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!

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Rocky Boots Review [Lynx 400… In CAMO!]

When you’re I the woods hunting, the last thing you want to have to worry about is whether your boots are going to keep up and hold up.

We were excited to get a chance to review the Lynx 400 from Rocky Boots. Here’s what we learned….

Lynx 400 Features

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Now, I’ve had multiple knee surgeries, and I’ll say it’s hard to find boots that are not only easy on my knees while wearing them, but also don’t leave me with sore knees after the hunt or hike. However, the Lynx 400 is definitely comfortable during the hike and/or hunt.



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Check out our video review of the Rocky Boots Lynx 400 in Realtree camo on our YouTube Channel!


Final Thoughts On The Rocky Boots Lynx 400

We hope you’ve enjoyed taking a closer look at the Lynx 400 in Realtree Excape camo from Rocky Boots. We have really enjoyed wearing this boot in the field and think it’s one that should be considered if you’re looking for good, all terrain boots!

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So, whether you’re hunting, hiking or just enjoying the great outdoors… in the Lynx 400 in Realtree Escape Camo, you get ruggedness, durability and comfort, all N1 boot!

lion on prairie

A Hunter’s Dream | Types Of Big Game In Africa

on . Posted in Blog, Hunting

For hunters seeking a variety of animals and a thrilling big game hunt, Africa is the undoubtedly one of, if not the, best destination out there. 

Every region of Africa offers unique opportunities for big game hunting. The enticement lies in the challenge of tracking and pursuing species such as lions, elephants, leopards, buffalos, and rhinos, among others.

As these are animals that you may not have the opportunity to hunt anywhere else, a big game hunt in Africa can certainly provide you with a once in a lifetime experience!

South African Game

africa continent

The big game hunting opportunities are plentiful in the continent of Africa, however, it’s a vast continent, so where should you start? (photo credit: whatarethe7continents.com)

Keeping in mind that Africa is an immensely large continent, you may find it overwhelming to make a choice when it comes down to choosing a particular destination. With that being said, many hunters have been drawn to South Africa in particular. 

South Africa accounts for a large majority of the big game hunting preserves in Africa. These South African hunting preserves offer up rare and highly-sought after species of game to hunters daring enough to make the trip.

Due to this region being such a hub for big game hunting, interested parties may find that accommodations for hunting trips can be made much more easily than in other places. 

South Africa’s Best and Biggest Species | The “Big 5”

One of the biggest attractions to South African hunting safaris is the chance to hunt “The Big Five.”

Lions, leopards, cape buffalo, elephants, and rhinoceros are the five species that dominate big game hunting in South Africa. These are the animals that certainly offer hunters the exhilarating hunt they are seeking.

Below, we’ll delve into the individual details of Big Five hunting.

Lion

Due to it being the largest cat in Africa, a lion is considered an extremely significant trophy, and taking one down is a huge accomplishment.

A hunter pursuing a trophy Lion must be extremely careful, and approach the hunt with all the necessary precautions.

Lions are dangerous creatures, especially when they are provoked, and can be potentially more dangerous when they are wounded. Additionally, lions travel in packs (a group of lions is called a “pride”), so there is a possibility that other members could get involved. 

The trophy quality of a lion is determined by the age, mane, and size of the animal.

To use an example, a larger male with a resounding mane is regarded as the a top trophy for many hunters world-wide. Finding a trophy lion like this can be very difficult, but they can be found throughout the savannah, grasslands, and semi-desert areas regions of Africa.



Leopard

leopard walking

Leopard hunting is one of the most difficult ventures in big game hunting, mostly because they are so elusive and intelligent, as well as extremely dangerous. 

When it comes to this next big game animal, all bets are off. When it comes to taking down a leopard, the most tried and true hunting method is baiting.

The process of baiting can be a bit grueling, in that it requires an extreme amount of patience, as hunters may wait and observe the bait for countless nights without a single leopard sighting.

Now, a less common, but likely quicker, method of hunting leopards is with the use of hounds. This tactic is ideal for hunters looking for an extra thrill, as you can avoid the waiting involved in baiting and actively pursue a leopard with the help of man’s best friend.



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Cape Buffalo

cape buffalo

Cape buffalo are quite large and bulky animals, making them a highly desirable target. They have heavy legs, which help to support their large body and the extra mass found in their heads and necks.

Even with their large size, cape buffalo can be quick and agile on their feet, making them a tricky target. Additionally, they are a grayish-black color, so they often blend in with the mud they wallow in. 

Given how massive they are and their ability to camouflage themselves, cape buffalo make for quite the difficult hunt. But, the challenge entices hunters to overcome it, which is why Africa has become one of the leading big game destinations in the world. 



Elephant

elephant walking dirt road

Another one of Africa’s most coveted big game species is the elephant, and trophy status involves weight, size and their tusks.

When it comes to determining what exactly contributes to the trophy quality of an elephant, one must look at the weight and size of the elephant, as well as the ivory of their tusks. Typically, good ivory is considered among Africa’s top hunting trophies. 

