Home Forums Hunting Predator/Varmint Hunting Coyote behaviors

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  • coydog
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    Some already know, some don’t

    Most coyotes spend the majority on their time on the down-wind slopes. Whether hunting, playing or milling around. While there, they often pan around to their down & cross-wind areas. Most coyotes prefer a view to those areas. As they use their scenting ability & hearing to cover the up-wind areas. Which are often hidden from their view. Most coyotes are on the move towards dusk. Bedding down the next am around pre-sunrise to around 9-10am. I’ve seen it hundreds of times. So that is pretty much a given. Very few coyotes are on the move after 11am.

    When a pair is bedded down. The female on average is more wary than her mate is. Who knows why that is. But she is most often the last of the two. To relax & curl up for a nap. They are very light sleepers. I call is “resting” vs sleeping. Un-like that of most Red Fox who are often heavy sleepers. Dismissing many ambient sounds. Coyotes rather than Red fox are most observant to an ambient sound within earshot. I’ve watched them resting in my scope hundreds of times. When they were resting & they picked up a distant noise. I’ve seen one ear, then both ears pivot towards that distant sound. When both ears pivot, they will raise thier head for a look. When they rise up from thier bedding spot. That noise has deffinately got thier full attention.

    Having stalked in on many “sleepers” I avoid crossing over a “pressed” top wire on a barb fence.  As that can telegraph a squeak for a long ways. I cross under a fence in a low spot vs cross over the top wire. Or use a gap between corner posts.

    Whether I’m stalking one or walking into an area to call. I stealth into that section like a stalking cat. Watching where I plant each step. To avoid casting any loud crunch or snap under foot. Keys to the hunt is. To overcome their scenting ability, hearing & eye-sight. Once that is obtained. The rest falls on my shooting ability.

     

     

    • This topic was modified 2 years, 10 months ago by coydog.
    KeokukCounty
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    I would take a spot and stalk hunt any day over calling them. My problem down here in Keokuk Co. is I have to many hills brushy draws and tons of CRP where they will bed down.  Not saying that we never catch them bedded down in an open area in the middle of a section because I have but unfortunately the times are few. It seems that when I get north of I-80. its a whole different ball game. A lot more open area where I get to hunt and they seem to be bedded in open areas more up there. Its hard to describe a spot and stalk hunt to a predator hunter whos never seen it done. once hes spotted and you leave to park the vehicle out of sight you might never see that dog again till you pull the trigger. Crawling the last few yards in a foot of snow as you crest the last hill to still see him sleeping can really get the adrenalin pumping.

     

    coydog
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    I would take a spot and stalk hunt any day over calling them. My problem down here in Keokuk Co. is I have to many hills brushy draws and tons of CRP where they will bed down. Not saying that we never catch them bedded down in an open area in the middle of a section because I have but unfortunately the times are few. It seems that when I get north of I-80. its a whole different ball game. A lot more open area where I get to hunt and they seem to be bedded in open areas more up there. Its hard to describe a spot and stalk hunt to a predator hunter whos never seen it done. once hes spotted and you leave to park the vehicle out of sight you might never see that dog again till you pull the trigger. Crawling the last few yards in a foot of snow as you crest the last hill to still see him sleeping can really get the adrenalin pumping.

     

    I averaged out some yrs back. Out of a 10 day time lot. One day out of ten, do I spot a coyote(s) laying out in the open. Red Fox sightings are even more rare. Because they are often “holed-up”. I recall I’ve had 2 days where I’ve seen 11 canines. A mix of both coyotes & Red Fox. Best days for “spotting” Are 1-2 days after a storm. When the wind is out of a Northerly direction & the Sun is shining(no blowing snow). Temps mostly being in or around freezing. Neither canine, likes blowing snow or high winds. Worth noting, the higher the wind. Both canines, when bedded down. They will face to the down-wind direction, text book. So a hunter walking in with the wind in his/her face. Is already behind the eight ball. Because any canine up ahead. Will be “most likely” be facing them. Not good. I walk in on the cross-wind, or angled cross-wind. Whether calling or spot/stalking

    gsgramps
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    some really great advice for new predator hunters.    would be great to get more input  from all over the state. also a good refresher to seasoned but part time hunters.   keep it going guys.

    coydog
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    some really great advice for new predator hunters. would be great to get more input from all over the state. also a good refresher to seasoned but part time hunters. keep it going guys.

     

    I’m going on 55 yrs, hunting Iowa’s predators, gsgramps. I do not mind at all. Sharing what I have learned from them. A hunter learns very little, from a dead predator.

