Hunting coyotes is a great pastime both for me and many others in the USA. However, sometimes it’s just not possible for us to hunt during the daytime. Life can seriously get in the way of this fun and interesting activity. Because of that, we often find ourselves having to hunt at night.
Now, I know that some of you will not want to hunt at night. After all, we are at a natural disadvantage in comparison to a coyote. However, I am here to tell you that you can quickly learn how to hunt coyotes at night with this simple guide. I’ll explain when you should start hunting, what you’ll have to wear and how you will have to behave at nighttime.
So, without further ado, let’s jump right in and see how to call coyotes at night.
How to Call Coyotes at Night
The most common way of calling coyotes at night is by using an electronic call. Sure, some hunters prefer to imitate sounds of distressed animals by themselves. However, that’s not the case with me. Imitating sounds can sometimes make me change my stance and become less aware of what’s going on around me. And, as you might presume, that’s never good if you’re hunting coyotes at night.
So, if you want to call coyotes without revealing yourself to the animal, bring a high-quality call with you. These electronic game calls come in all shapes and sizes, and they usually have a variety of fantastic sounds. I suggest that you start with a distress call because that will make the coyote think another animal is in trouble. Therefore, it’s more likely that they will run towards it to eat it.
Still, when hunting at nighttime, you will have to be a bit more patient. As you probably already know, coyotes prefer to do their own hunting and general living at night. Therefore, the dark is when they are the happiest and the most productive.
So, sometimes, it’s really difficult to learn how to call coyotes at night. It’s not just about making the call. You also have to find a good place from which to call the animal. Furthermore, you have to stay still and be really patient. Some coyotes will run towards the area from where the call came as soon as they hear it. Meanwhile, others will casually stroll in after a half an hour.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Who has half an hour to spare on one coyote? But, trust me, most of the time, it is well worth it. Electric game calls are quite efficient both at nighttime and daytime. Still, at night, you are up against an animal that has a better sight and hearing than you. So, they cannot be tricked that easily at night, which is why you ought to wait for them.
Some hunters believe that they should change the spot if the call doesn’t produce any results. But, if you talk to any other experienced hunter, they will probably tell you that you should wait every single time. Coyotes don’t really ignore the distress or the baby sounds. They just sometimes have to finish their other “errands” before they grace us with their presence.
How Loud Should The Call Be?
Now, there is one thing you need to be aware of. At night, the wind is a lot calmer than during the day. Nevertheless, make sure that the volume is high enough to be heard, yet not too loud to disturb other animals and reveal your hiding spot. Furthermore, take into account that when the wind is calm, sounds transfers a lot faster than usual. Thus, high volume is not necessary.
What’s also important when learning how to call coyotes at night is to know which sounds to use. You could start with a few howls and then move on to the distress sounds when you get a more accurate location of the coyotes.
Another good idea is to use sounds that imitate their young ones in distress. Coyotes are very protective of their pups. So, there’s a high chance they will rush over as soon as they hear the call.
Lastly, make sure you’re not just making a call after a call. That might scare the coyotes and make then not even want to come near you. Make one call and then wait. If it doesn’t work, try another one. Also, make sure that the calls are not too long.
How to Hunt Coyotes at Night
Now, before I tell you some of the best techniques that will help you learn how to hunt coyotes at night, we need to talk about the gear.
The gear itself, in terms of the rifle and other equipment, is almost the same, whether you’re hunting at night or day. However, people with pale skin tones have to think about their camouflage suits. Most predators, including coyotes, see a lot better during the night. Thus, your skin will be a bright beam of light for them.
That’s one of the mistakes you can make when learning how to hunt coyotes at night. Some hunters believe that they don’t have to wear a suit because it’s not that cold, and they don’t want to start sweating. However, that is an issue because they are then easier to spot, which is why they often find themselves looking for a bush to hide in.
So, be prepared to invest in a good camouflage suit and hunting light for nighttime hunting. Furthermore, try to get gloves too, as you will need to protect your hands. Also, high-quality, lightweight, and most importantly, quiet shoes are a must-have when hunting at night. You don’t want coyotes to hear you. The suit should also be lightweight, and it shouldn’t be made of a material that will easily pick up dirt, twigs and other things that might cause a racket or any other sound.
