Maine Hunting

Coyote Hunting in Florida

People living in Florida, particularly in Boca Raton, may often witness coyotes roaming into private property or just being a general nuisance. Some have been joining in discussions on the best methods of trapping or shooting coyotes, while others are more sympathetic to the pests, arguing that residential housings have impeded upon their habitat.

The first thing we should be aware of is that South Florida is not, nor has it ever been, a natural part of coyote territory. Coyotes are native creatures to the Western United States, but even there, they hardly make an appearance in the wild, let alone in residential complexes. In fact, coyotes were first introduced to Florida in the 1920s, making their widespread presence throughout the state inevitable.

Although coyotes will do their best to steer clear of humans whenever possible, they have been known to attack humans. Most attacks occur when people – for some reason – attempt to hand-feed the wild beasts. Naturally, they are a real threat to small pets, children, and even adults.

Florida regulation considers the coyote a “nuisance species.” According to the law, it is legal to shoot coyote under the right circumstances, but you should exercise caution when doing so for both legal and practical purposes. There are certain restrictions in place regarding when we can shoot animals, but they are not applicable in cases of shooting and killing coyotes.  Legally, we can hunt them during any time of the year.

However, the location in which we exercise our right to shoot coyote is a whole other concern. Under Florida law, firing a gun within the boundaries of your own home (e.g. target practice) is legal, given that the bullets do not escape your property line. The local government protects this law by prohibiting cities and countries from regulating or altering it.

Coyote Hunting

That being said, if a wild coyote roams onto your piece of land, feel free to fire at will. But living in the suburbs in cramped lots makes it much more difficult to do. It’s wise to get your neighbors permission before popping caps at wild coyotes since bullet trajectories are just as unpredictable as the coyote’s thought process. If possible, get their permission in writing (via email or text message).

Of course, due to coyotes’ unpredictable nature, you might even find them wandering public streets and venues. Firing at coyotes in public places is a gray area and asking for guidance from local authorities may yield no definitive answer. Unfortunately, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) won’t provide an adequate response since their website will direct you to ask the local law enforcement.

But what about hunting coyotes in the wilderness? Are they fair game?

Short answer: yes, as long as you have the proper license. If you mention the words “varmint hunting” to a veteran hunter, the discussion will immediately shift to shooting prairie dogs, coyotes, and other bothersome critters found on mountains and prairies.

The use of the word “varmint” might seem odd. Varmint usually refers to animals that pose significant threats to agriculture, farm animals, and even human health. Ask a farmer and they’ll tell you that these creatures, including coyote and deer, still threaten their crops, baby chicks, and other farm business.

Coyotes can’t really be classified as “small game,” either since they’re not exactly thought of as “good eats.” However, this doesn’t mean that there’s no justifiable reason to take out as many coyotes as possible. Population control can be a just cause for shooting coyotes, but state game managers try to consider the bigger picture of every native creature. As mentioned earlier, coyotes are not originally from Florida, and their damaging of native fauna give them their deserving varmint title.

Coyotes wreak havoc on crops and livestock, wreaking havoc on our plants and preying on small animals. The FWC is still looking into the coyote’s feeding habits – both in urban and rural settings – to determine often they prey on birds like quails and turkeys. These varmints can be active throughout the day, but it’s more common to see one during early hours of the day.

Coyote Hunting in Florida

If your aim is to effectively reduce the total coyote count, you most likely won’t leave a single dent in their population number. In fact, studies have shown that the loss of individual coyotes has triggered an increase in population.

Hunters tell stories of encountering a lone coyote during deer- or turkey-hunting season, but accidental sightings that lead to shootings is not an efficient way of hunting them. Unfortunately, some of the most effective ways of drawing coyotes to you are illegal. In Florida, you’re allowed to use mouth or handheld calls to attract coyotes and other animals, but the use of recorded or electronic calls is strictly prohibited. Another forbidden tactic to draw coyotes to the end of our barrels is the use of bait.To see more of them in a single day, you’ll have to use a call to attract them to you.

Calling and attracting coyotes is an art, similar to drawing in turkeys with enticing calls. Many people have written of calling coyotes and about which calling method works best. Try using a coyote howler, a fawn bleat, or a rabbit to get the four-legged beasts to come to you. When camping on a single spot, wearing full-body camouflage is key; coyotes have extremely good eyesight and are excellent at noticing irregularities in wooded areas. Setting up traps has potential, but they are far from being the best way to trap and kill coyotes.

There are no specific laws in Florida that regulate coyote hunting times or durations, and also there are no rules that regulate the choice of firearms or bows we can use to kill them. Statewide hunting regulations state that hunters may use all types of legal rifles, muzzleloaders, shotguns, pistols, bows, and crossbows. Name a legal firearm or hand-held ranged weapon and you can shoot a coyote with it. The best rifle calibers to use against coyotes are .22 and .22-250. If you’re up for a challenge, try and take a coyote down with bows or bolts.

