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Counting Coyotes

Share your coyote hunting tips, techniques, and thoughts about coyote hunting.

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Counting Coyotes

Postby Coyotehunter » Sat Sep 16, 2006 7:49 am

It?s all about the Numbers


Counting Coyotes: Quantity of Coyotes or Quality of the Hunt?

Most hunters would agree that success comes slow and can be, at first, frustrating. I have always thought it odd that most video or TV shows on hunting will depict someone standing over a dead animal saying, "It doesn't get any better than this," or "This is what it's all about." It seems to reinforce the idea that the end justifies the means. Any success I have had in the field can be contributed to scouting, patterning, and hunting accordingly. Anytime two hunters meet, hunting stories begin to loom large--not unlike fishing stories. Increasingly, though, it is getting difficult to separate genuine hunters from "hunter wannabe's?. Sometimes, hearing a whopper is truly impressive, but other times, hearing one is downright frustrating.
Last fall while out hunting, one of these "coyote hunters" wanted to show me the coyotes and fox he had in the back of his truck. We talked for a while about coyote hunting and then about the equipment he was using. He said he had shot 97 coyotes between the first week of September and Thanksgiving. At first, I thought it was possible if he was trapping and snaring along with the calling but when he said that he had a full time job and it wasn?t predator control and didn?t know how to trap or snare. Well I thought possible but not likely. When I returned to my motel room, I told the story to my brother and we did the math. If you hunt three days per week for eleven weeks, average ten stands per day, call in one coyote for every three stands, and manage to kill 90% of the coyotes you bring in, you'll be up to the 100 mark by Thanksgiving easily. Maybe it's not impossible if you have good weather and a high population of coyotes on your side. But hunting east of the Missouri in North Dakota it's still highly unlikely. When I told this story to a rancher whose land I have been hunting for years, he told me that he caught the same man several times running his pasture in a pick-up and has been causing problems with some other ranchers. Obviously, this "coyote hunter" is more concerned about putting up numbers than having a good hunt. Getting the most by driving around pastures, calling from the truck, and hoping to get a coyote on the run is not in my opinion coyote hunting. An easy way to rack up the numbers maybe, but not respectable.
I asked one old predator-hunter how many coyotes he had shot during the past winter. He said he would not be lying if he told me five. His answer puzzled me because I knew he did a fair amount of coyote hunting with snares, traps, decoy dogs, and just plain calling. I pressed him to tell me the truth. He smiled and said it was closer to 80, which makes more sense considering he earns his way impart to predator control for sheep ranchers. He explained that usually when he tells people what he gets, they either don't believe him or else they killed more by Christmas than he had seen all year. Though, naturally, there is always someone with a bigger and better story.
"How many?" may be the most popular question hunters and trappers ask one another, but it wouldn't hurt to ask, "Where were you hunting?" and "How often did you get out?" and "What were you using?" If you don't work winters and are living in a place like Southern Arizona, an area with a high density of coyotes, you will undoubtedly have more opportunities to put up fur than someone who works winters and who lives in a large metropolitan area. Who is the better or more successful hunter--the first one, who may get fifty coyote, or the latter one, who may get fifteen? It's a hard question to answer, but it seems quantity often overshadows the quality of the hunt.
For me, success has always been in the details. If you judge hunters' ability based on the number of animals shot, then we should all gas up a truck, grab the business band radio, get some dogs and four-wheelers and run the coyotes to death. Then crack a beer, pound our chests, and call ourselves predator-hunters. Hunters often see tracks from snowmobiles, four-wheelers, and pick-ups in pastures and fields around rock piles and cattail sloughs. Later, they hear "coyote hunters" brag about all the critters they shot. The true coyote hunters, though, spent all day calling only to smoke one coyote they walked a mile off the road for, with snow up to their knees, and to call with in 75 yards without the song dog knowing what hit him.
With coyote hunting these days there are getting to be too many "coyote hunters" sitting in pick-ups with speakers out their windows. It makes me angry, but when I hear what seems like another far-fetched tale, I still try to listen and be polite. If you have been hunting long enough, you are bound to have a breakout day or a season that goes perfectly. A friend and I once even called in ten coyotes by noon one Sunday in late February. It turned out to be a great day for hunting coyotes with a slight Northwest breeze and an overcast sky in western North Dakota. And it was a bit unusual, especially that late in the season--but everything just clicked. Telling a whopper is something hunters and anglers alike enjoy telling, especially if it's true. But trying to pass off using a pick-up to kill a lot of coyotes as hunting is less than admirable, it's wrong.

There are no short cuts to becoming an ethical and efficient predator hunter. The reward and satisfaction for hunting is not in the numbers, but in the hunt itself. Be proud of each hunt and all that goes into it.


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Postby CoyoteDoctor » Tue Sep 26, 2006 7:51 pm

Well put coyotehunter. I think you hit it right on. I think quality far out weighs quantity. Sometimes it can be easy to lose sight of this. Here is a picture of me with my 2 girls and a friend with his son. We only called in one coyote but the look on the kid's faces that day was priceless.
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Postby RJHendricks » Wed Oct 04, 2006 1:51 am

I could not agree more! Its should not be about numbers. As I get older(hopefully wiser) I have discovered the awesome responsibility of parenthood. Teaching my children how to hunt and showing them the great beauty of the outdoors is what this thing has become for me. Quality not Quantity.

