How to Hunt Coyotes at Night
Hunting down coyotes can be really rewarding and for the lucky ones, a life-changing moment to say the least. It is one of those experiences that can either make you jump around in joy or scream in frustration – depending on how geared up you are of course. Generally, coyote hunting is emerging one of the best ways to reconnect with Mother Nature as you have to remain 100% locked in the moment when it all goes down. As with any predator hunting expedition, you will obviously have to know specific details such as the temperatures, weather patterns, flow and ebb involved. In a nutshell, the devil is always in the detail.
Unlike the past where most gaming expeditions happened during the day, coyote hunting at night is emerging as the in-thing and for obvious reasons. Why spend an entire day tracking down a nocturnal creature, while you can easily hunt one at night? With the right hunting gear, equipment and tips, coyote hunting at night may just end up being one of those thrilling expeditions you’ve always yearned for. As always, we will enlighten you with some basic techniques on how to hunt coyotes at night including lighting, scanning and like stand selection just to name a few. Enjoy!
Must-Have Gears for Hunting Coyotes at Night :
As earlier mentioned, how well your gaming experience ends will all boil down to the type of equipment you have. In short, the right coyote hunting gear can make all the difference, meaning you want to stay equipped with the following.
It is worth noting that hunting down these predators requires a lot of skill. You can choose to hunt with a combination of electronic calls and mouth calls just to be safe. The best part about using electronic calls is, they innovatively take the sound source away from the user and thus, allowing you to position yourself for a perfect shot. Basically, the coyote will solely focus on the sound source meaning you are able to make slight movements if need be. That said, there is a wide array of quality electronic calls designed for both amateurs and pros. Check out our electronic game call reviews for more info on the best products.
Sure, using both electronic and mouth calls may sound a little excessive. However, this is the only way to guarantee a game when it’s all said and done. As with electronic calls, there is a wide array of different mouth blown calls available on the market. Using the howl distress call or the rabbit distress call can be quite effective especially for skilled hunters.
Coyotes are cautious creatures; more so when approaching a call. You therefore need more than just a distress call to dupe these perfect-sighted predators into coming your way at night and this is where camouflage suits come into play. Generally, most pro hunters prefer to use a leafy suit or traditional ghillie suits designed in a poncho style. The poncho design means you don’t have to worry about your breathable mesh-design suit picking up twigs or sticks as you close in on your game. Worth noting, though, is conventional ghillie suits are perfect for coyote hunting at night thanks to their warm and heavy design – perfect for the cold. Depending on the terrain, you can either go for a desert, snow or woodland camouflage material.
As mentioned above, coyotes are really cautious and more often than not, want to see what they are getting themselves into. With this in mind, you want something the cunning predator can link to the call sounds they’re hearing. If a coyote can’t see anything but only hear calls, be ready to watch your game walk away. If you are hunting for the first time, though, it would be wise not to use a decoy so that you can watch them slowly make their way into a call trap – the main idea anyway. Decoys usually make for fast action and hence, beneficial for hunters that have been at it for a while.
Make a trip without shooting sticks and you’ll end up regretting at the end of it all. Generally, shooting sticks serve as one of the most essential hunting gears you can bring on a predator hunt and for valid reasons. As with most gear, there is a wide array of sticks available on the market. From effective mounted bipods to versatile tall sticks, you can easily find one to complement any hunting application. Taller sticks, however, serve as ideal for night coyote hunting.
The best weapon for hunting coyotes at night is a controversial debate best left for another day. However, AR-15’s can be quite effective especially if setup in a .223 caliber that makes up for quick follow up shots. This not only greatly increases your chances for double’s or even triples if lucky, but more importantly, almost always guarantees a game when it’s all said and done. If you are planning on enrolling for a competition, though, you want to use both an AR15 and shotgun for safe measure.
As a hunter, the biggest decision you’ll have to make when hunting down coyotes is whether you need more bang, or save some fur. Fortunately, you can strike the perfect balance by using some 40 grain Noslers and 22-250’s. For those looking to bring down a game and nothing else, using number 4 buckshot with a shotgun would certainly be in your best interest.
Shooting Chair or Butt Pad
If you’ve ever had to sit down in the snow for more than half an hour or hold still for even half this period, you’ll likely never go on a hunting expedition without a shooting chair or butt pad. The latter may seem as a gimmick on the surface, but wait until you realize that your leg is dead after holding still for extended periods in awkward positions. Butt pads are not only comfortable, but crucial in enhancing shot accuracy as well.
You can read our Best Hunting Binoculars Reviews to choose the right one for coyote hunting.
Steps for a Successful Hunting Adventure at Night
Well, it is time to go for the big hunting adventure at night after you get all the mentioned hunting gear in place. These tips on coyote hunting at night will help you to have a great night hunting experience!
