Coyote Hunting 101: Tips and Tactics for Beginners

Do not worry if you have not hunted coyotes before, as there is always a first time for everything. You need to learn about some of the important tips and tactics a beginner needs before you can start hunting. The process of hunting can be fun if you know what you are supposed to do. You do not have to expect that the first time will always be great, but with a few tips you should be ready to hunt coyotes.


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Below are some ideas to get you started on the process of coyote hunting.

Pick the right hunting gear

Without the right hunting gear, it is not possible for you to achieve the best hunting results. One of the hunting gear that cannot miss include guns. The guns will vary in size and the ammo they use. You simply have to make sure that you get to pick the right gun depending on your hunting needs. Get yourself a rifle, gun sling, rifle case, shotgun, bipod and shotgun case for coyote hunting.

To make sure that your hunting gear is easy to move around, then you need a backpack to carry it all. In the backpack you can have additional hunting gear stored. Some of the things you can carry include bullets, shotgun shells, hand calls, decoys, electronic call, gloves. Rangefinder, GPS, maps, battery charger, coyote drags, and camera.

You might have other gear that would not fit in the backpack such as the stand. It can be carried differently depending on the size and packaging. The idea here is to make sure that you only carry what is necessary. You might want to carry more change clothes, but they will just slow you down.


There is no doubt that camouflage is important so that you always get to hunt better. You first have to set up yourself in an area with a lot of cover so that blending into the environment is not a problem. As much as you are looking for cover, make sure it is in a place that will give you a clear path for shooting. As part of keeping yourself from being noticed, make sure to minimize your movements at all times. The coyotes have a keen eyesight which they can use to spot movements.

When choosing the stand, make sure that it also blends into the environment. This should make hunting better for the first time if you do not get noticed easily.

Make your stand comfortable

Hunting needs a lot of patience. It is not always that the coyotes will show up the moment you sound the call. It might even take up to 30 minutes to see a coyote. This whole time you will be in the stand waiting patiently. It would be great if you have a comfortable stand so that hunting time can be easier. Carry a pad for sitting on while waiting for the coyotes to show up. If you are well rested and comfortable, shooting the coyotes should not be a problem.

Know when to walk away

It is not always that your hunting will be fruitful. It is just like hunting any other animal, you have to know when to walk away. There is no shame in walking away as you can always get lucky next time. You also have to realize why your hunting was not fruitful. Sometimes it may that you did not take time to scout the area. With proper scouting next time, you should find it easy to find a coyote and take your trophy. Do not spend the whole day in a place that is not likely to have coyotes. Always move around to see what you can get.

Have more practice with your equipment

Before you can go out to start hunting, it is crucial that you get to practice a lot with your hunting equipment. If you do not know how to shoot properly, then you might end up not making the best shot ever. Take an example of using a rifle, it needs a lot of time so that you can always take out the coyote with one shot. Missing is not always a good option as you might not find another chance to shoot the coyote.

Scouting tips

Scouting is the most important part of coyote hunting and any other animal hunting process. There is no way you are going to hunt coyotes if you do not know where they are located. Talk to the ranchers and landowners to give you pointers about the best place to start. Do not be upset if they do not reveal such information as you get other hunters in the same area who will gladly help.

Online scouting is a great tool you can always use before visiting the area. One of the best tools to use in this case is the Google Earth software. The software will give you real time images of the area rather than you relying on old maps. With the map, you can find ravines, waterholes, tree groupings and other areas that could have coyotes.

Getting access to private grounds can be great for a beginner as access to the coyotes can be faster. Remember that the access will always be restricted, so make sure to ask for permission before hunting.

Understand their hunting habits and you are likely to know where to find them easily. The coyotes will hunt based on the food available. For a small prey, you will find than hunting alone. They can be more when hunting a larger animal. Hunting in packs helps them take down the prey with ease.

Another great location will be the water holes. Many animals will flourish near water sources. You can always get them coming to the waterholes at noon. This is when you get to take your shot with ease and get multiple kills.
Coyotes are defensive in nature. Even if you sound a call, they will not just respond to it immediately, but rather wait. It is the reason you can find them around areas with a lot of cover to protect themselves from any danger. Finding an area with more cover on your map can help in determining the location of coyotes.

Hunting with a partner

Well, hunting with a partner can always lead to better hunting capability as compared to hunting alone. Just make sure your hunting partner has more experience than you so that you get to learn more. As much as it can be fun to hunt with a partner, make sure that you limit your noise. If you have to talk, whispering should be sufficient.
Learn your surrounding area before hunting. Sometimes you could end up with hazards or livestock in the area. If the area has a lot of human activity, then you need to avoid shooting towards the area.