Coyote Call Sounds

You ought to thank the proliferation of electronically recorded calling devices for the success that is being experienced by people who would otherwise be less than decent coyote hunters. This notwithstanding, you will need a clear understanding of what each coyote call does so that your hunting hobby can move to the next level.

Below are a couple of howls that you will need to fully comprehend if you are going to succeed in getting into the head of your prey and draw it to your gun’s sights.

Group Howls vs. Solo Howls

You would want your call to attract a huge pack of coyotes without intimidating them. This being the case, a solo howl is less threatening than a pack howl. It should be done with a low frequency, high pitched and long drawn. This mostly announces a young, lone, and non-aggressive coyote and thus your pack will be willing to come over and investigate.

Call Sounds

What the experts recommend

According to AI Morris, a 3-time winner of World Coyote Calling Championship, a mix of a solo howl and distress howl will give you more success in calling coyotes. Note that the less threatening your call sound, the more encouraged the coyotes within the hearing distance will be.

Distress Calls

One of the nature’s best omnivores is the coyotes. A study of their stomach contents after they are killed shows that they can eat almost anything including plastic bags, rocks, and sometimes some meat, probably from kill. Thus said, a coyote hunter will do well for themselves if they know what sort of a distress prey call he must make as long they set in the coyote’s earshot.

Depending on the latest experience, a coyote will respond to distress calls differently. If for example the coyote has had a recent altercation with another hunter using the same call, it will be very hesitant to make the same mistake. Studies show that coyotes in heavily hunted grounds are much harder to hunt than those from unpressured grounds. An experienced coyote will wait for the downwind of the call, put its nose up for any hint of danger before responding to the call.

A study done by the Idaho National Laboratory shows that all the coyotes they trapped and then fitted with tracking collars had a very hard time responding to distress calls. They never responded to the call until there was a downwind and even then, they would wait for approximately 17 hours to approach and investigate the source of distress.

Most of the experienced coyote hunters feel that if you are serious about nailing a coyote within your sights, you need the patience of a sniper. To catch the coyote off-guard, you should make your call at about dawn. It is said that during this time, the coyotes are less aggressive as they would have probably eaten already and their natural instinct is not heightened.

What the experts recommend

Les Johnson is one of the most renowned coyote callers in the US. He reckons that the best time to call the coyotes is an hour after darkness. Most predators are more comfortable operating in the dark. In fact almost all the known carnivores prefer to go hunting in the dark, probably because the herbivore feed during the day and are mostly lethargic at night.

Whines & Yelps

How about tripping the maternal, territorial or protective instincts in a coyote, all at once? The way to do this is by using the non-aggressive calls such as whines or yelps that are done by the pups. Coyotes are fiercely protective of their young ones and if they feel that one of their young ones is being cannibalized by another predator, they would come to investigate even if this poses danger to them.

The Denning season (March to May), the coyote’s family bonds are extremely strong. It is during this time that a smart caller would use his repertoire of whines and yelps. Another period when these kind of calls are effective is during the mating season (about September to January) when the coyotes are feeling territorial. It is important to note that when the pups are grown, the family ties are all but broken and it will thus be harder to attract the coyotes using this calls.

Sometimes one form of a call will not work. Before you decide to change, it, increase the intensity and volume of the yelps in order to reach coyotes that are far away.

What the experts recommend

According to a coyote tracking expert Gerald Stewart, it is not enough to use a blend of calls. You should also use some scents for the coyote’s nose as well as a moving decoying. This will make the coyote to fully commit to come to your gun’s sights. A mix of distress, howls and yelps will do the trick.

Challenge Howl

Imagine inviting a coyote for a fight? The predators are always game for a good fight with an elk. But coyotes are not like the other predators. Rather, they love to use bark-howl to threaten the coyote. They avoid fights whenever possible. Thus their howl is more threatening as it seeks to get the intruder to leave. Wolfs will go after the intruder and kill him while coyotes will go after the intruder, get submission and then let the intruder go.

Once you understand this, you will only use this sort of call when you are sure that you are well within the coyote territory and are directly threatening their livelihood. Ensure that you are not in the overlapping territory because the coyotes would rather leave you to that territory than engage in a gruesome battle for territory.

What the Experts Recommend

Experts say that the best way to use the challenge howl is to wait for a response from the coyote and then ensure your next howl is less threatening. This gives the coyote some confidence to come investigating.

Resources for Coyote Sounds

  • Click here to see all the important coyote call sounds. You can even download the mp3 sounds and use them on your next hunting trip.
  • The Varmint AI’s is another great resource for the coyote call sounds. It has real life experience by expert coyote trackers.
  • The Average Outdoors Man is another great resource where you will get to understand coyote sounds like woof, growl, huff, bark, yelp, whine, challenge bark, distress calls, pack howls etc.
  • For Coyote hunting vocalizations, click here.
  • If you are just starting out with your hunting activities, you will need to learn common rookie mistakes that people make when out on a hunting spree.
  • This app resource is also worth looking over.

