nighttime strategies for hunting coyotes

Hunting Coyotes at Night

Are you ready to step into the shadows and embark on a thrilling nocturnal hunting adventure?

The moonlit chase of coyotes under the cover of darkness is a pursuit that requires skill, strategy, and the right set of tools.

In this discussion, we will explore eight proven strategies that will not only enhance your chances of success but also elevate your night hunting experience to a whole new level.

From the art of effective calling to the importance of wind direction, we will delve into the intricacies of hunting coyotes at night.

So, prepare to immerse yourself in the world of stealth and anticipation as we uncover the secrets to becoming a masterful night coyote hunter.

Gear and Preparation

When it comes to gear and preparation for hunting coyotes at night, there are a few key considerations that can enhance your overall hunting experience.

First and foremost, it’s important to debunk the myth that hunting coyotes at night is easier, more productive, and less expensive than during the day. While it may be true that coyotes are more active at night, it doesn’t mean that hunting them becomes effortless. Contrary to popular belief, using only a light isn’t sufficient for a successful hunt. It’s crucial to invest in the right equipment and gear.

For first-time hunters, the focus should be on acquiring a reliable light rather than buying unnecessary equipment. There’s no need to spend exorbitant amounts of money on costly gear. Instead, opt for a high-quality light that provides sufficient illumination and durability. Consider products with protection agreements for expensive gear to ensure their longevity.

Contrary to popular belief, wearing a ghillie suit or camouflage clothing isn’t necessary for hunting coyotes at night. Coyotes primarily rely on their keen sense of hearing and smell, rather than their vision, to detect potential threats. As long as you play the wind and avoid being detected by scent, camouflage isn’t needed.

It is important to familiarize yourself with safety rules for firearms, which remain the same at night. Be cautious when approaching other coyote hunters in the dark and always know your local laws before embarking on a night hunt. Ensure you have the necessary permissions from landowners and consider notifying local police of your hunting intentions. Additionally, it’s advisable to leave a prominent sign on your vehicle stating that you’re hunting with landowner permission.

Effective Calling Techniques

To effectively call coyotes at night, it’s important to utilize distress calls that attract their attention. Using recommended sounds that mimic the distress of small prey animals can increase your chances of success.

However, it’s crucial to be aware that imperfections in your calling can actually attract coyotes when others are using the same sound, so practicing and perfecting your technique is key.

Distress Calls Attract Coyotes

Distress calls are highly effective in attracting coyotes during night hunting, providing hunters with a proven technique for successful calling.

When using distress calls, there are several important factors to consider:

  • Choose the right distress call sound that mimics the natural distress sounds of prey animals.
  • Use closed reed callers or electronic callers for consistent and realistic distress sounds.
  • Practice making raspy whines and cries to make your distress calls more effective.
  • Imperfections in your sound can actually attract coyotes when others are using the same sound.
  • Consider using high-quality electronic callers with a suitable call library and features like remote control, water resistance, and durability.

Use Recommended Sounds

Consider incorporating recommended coyote calling sounds into your hunting strategy for more effective and successful night hunting. Using the right sounds can greatly increase your chances of attracting coyotes to your location.

Experienced hunters recommend using closed reed callers or electronic callers for night hunting. Closed reed calls have pre-determined reed length, ensuring consistent and realistic sounds. You can also practice making raspy whines and cries to mimic distressed prey.

It’s important to note that imperfections in your sound can actually attract coyotes when others are using the same sound. Some recommended coyote calling sounds for successful night hunting include the MFK Edition Foxpro X2S and MFK Coy Fem Inv. Howls.

Imperfections Can Attract

When utilizing recommended coyote calling sounds during night hunting, it’s important to be aware that imperfections in your sound can actually attract coyotes, even when others are using the same sound. Coyotes are highly adaptable and can pick up on subtle variations in sound, which may make your calling more realistic and appealing to them. These imperfections can mimic the natural sounds of injured prey or distressed animals, triggering the predator’s instinct to investigate.

