Guide to Coyote Hunting: Expert Coyote Hunting Tips and Techniques for Success

by Derrick | Last Updated: May 26, 2023

Coyote hunting is not for the faint of heart. These wily creatures are among the most challenging game to hunt, particularly in the Eastern United States. But with a little knowledge and practice, you too, can become a successful coyote hunter.

In this ultimate guide to coyote hunting, we’ll cover everything from understanding their behavior and habitat to choosing the right gear and techniques for success. Whether you’re an experienced hunter looking for new tips or a beginner just starting, this guide will provide expert advice to help you remove these elusive predators.

So grab your gear and get ready to learn from one of the best in the predator-hunting industry – because by following our tips and techniques, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a seasoned coyote hunter in no time!

1. Choose the Right Firearm

Choosing the right firearm for coyote hunting is crucial to your success. Rifles, shotguns, and bows are the most popular and recommended firearms for coyote hunting.

When choosing the right firearm for coyote hunting, several factors must be considered. Here are some tips to help you make an informed decision:

  1. Caliber: Selecting the appropriate caliber is crucial for coyote hunting. Popular choices include .223 Remington, .22-250 Remington, and .243 Winchester. These calibers provide sufficient power and accuracy for coyote hunting without excessive recoil. Some wonder if you can hunt coyotes with a .22, we received so many questions about this we wrote a whole article about it.
  2. Range and Accuracy: Coyotes are often hunted at longer distances, so consider a firearm with good accuracy and a flat trajectory. Bolt-action rifles are famous for coyote hunting due to their inherent accuracy, but some semi-automatic rifles can also perform well.
  3. Optics: Investing in a quality optic, such as a scope, can significantly enhance your hunting experience. Look for scopes with variable magnification and clear glass. A magnification range of 3-9x or 4-12x is typically suitable for coyote hunting.
  4. Maneuverability: Coyote hunting often involves stalking or calling, so it’s important to choose a lightweight and maneuverable firearm. Consider the weight and length of the firearm, as well as the type of stock and barrel profile.
  5. Ammunition: Select ammunition specifically designed for varmint hunting, such as hollow point or ballistic tip bullets. These bullets offer rapid expansion and high fragmentation upon impact, maximizing effectiveness while minimizing pelt damage.
  6. Noise and Recoil: Coyotes have keen senses, including hearing. Choosing a firearm with low muzzle blast and moderate recoil can help minimize the chance of spooking nearby coyotes and improve follow-up shot capabilities.
  7. Legal Considerations: Ensure that the firearm you choose complies with local hunting regulations and any specific restrictions in your area. Some states have caliber or magazine capacity restrictions for hunting predators like coyotes, so familiarize yourself with the laws.
  8. Personal Preference: Ultimately, choose a firearm that feels comfortable and suits your shooting style. Visit a local firearms dealer or shooting range to handle different options and understand what works best.

2. Know Your Prey

To succeed in coyote hunting, knowing your prey is essential. Coyotes are intelligent animals with keen senses and highly adaptable nature. Understanding their behavior patterns, habitat preferences, and diet can help you choose the best hunting tactics.

Coyotes are primarily nocturnal animals, meaning most of their activity occurs at night. They have excellent vision and hearing abilities, which makes them difficult to approach without being detected. When scouting for coyote hunting areas, look for cover and terrain features that allow you to stay concealed while still giving you a clear line of sight.

One effective way of locating coyotes is through calling. Predator calls can mimic the sounds of distressed prey or other coyotes and often trigger a response from nearby predators. Electronic calls offer a variety of sound options and make it easier to switch between different sounds quickly.

When setting up your stand or blind location, consider wind direction as well as visibility. Coyotes will often circle around downwind before approaching potential prey so positioning yourself accordingly is crucial for success.

Remember that patience is key when hunting coyotes; they may take several minutes or even hours to respond to your call or show themselves in an area where they feel safe enough to approach.

By understanding the habits and tendencies of these elusive predators, you’ll become a better hunter and increase your chances for success in your next coyote hunt!


