellent senses, particularly smell and sight? As much as coyote hunting is an exciting and rewarding experience, these characteristics make hunting them a challenge.

To help you out, we’ll be sharing crucial tips for beginner hunters and experienced hunters alike to get you started in the right direction.

Key Takeaways

  • Successful coyote hunting relies heavily on calling techniques, certain equipment, and a hunter’s skills.
  • Coyotes have a keen sense of smell, so hunters must pay attention to wind direction to ensure their scent isn’t carried towards their prey.
  • Hunters must understand the regulations and obtain necessary permissions for hunting on both public and private lands.

The Correct Gun/Caliber

hunting rifle and rifle bag

When it comes to coyote hunting, the first thing to consider is your equipment. A reliable tool will help you hunt successfully and deliver a humane kill.

Consider an AR-15 rifle as an effective tool for a successful hunt. In addition, the ideal coyote hunting calibers are .223, .243, 223/5.56, and .308 calibers.

While you can also use a shotgun to hunt coyotes, consider a 12-gauge loaded with a number 4 shot as your best bet. Also, don’t forget to attach a high-quality, low-magnification scope to your rifle to improve your accuracy.

Aside from your choice of rifle, your hunting skills matter. You want to ensure you aim for a coyote’s vital organs, like the lungs or heart, leading to an ethical harvest.



Coyote Calling 101

Coyote calling is one of the most effective hunting techniques for locating coyotes. The aim is to mimic the sounds of other coyotes or distressed prey animals, forcing the creature to come and investigate the noise, giving you a shot to kill it. 

coyote on alert

First, you scout the area for coyotes. You can do this by looking out for coyote tracks and droppings, also known as scat. Coyote droppings typically contain bones, fur, and small animal remains. 

Once you have scouted a property, you’ll need the right equipment to call coyotes. Note that coyotes can smell or spot you from a distance, so ensure you’re concealed properly. 

Locator Calls

Now, coyotes use howls and barks to communicate with each other. A coyote hunter can take advantage of this trait to discover the location of any potential prey.

Many hunters argue that coyotes primarily howl at night or early morning. However, coyotes an and will howl at any time, as they have varying sleeping patterns.

coyote prowling

In fact, coyotes are most active during dusk and dawn, but those that live close to human settlements are often nocturnal. And those that live more remotely tend to be diurnal.

For a successful coyote trip, visit the hunting area before daylight. Let out different coyote howls at different points, preferably on top of a ridge or hill, as the sound will carry well. Listen keenly for a response.

If you do this two or three times with no response, keep moving and repeat the tactic at a different place. Once you get a response, mark the area. You can choose to be patient and wait for them or leave and return later. 



Distress Calling

Distress calling is an effective technique hunters use to attract or locate coyotes in the wild. The aim is to imitate the sound of animals in distress, in order to lure in a coyote.

Coyotes easily fall for this trick as they’re opportunistic animals, and a distressed call means that an animal is injured, and that translates to an easy meal.

coyote distress call

If you choose distress calls, you can opt for mouth calls or e-callers.

An e-caller is a much more effective solution as one might offer you different pre-recorded sounds you can use based on hunting conditions.

That said, do remember that while electronic calls are convenient, you’ll scare away your prey if you don’t use them effectively. One of the common mistakes we’ve seen in the field is using the same sounds used repeatedly by hunters. 

wary coyote

Another mistake we’ve seen people make is maxing the caller volume. Most people do this to attract as many coyotes as possible, including those miles away. Keep in mind that if you select the right hunting grounds, there will likely be coyotes nearby. So, when you blast an e-call, you may only be scaring them away from you.

Whatever type of predator call you pick, position yourself at a place with adequate cover, preferably downwind, as you await the coyotes to come within a good range to shoot.



Calling Sequences

Coyote calling sequences are a series of coyote sounds designed to mimic various situations that occur naturally in a coyote’s environment. To successfully attract coyotes, you need to mix up sequences. 

coyote in rocky terrain

Start off by using a lone howl in a low frequency and a high pitch. Do it two or three times, then sit in silence for a few minutes before trying a different vocalization.