Best Scope for Night Hunting Coyotes

3 Best Scopes for Night Hunting Coyotes

Are you a predator hunter? Finding the best scope for night hunting coyotes is an important part in making sure you have a successful coyote hunt.  There are many things to think about including light, night vision, what season it is…etc. Ideally for any predator hunter while varmint hunting, the target would step out within 40 yards of the area with plenty of light available.  Since that is usually not the case for hunters, hunting coyote at night has taken off thanks to available night-vision equipment options. Sometimes all there is to see is are the eyes of the animal and it could be anything; livestock, a deer, a dog, bobcats, wolves, or some other type of wildlife. Years ago night vision was thought to only be available for military snipers in the field or the super wealthy- that is not the case anymore.  Hunters in most states are able to hunt coyote with a night vision scope, and use the coyote’s stealthy night time habits against him.  Putting the best scope for night hunting coyotes on your rifle for any predator hunting situation will make the difference in getting the kill or walking away empty handed.

Coyote hunting can be done with a wide variety of calibers.  Some prefer a smaller rifle such as a .22 or .17, and others use their regular hunting rifle they bring deer hunting or for other big game.  Having a larger rifle is not always better when it comes to predator hunting for smaller animals.  Smaller, flatter shooting, and quieter rifles have an advantage when after these nuisance animals, especially when hunting at night or wanting to preserve the pelts.  When using these smaller calibers and setting up a rifle solely for predator hunting, you still want to have a high quality rifle scope, especially one that will perform well in low light.

Which Option Works Best For You?

When choosing a rifle scope for your favorite predator gun there are many factors from magnification and area you are hunting to hunting light that influence which scope you should buy. You do want to have a good sized objective lens since the bigger your lens, the bigger your sight picture will be to give you more light.   Whether you are after coyotes, foxes, hog hunting or just want to add a new element to your varmint rifle, these three scopes for night vision hunting are worth taking a look at.







Sightmark Photon XT 4.6X42S Digital Nigh Vison Scope 4.6x 15.7 inches 23.6 ounces
Vortex Optics DBK-03-BDC Diamondback Riflescope, Black, 3.5-10x50mm 3.5x 12.5 inches 16.2 ounces
Vortex Viper PST 2.5 – 10x32mm FFP Riflescope, MOA 2.5x 12.8 Inches 18.7 ounches

 1.  Sightmark Photon XT 4.6x42S Digital Night

  1. Model # SM18008
  2. Camera Resolution – 656×492
  3. LCD Display Screen
  4. RCA video input/output
  5. 4.6 Magnification
  6. 42 Lens Diameter (mm)
  7. 50 Lens Focus (mm)
  8. FOV – 7.5m

Want to hunt during daylight hours but have trouble with predators only being active at night? With the Sightmark Photon XT 4.6x42S Digital Night Vison scope you get the best of both.  This scope is great for night vision hunting with up to 120 yards of view, and also functions well in daylight.  The Photon digital night vision scope has been a popular choice for many due to the rising popularity of night vision hunting and the affordable price.  The Sightmark Photon XT is a newer upgraded version of the original making it a great option if you had the original and loved it or want to get into night hunting.

The Photon XT offers six digital reticle options, including 2 Duplex reticles and 2 crossbow reticles.  Also includes a German reticle and for range finding, a Mil-Dot reticle.  The night vision simply runs on two AA batteries (not included) with a battery life of approximately 4-5 hours.  Another feature that makes this scope stand out is the ability to capture the action day or night using the RCA input/output.  The LCD display has a 640×480 resolution for clear viewing at night.  Shockproof and with a waterproof rating of IPX4, this digital night vision scope will work well in all weather conditions.  This is an excellent choice for entry level to night vision, anyone doing predator management or night shooting with a rifle or crossbow.


2.  Vortex Optics DBK-03-BDC Diamondback Riflescope, Black, 3.5-10x50mm

  1. Model # DBK-03-BDC
  2. 3.5-10x Magnification
  3. Tube Size- 1 inch
  4. FOV-  35.8-13.5ft (100 yrds)
  5. 50 Lens Diameter (mm)

You don’t exactly have to have a futuristic looking digital night vision scope to successfully get out there and hunt predators and varmint at night.  By making sure you have optics with good magnification and quality lenses you can have the ability to hone in on these targets in lower light settings.  The Vortex Diamondback 35-10×50 Matte BDC Rifle scope is on the list for that very reason.  Vortex is known for excellent customer service, but also for their fully multi-coated and anti-reflective lenses- such as the Diamondback Matte BDC that has a 91% transmission of light.