Understanding the coyote’s habitat is key to successful hunting. Coyotes can be found in a variety of habitats, from suburban areas to rural farmland. They prefer open areas such as fields and prairies, as well as wooded areas and brushy terrain.

When scouting for coyotes, look for signs of their presence, such as tracks, droppings, and dens. Coyotes are known to den in rocky outcroppings or abandoned buildings.

Remember that coyotes are most active during the night , so it’s important to plan your hunting accordingly. Additionally, calling at night using a light can be more effective since coyotes have better vision at night than during the day.

When setting up your stand or blind, choose an area with good cover where you’ll be downwind from the direction you expect the predators to approach. This will help keep you concealed and increase your chances of success.

Remember that patience is key when hunting coyotes. It might take several minutes before a predator responds to your call or appears on the scene. Always stay alert and ready for action – they can come quickly!

Using electronic calls allows hunters to offer a variety of sounds on a stand which increases their chances of triggering a response from predators like coyotes who have become accustomed to hearing another type of sound repeatedly.

Overall, understanding habitat is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to successfully hunting coyotes but knowing where they live will definitely give you an edge over other hunters who don’t pay attention this detail!


Understanding the behavior of coyotes is crucial to successful hunting . Coyotes are opportunistic predators that hunt mostly at night, although they can also be active during the day. They have excellent vision and other senses, making it difficult for hunters to approach them undetected.

When hunting coyotes, you must use their behavior to your advantage. For example, calling is an effective way to lure coyotes into shooting range. Electronic calls are more versatile than mouth-operated calls, allowing hunters to produce a wider variety of sounds.

Another key aspect of coyote behavior is their social structure. Coyotes are typically solitary animals but may form small packs during the breeding season or when food is abundant. Understanding this can help hunters target specific individuals and increase their chances of success.

Finally, scouting for coyotes in areas with good cover and food sources can greatly improve your chances of success. Look for tracks, scat, and other signs of activity such as chewed bones or feathers from prey animals.

By understanding the behavior of these predators and using it to your advantage through careful scouting and strategic hunting tactics, you can become a better hunter and achieve greater success in the field.


Coyotes are opportunistic feeders , meaning they will eat almost anything. Their diet varies depending on the season and availability of prey in their habitat. During the summer months, coyotes mainly feed on fruits and insects , while small mammals such as rabbits, rodents, and birds make up a large part of their winter diet.

As hunters, it’s important to understand what coyotes are eating in your area so you can choose appropriate bait or lures when calling them in. Scouting for tracks and scat (droppings) is a great way to determine the type of prey available.

In addition to knowing their diet, understanding the behavior of coyotes during different times of year can also help hunt success. For example, during the breeding season in late January through February, male coyotes become territorial and more aggressive towards potential threats – including other predators like humans – making them more likely to respond aggressively to predator calls.

By keeping an eye on their food sources along with tracking patterns over time or using electronic devices like trail cameras which capture images every minute without disturbing animals’ natural behaviors, hunters can improve their chances at taking down these elusive creatures that often elude even seasoned hunters!

Social Structure

Coyotes are social animals and usually live in packs. Understanding their social structure can give you an advantage when hunting them. The pack size can vary from two to ten coyotes, but the average is four or five.

During breeding, male coyotes become territorial and aggressive towards other males. They may fight over a mate or territory. Females usually mate for life and will only allow one male around them during this time.

When hunting coyotes, it’s important to remember that they have excellent communication skills. They use vocalizations, body language, scent marking, and visual cues to communicate with each other. This means that if you’re calling a coyote using predator calls, another one might be watching from a distance.

To increase your chances of success when hunting coyotes at night, it’s best to set up downwind from where you think they’ll be coming from and use red lights instead of white lights as they won’t spook the animals.

Overall, understanding the social structure of these predators can help you plan your hunt more effectively by anticipating their behavior patterns and knowing how to approach them without being detected.