By incorporating imperfections into your calling techniques, you can increase your chances of attracting coyotes and successfully hunting them at night.

  • Vary the pitch and tone of your calls
  • Add pauses or breaks in your calling sequence
  • Incorporate irregular cadences or rhythms
  • Introduce subtle variations in volume
  • Use different vocalizations to create a more realistic scenario

Location Selection

Scout for areas with high coyote activity to optimize your chances of success when hunting at night. Choosing the right location is crucial for a successful hunt. Look for open fields, forests, and areas near water sources, as these are often frequented by coyotes. Private land with landowner permission can provide excellent hunting opportunities. However, it is important to pay attention to local regulations and restrictions on hunting areas. Consulting with experienced hunters or predator management organizations can also provide valuable insights and recommendations for suitable locations.

To help you understand the importance of location selection, here is a table highlighting key factors to consider:

Factors to ConsiderDescription
Open FieldsCoyotes are attracted to open spaces where they can hunt and roam freely. Look for areas with ample visibility.
ForestsForested areas provide cover and potential den sites for coyotes. Consider hunting near forest edges or areas with dense vegetation.
Water SourcesCoyotes rely on water for survival. Hunting near ponds, streams, or rivers can increase your chances of encountering them.
Private LandObtain landowner permission to hunt on private property. This can provide exclusive access to areas with high coyote activity.
Local RegulationsFamiliarize yourself with hunting regulations in your area. Be aware of any restrictions or permits required for hunting at night.

Tips for Successful Night Hunting

When it comes to successful night hunting for coyotes, there are a few key tips to keep in mind.

First, ensure that you have the proper equipment and gear, such as a reliable light and a suitable weapon.

Additionally, patience and persistence are essential traits for night hunting, as it may take time to locate and attract coyotes.

Equipment and Gear

To ensure a successful night hunting experience, it’s crucial to have the right equipment and gear at your disposal. Here are five essential items you should consider for your night hunting expeditions:

  • Quality Firearms: Choose a reliable rifle or shotgun that you’re familiar with for accurate marksmanship. Expensive brand names aren’t necessary; trust in a field-scarred rifle or a trusted hunting buddy.
  • Red Lights: Opt for red lights over green lights as they appear more natural and are less likely to scare away prey. Green lights can appear unnatural and may give away your position.
  • Adjustable Zoomable Light: Invest in an adjustable zoomable light for better visibility and scanning capabilities. Scanning the coyote’s eyes first is crucial for spotting them in the dark.
  • Helmet Lights: Avoid using helmet lights due to their limitations, discomfort, and limited visibility. Instead, use a handheld scanning light for safety and efficient recovery of downed coyotes.
  • Night Hunting Scopes: Consider using infrared or thermal scopes for night hunting. ATN scopes offer beginner-friendly options with wide fields of view and good magnification ranges for target identification.

Patience and Persistence

Patience and persistence are key attributes for successful night hunting, as they allow hunters to adapt to the unpredictable nature of coyote behavior and maximize their chances of a successful hunt. When hunting coyotes at night, it is important to remember that these animals are intelligent and elusive, requiring hunters to employ strategic and patient tactics. By remaining patient and persistent, you increase your chances of luring in coyotes and making a successful kill. Below is a table outlining three proven strategies for practicing patience and persistence during night hunting:

1. Set up in prime locationsChoose areas with high coyote activity, such as open fields or areas near water sources.Increases the likelihood of attracting coyotes.
2. Use effective calling techniquesExperiment with different coyote calling sounds and create scenarios that mimic natural encounters.Increases the chances of luring in coyotes by appealing to their instincts.
3. Allow enough time for huntingCoyotes can be cautious and may take time to approach the caller. Be patient and give them enough time to feel comfortable before taking a shot.Increases the chances of a successful hunt by allowing coyotes to fully commit to the call.