Next, try out whines and yelps. Whines and yelps are versatile sounds that draw coyotes toward you and these sounds trigger different reactions simultaneously, including parental and territorial instincts.

Stay in one spot for about 15 to 20 minutes. If you don’t notice any coyotes approaching, try a different location.

Since coyote calling is a skill you learn over time, you need to experiment with different options until you find what works for you.

Aside from that, avoid making the mistake of calling too often or too little. You may end up scaring off coyotes or failing to entice some of them to come your way. If you’re in a closed-off area, avoid loud and long strings of calls as they might scare away the animals. But if you’re in an open area, louder and longer coyote calling sequences will come in handy. 


Wind Considerations

weather cock showing wind direction

Just like in deer hunting, wind consideration is crucial when hunting coyotes. You need to be mindful of your scent and the wind direction.

Coyotes are known to have a fantastic sense of smell that you’ll never outsmart. With this in mind, the wind should be blowing in your face to ensure your scent isn’t carried toward the coyotes. The last thing you want to do is to alert the coyotes of your presence and scare them away.



Adapting to Your Surroundings

You will need to adapt to the surrounding areas to hunt coyotes successfully. This is one of the basics essential to a successful hunt.

Farmland

coyote in open field

Farmlands resemble open fields with very little cover. This makes coyote hunting somewhat challenging, as the coyote can easily spot you. So, when hunting these areas, try to conceal your position.

In terms of coyote calls, use a distress call that imitates a small animal like a bird, rabbit, or rodent. 

Additionally, you may want to use decoys to draw the coyote’s attention. For example, a decoy dog will attract coyotes by giving them a visual representation of the prey. Such dogs act as decoys by mimicking the sound and behavior of distressed prey animals.



Wooded Areas

Unlike farmland, a wooded area is made up of dense timber. This provides a good cover for you, the hunter, but it also provides cover for the coyote as well.

When hunting these areas, you’ll want to move quietly, using the woods to mask your presence.

wooded area

Additionally, invest in camouflage clothing to ensure the coyotes don’t spot you easily. For example, choose clothes that match the terrain and also wear a face mask to prevent the coyotes from noticing your face outline.

Also, remember that sound won’t travel as far in dense woods. So, adjust your calling volume and use short and frequent calls.



Hills

When hunting in hilly areas, you have the advantage of high ground to spot and call coyotes. Usually, these animals will travel along ridges and valley bottoms in this type of terrain.

coyote on side of a hill

Position yourself well around three-quarters up a hill and preferably with something behind you, such as bushes or trees to help break up your silhouette. Also, pay attention to wind direction to ensure it doesn’t carry your scent toward the coyotes.



Land Access

You have the option to hunt in either public or private land. Most regions have public lands for hunting, including state parks, forests, and wildlife management hunting areas. What you need to do is familiarize yourself with the hunting regulations of different regions, including any applicable licenses you might need in that area.

fence post on private land

Coyotes have adapted to human environments and tend to eat pet food left outside or even garbage. That’s why private land makes a good hunting spot for these animals. But, if you hunt private land, always be sure you respect a landowner’s wishes.



Approaching & Setting Up Your Stand Correctly

As we’ve mentioned, be sure to set up your stand location in an area with good visibility to see your targets.

When looking for a location, look for coyote tracks to determine if they’re in the area you’re hunting. Since they travel in packs, it’s easy to notice their tracks.

coyote on dead tree

Preparing yourself properly before you start shooting is also key. Most hunters choose elevated positions or an area with enough cover to conceal them.

Also, approach your stand cautiously, avoiding unnecessary noise that could scare away coyotes in that location.



Final Thoughts On Coyote Hunting For Beginners

Hopefully, this Coyote Hunting For Beginners article has provided some helpful tips to get you started on what can be an exciting time outdoors with coyotes hunting.

Remember to focus on making sure you have the appropriate gun and caliber, honing your calling skills, and paying attention to wind direction as well as your setup.

And, always be sure to follow all local hunting regulations for the area in which you are hunting.