This Vortex is not an expensive scope and is a budget option for someone looking to add a separate predator gun to their camp or a beginner looking to get into shooting.  This is however, a rugged gun for the price.  The scope is built with durable aircraft grade aluminum in a one piece design.  Like other Vortex scopes, the Diamondback is filled with argon gas with O-ring seals to prevent any penetration of moisture and dust.  This also ensures that your scope will stay waterproof and won’t fog up on you, no matter what temperature you’re in.  The BDC reticle and ¼ MOA adjustments make this a simple easy to use scope for any situation when accuracy counts.


3.  Vortex Viper PST 2.5 – 10x32mm FFP Riflescope, MOA

  1. Model # PST-43103
  2. 2.5-10x Magnification
  3. Tube Size – 30mm
  4. FOV- 47-10.9ft (100 yards)
  5. 32 mm Lens Diameter

The Vortex Viper PST (precision shooting tactical) 2.5-10x32mm FFP Riflescope, MOA is a step up from the Vortex Diamondback mentioned before.  While commanding a higher price, this rifle scope gives you plenty of features demanded of the top level rifle scopes but is much easier on your wallet compared to the rest.  You have all of the features Vortex is known for such as top rated customer service (if ever needed) and a manufacturer’s lifetime warranty.

Designed and built for hunting, varmint shooting and even long range shooting.  The Vortex Viper is a one piece light weight but a very solid rifle scope made of aircraft-grade 6061 T6 aluminum from a single block.  Like the Vortex Diamondback, the Vortex Viper PST has lenses that have been coated with proprietary multi-coating to allow excellent light transmission, as well as anti-reflective coating for clear and sharp viewing.  The Vortex Viper comes with XD lens glass that increases resolution and extra-low dispersion.  This also protects the exterior lenses from scratching and smudging.  The O-ring seals prevent dirt and debris as well as moisture from entering the scope and argon gas purging prevents the scope from fogging up especially for n areas where you must be close to the ground. As a hunter, when seconds count, adjustments in the field are quick and easy with tactical-style turrets that are a little taller and easier to read whether you are 100 yards away or just 10.



While there are hundreds of scopes for predator hunters on the market for all different uses, these three best scopes for night hunting coyotes will be great options to add to your predator rifle.  Depending on how you typically hunt and personal preference, you can’t go wrong with one of these rifle scopes for hunting coyotes and other varmint.  If you like the tactical style and look, then the Sightmark Photon XT Digital Night vision and Vortex Viper PST Riflescope will probably be your best bet.  If having a simple yet rugged scope that won’t break the bank is more your style, then the Vortex Diamondback would be a great scope to add to your gun. All three off these scopes are waterproof for use in any weather situations and have suitable magnification.   Either way, you’re sure to get a clear shot on whatever predator is in your crosshairs.

Since most coyote hunting is done with smaller caliber flat trajectory shooting rifles, these smaller and lighter rifle scopes make a perfectly paired solution for hunters wanting to add an additional gun for predator hunting.  You don’t need to spend over $1,000 to get a quality rifle scope product.  But you do want to buy a scope designed for hunting purposes, which these three are, since coyotes are nocturnal animals that typically appear in low light conditions of the afternoon or morning.

With the ever rising population of coyotes thriving in rural and even urban areas, adding a coyote special to your arsenal can be a thrilling way to fight the spread of these predators.  While you can’t always have 100% scent elimination or favorable wind direction, you can tilt the odds of a great coyote hunt in your favor by having quality optics that allow you to hunt later with less light when these animals are most active.

Coyote hunting with greyhounds

Coyote hunting with greyhounds

Over the years, Coyote hunting has grown to be one of the very much controversial subjects with ranchers losing a lot of money every year due to the losses brought to them by these wild creatures. But what brings these controversies when we talk about Coyote hunting? Well, as these ranchers even struggle to find a way to maintain a reasonable balance of these creatures, the animal rights activists are also keen and pretty much determined to maintain this balance through some other ways which don’t necessarily mean to kill. However, in most states where Coyotes are thriving, the authorities have allowed hunting activities but under some law and the only popular way they are being hunted, is to track down and kill them.

Perhaps trying to regulate the natural population of these animals isn’t the only reason why some of us hunt them. In some occasions, mostly in North America, it is also considered as a sport. Hunting Coyotes as a sport is always seen as a new trend to put older types of hunting into extinction. Some hunters usually engage in this activity just because of the thrill and excitement they get when doing them. Anyway, let’s look at some of the reasons why these animals are being hunted.

Reasons for hunting down Coyotes

  • Reduce Fawn killers

This is actually the main reason why many people usually think it is more important if coyotes are hunted down. Obviously, if these coyotes keep on preying at the whitetails, their population can’t grow or better yet remain stable. This is mainly because there won’t be any more fawns that reach maturity to maintain their population.