3. Locate Your Quarry

Locating your quarry is crucial in coyote hunting, as they can be elusive and difficult to find. Two popular methods for locating coyotes are call hunting and tracking.

Call hunting involves using predator calls to entice coyotes into coming closer to the hunter. Many different types of calls are available, including mouth-operated rabbit squealers, distress calls, and howlers. Electronic callers have also become increasingly popular in recent years due to their convenience and versatility.

When choosing a location for call hunting, look for areas with good cover that offer a clear view of surrounding fields or open areas where coyotes are likely to hunt for small game. It’s essential to remain downwind from the area you’re calling so that you don’t alert any nearby predators that may be approaching.

Tracking involves searching for signs of recent coyote activity, such as tracks, scat, or prey remains. Late fall and late winter are ideal times for tracking as snow on the ground makes it easier to spot tracks.

Once you’ve located an area with signs of recent activity, set up your hunting spot downwind from the area and wait patiently. Remember that patience is key in coyote hunting – even if you don’t see anything within the first few minutes of your stand setup, stick around because another predator might come by soon.

Using a red light during night hunts can improve vision without spooking animals like white light might do. And keeping quiet while moving through potential shooting lanes could help catch targets off guard more quickly than anticipated.

Overall success will depend on scouting out great locations before going after these wily creatures – but following these tips should make it much easier!

Call Hunting

One of the most common methods of coyote hunting is using calls. Coyotes are known for their keen sense of hearing, and their natural curiosity often leads them to investigate any unusual sounds they hear.

When call hunting, choosing the right type of call is important based on the season and location. Common distress calls like rabbit or bird calls can be effective throughout the year, while coyote howlers may be more useful during the breeding season.

It’s also essential to set up in an area with good cover that offers a clear line of sight and decent shooting distance. Be sure to approach from downwind as coyotes have an excellent sense of smell .

Finally, when using electronic predator calls, always start with a low volume and gradually increase it over time. This will prevent startling nearby predators while attracting them towards your location.

With some patience and practice, call hunting can be a great way to lure in curious coyotes for a successful hunt .


Tracking coyotes can be challenging, but it’s also one of the most rewarding parts of hunting them. One way to track a coyote is by following their tracks and scat. Look for areas where they’ve been feeding or bedding down, as these can be good places to set up your stand.

Another option for tracking is using electronic calls that mimic the sounds of prey animals in distress such as rabbits, birds, and rodents. Coyotes have keen hearing and are excellent at locating the source of sound so strategically placed calls with different sounds will often attract them from long distances.

When calling coyotes in low-light conditions or at night, you’ll need some light source, whether it’s a red or green LED flashlight or an external spotlight setup. The best approach is to use lights that do not spook coyotes too much like red beams which predators cannot see well.

To increase your chances of success when tracking and calling, ensure you’re familiar with the area where you plan to hunt. Scouting before the season will help you identify areas where coyote activity is high such as denning sites.

Always approach from downwind so that your scent doesn’t give away your presence and keep yourself hidden behind cover while moving around during a hunt. A great way to get better vision when hunting during night time hours is by using thermal imaging scopes on rifles which pick up any heat signatures in their field-of-view allowing hunters to spot game more quickly even under poor lighting conditions.

Remember that successful hunting takes discipline; it’s important to find the right locations, be stealthy in approach, offer different sounds on stands if possible- over 800 available via FOXPRO X2S- offer a range of distress call types including rabbit squealers along with predator howlers/calls among others depending upon what might work best for particular situations/opportunities encountered out there!

4. Set Up Your Hunting Spot

When setting up your hunting spot for coyotes , there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you’ll want to scout out the area ahead of time and look for signs of coyote activity such as tracks or scat. Good spots for coyote hunting are those that hold small game, birds, mice, and vermin.

Next, finding good cover and setting up downwind from where you expect the coyotes to come from is important. Stealth is key when approaching your setup location so as not to spook any potential targets.