Good luck!

wakeboarder in green shorts

Wake up! | Wakeboarding For Beginners [Essential Tips]

Wakeboarding and wakesurfing are captivating water activities that have gained popularity among individuals of various expertise levels.

The “foundation” of these exhilarating water sports is, well, water… and wakes!

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner eager to ride the wakes, understanding the fundamentals of is crucial for a safe and enjoyable experience on the water.

From mastering the basics, to optimizing boat dynamics, safety considerations and honing advanced maneuvers, this guide provides essential tips that are useful for both beginners and pros alike.

So, Get ready to navigate the waves, elevate your skills, and make the most of your wake boat adventures!

What Is Wakeboarding?

wakeboard jump

Riders secure themselves onto a wakeboard, which is a more compact and maneuverable iteration of a surfboard, employing foot bindings crafted to anchor their feet securely. As the boat propels forward, it generates a wake; a trail of water and waves marking its passage.

Leveraging this wake as a natural ramp, the rider skillfully executes an array of tricks and maneuvers with finesse and flair, creating a captivating spectacle. The harmonious interplay of board, boat, and wake defines the unique and dynamic essence that characterizes the thrill of wake boating.

Key elements integral to wakeboarding:

  1. Wakeboard: These specially designed boards are shorter and wider than traditional water skis, ensuring stability and control during rides.
  2. Boat: Wake boats are crafted with features like wakeboard towers and ballast systems. The wakeboard tower enhances the tow point, providing an improved pull for the rider, while the ballast system permits the boat to take on water for added weight, influencing the wake’s size and shape.
  3. Towing rope: A sturdy and durable rope is utilized to tow the rider behind the boat. The length and design of the rope significantly impact the riding experience.
  4. Wake: This refers to the continuous series of waves formed by the boat’s movement. Riders skillfully use the wake as a ramp, executing jumps, flips, spins, and other tricks.


Wake Boats Versus Ski Boats

Now that we’ve covered a little bit of the wakeboarding basics, let’s dive into the distinctives of wake boats!

1. Hull Design

wakeboat on water
water skiier

2. Size and Weight

Wake boats tend to be larger and heavier than ski boats. The added size accommodates ballast systems, allowing wake enthusiasts to customize the size and shape of the wake.

Ski boats, designed for speed and agility, are generally more compact and lightweight, ensuring optimal performance for water skiing activities.


O'Brien System Wakeboard 140cm w/Clutch 7-11 bindings
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  • Clutch size 2-5 bindings are already mounted on the board making you able to ride sooner!
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3. Tow Points

wakeboat tower

Wake boats are equipped with elevated tow points, often facilitated by wakeboard towers. This configuration assists in achieving a higher tow point, enhancing the upward pull and resulting in a more pronounced wake.

Ski boats, conversely, have lower tow points, optimizing the line of pull for water skiers aiming for speed and precision.



4. Purpose-Built Features

Wake boats boast purpose-built attributes. This includes integrated ballast systems, wakeboard towers, and surf systems meticulously designed to establish optimal conditions for wake boating and wakesurfing enthusiasts.

In contrast, ski boats feature specialized elements like adjustable ski pylons, slalom ski racks, and speed control systems, addressing the unique requirements of water skiers with precision and efficiency.


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5. Maneuverability

Ski boats excel in agility and speed, showcasing their proficiency in effortlessly towing water skiers through slalom courses characterized by tight turns.

On the contrary, wake boats are specifically crafted to generate and navigate more substantial wakes, although retaining maneuverability, elevating the overall experience for enthusiasts engaged in wakeboarding and wakesurfing.

Understanding these fundamental distinctions empowers enthusiasts to make informed decisions aligned with their preferred water activities. Whether in pursuit of the ideal wake for executing tricks, or navigating the slalom course with precision, selecting the appropriate boat guarantees a customized and optimized experience on the water.



Top 5 Essential Tips for Wakeboarding Beginners

wakeboard in sunlight

1. Select the Right Equipment

For novices embarking on their wake boating/wakeboarding journey, it is advisable that the rider start with a user-friendly wakeboard designed to provide stability and forgiveness. As proficiency develops, one can gradually transition to boards featuring advanced attributes.