  • Constantly attacking homes and farms

Coyotes are always said to be clever animals making them have the capability of rapidly adapting to their surroundings. This only means that when they don’t have any constant supply of food out there, they won’t be afraid to look for it in our homes and farms. When they do this, humans usually end up standing at the losing end with missing livestock and pets.


  • They are disease spreading animals

This is also one of the serious reasons why coyotes are hunted. With their population growing out of control, Mother Nature usually finds a way of countering it with starvation and diseases. The starvation part alone is a nightmare to hunters as this only means that all the animals in the game area have already been eaten. The diseases part even poses more risk to them.

Coyotes are known to be subject to contagious diseases like trichinosis, parvo, rabies and many others. They also might be carrying parasites. These diseases can usually be passed to dogs and then to humans and this can cause serious problems when not taken care of early enough.

  • Their fur

During the 70’s and the 80’s, coyote fur was very much popular and was always in high demand. The hunters always focused their attention on this and were pretty much doing very well, unlike these days. However, even though the demand for this commodity has taken a drastic decline, it still has a small spot on the market.

  • Coyote as food



As crazy as this may sound, coyotes can also be hunted down as a source of food for the hunters. Coyote meat can be served whether stirred into a stew or when roasted. Actually, this could come as a great reward for the long day’s work of hunting these beasts.

Using Greyhounds for hunting Coyotes

Many hunters usually believe that it is always an ethical practice to hunt down coyotes with dogs. This is because the experience one can get while hunting with dogs is always great, more than just pursuing your quarry. It is always seen as a definition of teamwork when hunters use animals to take other animals. This clearly shows the kind of relationship that exists between human and dogs.

In Washington State, two counties namely Pierce and King made all the laws concerning these hunting activities. This saw the west-side hippies term it illegal to hunt bears and cougars using dogs. This actually gets interesting since in places like Alaska or even northern Idaho, using dogs to hunt bears and cats is a legal activity.

More often, many people who are against hunting will usually say that hunters get an unfair advantage when they use dogs to help them in hunting down coyotes and other animals. However, the bone of contention here is how each of the sides defines the word “fair”. It is always said that using hounds will give you as the hunter a better chance of identifying the age and also determine the sex of the animal being pursued. Using hounds for hunting coyotes also helps in capturing only those animals that have reached maturity and has also fulfilled their biological duty which is reproducing.

The above picture shows a hunter holding a big cougar which clearly brings out the point of hunting only mature animals. The hunted cat above, with no doubt, you can tell that it had already reproduced thus making it a target while letting the smaller ones to return to the environment and continue with their existence. This allows the ecological balance to be maintained in the game. This is the kind of selective ethical hunting that cannot be practiced in Washington.

Hunting down coyotes using dogs, however, has seen many challenges facing it and with many cases being filed against it, the final verdict is yet to be known. For now, all we need to understand is that not all of the hunters usually carry out these activities just because they hate coyotes or something. The main purpose here is to control their population just like the rest of the animals in the wild. Using the greyhounds happens to be the safest solution in this case. It might have its disadvantages but surely it serves it purpose. If there could be any other way in which this can be done without any blame games, then it better be done fast otherwise, their population might increase and go out of hand. Before we realize this, it may have been too late and we might even face a bigger problem than we thought.

tanning a coyote

Home Tanning your Coyote

If you’ve been hunting coyotes long enough or just getting started there will come a time you’ll want to have one tanned. The pelt/skins of coyotes are known t be a delicacy all around the world. Whether its your first coyote or a particular one you were after or just a unique color or hunt, you’ll want one for yourself. But some questions arise. Where do I get it tanned or can I do it myself and how do I go about getting it tanned either way. Will I ruin the fur?

You can take it to a taxidermist if you want, but for some you’ll want to try your hand at it. You might think it will be tough to keep the coyote fur perfect but tanning really isn’t all that difficult and with all the info out there today which is easily accessible you can do it yourself.

I’ve been tanning my own pelts for over 30 years now and have a nice simple way of going about it. I’ve tried and used many different tans over the years and each have their own pluses and negatives. Negatives being difficulty in having just the right amount of ingredients and also toxicity.

For now this article will focus on the simplest of tans that is great for a wall hanging and both work quite well for that purpose.
To get started you’ll need to prep the hide for the tan. After skinning the coyote you need to flesh or remove the fat and excess meat from the pelt. This can be done by scraping it off by placing the hide flesh side up on a fleshing beam and using a draw knife to scrape the fat and meat off. I know of others that will just use a big knife and lay the pelt over a 2×6 or similar and scrape the hide so it’s clean of meat and fat.


Once the fleshing or skinning is done you can do one of two things. You can lay the pelt out flesh side up and salt it with canning/pickling salt non-iodized. And then leave it sit over night, this helps set the hair on the hide and prevents spoilage, especially if the hide isn’t fresh. If the hide is spoiling already, no amount of salt will stop the fur from falling out. That’s why is important to start on the hide as soon as possible after skinning or freeze it after skinning. If you’re using a hide thats been frozen then thawed and fleshed, it’s best to salt over night. The other way way is to get the hide in the tan or pickle right after fleshing and washing.