You should also consider using predator calls when setting up your stand. Mouth-operated rabbit squealers are a must-have in every hunter’s arsenal but other distress calls and coyote howlers can also be used. Offering a variety of sounds on a stand will help trigger responses from different types of predators. FOXPRO X2S offers over 800 different sounds which is great if you’re looking for something different than what others might be using.

Finally, always make sure you have good vision before taking any shots. Use lights specifically designed for predator hunting if necessary but try not to use them too often as they can give away your location quickly – especially at night where visibility isn’t the best.

By following these tips when setting up your hunting spot, you’ll have a better chance of success in capturing those elusive coyotes!

5. Hunt Strategically

Hunting coyotes requires a strategic approach. One of the best ways to do this is by using predator calls, which can help lure coyotes in for a shot. Electronic calls are often more effective since they can produce a range of sounds and mimic different prey animals.

When setting up your stand, find areas with cover that offer good visibility. This will allow you to see approaching coyotes while providing some concealment from their sharp vision . It’s also important to position yourself downwind so that your scent doesn’t give away your location.

Another key strategy when hunting coyotes is being patient. Sometimes it may take several minutes or even hours before a coyote responds to your call. Don’t be afraid to switch up the sounds you’re using or move locations if you’re not having any luck.

Always make sure it’s safe and ethical to take the shot. Know the distance limitations of your rifle and aim for vital organs for quick and humane kills. Remember, as hunters, we are responsible for respecting the animals we hunt and ensuring their populations remain sustainable for future generations.

By adopting these strategies, you’ll become a better hunter and increase your chances of success in hunting these elusive predators.

6. Be Prepared for the Shot

When it comes to hunting coyotes, the shot can often determine whether or not you’ll be successful. First and foremost, it’s important to make sure you have the proper equipment. A rifle with a scope and quality ammunition is necessary for taking down these predators at a distance.

Setting up your shooting position is also crucial. Ensure you’re downwind from where you expect the coyote to appear and have adequate cover. Using a light can often be helpful when shooting at night.

In addition to having the right gear, being mentally prepared for the shot is equally important. As soon as an opportunity presents itself, take aim and fire quickly before the coyote can flee. Remember that sometimes it takes more than one shot to bring an animal down so be ready for follow-up shots if needed.

Overall, being prepared for the shot is essential for success in coyote hunting. With practice and experience, hunters can become better at quickly taking aim and firing accurately even in challenging situations.

7. Respect and Sustain the Coyote Population

Coyote hunting is not just about the thrill of the hunt. As responsible hunters, we need to respect and sustain the coyote population. Coyotes play a vital role in balancing ecosystems, and overhunting them can have unintended consequences.

One way to ensure you respect the coyote population is by only hunting during the designated seasons and following state regulations. It’s also important to use ethical hunting practices such as shooting only when you have a clear shot and ensuring a quick kill with minimal suffering for the animal.

Another way to sustain the coyote population is by avoiding overhunting in specific areas. If you notice fewer coyotes than usual in an area, it might be time to move on and find another spot rather than continue to hunt until there are no more left.

Finally, consider using all parts of your kill. Coyotes provide valuable fur for clothing and accessories, so consider learning how to skin and prepare your catch properly.

By taking these steps, we can help sustain healthy coyote populations while enjoying our favorite pastime of hunting.


Coyote hunting can be a thrilling and challenging experience for hunters of all levels, whether you’re using electronic calls or mouth calls. Success in coyote hunting requires discipline, a stealthy approach, and scouting for suitable locations and calls that trigger coyotes’ responses.

Remember always to respect the animals you’re hunting and sustain their population. Additionally, follow regulations set by your state while hunting seasonally .

So get out with your rifle setup correctly, and don’t forget downwind positioning! Keep quiet under cover until you’re in range. Use predator calls wisely without overdoing it; offer different sounds on each stand, such as distress or howler calls, depending on the situation; consider adding light sources to visualize your target area at nightfall better if necessary (but avoid shining directly into their eyes!). Finally, be patient, as predators often take a few minutes before showing up – but when they do, it’s often worth the wait!

Coyote Hunting Guides By State


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