Electronic calls for coyotes?

DanV

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I need some help from some bonafide coyote hunters, please. I've used mouth calls (unsuccessfully) and am hunting an area that I see coyotes all the time when I'm not hunting them. I took one of my kids old cassette players with removable speakers and extended the wires 25 feet. I have a Stewart jack rabbit tape and was wondering how long I should play it ,continuously or should I time it like a mouth call ? Also what other tapes would work the best  in No. California around Clear Lake/ Cache Creek ? Thank's for your input, Dan
 

grtwythunter

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Dan- I'm just the opposite. When I was starting out I tried tapes and never had any luck. I tried soft, loud, push play and let it go, and tried varying it. Nothing. As soon as I tried mouth calls I started having success.
  I think the biggest thing with calling is your setup. I don't know what your terrain is like up there, but you could be calling animals and never see them. I'm lucky out here in the desert.most of the places I hunt have at least 1/4 mile visibility in all directions.
  The other major factor in scent and wind direction. To keep my scent under control I wash my camo in no soap ur unscented soap. Then I store it in a plastic container that is lined with sagebrush or manzanita(native to where I hunt). Sometimes I go as far as waiting to put my camo on until I get to my spot just to keep home and car smells off it. I also shower with unscented soap before I go.
  As far as wind I do my best to call into it. Watch your backside though because they like to sneak around to get downwind of you. That's where your scent comes into play.
  Then there are the days you do everything right and still can't call anything. That's just how it goes sometimes. Don't give up...it took me about a year of screwing around before I figured it out. Every trip is still a learning experience.  
Good luck    Scott
 

Hook

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Dan, I use a Lohman call from Cabelas, it is a copy of the Johnny Stewart call. I use the Yellow billed Woodpecker, Jack and cottontail rabbit tapes. At night I call at low volume for the first minute, If i get no response I turn up the volume to reach out further. I vary the volume after a few minutes of loud calling. They usually respond right away.
Once I see one, I lower the volume. I also use a squeeker or something similar to make soft sounds and try to get them in close or at least stop so i can get a shot off.

I have never hunted No. Cal. but I can bet the rabbit tapes would work.

Good luck
 

songdog

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I think that Scott hit the nail on the head.  The sound is actually a pretty minimal part of making a coyote come in or not.  

Having the right setup makes all the difference in the world.  In addition to Scott's comments on the wind/scent stuff:

Make sure you're plenty quiet getting into your calling area.  Don't drive the truck up, slam the door, walk 50 yards and expect to call something from a mile away that didn't hear you show up.  This makes a big difference.

Make sure you can see and think about where you would expect a coyote to come from.  Most of the time I can tell where a coyote will come from before I ever start calling and set up so that I'm facing that direction with the gun ready to go.  I say most of the time because, on occasion, they do have a habbit of coming in from the absolute opposite direction just to see you squirm.  Some of those you just have to laugh and learn.

Don't skyline yourself.  It's nice to be able to call from an elevated viewing point but don't sit right on the crest where something can skyline you.  Drop just over the edge and put a thick bush at your back.  If the wind cooperates, put the sun at your back too and you're doubly covered.

Don't move when calling.  I've seen some guys that wrap their hands around a call and move them all over the place to get the "special sound".  I don't think the coyotes appreciate the special attention to rabbit vocalization but they certainly appreciate the movement so they can see you that much better and swap ends before you get a shot off.

Most of all, just get out and try it.  Sooner or later it will all come together and then you'll be hooked.

Good luck!
 

DanV

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grtwythunter,
  Where I hunt it is usually fairly steep brush covered hills, usually I get  near the valley bottom which is oaks/grass with some good openings, up to a few hundred yds.
  I completely camo out including face mask and gloves and don't really get totally scent free with all the different products, although am recently showered and using an unscented anti-perspirant. Used to hunt into the wind but have changed that  at the urging of some more experienced hunters. They say your chances of seeing a coyote that backdoors you are slim , while a coyote coming straight into the wind will smell you but you should see him and get a shoot off before he scents you.
 

songdog

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I've seen coyotes pick up human scent from well over 200 yards away.  I'm sure that there are many other further than that which I couldn't see.  Scent makes a big difference.

Washing, scent free stuff, ScentLok, etc. will all help but none of the products are good enough to let you ignore the wind completely.  They're more along the lines of forgiving you when that swirling breeze threatens to expose you and then shifts back.  

If a pointer can pick out the scent of a pheasant from 30 yards away in the middle of a bunch of sage, don't you think a wild coyote can pick up my sweaty stinky body from 200 yards down wind?