It is also imperative that your boat is outfitted with a top-notch wakeboard tower and a dependable towing rope. The inclusion of a quality wakeboard tower serves to elevate the tow point, resulting in a more elevated and consistently formed wake.

In addition, a high-caliber towing rope contributes to heightened control and responsiveness while wake boating. These considerations collectively contribute to an enhanced and safer wake boating experience.



2. Understand Boat Speed and Wake Shape

wake boat and wake boarder

As proficiency advances, there is room for a gradual increment in speed, introducing riders to a larger and more demanding wake. Experimenting with various speeds becomes paramount, allowing individuals to discern and settle on the optimum setting aligned with their evolving skill set and personal preferences.

Understanding how to manipulate the wake shape can be indispensable. Most wake boats feature ballast systems, enabling riders to augment weight in specific areas, thereby influencing the size and configuration of the wake.

Distributing weight evenly on both sides of the boat generates a symmetrical wake while augmenting weight on one side results in a more inclined or steeper wake. The ability to experiment with the ballast settings on your boat empowers riders to customize the wake according to their unique riding style, further elevating the wake boating experience.


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3. Master the Basics: Body Position and Balance

wakeboarder with life jacket on

For beginners, maintain a stance with slightly bent knees, squared shoulders, and the distribution of weight centered over the wakeboard. Ensuring an even distribution of weight between both feet is crucial to prevent inadvertent leaning to one side.

As confidence grows and comfort levels increase, consider experimenting with weight shifts to exert control over the direction and edge of the ride.

Effectively redistributing your weight proves invaluable in navigating the wake, executing tricks, and adapting to the ever-changing dynamics of water conditions. This progressive approach not only enhances the overall wake boating experience but also lays the groundwork for more advanced maneuvers and techniques down the line.



4. Progression Through Practice and Patience

Wake boating stands as a sport that generously rewards dedication and continuous practice. For beginners venturing into this thrilling activity, it’s essential to spend time perfecting foundational maneuvers.

girl doing trick on wakeboard

Some examples of this are standing up on the board, navigating the wake, and executing controlled turns. These introductory steps serve as a solid foundation upon which more advanced tricks and spins can be gradually introduced as proficiency increases.

Consistency emerges as a central theme in the pursuit of wakeboarding mastery, with patience playing a crucial role. The learning curve is natural, and setbacks are part of the process, especially when attempting novel tricks.

Each fall or challenge presents an invaluable learning opportunity, enabling individuals to refine their techniques and enhance their overall skill set. Celebrating small victories along the way becomes a motivational tool, fostering a positive mindset and reinforcing a sense of achievement.


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5. Prioritize Safety

Prioritizing safety is a non-negotiable aspect of wakeboarding and boating in general, regardless of one’s skill level. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned pro, a steadfast commitment to safety ensures a secure and enjoyable experience on the water.

life jackers on a rack

Enrolling in a boating safety course is highly recommended, providing invaluable insights into water rules and effective responses to diverse situations.

Additionally, having a dedicated spotter on board is essential. This individual serves as an extra set of vigilant eyes, keeping a watchful gaze on the rider and maintaining clear communication with the boat driver.



Even seasoned wake boaters should continually reinforce safety habits. This entails staying abreast of the latest safety regulations and advancements in safety equipment. A proactive approach ensures all participants are aware of and adhere to established safety protocols.

Making safety a top priority can ensure wake boaters engage in the sport with confidence, knowing that everyone on board is adequately protected. This collective commitment to safety creates an environment where enthusiasts can push their limits, explore new tricks, and enjoy the thrill of wake boating while mitigating risks on the water.



Final Thoughts On Wakeboarding

wakeboarder in mid air

These foundational principles establish the framework for a successful and gratifying wakeboarding/wake boating expedition. So, prepare your gear, launch into the adventure, and dive headfirst into the exhilarating thrill that wake boating has to offer.

sun shining into tent

The Good (Simple) Life | Camping On A Budget

on . Posted in Blog, camping

Many want to try camping but also need to find ways to save money while doing it.