    KeokukCounty
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    Little off your thread here E.V  hope you don’t mind. I had to go to Keota today and on the way over there I spot two coyotes about 2oo yds off the highway. It must be breeding season as one was laying down and the other one was circling. After about 2 minutes I continued my trip. On the way back to Sigourney , about 45 minutes later. They are still there, both standing up so I pull the truck over and watch them circle each other. I found it strange that it didn’t bother them that I was there. Which leads me to the conclusion of  that female being in heat at this time. Anyway interesting morning for me.

    coydog
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    Little off your thread here E.V hope you don’t mind. I had to go to Keota today and on the way over there I spot two coyotes about 2oo yds off the highway. It must be breeding season as one was laying down and the other one was circling. After about 2 minutes I continued my trip. On the way back to Sigourney , about 45 minutes later. They are still there, both standing up so I pull the truck over and watch them circle each other. I found it strange that it didn’t bother them that I was there. Which leads me to the conclusion of that female being in heat at this time. Anyway interesting morning for me.

    I think it’s been around 8-10yrs now since I even tried for one. Even back then I only killed a few. The older I get. The more I just enjoy observing them. I have observed many hundreds of them. One time I spotted one sitting amongst some rolling hills. 1/2 mile away from me to my due North. Wind was from due North & the coyote was facing due East. Something had it’s attention. So I panned to it’s East. There about a quarter mile away from it. Slogged an old coyote hunter on snowshoes. Working his way towards the coyote. Right before the hunter topped the last hill top to see that coyote. That coyote would cross over the next hill to that hunter’s West. Then sit down & wait for that hunter to get close again. I sat there laughing. As the old hunter, I’m sure. Thought he had the upper hand. After some time I moved on. Some hunters underestimate their hearing ability.  It is top shelf & you had best be like a cat & stealth in. Or it’s game over before it has even started.

    coydog
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    As per a 1 square mile land mass. Most coyotes once bedded down. Prefer the inner 1/4 mile parcel of a mile section when bedded down. Typically either near the 1/2 mile or within a 1/4 mile radius of the center. 9:1 odds they prefer land cover vs out on the open. Land cover  as in timber, brushy or CRP grasses.

    Whether I’m walking into a section on a sleeper or to call a cover area. I stealth in like a cat. As I go slow & watch where I plant each foot. So as to not cast a noise. Coyotes have top of the line hearing. Picking up the slightest variance of ambient noise. I prefer to walk in on one either on it’s cross-wind or from it’s angled up wind area. To avoid being seen or scented on my way in. Most often, the higher the wind speed. the more in alignment that bedded canine. Will be facing to it’s down-wind. Worth noting, if you do not want to be seen on the way in.

    Some callers/spot stalkers do not have a real grasp of coyote behaviors. As to how the wind affects their behaviors. 99% of the time with both Red Fox & the coyotes. It is cut & dried how they use wind. Take heed of that knowledge to improve your hunting odds.

    • This reply was modified 2 years ago by coydog.
    gsgramps
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    i’m an old fart that doesn’t get out like i used to but i sure enjoy reading about your hunts. let us all know about tactics, success. conditions of the yotes you harvest

    and possibly what part of the state you hunt.  also what the weather conditions were on your hunt.

    good luck to all and safe hunting

    coydog
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    i’m an old fart that doesn’t get out like i used to but i sure enjoy reading about your hunts. let us all know about tactics, success. conditions of the yotes you harvest and possibly what part of the state you hunt. also what the weather conditions were on your hunt. good luck to all and safe hunting

    I haven’t actively hunted coyotes for quite a few yrs. My goal is to get an Iowa Lion. To date I’ve had two near misses since 2006. 1st lion I ever seen I had an excellent chance. But remaining day light was an issue. That & a standing corn patch the farmer didn’t get picked prior to a heavy snow fall. Murphy was against me that day. 2nd chance I had was, I was out hunting & roughly 1 mile from me at the same time. My oldest bro stopped to help a motorist just South of Liscomb on the black top. The motorist stopped to call someone on his cell. Because a lion had just crossed the highway in front of him. Right then I was about 2 miles due East of that motorist. Had my bro called me right then. It would’ve been game on. As all of the terrain was open rolling hills. Murphy strike again.

    I hunt the counties of Marshall, Hardin, Tama, Grundy & Story mostly. Central Iowa region.

    As for the coyotes, I’ve hunted them since 1968. Hunted the Reds since 64. Looking back with not so good of memory anymore. I would guess it’s been 10+ yrs or more? Since I thumped a coyote. As for a lion the stars need to be in alignment for me. There are many variables that must be over come 1st.