If you have someone to call with try placing that person downwind from you 100 yards or so.  You'll be amazed at how many coyotes that person will see trying to circle around to the down wind side.  When calling in pairs, this is my favorite spot and normally produces as many yotes as the guy blowing the call 100 yards away.

Keep at it, you'll get them.
 

lintongb

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I have to comment on this one.  I am by no means a seasoned veteran coyote hunter. I am getting hooked pretty quick though.  I have got three within the last month.  (Two of the last three were while deer hunting.)  That's a lot for me since I have only shot 5 total.  The previous two were in my backyard.  I just christened my 22-250 on Monday.  I have had it for a while but have never killed anything with it.  My brother was in town and we decided to see if we could call one in.  Since it had just rained hard Saturday night I thought we had a good chance at seeing something.  I borrowed my buddy's electronic caller and we got to our stand at about 7:20am.  We set up and called for about 10-15 minutes.  I was just standing up to see if we should try another place and noticed a coyote on the ridge about 75 yards from me.  He saw me stand up and started to trot off while looking at me.  I leveled off found him in my crosshairs and took a shot.  He disappeared.  I walked over to where he was on the trail.  I turned the yote over and I had hit him right between the eyes.  I was surprised what a 55gr. Hornady ballistic tip could do.  All there was was mouth, eyes and ears.  The bullet had totally take out his skull and left a valley between his ears.  My brother laughed his head off.  I was probably lucky calling this coyote in since I had never done it before on my own but it worked that day.  

P.S.  We were using a Stewart Woodpecker tape in the caller at the time.
 

Bill W

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The first four or five years I tried calling coyotes I had no sucess.  I'd always do it kind of half -as$ed.  Either we'd be noisy going in, or we'd not set up with a good view, or we'd screw up the wind.

Once I finally started taking things seriously I started having real success immediately and in one season went from calling nothing to regularly calling in several a day. I've called in coyotes, bobcats, foxes, and even a pack of feral dogs.  I've taken them with everything from various hot rifles to a  bow to a muzzle loader to a pistol.  I no longer shoot them because the challenge is gone and it seems like a bit of a waste unless they are taking deer or sheep or something in an area.  Once you get it down and assuming the coyotes are not real educated, they are not difficult to take at all.

I'd say the most important factor is trying to pick locations where the coyotes aren't educated. Try and pick areas where a lot of guys aren't hunting.  I've had very good luck in the deserts around Indio,  Cabezon, Lancater, and Randsburg, the mountains around Anza (above Palm Desert), and the foothills around Ventura.  

Next, set up right.  Really pay attention to the wind.  If you drive into an area, park 3/4 of a mile down wind of a likely looking area, hide the car and walk several hundred yards in.  Sit for twenty minutes before calling.

Don't call too much.  Less is better. I like the adjustable mouth blown models taht will let you blow cottontail, jakrabbit, and squeaker.  I've never used an electric. Give it a few quiet squeaks and sit for five.  If nothing comes in, give the loud raspy (long distance) jackrabbit tone eight or ten quick bleats.  Imagine a rabbit trapped with something chewing its leg off. That's how you want to sound.  They don't have much lung capacity so don't do long drawn out calls.  They should be quick and insistient bleats.

After that first set of eight to ten calls wait a good seven or eight minutes without calling at all (use a watch or you will start calling too soon).  Then give it four or five more quick ones.  Keep in mind that the more calling you do the easier it is for the coyote to zoom in on your exact location.  That makes it all the easier for them to sneak in within 250 yards and either circle or hang back and watch your exact location for a while.  If that happens they are much more likely to spot or smell you before you see them.  If they are going to come, they're going to come in response to a few calls (you won't need to blow fifty times).  

Ideally  you want them to be actively trying to figure out where the hell you are when they get into range.  That way they're just cruising in your direction and looking for the rabbit.  They'll stop often and listen, etc.  I've let them go right by me on numerous occasions until they got to the point where they were downwind and likely to sent me soon.  I've videotaped them coming within 20 yards on several occasions.

You'll generally get an easy shot if you wait for it.   Use the sqeaker to move them in close or move them from behind cover. Only blow it for a second or so if they are anywhere within five hundred yards. They'll keep coming. They are amazing in their ability to zoom in on the exact location of a sound source from a long ways off.  

Don't give up too early.  Wait a full thirty five minutes from the time you started calling.  Wear camo and brak up your outline (eg. sit with a bush to your back).  That's pretty much it.  Try not to hunt them in the late winter/early spring when they're likely to have pups depending on them.

Have at 'em.

Bill
 

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