Before placing the hide in the pickle bath/tan it’s important to wash the hide after the fleshing and/or salting. What I do is put a little dawn dish soap in a 5 gal. bucket and fill with cold water and immerse the hide in it and slosh it around until the water is dirty. Then I’ll dump the wash water and refill the bucket with cold water only and rinse the hide, plunging it in and out of the water till the water is dirty again. Keep refilling and rinsing until the water is fairly clean, this gets rid of blood, dirt etc. in the fur and makes for a good clean pelt. After you wash the hide hang it and let it drain for a half hour, somewhere cool and out of the sun.

While your hide is draining it’s time to mix up your pickle or tan. This step is done prior to the actual tanning but is also considered a tan or acid tan. Chemicals today are more enviromentally friendly and safer than they were 20 yrs ago. So take a 5 gal. bucket and dump in 2 gal. of white vinegar and 2 gal. cold water and 4 lbs. of pickling canning salt. Mix this solution thoroughly with a something like a broom handle or something similar made of wood or plastic. What you have now is a pickle bath or an acid tan depending on what you do later. Now that this is mixed up and stirred well, take your drained coyote hide and immerse it in this solution and stir it around until all parts are submerged. You now leave the pelt in this solution for 72 hrs. or 3 days, stirring it a couple times a day. After the 3rd day you can check to see if its done by pressing your thumbnail into the flesh side of the hide, if the indentation stays, it’s done.


Now it’s time to neutralize the hide. Take the coyote pelt out of the pickle/tan solution and rinse in cold water for about 5 min. then hang outside to drain for a half hour. While your hide is draining dump in a cup of baking soda gradually into the pickle/tan solution to neutralize. Add slowly as the baking soda will make the solution foam. Once the baking soda has been added and the foaming stops, discard the whole solution and rinse the bucket. Now add 4 gal. of cold water and 12 oz. of baking soda or 3oz. of baking soda per gal. of water. Now take your drained coyote pelt and add to the baking soda water and agitate it by sloshing it around and do this for 15-20 min.(no longer) this will neutralize the acid in the hide.

Once the time is up, remove the hide and rinse again in cold water and hang to dry. At this point you can either mix up the tan from the link I provided above and follow its directions. Or you can continue on with finishing the hide as an acid tan. First I like to wash the hide one more time using woolite. Just get the fur wet and rub in woolite into the fur side to wash the fur, then rinse in clear cold water a couple times until the soap is gone. Then hang and let drain another half hour.

Once the hide has drained of excess water you need to oil the flesh side of the hide with a tanning oil. You can get the tanning oil through the link I provided. Its special in the sense that its water soluable and will mix with water and soak into a wet hide. I usually mix the tanning oil with water 50/50 using water I boiled and adding to the oil. You can make your own by using neatsfoot oil from a farm supply store thats used for oiling saddles and tack. When using this oil you will have to mix in dawn dishsoap with the oil so that it will mix with the water, about 2 tbs of soap to a pint of oil, then add hot water. Its a little messier than the premade tanning oil, but does work. Once you have your oil hot by adding boiling water, take and lay your coyote pelt out, fur side down. Then pour little amounts of the heated oil onto the flesh side of the hide, rubbing it in by hand. Once the hide is covered in the oil let it set until any puddles and excess oil has soaked in, usually a couple hours.

Now it’s drying time and breaking time. Breaking the hide is what makes the leather soft. What you do is continue to let the hide dry. As its drying the thinner spots of leather will dry first, the spots will feel slightly dry and stiff to the touch. On those dry spots, take and stretch and pull the hide on those spots with your fingers, you’ll noticed these spots will immediately turn white when you stretch them, this is called breaking. What you’re doing is breaking the fibers in the leather to make it soft. Only work on spots that are drying, as the wet spots will only get hard if you work them when wet. The reason is when its wet, it doesnt break the fiber, it only compresses them, so when its dry it’ll be stiff. It’s a slow process, but the good news is you only have to break the dry spots for a couple mins a couple times a day then leave sit inbetween, then eventually the complete hide will be done and broke in time. As the dry spots become larger you can run them over a boards edge to help break the hide. Each spot you break will have some dampness to it after breaking which will dry again, you’ll know when its done breaking when the hide stays soft and pliable after not being worked for a while.

Once the hide is broke or close to it, I like to take and lay the hide out fur side up and dump corn meal on the fur, then rub the corn meal in for about 15 min. of non stop rubbing. Then take and shake out the cormeal, this removes any residual dirts and oils from the fur and makes the fur feel soft and silky. The dusty residue will fluff out of the fur on your final hide breaking sessions.

