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While I have only hunted primarily in the southwestern U.S., specifically New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Arizona. I won't be dumb enough to try and tell you where --in your own neighborhood-- you should go.

I will say this in agreement with many of the "experts," which is the coyote is seemingly growing in its population. As such, you don't necessarily have to travel far to find a coyote. Or a place to hunt a coyote.

This article shall be more slanted towards things to look for when choosing a site to make a stand and, things to watch for which can be in your favor, or not. I'll try to keep it simple.

Plan Ahead
Good planning when making your prehunt scouting, or in choosing places to actually hunt coyotes, is 75% of the battle, so-to-speak. This includes gaining permission to hunt on private lands. I profess very adamantly to
ASK FIRST to Hunt on Private Lands! And don't go out knocking on ranch house doors in full camo, looking like Rambo, while you're on a hunt. It tends to turn alot of folks off. We, as responsible hunters need to always bear in mind the anti-hunting images that have been pushed upon the general public. Even rancher's wives, who are affected by predators to their own livelihoods, don't always look upon fully camo-dressed people in the best light. If you want to hunt an area, make a scouting trip in normal attire, and make the first impression a good one.

Please, don't cause the loss of more huntable lands for the rest of us, because you did something stupid!!!

Okay, I'll get off the soap-box now.

Wide Open Spaces
Out here in the mostly wide-open spaces of New Mexico and the southwest, there is a transitional area between the desert type areas and the juniper/pinon covered hills. Rolling, tree covered hills open up into finger like ridges, with dry wash gullies in between. Even in the lower desert type country, there are dry washes. Open in the bottom, brushy along the sides and, if you stay on higher ground these are the perfect ambush sites for making coyote calling stands from.

The open-ness of the gullies make shooting lanes for you, with ample visibility. The brushy sides of these gullies give the coyote, fox, or other possible varmints security in traveling to the calling location, "under cover." If I'm calling alone, I always find a high spot on the terrain to call from. Which also lends a higher degree of difficulty to choosing the right spot, because there are other factors to remember when choosing your stand site.

Such as; is there sufficient cover for you to sit back against? so as to break up your outline. Is it shaded? in order for your camo to blend better, and to also hide some of your movements while calling. Will the location also allow you to watch the downwind side of the area, or only the upwind. If you're hunting with a partner, watching and calling to the upwind is fine. But if you're hunting alone, watch the downwind side always. If possible too, make the brush at your back heavy enough that (if hunting alone) it serves as a barrier. Not only as a physical barrier, but to also disperse your human scent.

One nice attribute to hunting around juniper trees alot is that once under one, I grab a handful of it, and sort of grind it around in my hand. This will release the natural scent of the juniper to help hide the scent of me. Sage works just as well also. And as discussed in the How To Call page, if the coyote is excited, he'll travel around a bush or tree to get to that hot meal he's been hearing about. It's the wary coyote that must be accounted for by keeping close watch on the downwind.

Gang bang 'em
When Dave and I hunt together, I will then get lower into the brush to do the calling from. I have my hunting partner place himself in the higher terrain position, and about 50 yards to my downwind. This way he's covering my downwind side from "sneak attack.". The wary dogs will usually circle to the downwind and follow a scent trail in. Or be afforded their sense of smell to help them avoid danger. I've noted however, that even old dogs will come from any direction when excited and presumably hungry. Throwing caution to the wind (sic). This is a deadly strategy when hunting the coyote with a buddy. As the coyote is paying attention to the caller's location, and not the sniper higher up and on the downwind side.

Although, as I said earlier, I've never hunted coyotes anywhere but the west, I have traveled through the midwest and southern states. Looking and analyzing as I went. Alabama for instance, has heavy tree cover, but man has made breaks in that landscape for shooting lanes and vantage sake by cutting power line right-of-ways, farm field clearings, and so on. Mother nature makes clearings in dense cover too. Look for the spots that will put the advantage of ambush on your side of the hunt, not the coyotes. Because he does survive by usually putting these factors to his advantage.


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