By Mark Robertson
With the break from deer hunting one option to maintain your hunting and shooting skills is to take up predator hunting. This has become a growing sport in recent years due to the increase in predators, or at least the perception thereof, and to limit predation among game species. The challenging nature of hunting some of the most cunning creatures in the woods is another factor for its popularity. As one who may be new to predator hunting, specifically coyote hunting, you will learn the basic gear each hunter should take into the woods.
In hunting most game species, utilization of game calls is common in having success. Predator hunting is no different. In fact, it is an essential part in deceiving your game. Calling predators utilizes two types of game calls: mouth and electronic. Mouth calls are an inexpensive way for the beginner hunter to learn the ABCs of predator calling. Most calls are easy to learn and use and are offered in a variety of distress or predator-specific calls, such as a coyote howl or pup call. A distress call is simply used to simulate the sounds of wounded prey. Distress calls are the most commonly used type of call.
An electronic call offers several advantages over a mouth call but at a much higher cost. Electronic calls usually contain audio files in an MP3 or other digital format. Electronic calls can be kept at a distance from the hunter so when the coyote comes in to the call it will not be coming in directly to the hunter’s position. This allows the hunter to use the call not only to reduce the chance of the predator spotting him, but it can be used as a yardage marker to better estimate the distance of your shot. Another advantage is the ability to have many different sounds in your arsenal. This gives the hunter the opportunity to use the most effective call for any given situation.
Another critical component besides calls is the proper use of decoys. Decoys come in two forms. The first is a standard decoy that requires being secured in the ground by using stakes. Decoys are used to replicate wounded prey, such as a rabbit or bird. Sometimes hunters use a coyote decoy to ensure the area is safe or a rival predator decoy may be used to appeal as a territorial threat. Using decoys helps predators to confirm visually what their ears are telling them.
The second type is an electronic decoy. These decoys add a little more realism to the setup through the use of motion. Electronic decoys usually simulate wounded prey to appear as if the animal is struggling. Any predator welcomes the idea of an easy meal.
Utilizing camo is a must. Predators rely heavily on their senses to not only detect prey but also to look out for danger. A hunter should be covered head-to-toe with camo. Make sure the pattern matches the terrain you will be hunting. Cutting corners is a sure way to miss an opportunity at bagging that coyote.
Firearms and Ammo
In case you can’t bring in those wary rascals, upgrade your equipment to extend your range. Most hunters use a shotgun or varmint rifle. A 12ga. shotgun is frequently used over smaller gauges and makes a good short to medium range gun capable of one-shot kills. Manufacturers have been making shotshells specific to coyote and predator hunting to meet the growing demand. One highly recommended load is HEVI-Shot Dead Coyote. This offers greater range and knockdown power than traditional loads.
If a rifle is your firearm of choice a .223, .22-250, or .243 gives you the greatest opportunity of success. Smaller cartridges can be used, but shot placement is more critical when using smaller loads. Hornady makes excellent predator ammo. The Superformance ammo line increases velocities by 100-200 fps faster than previous ammo. The polymer tip creates rapid bullet expansion with devastating results.
So if you’re up for a fun and challenging hunt look no further than predator hunting. As you prepare your next hunt keep in mind these essential tools to help increase your chances at getting that predator.
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