What was Wile E. Coyote's motivation? The answer is simple:
predation. He wanted to EAT the Road Runner! But in the process of
trying to do that, and despite his creativity and constant effort,
Wile E. Coyote failed miserably and routinely. If he wasn't falling
off steep cliffs or being crushed by ACME anvils, he was getting
flattened by steamrollers or blowing himself up with TNT.
desire to eat made him make mistakes. Painful ones. But never fatal,
since survival skills are pretty amazing in cartoon land.
As predators like Wile E. Coyote ourselves, we can learn
something from that lovable canine. We can learn that hunger makes
our prey vulnerable. The yearning for food creates distractions and
temptations that we can use to our advantage when harvesting game.
Since we're on the subject of coyotes, let's take a look at some
tips and tactics that can put more fur in the skinning shack. And
seriously ... fun cartoon characters aside, harvesting these
predators is a necessity for population control and a balanced
ecosystem that gives small game, upland birds, waterfowl and even
hoofed animals a fighting chance against the voracious 'yote.
Generally speaking ...
With all the following approaches to coyote hunting, visual and
olfactory concealment is always critical. Wear camouflage that's
suited for the environment and season in which you're hunting. And
conceal your human odor just as you would do when hunting
whitetails. That means washing your hunting clothes in
scent-eliminating detergent and spraying everything down (yourself
and gear) with Scent Killer. With scent control as part of your
coyote hunting routine, you'll collect a lot more animals.
First and foremost, call where there are coyotes. Scout, and find
areas with plentiful tracks and scat. Ask around, knock on
landowners' doors, and locate good areas with a lot of animals.
Then, focus your calling efforts on areas in or around good sources
of cover. Sloughs, river bottoms, brushy draws, tree lines and other
"obvious" cover are ideal.
When you set up, choose a good vantage point with cover behind
you to break up your outline and with the sun behind your back or
quartering over your shoulder. The wind should be crossing, so you
can cover upwind dogs and spot those that have circled around to get
a downwind sniff of things.
Call from each stand site for 15-30 minutes, with a few minutes
between calling intervals. The rabbit-in-distress call is your best
friend. A mouse squeaker is great for up-close encounters, and a
coyote call (for howls, whelps, etc.) is a keen tool of the trade
I can't teach you how to call here, but if you've never done it,
I recommend one of many how-to DVDs on the market —
or an electronic caller that makes the sounds for you.
[to top of second column]
If you put meat out in coyote country (road-killed deer, animal
scraps, etc.), they will eat it. No doubt. The key is to be on the
spot when they come to chow down. And nobody is interested in
sitting for hours or days waiting for that moment. So if you're
going to bait, put your morsels in a spot that you can check easily
from a long distance (using your Nikon binos). Also make it a
location that allows you to quietly and easily sneak into an ambush
position for a clean shot. Gravel pits and valleys make ideal
baiting sites. It takes a bit of homework and thought to determine
the ideal layout, but if you take the time, you will get some great
shots at coyotes.
Hunting at night
Coyotes are extremely nocturnal animals. So if you're looking for
a thrilling adventure, try calling them after the sun goes down. A
perfect scenario is a cold, calm evening between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m.
with snow on the ground and a bright moon overhead. Under these
conditions, sometimes you can shoot coyotes without introducing any
artificial light. But always come equipped with a spotlight, your
rabbit and howler calls, and the right firearm for the job. Use
fast, flat-shooting bullets for mid- to long-range and a 10 or
12-gauge shotgun with BBs if your shots are going to be inside of 40
Whenever you're hunting coyotes in one of these various ways,
always remember one thing: Get inside the coyote's head and
understand that you are tempting him with food, and he's responding
because he thinks he's going to eat. Hunger is the motivation that
will allow a coyote to let down his guard — and Wile E. Coyote's
mistake will be your victory. Just ask the Road Runner …
[By BABE WINKELMAN]
Babe Winkelman hosts "Good Fishing" and
"Outdoor Secrets," the most-watched fishing and hunting programs on
television. Tune in on NBC Sports Network, Destination America,
Velocity, Time Warner Sports Texas & New York, and many local
broadcast channels. Visit
Winkelman.com for airtimes and more information. Follow
Babe Winkelman on
Facebook and Twitter.