This is an excerpt from the article “Conditioned Coyotes,” which appeared in the August 2014 Trapper & Predator Caller issue.
By Lance Homman
The most obvious way to avoid overhunting your predator calling territory is to amass as much country as you can through hard work in the offseason securing landowner permissions. Of course, if you live where public ground or large ranches are the rule, this becomes less of a problem. My personal rule of thumb is that I only need permission on the red squares on the checker board since calling provides you with the means by which coyotes can be called off neighboring properties where you don’t have permission and onto ground where you do.
Likewise, I familiarize myself with all the different tracts I hunt each year and do my best to identify hides — places where I’ll sit — from all sides so as to be prepared to call regardless of wind direction. In the past, this has been a very labor-intensive project. But, with today’s modern access to aerial imagery, most of this work can be done from the comfort of your computer, leaving you only a few sites that are questionable to investigate from the field.
Using that same aerial imagery, I also try to identify where I think the coyotes will be laid up during the day and the routes they will use to travel to and from there and neighboring sections of land. Ideally, I try to approach a calling site by the route where I am least likely to be seen or smelled by coyotes, which means I try to avoid bedding areas and major travel lanes.
I also understand that approaching coyotes will use those lanes to approach, or escape, should everything go bad. How this is an advantage will be addressed in a few moments, but for now, I want to be able to see coyotes at a distance rather than have them suddenly appearing at short range. The best-case scenario is when a coyote can be seen at long range and has to pass through or behind obstructions in its approach. This gives me opportunities to shoulder my gun and position for the shot.
Homman’s full story appears in the August 2014 Trapper & Predator Caller issue.