After all, while experiencing the outdoors is definitely worth your time and money, it’s also nice to be able to do it economically when needed, right?

camper on mountain road

In this article, we’ll take a look at how you can make your camping adventure affordable, even if you’re doing it for the first time.

We’ll share hacks from experienced people so that you too can be a budget camper (you might even be able to write an essay about traveling yourself when your done!)

Pricing Varies By Season

camper on dirt road

Remember that when you’re trying to camp on a budget, the season when you go camping directly correlates to the price you will pay for your activities.

For example, picking summer means picking the peak camping season. Because lots of people camp during this time of year campground costs will increase for sure. And in turn, a byproduct of having a full campground is that the environment can get not only crowded, but messy as well.

So, one of the great ways to save money when camping is to look for offered discounts during shoulder seasons (the months between the peak season and the off-season.)



Choose Your Campground Wisely

Another way to save money when camping on a budget is to stay at locations like county parks or state campgrounds, as fees can be lower here than in novelty camping locations. (You can be sure that selecting private campgrounds will cost much more than staying at county parks!)

family campground sign

If your goal is to stay on budget, compare prices before deciding on a location. Private campgrounds usually charge funds for unnecessary luxury items you may not even use. However, those items are often not optional and are included in the overall camping package price.

So, always be sure to check any applicable fees before making a reservation. (This is even true when camping at some county parks, so read the fine print!)



Borrow gear for camping

It may seem simple, but another (easy) way to save money when camping is to avoid buying the required gear.

Wait, what?

That’s right, try borrowing camping gear from your friends or family. This will potentially save you massive amounts of money!

multi colored rv

So, if you are fortunate to know fellow campers that own camping gear that you don’t currently own, try asking if they’d be willing to let you borrow it. It will not only save you money, but could also provide you with some great instruction on new gear if they’re also willing to show you how to use it.

If you like the gear you borrow, then you’ve gotten a free trial on what you could spend your money on in the future. If you don’t like it, then you won’t have spent your hard-earned money on something that just didn’t work for you!



Stick Close To Home Sweet Home

Staying close to your home is a great life hack for those who want to camp frugally. By doing so, you won’t have to rent or purchase a massive recreational vehicle or a car to go camping.

Minimize your budget by prioritizing activities that are close to your camping location. Remember, the best camping trips are always about memories. Instead of spending money on tons of off-site activities, you can make priceless memories with friends and family!

tent camping in field

Research campgrounds that are closest to your home and give them a try. You may find the hidden gem that will become your favorite place for camping for years ahead right in “your backyard.”

And speaking of back yards, you could even try camping literally in your own back yard!

If you are so lucky to have a friend or neighbor that has a camper or other recreational vehicle, you could even park that in your yard and use it as your “home away from home” camping adventure!




Consider Tent Camping

tent camping at campground

One of the most affordable ways to enjoy the camping experience is to go tent camping.

Not only is this an inexpensive way to camp and have shelter at the same time, but with proper care, you’ll be able to use your tent for years to come.

And, you can sometimes camp at campgrounds for less on a tent site than at locations where people camp in recreational vehicles.



BYOM (Bring Your Own Meals)

If you’re wanting to save more money, this one might seem obvious, but… don’t eat out!

Of course, It’s fun to try new food experiences, but it can also be painful to the wallet.

In addition, cooking over a fire or grill with the family is an activity that everyone can participate in, enjoy, and make memories doing.

hotdogs on grill

You can make a list recipes ahead of time as well as the kitchenware/utensils you’ll need. And, don’t forget to think about and prepare for where you’ll store your food.

Ask your friends for recommendations of food they cooked during their camping activities, or surf the internet to find exciting and delicious recipes.



Final Thoughts On Budget Camping

Camping can certainly provide a wealth of memories, and it doesn’t have to be expensive! So, remember to focus on off-season pricing when choosing a campground. You can also camp close to home, borrow camping gear from friends, tent camp, and pack your own food to save money!

We hope you found his article useful and have a great time enjoying the outdoors!