Why would anybody want to hunt coyotes in the summer? I hear that all the time when asking to hunt property for training my Mountain Cur dogs. Coyote Hunting in the late spring into summer, is the most effective time of year because you can eliminate family groups of coyotes. Why would you want to eliminate family groups, your just killing to kill! That is when I calmly explain to the uneducated person that my Summer Coyote Hunting Tactics are helping you out, you just don’t realize it yet!
My passion for Coyote Hunting took a turn in the spring of 2009. My good friend Destry Harris was having some puppies from his Mountain Cur female and had ask me if I would be interested in having one. He was telling he had been on a hunt with Don Laubach from ELK Inc. decoying coyotes. I said I had never heard of it before, so Destry let me borrow the VHS tape Dogging Coyotes to see this for myself. I watched the whole video, coyotes following Don’s dogs in and I was hooked. I told Destry I would take one, a female I named Dezi. The next year my son got one from Destry from out of the same parents, a male name Copper and the rest is history.
Coyote Hunting with decoy dogs does have its do’s and don'ts though. The first and easy start is getting the puppy. People ask me how do you know which one to pick? My belief is there is no right answers but peoples opinions on there experiences in there own puppies they have raised. I feel it is how you raise them and train them if they will turn out to do what you have asked of them.
Once you have your dog heading in the right direction, its time to go put him or her to the test. After years of Summer Coyote Hunting we find them to be very territorial during this time of year. That is what makes decoying dogs such an effective Summer Coyote Hunting Tactic this time of year. Coyotes are denned up and they have put there stake on a little piece of heaven, and seeing another dog in the area really annoys the hell out of them. In my seminars, I tell people that their is three things that will get anything and anybody wanting to fight. First, moving in on their home, second, eating their food, and the third, is messing with their children.
This will bring me to how setup and call and explain the Summer Coyote Hunting Tactics I am talking about in the above sentence. The first step in knowing where coyotes homes or dens are at is by using a locating call to have them answer back. FOXPRO Game Calls has the set the standard in e-callers, and the sounds on their calls are the best in business. I use different locating calls, but the most basic one is the siren. Early morning and late evening is the best way to locate where coyotes are denning. Once you have located their HOME, know it is time to sneak in close enough without getting seen. Once I get into where I want to be, I will use a howling sequence. Once you have howled, coyotes will most of the time either howl back or sit up and look to see who is in their HOME or territory. This is where decoy dogs come into play, coyotes will have a visual of any dog in the home area and this is where you will test their patience. Coyotes are just like people, they have their own personalities. Not all the time just howling will get them mad enough to come running into investigate. So that is when I go to Lunchbox or food. Coyotes are going to be feeding their young in their area that they have called home and they don’t like to share. I will then play a distress sound off the FOXPRO e-caller. Coyotes will come to check out what is eating out of their Fridge. If food is plenty, rabbits, mice, etc. coyotes won’t always charge right in. The last one, messing with their children, is what gets most of the coyotes to come in pissed off and on the fight. I use a coyote distress sound. The picture you have just painted is this, you howled in their home or den area, eating their food, and now you are kicking the crap out of one of the family group. This will most of the time get coyotes to charge in and defend themselves.
When a coyote comes in to the above series of calls, they will see my dogs. Copper and Dezi are true veterans of the game. They are always on the lookout, waiting to see, hear, or smell a coyote coming into defend their territory. Once they get locked onto a coyote, they chase after them. Some coyotes will stand their ground and others will run away looking back.This is where you have to have your dogs under control with some kind of electronic training collars. GARMIN Training collars are always on my dogs at all time. You have to be able to communicate will your dog to come back without yelling their name. I train my dogs to come back when I whistle at them. When I whistle, my dogs leave the coyotes and come running back to me. The coyote will chase after him, thinking he is running him out of his area. The coyotes that aren't very aggressive, getting your dogs to come back to you will not run the coyotes out the area. All coyotes have different personalities, so it will be up to you to figure out how much dogging each coyote will take.
