How to Hunt Coyotes: A Beginners Guide to Hunting A Coyote

Thayne Muthler

Coyote hunting is a thrilling and challenging outdoor activity that requires a deep understanding of coyote behavior and characteristics, today I will show you how to hunt coyotes. As an avid hunter, I have spent countless hours studying these elusive creatures and honing my skills to become a successful coyote hunter. In this article, I will share my knowledge and experiences with you, providing valuable insights into the world of coyotes and how to effectively hunt them.

Key Takeaways From How to Hunt Coyotes

  • Understanding coyote behavior and characteristics is crucial for successful hunting.
  • Choosing the right hunting gear and equipment can make a big difference in your hunting experience.
  • Scouting for coyotes requires patience and knowledge of their habits and habitats.
  • Using calls and decoys can be effective in attracting coyotes, but proper technique is important.
  • It is important to follow ethical and legal guidelines when shooting and processing coyotes.


How to Hunt Coyotes: Behavior and Characteristics

How to Hunt Coyotes: A Beginners Guide to Hunting A Coyote

To become a proficient coyote hunter, it is crucial to understand their behavior and habits. Coyotes are highly adaptable animals that can be found in various habitats across North America. They are primarily nocturnal but can also be active during the day, especially in areas with less human activity.

Coyotes are opportunistic predators with a diverse diet that includes small mammals, birds, reptiles, insects, fruits, and carrion. They are intelligent animals known for their cunning nature and ability to adapt quickly to changing environments.

In terms of physical characteristics, coyotes resemble medium-sized dogs with bushy tails that they hold low while running. They have pointed ears that stand erect when alert or curious about something in their surroundings.

Identifying coyote tracks and signs is essential for tracking them effectively during hunts. Their tracks resemble those of domestic dogs but tend to be narrower due to their smaller size. Look for claw marks at the front of the track as well as distinct X-shaped foot pads.

Choosing the Right Hunting Gear and Equipment

How to Hunt Coyotes: A Beginners Guide to Hunting A Coyote

Selecting appropriate gear is crucial for any hunting expedition; however, when it comes to coyote hunting specifically, certain considerations must be made.

Firearms play a vital role in successful coyote hunting since accuracy is key when taking down these fast-moving targets from varying distances. A high-powered rifle chambered in .223 Remington or .22-250 caliber is commonly used due to its flat trajectory at longer ranges.

Hunting clothing and footwear should provide comfort, protection, and camouflage. Opt for lightweight, breathable materials that blend well with the natural surroundings. Additionally, invest in quality boots that offer ankle support and are suitable for various terrains.

Calls and decoys are essential tools for attracting coyotes to your hunting location. Electronic predator calls can mimic a wide range of distress sounds or prey vocalizations, while decoys such as rabbit or bird replicas can add realism to your setup.

Other essential gear includes binoculars for scouting potential hunting grounds from a distance, a reliable GPS device to mark important locations during scouting trips, and a sturdy backpack to carry all necessary equipment.

Finding the Best Hunting Grounds for Coyotes


Location Number of Coyotes Success Rate Time of Day
Forest 10 70% Night
Grassland 5 50% Dawn/Dusk
Desert 3 30% Early Morning/Late Afternoon

Researching potential hunting locations is crucial before embarking on any coyote hunting expedition. Start by studying maps of your desired area and identifying potential habitats where coyotes may reside.

Coyotes prefer open areas with ample cover such as grasslands, agricultural fields, brushy areas near water sources like rivers or ponds, and forest edges. Look for signs of recent coyote activity such as tracks or scat when scouting these areas.

Scouting is an integral part of finding the best hunting grounds. Spend time observing these areas at different times of day to determine when coyote activity is highest. Pay attention to their travel patterns and preferred routes between food sources and dens.

Preparing for the Hunt: Safety Tips and Precautions

Safety should always be a top priority when engaging in any form of hunting activity. Coyote hunting presents its own set of unique risks that must be addressed before heading out into the field.

Carry a first aid kit containing essentials like bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, and a whistle for signaling in case of emergencies. It is also advisable to inform someone of your hunting plans and expected return time.

When hunting with a partner, establish clear communication signals and always maintain visual contact. Avoid shooting at running or partially obscured targets to prevent accidental injuries.

Scouting for Coyotes: Tips and Techniques

Scouting is an essential aspect of coyote hunting that can greatly increase your chances of success. Start by identifying potential areas where coyotes are likely to be found based on their preferred habitats.

During scouting trips, look for signs such as tracks, scat, or fur caught on branches or fences. Pay attention to areas with fresh kills or carcasses as these indicate recent coyote activity.

Setting up trail cameras can provide valuable insights into the number and behavior of coyotes in a particular area. Analyzing the footage captured by these cameras will help you determine the best locations for setting up your blinds or stands during hunts.

Setting Up Your Hunting Blind or Stand

Choosing the right location for your blind or stand is crucial when it comes to effectively ambushing coyotes during hunts. Look for areas with good visibility that offer clear shooting lanes while providing adequate cover from the prying eyes of these cunning predators.

Setting up your blind or stand should be done well in advance to allow enough time for any disturbances caused by its installation to settle down before you start hunting. Ensure it blends seamlessly into the surroundings by using natural materials like branches, leaves, and grasses as camouflage.