I look forward to the future when my son and daughter get old enough to carry a gun. I hope to have this heritage to share as we grow older together.

CoyoteDoctor, That is a wonderful picture! One to cherish.


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Postby onecoyote » Thu Oct 05, 2006 3:31 pm

Coyotehunter, in my opinion there is a time for both quality and quantity. All hunts to me are quality time in the outdoors, that's what real hunting is all about. I'm sure you all know what I'm talking about.
On the other hand there is a time for quantity if one wishes to compete or do some serious fur hunting. I have been on both ends of the stick and enjoyed both with unforgetable memories.

I was a newbee in this game myself once, I can understand the excitment of talking all about predator calling and trying to impress the other guys lol, been there done that.

Let me say this, killing 97 coyotes in three months can be done, but not by many. A two man team ( Del Western and Bennie Murry ) from the Arizona Varmint Callers back in 1961 checked in 264 coyotes, 8 bobcats and 5 gray fox in 24 days of hunting, they spotted 495 coyotes, 10 bobcats and 6 fox. They were hunting a place nobody else could legally hunt, the Popago Indian Reservation in southern Arizona.

Q Waggner from Nebraska and Eddy from Utah take more then 100 every year in a short time, they both hunt almost every day during prim time. I seen a team check in 45 coyotes in less then two days of hunting.

It can be done, but those boys probably didn't do 97 :lol:

Hey, my stories are true best I can remember, plus I'm trying to get some interest going on your site, hope it works? :wink:


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Postby Coyotehunter » Thu Oct 05, 2006 4:30 pm

I couldn't agree with you more. Nothing better than a good coyote hunting story and even better yet when it is true.


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Postby 220 Swift » Thu Oct 12, 2006 9:54 am

I had a man come in my store and said his wife gave him an electronic caller for a gift. Someone told him to talk to me and I might be able give him some calling tips. I am more than eager to talk hunting and share what little I know. I gave him a few tips and we talked for a while.Then he wanted to know how close coyotes would come to the truck. WHAT? (we can only call in daylight here and you can not shoot from a motor vehicle.) He said he did not want to sit outside it was cold. Well I guess you need to stay home with the heater on. Have not seen him since so I do not if he has had much luck.


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Postby Fallguy » Thu Oct 12, 2006 10:59 am

What a pansy.


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Postby Coyotehunter » Fri Oct 13, 2006 5:38 am

Ditto


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Postby onecoyote » Fri Oct 13, 2006 8:05 am

You guys must be young. I use to go out in the sage brush and call when the temps were 115 or -15.
That was many years ago when I could stand up without help. Now I shoot from my truck ( legal for coyotes in NM ) I have a custom made camper shell that I shoot from.
When it gets cold and it's snowing I'm in the back of a camper shell with a cup of coffee waiting for the next victim.
Maybe I can talk my wife into posting some old pics for you guys.


Keep this in mind, I lived to be old...You young guy still have to :lol: .


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Postby 220 Swift » Fri Oct 13, 2006 9:03 am

I am not as young as I was when I started calling in 1975. My buddy in Texas can call at night. They use a pickup with an elevated seat mounted in the back. He says they have to keep a cover over it to so there will not be any glare coming off it from the moonlight. Hope to call with him somenight. Sounds like fun.Here in Oklahoma we can not call at night and we can not shoot from a motor vehicle. I do not think to many Coyotes will come very close to a truck parked in the daylight.We can get a permit if you are disabled, to shoot from a vehicle. I plan on hunting a long time and may have to use my 4 wheeler to get there someday. So keep shooting from your truck or camper you have earned that right, I will keep walking in as long as I can. Then we will see how it goes in the years to come.


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Postby Fallguy » Fri Oct 13, 2006 9:32 am

Yeah, I'm young. 27, coach XC and track and run with the kids everyday I can. Try to keep myself in shape but its hard with the bad habits (wings, beer, etc.)


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Postby 220 Swift » Fri Oct 13, 2006 11:03 am

What time is DINNER?


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Postby Fallguy » Fri Oct 13, 2006 11:14 am

onecoyote

Can you post pics of that modified camper shell? That would be cool to see.


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Postby onecoyote » Fri Oct 13, 2006 2:44 pm

IF I can talk her into it :lol: . I do have some pictures of my truck and some old competition hunt pictures from the 70s. Back then we'd kill so many critters we just had a proff of kill, usually just a tail. I even have some pictures of me the old man with some coyotes lol. I think I'm as die hard a predator hunter as they come. Heck, I even have the only predator hunting museum in the country. I better start posting pictures or you guys ain't gonna believe me. I guess I better be nice to my wife. :roll:


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Postby rhino » Thu Dec 14, 2006 7:23 am

I so believe in fair chase. Around the area I hunt, people get the idea it is hunting to run around on snowmobiles and pickups in the fields and chase coyotes. I believe if you are able to hunt on foot you should. Then these people like what was posted earlier boast and brag about there catch. That's not hunting to me at all. Sure since I am relatively new to the sport I could satisfy my limit by running around in pickups and such. But I want to learn how to coyote hunt, anyone can drive a pickup, but not everyone has the patience to coyote hunt. For example this past weekend I was out calling and there happened to be a coyote tournament in the area. I called two stands and went and did something else, there were tracks all over the fields and of course I didn't see anything. So I am glad to see other hunters like to call and not drive in the fields.


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