Bowhunting for Coyotes

 

By: John Stallone

Whether you’re a beginner or a season predator hunter it’s tough to get a coyote or any predator for that matter with a bow… They come in hot, they come in super alert, and they can jump a string faster than any deer I have every shot at…… So I have developed a couple of little tricks I picked up over the years to try and get predators within bow range and actually get off a shot…  

Unlike firearm hunting where the setup is not as important as location with archery equipment how you set up the stand will make the difference between getting a coyote or watching him run away leaving you wishing you had your shotgun… I mentioned location I’m gonna quickly touch on this before we get to the set up part… Obviously if you’re not calling where coyotes and other predators “hang”…. then the best set up in the world isn’t going to help you. Doing your homework finding travel corridors, bedding areas and “hunting grounds”  are key to having a response to your call.. But we will save this topic for another time…

Ok back to the lecture at hand….Finding a good set up to score a coyote with a bow is made of up of several different key components…. Approach, Wind direction, Vantage point and Concealment.

Approach: Your approach when at all possible, I like to enter an area in an ”L” shaped approach walking in with the wind in my face then taking a hard 90 so that the wind ends up being side to side instead of in my face… Why? Because more times than not a predator (especially cats) will approach from downwind which means they will come from behind you if the wind is in your face. Putting the wind side to side often will make them cross in front of you broadside. I also try to approach my stand by avoiding disturbing the area that I believe they will come from. And If I don’t have these options I don’t bow hunt that spot period….

Wind Direction: We already talked about the wind a bit but to get a bit more detailed I prefer the wind be under 15mph and above 5mph this helps with concealing your movement when you go to draw.. When the bushes and vegetation around you are moving a bit with the wind they are less likely to catch you moving. When at all possible I like the wind going from the area I think is holding the coyotes away and across me… But if the wind is going toward them it’s OK I just make sure I lay a little scent down (rabbit distress or fox urine) something to add to the illusion. Speaking of illusion decoys motion decoys are a good tool for this set up.

Vantage Point:  The terrain doesn’t always lend itself to this but I like to have a bit of a vantage point even if it’s just a little rise or a rock out cropping…I really try to pick spots that have the terrain sloping away from me even if it’s a slight slope but when I can’t I look for small open parks just big enough to shoot across 50 yards or less or I look for edge cover… Basically something that gives me the advantage of seeing them before they see me. If you can couple this with good concealment you will improve your odds of getting a shot off…

Concealment: Aside from having good camo and controlling your scent your vantage point should be a counterpart to your concealment… In fact it’s probably the most important piece to the puzzle.. I try to look for a tree or shrubbery that I can sit down under or against or even better in.. I want to clear it all, remove anything that may give me away or make noise. Also I check my draw and make sure I have clearance and the ability to shoot at all my open points or lanes. I usually like to have some kind of brush or deadfall in front of me, just enough to help break me up but not take away from my ability to shoot. Shade is a great tool for concealment as well especially if the shade is just covering you and creates an edge just beyond your position.. The sun is your friend if you can keep him behind you… nothing works better to get a dog to stop and stare for that extra moment then having the sun at your back and in his eyes. The contrary to this is having the sun in your face, I avoid this set up at all cost you are lit up like a Christmas tree even if you have a bit of top shade…

Other points of concealment such as a buffer bush or a boulder something that allows you to see through or around but is big enough for you to come to full draw without him seeing as he is coming into your shooting lane.

Bonus info: Well now all you gotta do is sweet talk one in close enough to shoot, I recommend using an electronic game call like a Foxpro that way you can have your hands free and use the call more to your advantage as you will see in my videos… couple little tricks if you are using an electronic caller such as a Foxpro: point the call in the direction you want them to come from, place the call under or behind something so they have to come around that obstacle or try to peak under to get at it.. I like to set my call 20-25 yards away from me out on an angle so they have to come across me to get to it…. Good luck and we will see ya out in the field..   

Here are two quick videos of this technique in action Bowhunting coyote part 1 and part 2   

and Part 2.

For more go to:  John Stallone

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