Once you’re done you’ll have a nice hide to hang on the wall next to the fire place or gun rack or in the man cave. And a satisfaction of doing something yourself with a fur you took yourself.

How to make a fur hat from a coyote pelt

Finished Coyote Hat

A lot has been written about predator hunting, but what about the fur. What do you do with it. Do you sell it or have it mounted or tanned? How about making your own hat, any style you want. Its really not as hard as one may think. Making a hat out of a predator you fooled into thinking it was coming to a free dinner can be rewarding and another way of enjoying the hunt even more with a keepsake and a story.

If you’re thinking of making a fur hat for yourself this is for you. The following article with the pics and a little studying you’ll be able to make a fur hat fairly easy. First you’ll need a tanned pelt. You can have your hides tanned at various tanneries or a local taxidermist can have it sent out to get tanned for you. Normally it takes about one coyote or fox for a hat and getting one tanned varies by tanneries and taxidermists. Moyle mink and tannery out of Idaho is a reputable tannery and does a lot of tanning for trappers and hunters. If you don’t know how to prep a hide for shipping, you can contact them and they will give you instructions or you can take it to a taxidermist that can do it as well for a fee.

Once you have your pelt tanned you’ll need a few other materials to make the hat. I like using upholstery thread for sewing, it’s heavy duty and durable, you can use dental floss as well. You’ll need a couple good needles, some utility razor blades, scissors, a fine tip marker like a sharpie, a measuring tape, a ruler, Fabric glue like Bish’s tear mender, a large paper grocery bag for making the pattern and something for the inside liner of the hat. For lining I’ve used everything from felt, polar fleece or quilted material like you find in quilted flannel shirts. Most of these materials can be found in any sewing sections of most dept stores.
Mountain Man Style Hat

Now you need to determine what style of hat you want to make. I make 3 different styles basically. They are the Mountain Man with feet and legs on it or the easier one the Daniel Boone with just a tail, then there is the Trooper style with ear flaps and a front flap and a woman’s style that’s a basic hat with a rim of fur around it and a tail off the back, the pattern of which I got by taking apart a woman’s dept store fake fur hat and made a pattern out of it. You can basically make any type or style of hat you want just by using old hats and using them as a pattern, even a bonnet.

Once you decide what type of hat you want to make, its time to get some measurements. The first measurement is the circumference of your head, then a measurement from just above your eyebrow over your head to the base of your skull. This will give you a good fit and a starting point to laying out your pattern. Of course if you’re using an old hat that fits you as a pattern it isn’t necessary, you can just use the store bought hat as a pattern (fig 3, 3a,3b). Now back to measurements,the circumference measurement you divide by 2 which will give the width of your pattern for say a Mountain Man style hat (Fig. 1, 1a at the bottom of this article). So for ex. your measurement is 22” your pattern width would be 11” (see dia.) The other measurement would give you the length of your pattern, usually 15”-16”. With those measurements draw a rectangle on your grocery bag, that will be the pattern to lay on your pelt when you’re ready. For the trooper style or Daniel Boone style you basically would make two rectangles (A) 11” long and 3.5”- 4” wide, which would be the pattern for around the head and then a circle (B) with a circumference of 22” which would be the top (see Fig 4, 4a. at the bottom of this article)

Trooper Style Hat

Once you have the style and pattern you want figured out and drawn out on the leather side of the pelt (note: when doing ear flaps, make sure you flip the pattern over to draw the other flap,or you’ll have two ear flaps for just one side) it’s time to cut the pieces out using the utility razor blades, just carefully cut on the lines you have drawn, taking your time.

Once your pieces are cut out, lay them out fur side up to see how the fur lays and arrange them to where they are going to go when sewn together. At this point you can mark on the leather side numbers or letters to correspond to which piece gets sewn to which piece, like A to A , B to B etc. Now its time to sew the pieces together. When I sew I basically use a loop stitch. I start by butting up the two pieces I want to sew at the moment up to each other. Then start on one end. When I sew, I sew so that it’s fur to fur and the leather side is on the outside. Basically sewing the hat with it inside out (Fig 5 and 3a at the bottom of this article) . This keeps the fur out of your way when sewing and also hides your stitching when your done with the final hat. The sewing is the most time consuming part. At the end of each stitch run when you need to tie off and start with new thread, dab a little fabric glue on the knots you tie off, it helps to keep them from coming undone over time if you’re not the best seamstress. After you have the hat sewn together, try it on before you make and sew in the liner. If it’s snug thats fine, the leather stretches and will fit like a glove in no time. If it seems loose, you can take it in a little by re-sewing the side seams by cutting the seam out with the razor on both sides of the stitching, then sewing up again, you shouldn’t have to do this if you measured right.