How I setup the FOXPRO and position myself is very important. First, always sit with your back against a sagebrush or bush to break up your outline. Always have the wind in your face and if possible have the sun at your back. Setting up with sun in your face and especially not hidden, seems to make coyotes hold up out in that 400 yard range. They will sit down and watch and think they see something so out of the ordinary that they won’t come in. Coyotes have better eyesight then people give them credit for, so staying hidden as much as possible will just bring your odds up in harvesting coyotes over your dogs. Once a coyote comes in and has started dogging, the coyotes attention is consumed by the dogs. Now you can get ready for the shot. Paying very close attention is key though, knowing when to shoot and and knowing how your dogs work coyotes is the key to not shooting your dogs. I have a rule with the people I take hunting over my dogs, DON’T SHOOT UNTIL I SAY TO SHOOT! I know how my dogs work coyotes, so I understand when it is safe to shoot and when not. I have lots of time, money, and love for my dogs, so keeping them safe is my number one priority.
After the coyote has been shot, my dogs run over to chew on it. This is the same as a bird dog retrieving a bird, except for the chewing part hopefully. If mutilple coyotes come in and I have shot the first one, my dogs go to chew on it. I then hit coyote distress on the FOXPRO to turn the second coyote to look back and he will see the dogs chewing on the first coyote. This will usually stop him or make him come running back in to protect his mate. This is the power of decoy dogs have over coyotes. I had a friend of mine who shot the first coyote, when the dogs where chewing on the first dead coyote, the second coyote came back in, he missed him three times before finally hitting his mark, that is the power of decoy dogs!
People ask what gun should I bring to go Coyote Hunting with, my answer is simple, the one that is ON! I shoot a Remington 22-250 with Vortex Viper 6.5x24x50 named Ol’ Painless. Most shots are between 50 to 150 yards. Missing coyotes is going to happen, especially when dogging coyotes. Most people never seen a coyote that close howling and barking chasing a domestic dog. The people I have taken have missed at 15 yards because they are so shook up by how close the dogs have brought them. The worst part of missing coyotes, is the dogs will chase after them again to lure them back, so you must have your shooters stand down until the dogs aren't in any danger. I took a young man one time dogging, he missed the first shot. The dogs took back after the coyote again. While the dogs where chasing the coyote, the young man started shooting at the coyote running not seeing my dogs. Thankful I got him shut down and no dogs got hurt. You must always think about the safety of the dogs.
Your prime Summer Coyote Hunting Tactics comes down to how good your gear is. Your sitting against sagebrush or bushes, so hunting clothes must be tough to withstand the abuse. UnderArmour hunting apparel is the best in the business for toughness and keeping you comfortable on those hot summer days. I put my UnderArmour Ridge Reaper Series layering system to the test all season long. The great people at Kauffman Knives and Optics keep me up to date with the best optics to use. I use Swaroski 10x42 EL with Leica 1000 yard rangefinder. With the price of good optics I make sure to protect them from the abuse of hunting in all environments by protecting them in a FHF Gear bino harness and rangefinder case.
I treat my dogs just like athletes, so keeping your dogs well hydrated is a must. I carry plenty of water in the truck so I can rehydrate them after every stand. If you are going to be out all day, not going back home I suggest bringing some food along for them to keep them working. Decoy dogs run a lot dogging coyotes, so keeping them energize will just help them keep hunting hard.
Know that I have shared my Summer Coyote Hunting Tactics with you on the do’s and don’ts of Coyote Hunting with decoy dogs, I will touch back to my opening statement on how I am helping by Summer Coyote Hunting. Agricultural and hunting has been in my family for four generations. My great grandpa raised sheep and cattle. Coyotes raise havoc on the agricultural business each year by killing millions of dollars in revenue for the cattle and sheep producers. Now just imagine how many antelope and deer fawns that get killed by coyotes every year in the spring when coyotes are hunting to feed their young. So you see my Summer Coyote Hunting is helping out the ranchers, farmers, and sportsmen!