Daytime Calling Techniques

You can call coyotes day or night. Lots of hunters prefer nighttime hunting, as it has a special allure. You’re in the dark, the coyotes are less wary, visibility is less, it’s more challenging – any number of reasons.

When hunting during the day different things come into play. Some work in your favor, and some work against you. You can see a lot further, but that means so can the coyotes. But a long range rifle will usually take care of that, as even during the day, a coyote can’t see you at 200 yards, if you’re the least bit concealed.

The key to successful daytime hunting is proper calling techniques which will bring the wary coyotes in. Calling techniques change from season to season, and even from day to day. The main difference is time of year. Things like when pups are born, and food availability are just two variables – and these variables can and do change from year to year in any given area. So you’re really starting from scratch each time you initiate a new coyote hunting adventure.

There are two types of calls. The first are your hand and mouth calls (you literally put a mouth call in your mouth). What you’re trying to do is for instance, to imitate distress – -like a dying rabbit or squirrel. An electronic call is the other option. Basically the electronic calls are pre recorded chips or tapes of animals can be distress (or many others), and they play a certain sound or sequence of sounds. Just know that you get what you pay for – and electronic calls can run into hundreds of dollars. People actually spend that kind of money, as there are guides, and affinity groups that shoot hundreds of coyotes a year – -usually using dogs and radio collars- -which also can run into mega-dollars. I stick to hand or mouth calls – -my wallet abilities demand it!

By the way, just because I’ve only mentioned distress calls, doesn’t at all mean that those are the only calls available that will draw coyotes in – -far from it. You can call in “coyote talk” – -different barks, yips, yells or howls, which tell other coyotes what’s happening – where there’s a kill – -that type of stuff.

Your animal distress calls, which for instance imitate rabbits or squirrels being attacked or killed is one option. Another option are barks, howls, yips and yells of coyotes, which attract other coyotes. Coyotes are very manipulative in their sounds. There are distinct barks, howls, yips and yells, which will tell the savvy hunter just what is happening (this knowledge is where the experienced coyote hunter really distances him/herself from the average hunter). The specific sounds coyotes make will tell you when the coyote is approaching its quarry, when they close the distance, and when they strike. When a coyote approaches, gets closer and “surrounds” its quarry the barking turns to yips and becomes quicker. When they get real close, it’s almost like a puppy playing – -the sounds are short growls and snarls; and when a coyote makes a kill, its sounds are higher pitched, as well the barks/yips/yells become shorter, and quicker.

Another call that real experienced coyote hunters use is the “squeaker type” of call – -like a mouse, or some other rodent. Coyote hunters use this type of call when a coyote is just not quite ready to come in, is a little out of range, or you can’t get a shot because of brush or other natural impediments. These “squeaker calls” usually will do the trick, but because they’re “squeaks,” you normally can’t use them over longer distances. Indeed, the wary coyote will literally know that there’s something wrong, if they can hear a “squeak” from a long distance.

There are also coyote distress calls, which will often bring a coyote in. The sounds of a pup that’s lost, will bring in a mother/female- – maybe a coyote is hung up, and this will attract other coyotes who want to see what’s going on or maybe are looking to steal a kill; just a couple of examples. Then there are the “challenge” calls – -barks and other sounds that will call a coyote in regarding mating/finding a receptive female, or the invasion of another coyote’s territory.

And one of the newer calls attracts the “biggest and baddest” coyotes only. These particular calls are specific to calling in the most dominant coyotes – -like a deer call which is specifically formulated to attract only the maybe one huge trophy buck in an area. Now- – there can be a couple of problems with using this type of dominant-only-coyote call. First – -there may be NO dominant coyotes in an area. You can call “till the cows home” and you won’t attract anything. The other consideration is that if any coyote hears this type of dominant call, and they are NOT dominant themselves, this will cause them to run off. They don’t want to mix with a dominant competitor. They’re not looking for trouble or the possibility of being attacked by a bigger or stronger animal. And that happens all the time. Unless I specifically know that there are “monster coyotes” in any given area, I never use this type of call. I don’t want to scare off an entire area population of coyotes in the hopes of getting a trophy. That’s my take on it; others are willing to give it a try – -just like those who want a trophy buck, only – -or nothing at all.

Different times of the year will dictate what type of calls a coyote hunter will use. You have to pick and choose what’s going to work at any time of the year. Then like turkey hunting, you don’t want to call too much, and that’s what too many coyote hunters do. And if you do make a wrong call, you’re “toast.” If you do make a wrong call, that is an absolute palpable “warning” to any coyote in the area, that it’s a “scam,” they scurry off, and you won’t “catch a fly” that day.

During the day, don’t forget how utterly essential it is to be concealed, and while you can see and shoot further, you MUST BE SILENT! Coyotes have a very keen sense of hearing, and will, like a laser beam, pinpoint you instantly at the slightest “unusual” sound.

And now, I’m going to get up on my “bully pulpit” as Teddy Roosevelt once said, and preach to you. What I’ve outlined I believe is good, solid info. I’ve done it. I’ve seen it. I’ve been there – in lots of situations. But I’m still a rank amateur, and what I’ve written here only skims the surface of what a good coyote hunter should do. I can “talk the talk,” but often, and even if I know better, I don’t always “walk the walk.” What you can do, is what I still do, every chance I get. I find an expert guide, who’s been hunting coyotes for years- -and knows a particular area inside-out. I happen to be blessed with a dear friend who is that type of person. What he’s forgotten about coyote hunting, I’ll never know, but I am still willing to learn. Do the same. Don’t be arrogant enough to think that you can fulfill what you need to do in all situations – which change rapidly, and vary constantly. Nothing is ever static when it comes to hunting – -especially hunting coyotes. Sure, go to seminars. Buy a video. Read articles like this. That’s all for the good, but the bottom line is still finding that mentor who will train and teach you all the little “isms” that only someone who has hunted coyotes in different circumstances for years, can know. By all means use this excellent site to find a guide who can and will help you.

Good luck and good hunting!