Recently, I had a friend of mine ask me for advice about coyote hunting. Namely, he was on a dry streak, and he couldn’t figure out why.
He knows there are a lot of coyotes near his land – he finds fresh droppings, and there is even a body of water nearby. All in all, it definitely sounds like he should be able to find the coyotes when he goes hunting. However, it just doesn’t seem to be working out for him.
He has the gear he needs. Specifically, he uses an electronic game call that can play two calls at the same time (ICOtec GC300), masking scents, camo clothing, and, of course, an excellent rifle. So, what went wrong?
Of course, that question is not an easy one to answer. After all, there are many things that can negatively affect a hunt. So, I just decided to focus on the easy-to-identify issues and asked him about the coyote calling sequence he was using. It turns out that he was just using the same call everybody else said was great – the Jackrabbit distress.
Don’t get me wrong; it is an excellent choice for hunters in general. After all, coyotes love an easy hunt. But, coyotes are also very smart and can educate themselves quickly. So, if you are using the same call everyone else is, the coyotes will be more probable to try and run away from you than to try to come and investigate.
So, I told him to try and switch it up with the calls, and he came back with very good news. But, the entire event got me thinking about all of the hunters that don’t realize how important it is to choose the correct coyote calling sequence. So, I decided to give out some recommendations you can try out and see if they work.
Best Coyote Calling Sequence for Callers with Dual Call Capabilities
If you have an electric caller that is capable of playing two calls at once, you already have an advantage over the other hunters. Namely, you get to make your calls sound a lot more believable to the dogs.
Playing a single call will work for a while, but it doesn’t simulate the reality of the environment. Of course, if you are the only hunter in the area that is using game calls (which is rather improbable) you can just use the reliable calls of jackrabbits in distress. But, if you want to get the attention of coyotes that know about hunting, you will do well to mix it up a bit. For example, I really like combining the sound of prey in distress with sounds of crows or magpies.
So far, that combination has been very helpful to me, and I have had multiple successful hunts with it. The reason it works so well is that coyotes use various sounds to identify good hunting opportunities. So, if they can hear that there are crows already gathering around the injured rabbit, the coyotes will rush over.
Most of the time, it’s details like that one that can make or break the hunting trip. You really want to think about the effect your calls are having on the animals. The idea is to try and paint a realistic picture of the nature around you.
The next combination I like to use is the combination of short female howls and pup distress calls. This coyote calling sequence demands a hands-on approach as you should carefully control the duration of the calls. I would even recommend starting out with a solo sound of a male howl and then making a break. From there, play a female coyote howl for a couple of seconds, then, you can activate the pup distress call.
You should also be mindful of the area you are in. For wide areas, I usually just blast the speakers at a high volume. But, if there is a lot of cover around me, I lower the volume significantly. The reason for that is that the coyotes might realize the sound is too loud once they come near you.
The Best Dual-Call Sequence
In my humble opinion, the best combination you can use is prey in distress coupled with various environmental sounds. I would recommend using magpies, as coyotes commonly follow them when they go out hunting. In fact, if you spend some time near hunters, you’ll undoubtedly hear the saying “every coyote has a crow/magpie.”
Best Coyote Calling Sequence for Callers with Single Call Capabilities
Ok, I know I said that the dual call is definitely an advantage. But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t get the same effect with a caller that can only play one sound at a time. Let me preface this part by saying that pretty much any call you choose can work. After all, experts chose all of those calls because they are effective. But, it might take a bit more skill to use a single call properly.
For example, if you want to use a challenging howl, you will have to do it tactically. Sure, the call will grab the attention of the coyotes near you, but the effect might not be the one you desire. Unlike wolves and some other predators, coyotes don’t like confrontation. In fact, they are very likely to avoid it if they can.
But, before they leave, they will usually respond with a call of their own. What you should focus on is keeping your call quieter than the challenging call of the coyotes around you. That way, the coyotes will have the confidence to actually come near you. Don’t let your howls go on for too long and tune them down as you go. And, after half an hour, if you didn’t get a good result, you can start using whimpers and whines. That way, the coyotes will assume it is the same challenger, but it is now in distress.
Alternatively, you can also use non aggressive vocalizations. And, honestly, those are the ones I like using the most. Using pup yelps can get the coyotes to come over for a myriad of reasons. Those reasons include parental instincts, territorial behavior, and socialization. Furthermore, you might even appeal to the hunger of a coyote if they didn’t have anything to eat for a while. If you are going hunting during springtime, nothing can really beat the effect of a pup distress call.
Avoid allowing the e-caller to loop the sound too much. Remember, coyotes are smart, and they will recognize the loop after a while.
The Best Single-Call Sequence
When I am using a single call e-caller, I usually focus on non-threatening sounds. I either go with prey distress calls or with pup distress calls. So, that is what I would recommend to you as well. My tips for those situations are not to let the calls run for too long. Let the call loop once and then turn it off for a couple of minutes before letting it loop again.
Bonus – Pro Sequences
Some high-level electronic callers come with sequences of calls in them. And, more often than not, those sequences are incredibly effective. Of course, if you have a lot of experience, you will probably be able to outperform them. But then again, if you have experience, you don’t need someone like me telling you which sequences to use.
So, if your caller has an option of using expert hunts, make sure to take advantage of it. After all, someone with a lot of knowledge put a lot of effort into creating those.
The Bottom Line
One thing you should remember is that coyotes are a lot smarter than many believe. No matter how good your coyote calling sequence is, if you use it too many times, the dogs will stop coming. So, try to combine and rearrange your sequences every couple of hunts you go on.
That is the reason I didn’t really focus on telling you which exact sounds from your library to use. Instead of trying to find that one “golden” combination, you should figure out the way coyotes think. Once you figure that out, you can freely change your sequences and be confident that they will have the desired result. I would also not recommend sharing your current sequences with other hunters. You don’t want the coyotes to learn about your tricks before you get to use them.