To stay concealed from coyotes' keen senses, avoid wearing bright colors that may catch their attention easily. Instead, opt for camouflage clothing that matches the environment you will be hunting in.

Using Calls and Decoys to Attract Coyotes

How to Hunt Coyotes: A Beginners Guide to Hunting A Coyote

Calls and decoys are powerful tools when it comes to attracting curious coyotes within range of your firearm's effective reach.

Electronic predator calls have become increasingly popular due to their versatility and ability to produce a wide range of sounds. Experiment with distress calls, howls, or pup-in-distress sounds to pique the interest of nearby coyotes.

Decoys can add an extra layer of realism to your setup by mimicking wounded prey or other coyotes. Place them strategically within sight of your blind or stand, ensuring they are positioned in a way that allows for clear shooting opportunities.

Tracking and Stalking Coyotes: Techniques and Strategies

Tracking coyotes requires patience, observation skills, and knowledge of their behavior patterns. Start by identifying fresh tracks in areas where you suspect coyote activity.

Follow the tracks carefully while scanning the surroundings for any signs of movement or sound that may indicate the presence of a nearby coyote. Pay attention to wind direction as it can carry your scent towards them, alerting them to your presence.

Stalking is another effective technique for getting close enough for a clean shot at a coyote. Move slowly and deliberately while keeping low to the ground whenever possible. Use natural cover like trees or bushes to break up your silhouette and remain undetected.

Shooting and Killing Coyotes: Best Practices and Ethics

When it comes time to take the shot, it is essential to practice ethical hunting practices that prioritize quick kills with minimal suffering.

Aim for vital organs such as the heart or lungs when shooting at a stationary target from a stable position like a blind or stand. Take into account factors such as distance, wind speed/direction, bullet drop, and target movement when calculating your shot placement.

Avoid taking shots at running targets unless you are confident in your ability to make an accurate shot under those circumstances. Wounding an animal without killing it quickly is both unethical and increases its chances of escaping wounded into dense cover where recovery becomes difficult if not impossible.

Field Dressing and Processing Your Coyote

Field dressing refers to the process of removing the internal organs from a harvested animal to preserve its meat and prevent spoilage. Proper field dressing is crucial for maintaining the quality of your coyote's meat.

Start by making an incision along the belly, being careful not to puncture any organs. Remove the intestines, bladder, and other internal organs while taking care not to contaminate the meat with feces or urine.

Once field dressed, it is essential to cool down your coyote as quickly as possible. Hang it in a shaded area or place it on ice if available. This will help prevent bacterial growth and ensure that your meat remains fresh until you are ready to process it further.

Coyote fur can also be utilized for various purposes such as making clothing items or accessories like hats or gloves. Properly skinning and preserving the pelt will allow you to make use of this valuable resource.

Coyote Hunting Regulations: Laws and Permits to Know

Before embarking on any hunting expedition, familiarize yourself with local hunting regulations specific to coyotes in your area. These regulations may vary from state to state or even within different regions of a single state.

Obtain all necessary permits and licenses required for coyote hunting legally. Failure to do so can result in hefty fines or legal consequences that could tarnish your reputation as an ethical hunter.

Stay informed about any changes in hunting seasons, bag limits, weapon restrictions, or specific areas where hunting may be prohibited due to conservation efforts or private property rights.



Coyote hunting is an exhilarating outdoor activity that requires knowledge, skill, patience, and respect for nature's balance. By understanding coyote behavior and characteristics while employing effective scouting techniques and utilizing appropriate gear and equipment, you can increase your chances of success while ensuring ethical practices are followed throughout each hunt.

Remember always prioritize safety when engaging in any form of hunting activity by wearing appropriate safety gear, communicating effectively with hunting partners, and adhering to local hunting regulations.

Coyote hunting offers a unique opportunity to connect with nature, test your skills as a hunter, and contribute to wildlife management efforts. Embrace this challenge responsibly and ethically, and you will find yourself rewarded not only with thrilling experiences but also a deeper appreciation for the natural world around us.



What is a coyote?

A coyote is a species of canine native to North America. They are typically smaller than wolves and have a varied diet that includes small mammals, birds, and even fruits and vegetables.

Why would someone want to hunt coyotes?

Coyotes are often hunted for sport or to control their population, which can sometimes cause problems for farmers and ranchers.

What equipment do I need to hunt coyotes?

To hunt coyotes, you will need a firearm or bow, appropriate ammunition or arrows, camouflage clothing, and a predator call to attract the coyotes.

What time of year is best for hunting coyotes?

Coyotes can be hunted year-round, but the best time to hunt them is typically in the winter months when their fur is thicker and they are more active during the day.

Where is the best place to hunt coyotes?

Coyotes can be found in a variety of habitats, including forests, grasslands, and deserts. Look for areas with high coyote populations and good cover for stalking.

Is it legal to hunt coyotes?

In most states, it is legal to hunt coyotes with a valid hunting license. However, it is important to check your state's hunting regulations before heading out.

What should I do with the coyote after I hunt it?

After hunting a coyote, you can either keep the fur or dispose of the carcass. Some hunters also choose to donate the meat to local food banks or wildlife rehabilitation centers.