Scouting for a Location
Everything I’m saying about how to hunt coyotes at night won’t help you if you don’t scout for a location beforehand. Hence, it’s vital to go out to the area where you want to hunt and try to find the perfect spot.
Coyotes are abundant in some areas, so it’s usually better to hunt there, as you won’t have to go through too much trouble of catching one. However, don’t be afraid to visit areas that have fewer coyotes, as those coyotes might be more gullible and inclined to follow your distress calls.
The best way to scout for a location is to give yourself time to get to know the area. So, bring your gear when there’s light outside and carefully observe the area. Find where you could set up your equipment and maybe even mark it or take a photo of the area to know where you should come back.
Coyote Hunting Regulations
Before you decide to hunt at nighttime, make sure you are aware of the regulations in your state. Some states forbid you from hunting coyotes at night, and you should respect that.
Sitting vs. Standing Up
One technique I figured out along the way is to stand while hunting at night. Not only does this give me a better view of the coyote, but it also helps me see what’s going on around me. Sitting down might be more comfortable, but the results are evident once you stand up and actually make an effort to stay conscious of the surroundings.
It all comes down to the perspective. Sometimes you want to see your prey from above, just like a coyote does. So, by standing up, you will get a chance to predict the coyote’s move, not to mention that you’ll see the animal when it starts approaching.
Another thing I would like to propose is to try putting your electric call below the area from which you’re going to fire the shot. That will allow you to, again, get a better view of the animal. Furthermore, since the animal’s head is much lower to the ground than ours, they won’t see you once they rush to the call. So, you can have a clear shot.
How to Hunt Coyotes at Night Without a Light
Now, I know what you might be thinking. Learning how to hunt coyotes at night without a light sounds like a ridiculous idea. Yet, many of us hunters sometimes even prefer it, as it means that we don’t have to use artificial lights and risk getting exposed.
Still, it is hard to hunt coyotes at night when you cannot see anything. Thus, it’s vital to follow the moon phases and figure out when the full moon is.
Most people cannot sleep when the full moon is up due to the illumination it gives. But, that’s exactly the light you will need if you want to catch a nocturnal coyote. The moonlight will allow you to see the animal from a great distance, and if you lure it to an open area, you can easily shoot it down.
Still, hunting when it’s the full moon also calls for some preparation. You will, of course, scout for the location in advance and make sure you know where the coyotes gather during the night. The closer you are to that setting, the better. But, don’t get too close! Any sound you make will alert them, and since the night is a lot more peaceful than the day, those sounds don’t even have to be too loud.
After you set up and the moon is giving you enough light to spot the coyote, play the predator call and wait.
The Best Season to Hunt Coyotes at Night
Finally, I would like to mention the best season for nighttime hunting.
Usually, coyotes are active no matter the season. You can pretty much hunt them whenever you want, especially in summer when there’s not too much competition. However, late fall and the whole winter are the best seasons for hunting. Those are the fur-bearing seasons, so if you’re after fur, make sure you have learned how to hunt coyotes at night by then.
Still, bear in mind that others will have that same idea and go out at nighttime. Therefore, aim to find other areas where there are plenty of coyotes, yet not that many people.
Also, consider hunting in snow. Since snow is stark white, you will have an easier time to shoot coyotes, as you basically can’t miss them when they walk by. Furthermore, you can see their paw prints in the snow, which will help you locate them without too much hassle. So, combine snow with a full moon, and you have the perfect night for hunting predators!
Understanding how to hunt and call coyotes at night is something that takes practice. You will probably spend more than a few nights out there, trying to catch one, until you get some results. Your patience will be tested, and you will sometimes want to give up.
However, don’t do it. Trust me – hunting coyotes at night is one of the best things you will do. Not only will you have a chance to take your pick from a variety of coyotes, but you will also not have to wait for hours for a coyote to show up. After all, they are nocturnal animals, and it’s safe to say that they will probably respond to any distress call you make. They believe that since it’s nighttime, the whole area is theirs. Nevertheless, you are there to prove them wrong!
I hope that this guide has helped you learn more about coyotes and the way you can use the dark to catch a predator. Some of these techniques might sound like common knowledge, but for night hunting, you will have to carefully consider them and implement them. Otherwise, you will just waste your time. It’s all trial and error, though, so you might even discover a few other techniques along the way! Drop me a comment if there is anything else you would like to know about how to hunt coyotes at night!