Hunting down coyotes at night is not as hard as it may sound at first. However, you must be very disciplined if you want to head back to the truck with a game at hand. You want to start by finding a suitable location to set-up shop. Why waste time sitting in over-hunted locations defined by poor habitat? You can use a scanner to pinpoint the perfect hunting grounds.
Next, you want to start setting up your equipment and gear in record breaking fashion. Try practicing how to set up your spotlight, calls and sticks way before hitting the rough for your expedition. Once you have everything in place, silence is your greatest companion. Most predators can detect minor movements from far away and they moment your arouse suspicion; they are as good as gone.
More detailed steps to hunting coyotes are described in our 7 Steps on Coyote Hunting.
Calling Coyotes at Night
While these nocturnal creatures are out and about for most parts of the night, they will approach calls more confidently during the day. In a nutshell, hunting coyotes at night is actually harder, but more satisfying. As you may have gathered by now, the devil is always in the detail. You want to have a number of common call sounds such as a bird, rabbit, yip or howl in distress in order to achieve a successful hunt.
Generally speaking, both electronic and mouth calls can work effectively at hunting down coyotes at night, but the latter is best suited for skilled hunters. For amateurs, though, electronic calls have a slight edge over their conventional counterparts and for valid reasons. With e-calls – as they are popularly referred to in the gaming realms – you get loud, clear and surreal sounds of distressed animals, making them extremely believable to coyotes. If used with a decoy, these calls will have most predators rushing in expecting to find their prey.
Of course, you’ll have to clearly see your predator in the dark so as to shoot it down. Most pro hunters go for high powered spotlights with the ability to illuminate coyotes roaming up to 400 yards. Worth noting is, nocturnal animals are really easy to identify in the dark when using spot lights, mainly because of their eyes bright reflect. With such equipment, you don’t have to waste time scanning the area just to identify your game. All you need to do is power up your lighting equipment, use the electronic calls to draw them in and shoot down your hunt.
Hunting is always extremely fun and exciting, meaning it is quite easy to get caught up in the moment and throw all caution to the wind. When hunting for coyotes at night, you want to take every precaution possible keeping in mind that predators are also susceptible to diseases, besides being extremely dangerous if rubbed wrongly. Always use gloves when handling these animals and if possible, have additional gear such as face masks just to be careful.
Most hunters have a habit of packing every gear and arsenal in the book only to forget the most essential weapon of all – water. Of what use it to go out hunting only for you to faint or fall ill due to dehydration? When going out to hunt down coyotes at night, always carry lots of water especially if you are headed to remote regions.
Hunting coyotes can take a while regardless of whether it’s during the day or night. Can you imagine staying still for extended periods on an empty stomach and in the cold? When going out on a night coyote hunting adventure, always remember to pack plenty of snacks especially cereals such as seeds and nuts to provide sufficient energy levels in your body. Scientifically speaking, being exposed to harsh weather conditions means your body burns more calories than it normally would and hence, requires carbs to replenish the lost energy levels.
First Aid Kit
While out in the rough, it is always wise to be prepared for anything. Sure, you always want to hope for the best as a hunter, but what happens if something goes wrong? Keep in mind that finding medical facilities in remote areas is far-fetched to say the least. That said, you always want to stay equipped with a well-stocked first aid kit just in case something happens. From torn tissues to snake bites, anything is possible when out in the wilderness, meaning your safest bet lays in staying prepared.
Let Somebody Know Your Whereabouts
Finding your way back from the most remote areas isn’t always guaranteed. In fact, you want to have a GPS mapping system if you are making your way into unknown territory – not your phone, though. Just in case you get lost, it is always advisable to let somebody you trust know where you will be turning up just to stay safe.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q. What is the best and legal season to hunt coyotes?
A. For starters, hunting aficionados probably know that most states allow night coyote hunting all year round. However, the best seasons to hunt are during fur bearing seasons usually between September and March when their hides fetch the highest prices.
Q. How long does it take for coyotes to get into a call trap?
A. It all depends on the terrain you’re hunting in. For instance, hunting in remote areas requires great patience as it takes time for the call sounds to travel the long distances and the coyotes to get your hunting grounds. Conversely, it may take less than a minute for the predators to answer your call if in a populated area.
Q. Can coyote calls attract other predators as well?
A. Sure. When hunting for coyotes, it is always of paramount importance to stay prepared for anything. Bobcats, lynx and foxes are all predators that may come rushing in.
Wrapping It Up
From the above, you gather that learning how to hunt coyotes at night isn’t as far-fetched as you may think being an amateur hunter. It is advisable to start your hunting odysseys during winter when the days are short and the nights long. Always remember that safety comes first, meaning you should be completely sure of your target before thinking about going for the kill. Once you have graduated to pro level, things get easier as everything happens in record breaking fashion. Good Luck!