The classic hunting technique for elephants is tracking them on foot. You’ll spend your time looking for fresh tracks, tracking them through the dense savannah, and then finding an angle for the perfect shot once finally find your target. 



Getting into close quarters with an elephant to determine trophy quality is normal practice, and ultimately taking a good bull can be extremely challenging.

Elephants have sensitive smell and hearing, so you must pay attention to things such as wind direction when stalking.

Due to an elephant’s habitat, shots on these animals are typically taken at close range, as elephants are typically found in areas ranging from the desert to the dense savannah with high rainfall.



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Rhinoceros

rhino and baby

Rhinoceros are the second largest land animal in the world, and have traditionally been one of the most coveted animals for big game hunters.

Throughout history, rhinos have been hunted and poached to extremely low population levels, but thanks to the efforts of conservationists, white rhino numbers have bounced back significantly. Unfortunately, the black rhino is still a protected species, and so their hunting permit requirements are much stricter.

Because of the sheer size of rhinos and the stringent hunting regulations attached to them, be sure to book with an outfitter that has a good reputation in regard to big game hunting, and that also knows the ins and outs of the law.


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In recent years, the Big Five has extended to the “Dangerous Seven,” which includes the addition of the hippopotamus and the crocodile.

hippos in the water
Hippopotamus
crocodile with mouth open
Crocodile

In addition, “plains game hunting” has also become the most common type of big game hunting, due to it being more affordable and accessible than the Big Five.

Plains game include species such as giraffe, zebra, spiral horned antelope, wildebeest, among others.

giraffe walking
Giraffe
zebras grazing
Zebra
greater kudu
Greater Kudu
crocodile with mouth open
Wildebeest


Taking the Trip of a Lifetime | Major Things To Consider

As exciting as a South African hunting trip is, there are countless factors that must be taken into consideration. Choosing the game you would like to hunt is just the first step. Everything from travel arrangements to travel insurance must be arranged before any shots are taken.

As with any other trip, you need to make almost all preparations in advance. This is essential for a huge journey, considering most hunters will be traveling internationally for a big game hunt in Africa.

If you want your big game hunting trip to go smoothly, you’ll want to do all the necessary research and iron out all the details you might not be 100% certain about.

Below are some key factors to consider when organizing your hunting trip of a lifetime:



Location

South African provinces

The provinces of South Africa all provide various big game hunting opportunities, with Limpopo and Eastern Cape being two of the most popular. (photo credit: southafrica.to)

In South Africa, hunting is readily available in the following nine provinces:

As you can see, you have plenty of options to choose from of when selecting your hunting destination.

The most popular areas listed above are Limpopo and Eastern Cape, with the other options still boasting amazing hunts and beautiful big game. Still, location popularity will likely not determine where you’ll be hunting, but rather what animal you will be looking to harvest.



Cost

Many hunters incorrectly assume that hunting in South Africa is more expensive than it really is.

In fact, an all-inclusive hunt for several species of plains game cost about the same as an elk hunt in the U.S.

When calculating the cost of a big game hunt (with the exception of some specialty hunts that have very niche requirements), the following will be everything you need to consider:

  • Travel arrangements
  • Trophy fees
  • Daily hunting rates
  • Taxidermy and shipping
  • Fees associated with lodging/stay (food, ammunition, etc.)


Skill

Keep in mind, big game hunting is an extremely physical commitment. You’ll want to be well prepared for the hours of walking and stalking that will likely be involved.

It’s imperative that you be in good and healthy physical shape, because you never know when you will find yourself in a life or death situation. 

Additionally, it’s advisable that you be a seasoned hunter for a hunting venture such as this. Not only can big game hunting be physically demanding, but dangerous as well. You don’t want to arrive ill-prepared and in over your head.


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Availability

South Africa has a warm, moderate, and dry climate, which is ideal for big game hunting.

giraffes on prairie

Generally speaking, the big game hunting season in South Africa typically runs from the early Spring to mid-late Fall. With that being said, some of the most preferred hunting months for most South African species fall in the Summer months, with the prime hunting weather being a strong influence. 

Now, looking at what works best for you, the best indication of when you should plan your hunt really comes down the type of game you are looking to hunt or any restrictions or limitations you may have, such as budget or time availability.

No one hunt is perfect for everyone, but everyone has that one hunt that is perfect for them, it’s just a matter of doing the research!



Making Your Choice

As we’ve expanded on, there is plenty to consider for a hunting expedition in South Africa. Still, what it all really comes down to is what’s going to work best for you and what your ideal hunting experience is, as well as what you can afford.

elephants at water hole

As overwhelming as that may sound, it’s also incredibly exciting. Just make sure that you are working with a guide who you can trust and that you know is familiar with the area and the game you are hunting.



Types Of Big Game In Africa | Plan Your Hunt Today!

Big game hunting is a deeply satisfying sport enjoyed by thousands. A hunting expedition in South Africa can be a life-changing and rewarding experience.

To ensure the success of your trip, you’ll want to have a plethora of knowledge on all things related to the hunt. After taking the time to read through this guide, you’re already off to a great start!