Bowhunting Coyoteson Dec 17, 2012
So, bow season is quickly coming to a close and you are looking for a challenge; something to keep your senses razor-sharp in the off-season, something to test your skills as a hunter. Well, look no further than coyote hunting. If you think the task is easy, you’re only kidding yourself. Without a doubt, these predators are some of the most difficult to kill (especially with a bow), but trust me it can be done. Here’s how.
Whether you’re chasing whitetails, turkeys or coyotes, there is simply no substitute for scouting. “Scouting” for coyotes sounds fairly difficult and more like an easy way to empty a gas tank without reward than anything else. However, it will most definitely make your hunting time more successful when chasing these elusive creatures. Unlike scouting for deer, turkeys or birds you typically aren’t looking for the actual animal when coyotes are the target. Spotting an evasive coyote is a plus, but there are a multitude of other things to look for that will help improve your hunt. Depending on where you are planning to bowhunt coyotes, it’s nice to know where ranchers place their dead livestock. These areas will generally have coyotes in the vicinity for months; even if it seems like the carcass is nothing more than a scantily dressed pile of bones.
Just like deer hunting, look for coyote sign to point you in the right direction.
Tracks are the most informative sign a predator hunter can find. While a single set of tracks may not tell much, several sets will give an excellent indication of where to start hunting. Coyotes utilize “trails” much the same way whitetails do with the exception that they don’t typically bed in the same location day after day. However, they will hunt in the same places daily.
Hay fields and CRP fields are places that are highly inhabited by rodents--- the number one food source most coyotes. Coyotes are opportunistic feeders and voracious predators, eating everything they may stumble upon, but when it comes to hunting for food, the easiest meals typically win out. This means mice or field rats. In cold winter months the energy expelled chasing larger prey simply isn’t worth the exhaustion when rodents are plentiful.
Any location that offers an "easy meal" is worth considering.
LocationsTo Set Up
Setting up to kill a coyote with a bow is far different from hunting with a rifle simply due to the close proximity you will share with the animal. Coyotes typically prefer to come in through cover without exposing themselves if they can. Unfortunately, this isn’t always an option; specifically for western hunters. When a hunter can set up in cover (tree row, timber patch, tall sage, etc.) with the majority of the cover up wind, he’s headed in the right direction. If you are lucky enough to locate dead livestock, it shouldn’t take long to figure out if coyotes are hitting the carcass. In a situation where coyotes return to a carcass to eat, the grand majority of the time they will approach from the down-wind side to assure it is safe to dine once again. Setting up in a bad wind will most definitely leave you empty handed and make several coyotes much the wiser.