How to Bowhunt Coyotes

By Brodie SwisherJanuary 21, 2022

Few hunts help a hunter shake loose of the off-season itch like chasing predators. And when it comes to hunting predators, particularly coyotes with a bow, things can get intense in a hurry. But it won’t come easy.

Sure, you probably see plenty of coyotes during deer season. They seem simple enough to handle with just about any weapon. However, when it comes to calling coyotes into range, particularly bow range, everything changes.

Here’s a look at how to bowhunt coyotes to help you manage your property in one of the most exciting ways possible this season.

How To Bowhunt Coyotes
Calling coyotes within bow range just might be one of your toughest hunts of the year.

Locate Before You Go

If you want to maximize your opportunities to call up a coyote, take the time to locate them ahead of time rather than blindly calling at random locations. It may seem like coyotes are everywhere, but the truth is, they aren’t. They make the rounds. They’ll be in an area for a few days and then move on to the next property as they hunt fresh ground a week later. 

Take the time to locate coyotes in an area the night before you plan to hunt. They are very vocal animals. Howling at them the night before, or sounding off a siren will typically get them to respond with howls, giving away their location. It’s the perfect way to cut to the chase, saving you time and allowing you to hunt more efficiently.

Range Yardages Before You Call

Most missed shots on coyotes come as a result of the hunter not knowing the distance. And don’t think you’ll have time to punch your rangefinder for a distance when you have a coyote charging to the call. It ain’t gonna happen! You’ve got to be ready to roll when the time comes and a coyote is charging fast. 

The key is to take your distance readings before you make the first call. Use your rangefinder to confirm a number of objects along the route you assume a coyote will approach.  

How To Bowhunt Coyotes
Keep a rangefinder handy. Knowing the range can make or break your hunt for coyotes.

Use an Electronic Caller

Mouth calls are a great tool, but nothing allows you to position an approaching coyote for the shot like an electronic caller with a remote. The key is having a remote for the caller that allows you to place the speaker away from the hunter.

Why is this important? Coyotes will typically circle downwind of the call. It’s what they do to safely check things out and confirm with their nose what they’ve heard with their ears. An electronic caller allows you to place your call upwind of your setup. When a coyote circles downwind, he’ll often be right in your lap.

How To Bowhunt Coyotes
The electronic caller allows you to cast your sound away from your calling setup.

Bring Them Close with Decoys

As mentioned above, coyotes like to confirm what they’ve heard with their ears. They do this with their nose, but they also do so with their eyes. That’s why a decoy is pure poison on a coyote. They’ll come to a decoy like no other animal on earth. The audible sounds of the call bring them to the area, but the decoy will bring them into bow range.

Mojo Outdoors, FoxPro, and Western Rivers all make great decoy systems for pulling a coyote into bow range. Options are available in both a stand-alone decoy, as well as a decoy that works in conjunction with your electronic call for maximum realism.

Getting them close is the name of the game when it comes to killing a coyote in bow range.

Shoot From Your Knees

Another mistake many hunters make is not being prepared when a coyote responds to the call. It’s understandable. Coyotes respond to the call much quicker than what newcomers to the game would ever imagine.

When you’re set up right, coyotes can be on the scene and charging the call in seconds. You won’t have time to stand up or shuffle into position. So for maximum maneuverability, setup with your knees on the ground and sitting back on your heels. The position will allow you to spin for the shot, raise up or down, and swing on approaching coyotes.

So if you’re struggling with cabin fever, or just feeling the itch to drop the trigger on a live target, give coyote hunting a try in the months ahead. Few critters will challenge the bowhunter like coyotes in the off-season. You can bet it’ll be an adrenaline rush like no other critter you hunt all season.  

Best Gear for Hunting Coyotes


FoxPro X2S 

MoJo Triple Threat 

Flextone FLX1000

Johnny Stewart Executioner

Western Rivers Eichler Dual Game Call


FoxPro Jack Daddy 

Mojo Critter 2 

Western Rivers Mantis Pro 


Keep your optics at the ready to scan the landscape and take ranges before you begin your calling series. A quality bino harness makes this quick and easy. 

Vortex Razor HD Bino

Vortex Razor HD 4000 Rangefinder 

Alaska Guide Creations Bino Harness 

Brodie Swisher
Brodie Swisher is a world champion game caller, outdoor writer, seminar speaker and Editor for Bowhunting.com. Brodie and his family live in the Kentucky Lake area of west Tennessee.
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