When you arrive at the scene, hide your vehicle from sight. Just make sure that it is well covered as sometimes a sheen or reflection from the gloss paint, chrome, or window can quickly scare the coyote back into hiding. Take note that silence is key, so even when getting out of the vehicle, do not slam the doors. To improve on silence, make sure to carry the gear properly so that it does not clink together.

Understanding coyote body language

Sometimes understanding the body language can help you further understand what the coyote is about to do. If the coyote is walking towards the decoy or your position, let it come closer before you can take the shot. Do not,however, wait too long as they can easily run away is something small to be off.

Coyotes always try to get downwind, so it is important to note the direction of the wind. Sometimes you can see them walking and stopping to change direction. They are trying to find downwind, so take your shot when an opportunity presents itself. Downwind can be disadvantageous to the shooter because of the scent. It is the reason you have to take the shot before your scent can be detected.

For a coyote walking and constantly looking back means that it is not alone. Looking back means that they are waiting on their partners. Taking an early shot at this point could ruin your chances of having a double kill or even more. You should not get greedy, but rather wait for the others to show up before taking the shot.

If the coyote stops in an area out of your rifle range, do not make a futile effort of taking the shot anyway. Let it go and it will come back later. If you take the shot, it will educate the coyote that the area is full of hazards. This will make it not to come back anytime soon.

After taking your shot

When you take the shot and it is a bull’s eye, do not start jumping up and down to show that you are happy. You can never know that there might be another coyote still in the area and your shouting could have just scared it off. Once you take the first shot, take a deep breath and look for any other coyote in the area.

You will need to use a call that signifies that the coyote is in distress to get more coyotes coming into the area. Sound the call each time you take the shot. Wait until you can no longer see any more coyotes before you can go ahead to collect your trophy.

The time of the year for hunting

Having an understanding of the best time of the year can help you make up your mind on when it is best to hunt. Fall is often the best time to hunt for coyotes. This weather is right for coyotes as they are always anxious to be called. The coyotes will be out on their own and this could be a perfect chance for you to get your shot. These young dumb ones will make an easy target so that you can have a quick kill with less effort.

As for winter, you will get most predator hunters targeting the coyotes. Most of them will be spending more time in the open during the day looking for food. This type of weather makes them more active during the day and thus food can become scarce. There is no doubt they are being called more often thus they end up being wise. You may have to change a few tactics.

During spring the coyotes will be very territorials to their fellow coyotes. During this time, you have to use coyote vocals as the primary sounds if you want to get one for yourself. Most of them will show up, thus making such a method rewarding to the hunters. Howling can be effective, but it will need a lot of practice just to get it right.

As for summer, this is a time off for the predator hunters. You might still get some people going out for hunting at this time of the year. At this time, most will be using the decoys to attract the coyotes. You can try the other methods you did not use during their other seasons.

Time of day for hunting

The best time to hunt is definitely early in the morning. This is because most animals would be active early in the morning and later in the evening. The coyotes are seen to respond faster to a siren or how when it is during the morning hours.

You could also hunt late in the morning from around 10 am to noon. You must start by checking out the best spots before sounding the calls. If you are in the right spot, this is a great time for hunting coyotes.

Can you hunt coyotes at noon? Yes, as the coyotes are opportunists, you can still trick them even at noon. Whenever the coyote perceives a free meal, it will be easily attracted to your location. Sometimes depending on your spot, you can see various coyotes walking around this time than any time.

Afternoon are often tricky to hunt the coyotes. It is at this time that most of them would be lazy to move around. Most of them would be resting under covers, so spotting them would not be easy. It will take more time to scout for the coyotes in the afternoon.

Even if the afternoon can be a bit tough for a hunter, the activity picks up in the evening. The evening scouting can often be productive, just make sure you are in a good spot to find coyotes and take the shot.

Night hunting

Hunting at night is not for everyone. You have to start by pre-scouting the area early before the night. Finding good locations at night to hunt is not always easy. While you were hunting during the day, you can set up your stand in areas that has a high population in coyotes.

As for the light color, you will get different people having various opinions about the best light color to use. Some would say white light is better as the coyotes tend to be attracted to the white light. Well, if you want to see better, you could opt for a green light. It can be a learning curve you when it comes to the light. After a while you will be able to pick a light that works great for you.

Judging the distance at which the coyote is away from you during the night can be hard. This is why you need a hunting partner. One can estimate the range while the other prepares to take the shot. With time you can learn how best to estimate the range after knowing the terrain of the area. It is important to know this range as making shooting decisions at night can be dangerous.


Getting to know how to hunt coyotes is important for any hunters. This means that you get to add more knowledge on what you know in terms of hunting. As you can see, some of these tips are easy to understand and follow. Always make sure that you can pick the right gear at all times so that the process can be smooth. With a bit of hunting, you will get to come up with your own hunting tips to tell other newbies in the industry.

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