Calling Coyotes - Tips and Tools
I have called coyotes for about ten years, prior to moving to Montana.
I worked in a feed lot in Nevada and thanks to a man, Marty Morris, I learned to call.
He was very helpful in teaching me to use a mouth call and gave me hints to get me started.
Marty rode horseback in some of the country that most hunters didn't go to.
Coyotes don't too pay much attention to horses so he was able to ride into the juniper trees, tie his horse up and get into position relatively unseen.
I know that he would, on occasion, take 3-5 desert dogs on one stand.
I tried the horse back traveling for a while but time constraints were tight, so I would drive to an area I wanted to hunt.
I would always be checking for tracks in the gullies since this is a main travel route for most coyotes.
I would look for corner markings, scat, that would be a corner of a territory for a alpha coyote.
If possible I would find a ridge or high ground and approach a stand site from the top.
It seems like I always had better luck working from the top down.
Now that's not to say that is the only way I would approach a stand.
Working up washes or gullies also worked well.
I used coyote urine as a scent cover, wore all camo clothes and face paint.
My rifle was wrapped in camo tape, in other words, I was as stealthy as possible.
Once I chose a stand site I would sit in as much cover as was available.
I would sit very quiet for a few minutes to let everything get quiet.
I would start my series of calls with a very soft, short call just in case I might have a coyote close.
Wait 2-3 minutes, then go into a more aggressive call, wait 3-5 minutes and if I hadn't seen anything coming in, start over again.
If you're going to call a coyote in, it will only take 15-20 minutes.
If you have nothing coming in chances are you won't.
If you get a coyote coming in, wait until he stops to look around then give a squeak.
He should turn and come to you.
A lot of times they will want to get the wind in their favor by circling to check for smell.
If you have one stop that's the time to give him the squeak.
If you get him down, sit very still about 5 minutes then start your series of call again.
Coyotes like to hunt in pairs so you might pick up his buddy too.
When you move stands, move at least 1/2 mile.
On a normal breezy Nevada day, your call will be heard that far.
By moving at least 1/2 mile you will be calling to new coyotes.
A side note here, if you call in a coyote, DON'T miss your shot.
A coyote that has been called and shot at gets pretty hard to call again.
I always carried a Remington 22-250 and a 12 gauge shotgun.
A lot of times the squeak will get them in close enough for a shotgun.
A shotgun will lay them down hard and you don't have the bullet hole to sew up.
Speaking of sewing the bullet holes, the best thing I found was dental floss.
Works great, strong and looks clear.
Always sew from the flesh side, don't pull the floss to tight or you'll get a pucker in the pelt.
I liked to skin as soon as possible.
That way you don't have the carcass to mess with when you get home.
The birds and other scavengers will pick the carcass clean in no time.
Skinning a coyote is fast and simple.
First cut around the "knee" joints, skin the pelt back around all four legs, make a cut up the inside of the hind legs, cut of the testicles and penis off if it is a male, pull down to the tail and make a small cut between the tail and and the carcass.
The tail bone will then pull out of the tail.
Tie the hind legs together, and then tie that to your bumper hitch, a tree or whatever you can find.
The hide will then pull off all the way down to the head.
I should mention here that you do not split up the back or the belly.
You will have to pull and skin around the head being careful not to cut through the pelt.
When you get to the ears, cut them off up close to the skull.
Make a cut around the gum line of the top and bottom jaw.
At this point you should be able to pull the remainder of the skin off.
That's it! Throw the pelt in your truck and go hunt.
When you get home, wash the blood out of the pelt, turn it inside out and sew if necessary.
You can build stretch boards by using two 1"x4"x8' pine boards, round the top to a smooth point, I use a piece of leather as a hinge at the very top.
Drill holes in the bottom two feet of the two boards, using a piece of 1x2, a bolt and wing nut, attach this to to one side.
Drill a couple of holes in the other end.
Slide your washed and sewn pelt over the top of the stretch board and pull down tight.
Spread the boards apart to stretch the bottom of the pelt and put a nail in the hole you drilled in the 1x2 and in a hole you drilled in the 1x4.
Now you have your pelt flesh side out and stretched tight on your new stretch board.
Leave the pelt on the board until it is nearly dry, I repeat nearly dry.
You should, at this point, be able to turn it inside out again putting the hair side out.
Put it back on the board and repeat the stretch procedure again.
after a couple more days it should be completely dry.
Remove it, brush it good to fluff up the hair.
You can brush in a little talcum powder to really do a fluff job.
Take your pelts to your market place and pocket the cash.
When you see your first coyote running to you...
it is a rush! Hunt hard, be safe and have fun.