Playing the Wind

Playing the wind is a crucial aspect of successful night hunting for coyotes, ensuring that your scent remains undetected and increasing your chances of attracting these elusive predators. Here are five strategies to consider when playing the wind:

  • Wind direction: Pay close attention to the wind direction, as it can affect the success of your hunt. The wind should blow in your face or to the left/right, helping to prevent the coyote from detecting your scent.
  • Caller placement: Position the caller 50-100 yards in front of you, facing an elevated location where coyotes would naturally stop. This allows for flexibility if the predator circles, while still keeping your scent concealed.
  • Hunter and caller spacing: The space between you and the caller provides a buffer zone, reducing the risk of the coyote detecting your presence. Maintain an appropriate distance to maximize your chances of a successful encounter.
  • Timing: Consider starting with a female invitation call and then transitioning to a young male howl. Timing your calls with the wind direction can increase the likelihood of attracting coyotes to your location.
  • Scent control: While playing the wind is important, it’s also essential to practice scent control. Use scent-killing products and avoid contaminating your hunting gear with foreign odors to further minimize the chances of detection.

Choosing Weapons and Lights

When it comes to successfully hunting coyotes at night, one important consideration is choosing the right weapons and lights for the task at hand.

For new hunters, an old deer rifle with a 1.5 x 3 scope or a 12 gauge shotgun are recommended options. Expensive brand names aren’t necessary, as familiarity with the weapon is crucial for marksmanship. A field-scarred rifle or a trusted hunting buddy can also be reliable choices.

Casey Wood recommends specific MFK FoxPro calls for successful hunting.

When it comes to lights, red lights are preferred over green lights. Green lights can appear unnatural and too strong, potentially giving away the hunter’s position. Red lights, on the other hand, are less likely to scare away prey and are more discreet.

It’s worth noting that helmet lights aren’t recommended due to their limitations. They can cause discomfort and limit visibility. Instead, investing in an adjustable zoomable light is more effective.

Scanning the coyote’s eyes first is crucial, and a good-quality light can be affordable and durable.

Scanning Lights and Scopes

To effectively scan for coyotes while hunting at night, it’s important to use proper lighting equipment and scopes. Here are some strategies to help you with scanning lights and scopes:

  • Use a scanning light to sweep the area ahead and continuously scan for the reflection in the coyote’s eyes. The tapetum behind the retina helps locate the coyote, so movement of the light back and forth is essential for spotting them.
  • Start scanning before calling to increase your chances of spotting coyotes before they approach.
  • If hunting with a partner, divide the duties and improve efficiency. One person can scan with a handheld or weapon-mounted light, while the other focuses on calling and shooting.
  • Consider using an additional handheld scanning light for safety and recovering downed coyotes. This will help you locate and track them in the dark.
  • For enhanced visibility and accuracy, consider using an infrared or thermal scope. These scopes provide a wide field of view and offer features like magnification and target identification. ATN scopes are recommended for beginner coyote hunters.

Infrared and Thermal Scopes

Infrared and thermal scopes are invaluable tools for night hunting coyotes, providing enhanced visibility and target identification in low-light conditions. These scopes utilize advanced technology to detect and display the heat signatures of animals, allowing hunters to see in the dark and locate coyotes more effectively.

Advantages of Infrared and Thermal ScopesAdvantages of Infrared and Thermal Scopes
Enhanced visibility in low-light conditionsImproved target identification
Ability to see through foliage and brushIncreased range of detection
Reduces the chances of accidental shootingsHelps avoid shooting non-target animals

Using infrared and thermal scopes during night hunting ensures that hunters can accurately identify their targets, reducing the risk of mistaken identity and accidental shootings. These scopes also provide a wider range of detection, allowing hunters to locate coyotes that may be hidden in dense vegetation or under cover. Additionally, the ability to see through foliage and brush gives hunters a clear line of sight, increasing their chances of a successful shot.

It is important to note that while infrared and thermal scopes can greatly enhance visibility and target identification, they should always be used responsibly and ethically. Hunters must prioritize safety and ensure they have a clear understanding of their target and what lies beyond it before taking a shot. By incorporating these advanced tools into their night hunting strategies, hunters can increase their effectiveness while promoting conservation and responsible hunting practices.

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