724 Outdoors

Hunting Articles
Winter Predator Hunting
Submitted By: Larry Murphy
Email Author

It was late September, and I was sitting in my treestand hoping for a "shooter" buck to walk by.  As the sun began to set, all around me I heard the howling of 2 different packs of coyotes.  I hadn't seen any deer, so I did a few mouse squeaks and a saw a coyote heading down the trail at me.  As I started to draw, the animal saw me and bolted.  Over the last couple years, we've seen a real increase in predators on our trail cameras, so my son and I decided "this is the year we start predator hunting".

A good friend of mine is an accomplished coyote hunter, and took me out on our farm a couple weeks ago.  I discovered that predator hunting is an interesting combination between deer and turkey hunting.  Full camo is extremely important, as well as scent control.  In addition, movement in and out of hunting sets needs to be well coordinated to minimize scaring these wary critters.

I had a Tally Ho predator call already.  It's a call that I've used in the spring to "shock gobble" turkeys, so I was used to using it.  I watched several videos on YouTube, and even purchased the Calling All Coyotes video (which, by the way, is awesome).  I decked out in my cold weather bow hunting clothes, grabbed my deer rifle, and I was ready to go.

On our first set, my buddy called in a coyote to 50 yards and he rolled it with his .204.  Been there 10 minutes, one down!  We hunted a few more sets before dark, but we didn't see any more.  The next morning we set-up and called in a fox.  The fox came in running, but then it stopped and made a big circle around us, then took off.  Two sets later we called in another coyote, and it was killed at 20 yards with my .243.

I learned that coyote hunting is actually quite a bit different than hunting other predators.  We would set-up, call for maybe 10 minutes, then we'd move and set up again.  Coyotes are generally easier to call than bobcats or other predators, so a "call and move" technique works well for them.  Our farm has a decent population of bobcats as well, and they come in much slower.  They try to sneak in, and get down wind, so scent control and longer sets are the key to taking a bobcat or fox. 

I'm sure there is a ton of specialty gear for predator hunting.  But, to be honest, you don't need to buy a bunch of new toys to take advantage of this sport.  If you are a deer hunter, then most likely you have the camo and gun necessary to go hunting for predators.  The calls are very inexpensive, and you don't need a $300 e-call to bring in a hungry coyote.  Work into the wind, watch your scent, limit your movement, and hunt areas that allow you to see and cover ground and you'll bag a coyote!  Also, consider selling the hides, or the whole coyote, to make a few bucks.  It's not much trouble, and a decent coyote is worth $20 when they have their winter coats!

Below are a couple HD Flip videos I shot.  This should help you get started, and is a good sample of the calling that we did and type of areas we hunted.  Enjoy!





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