Once you have your pieces sewn together at the seams etc, your hat will basically be done as far as the fur part goes, it’ll just be inside out. Now is the time to flip it or turn it so it’s fur out. You should have a nice hat taking shape. What you want to do next is make the liner. For making the liner you just use the basic pattern you used for the hat and trace it out on your fabric and cut it out and sew it like you did the fur part. This will be a lot easier sewing for the most part. Once you have your liner made, it’s time to slip it inside the main hat and positioned so it sits inside evenly all around the edges etc. Once you have it positioned you can use a little fabric glue in a few spots and let dry to hold it in place, then sew the liner in all around the edge where the liner and leather meet to seal it up. If you want the face of the animal on your hat you can basically cut the face from the pelt just behind the ears and tack sew it to the front of your hat. There’s many other ways to incorporate the head into the hat with this way being the simplest and easiest for a first timer.

By now you should have yourself a hat you made yourself from a critter you harvested yourself. Hopefully these pics and writing will help you accomplish making you’re own hat. Don’t be afraid to try your own ideas, whats wrote here is just the basics on how to go about it. Good luck and have fun.

Custom from a store bought hat used as a pattern
Figure 1
Figure 1a
Figure 1b
Figure 2
Figure 3a
Figure 3b
Figure 4
Figure 4a
Figure 5
Hat Supplies

Coyote Hunting Tips For Beginners

Six Coyote Hunting Tips For Beginners

Coyote hunting is one of the fastest growing predator hunting sports in America. Populations are strong, land access is easier to come by, regulations are liberal, and coyotes are challenging game for hunters. For newcomers to the predator hunting sport, the challenge can lead to frustration. These six tips will help smooth the learning curve.

Being Downwind Is Vital
The number one rule for coyote hunting is staying downwind. Coyotes are primarily driven by their noses. They find food and seek safety by scent. Ignoring the wind while whitetail hunting is costly. In coyote hunting, it’s devastating. If winds are swirling or your setups are no good for the prevailing wind, it’s a good day to do some scouting. If an approaching coyote looks uneasy, he is most likely trying to find a way to get downwind of you.

Wait For Mates
Where there is one coyote, there are others. If a coyote stops, stands, and looks around a lot while coming in, don’t take the shot yet, there is a good chance there is another coyote. It is a good idea to wait for the other coyote to appear before shooting. If the newcomer takes off running on the shot, hit the predator with a Ki-Yi coyote call. The Ki-Yi is a distress call and it will often stop a coyote and give you a chance to shoot.

E-Callers Ease The Learning Curve
Electronic calls are illegal for many game species, the sound can be quite deafening. But when it comes to predators such as coyotes, it’s open season in most states. Electronic calls or E-calls make it simple for novice predator hunters to call as well as a veteran. Most come with a wide range of calls, that reach all kinds of areas from different yard lengths, including coyote vocalizations and prey distress calls like screamers. Remote control features make operating them simple.

Hunters learning the coyote calls must practice in order to get it right. Predator hunting is a hard sport and at the beginning, very tough to get your hands on some good game. The howls of a coyote are one of a kind and although some people think it may be easy to imitate, it takes more than minutes to learn. Some animals sound similar but in reality they are all somewhat different. Can you think of the sounds each animal makes; bobcats, dogs, turkeys, a rabbit, white-tailed deer. When it comes to coyotes there is also not just one type; there is the eastern coyote, western, central…etc. The electronic call can be helpful when predator hunting, but while holding a rifle and setting up traps and decoys, it is hard to keep track of all your equipment while trying to stand still and be quiet so the mouth call is a good sound to learn as well.

Shooting Sticks Kill Coyotes
Coyotes are often shot at long distances in different areas. Shooting sticks and stands will steady the shot and ensure accuracy from the rifle or preferred gun. More importantly, if your gun is ready on shooting stands, less movement is needed to prepare for the shot. Movement will bust you just as often as scent while coyote hunting.

Concealment Is Key
Head-to-toe camouflage is a necessity. Pants, jackets, gloves, hats, and face covers are not an option. Due to wind, scent blocking clothing is big business in the whitetail community. Scent is even more important when coyote hunting. You should always play the wind, but scent blockers will help if a coyote circles around you. Trapping an animal is a difficult job and that’s why being concealed is so important, any sound can startle the predators hence the reason it takes so much time and practice to learn how to properly hunt coyotes.

Put Some Miles On
If there are receptive coyotes in the area you are hunting, they will come to calling within 15 or 20 minutes. Don’t spend more than a half hour at any given setup. On calm days on flat land, you may want to move a half mile or more to the next set. If conditions are windy or terrain is steep, you could move as little as a few hundred yards before starting to call again. Remember to always approach a new hunting area downwind of where you believe coyotes will approach.

If you’re getting started in coyote hunting, these tips should make finding success a little easier. The best way to learn the finer points of whacking ‘yotes is to hunt with an experienced coyote assassin. If that isn’t possible, the folks here at have you covered. Good luck!