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Calling
9/29/2008

The Coyote Doctors are constantly asked when the best times to call are and where the best places are to go.
As a rule, we have our most productive stands in the first two hours of daylight and again in the last couple hours of the day. However, we call the entire day and have coyotes come to our call at all times. Because we hunt mostly in South Dakota, we have limited experience calling at night, but have had success in Nebraska when we have had the chance to try this. Once again, the last couple hours and the first couple hours of darkness have been very successful for us.

Coyotes are very opportunistic eaters so they can be called at nearly anytime of the day or night. The key is to get in areas where coyotes are located and feel comfortable responding to calls. This brings us to where the best places are to call.

In most areas, coyotes usually bed down during daylight hours. They prefer isolated areas where they are least likely to be disturbed by human activity. We've found the best way to call these resting coyotes is to cautiously approach bedding areas (thick cover, deep canyons, isolated patches of marsh, trees or other remote road-less areas).
When we are within the coyotes hearing range of this cover, we can then call into these areas and draw the coyotes out for a shot. The coyote can respond due to hunger, territorial issues or just out of curiosity.

Calling at night is a little more complicated. The coyotes are probably active and on the move already, which means they feel comfortable coming to a call. BUT, they are more dispersed over their range, so they may be harder to find or approach without them knowing you are in the area. Instead of calling to specific areas in these instances, we would recommend areas where coyotes may be actively hunting (grain fields, bird roosting areas, etc.).

The sounds we use when calling coyotes are the same for day or night calling. Most of them are prey distress sounds of some kind. Rabbit, bird, rodent, or even other canine distress sounds can all call in hungry coyotes. Use sounds of prey species that coyotes would normally hunt in your areas.

If you call into heavily hunted areas, we recommend using sounds that are not commonly used by other hunters. On the same theory, we use different sounds each time we call an area. We use a mix of hand calls or electronic calls depending on what we have used in that area in the past and how big the area is that we want to actually cover with our sounds.

We use Foxpro electronic calls and CritRCall hand calls. We try to call continuously at most stands. This gives the coyotes a constant sound to hone in on and doesn't give them time to stop and think about what is happening. Our typical stand consists of about 15-20 minutes of calling and then an additional 15-20 minutes of waiting.
In addition, coyote vocalizations have been an excellent addition to our calling repertoire. Day or night, we have successfully harvested coyotes using howls, whines, and other vocalizations in tandem with prey distress sounds or even alone.

We prefer to do our calling in the fall and winter of the year when the furs are the most prime. Coyotes can be called at nearly anytime of the year, however its our choice and philosphy to call when we can use the fur. This also allows the coyotes to mate and produce a new population of pups for us to hunt next year.
Of course, the most important thing is calling where coyotes are located. If they are around, however, by varying your tactics you can be successful.