    I (est) some yrs back. I’ve seen 3000 +/- coyotes in my time. I’ve observed hundreds of them in their natural setting. Versus try my hand on them. Observing has made me a more rounded predator hunter.

    sig line; A dead coyote has never taught me much.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 12 months ago by coydog.
    coydog
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    I would take a spot and stalk hunt any day over calling them. My problem down here in Keokuk Co. is I have to many hills brushy draws and tons of CRP where they will bed down. Not saying that we never catch them bedded down in an open area in the middle of a section because I have but unfortunately the times are few. It seems that when I get north of I-80. its a whole different ball game. A lot more open area where I get to hunt and they seem to be bedded in open areas more up there. Its hard to describe a spot and stalk hunt to a predator hunter whos never seen it done. once hes spotted and you leave to park the vehicle out of sight you might never see that dog again till you pull the trigger. Crawling the last few yards in a foot of snow as you crest the last hill to still see him sleeping can really get the adrenalin pumping.

     

    After I spot one bedded down. I take the time to “triangulate” it’s position amongst the hills. I prefer to use 3 land markers if possible. As to it’s focal bearing. Then I sneak in from it’s blind side. Using wind & terrain features to keep the coyote from detecting me. Only hurdle I have to over come then. Is not making a noise the coyote can detect.

    coydog
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    Some yrs back. I watched a territorial pr of coyotes for two yrs in a row. I seen them numerous times out hunting & bedded down. Also a few times with their 5 off spring over those 2 winters. Both times their young scattered/dispersed  during the 3rd wk in December. I’m convinced it was due to the old female coming in heat. Prior to the scattering of the young ones. The young/yearling coyotes, I would often see in small groups. Bedded down on the outer areas of the parents territory.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by coydog.
    coydog
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    Territorial coyotes have preferred areas where they bed down. When the wind is from a specific direction. I have seen this many times.

    During Winter even on harsh bitter cold days. They will bed outside, typically on terrain that assists in blocking the wind. One bitter cold day well below zero wind chill. I spotted a pr bedded down a little over 1/2 mile out. I worked my way from their down wind. Using the hills to hide me on my way in. I came in from the down wind as that was my (only) option. I got to within 300 yrds or so. Then went prone for the shot. I hit the nearest one mid section.  Right when I shot, 3 other coyotes that were completely buried in hard crust blow over snow. Busted up out of the hard crust snow & hauled a** Northbound to their home section. I never did re-connect on the hit coyote as the cross wind. Was high & he kept running in large circles. I’ve seen other coyotes bust up out of hard pack snow. They all were bedded down in between the picked corn rows. Point being, you may glass a field after a harsh wind the next day & not even know a coyote is there under the snow crust.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by coydog.
    coydog
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    Coyotes spend the vast majority of their time on the down wind. Side of hills, slopes, knolls, ridgelines. Also trees & shrubs…They use the up-wind side for transitioning areas from one down wind area to the next. When bedded down, most coyotes prefer to be elevated with a view. Such as up on the side of a hill. While on the down-wind. Even when bedded down or curled up. Most coyotes will raise their head to pan around. Out of a few thousand coyotes sightings I’ve had. I’ve only seen a handful that were bedded down out on some flat land. Et facing a warm southerly wind.

    bhilligas
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    I had just seen similar Monday morning around 7:30 headed down i80. There were 2 coyotes bedded down out in a fairly open field with a few trees not to far from them and a farm house probably a couple hundred yards away, and a 3rd coyote trotting toward the other 2. I didnt see any yotes out during the day last winter but the past couple years I’ve seen a few by themselves.

    Greg 57
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    Very interesting read. I new coyotes had a great sense of smell and hearing but had no idea they used the wind as cunningly as it sounds from the descriptions I’ve been reading.

    It makes perfect sense for two reasons that I can think of. 1 being if they didn’t they would have a hard time catching some of their prey. The other is just self protection.

    I have tried to call coyotes off and on for a number of years with no success.  I will be much more stealthy walking into an area to try and call. I have also tried to sneak through areas and glassed to no avail. I’ve crawled up on many a deer but no coyotes.

    As I get older, I don’t hike as far as I used too.

     

    coydog
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    Very interesting read. I new coyotes had a great sense of smell and hearing but had no idea they used the wind as cunningly as it sounds from the descriptions I’ve been reading. It makes perfect sense for two reasons that I can think of. 1 being if they didn’t they would have a hard time catching some of their prey. The other is just self protection. I have tried to call coyotes off and on for a number of years with no success. I will be much more stealthy walking into an area to try and call. I have also tried to sneak through areas and glassed to no avail. I’ve crawled up on many a deer but no coyotes. As I get older, I don’t hike as far as I used too.

     

    I’ve stalked many (hundreds) over my yrs. I can’t express enough you need to sneak in (stealthy) like a cat. Their hearing is top of the line. Most hunters have no clue how well they can hear. They also pay close attention to ANY sound within their earshot. In a mile section most will be found past the 1/4 mile marker. Most often they will be found closer to the 1/2 mile marker. OR…the inner 1/4 mile radius.

    coydog
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    Avoid “their down-wind”. As they are facing it.

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