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Putting in my time

Started by 1snafu, November 07, 2023, 06:36:56 AM

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No doubt depends on the area of our country. Where one chooses to bed down. Around here one that would bed near a road. Would have a very short life span. As for a coyote or fox using an old den hole. Other than rearing pups. Does happen now & then around here. On one predator site. One guy who anointed himself an expert ( he was a gub trapper & decoy dog man). Mocked me when I made that claim. I thought him an idiot. lol!


I don't know if Possum Al is a member on here. But in the past He & I have conversed on either this site or one different site we were both members on. I've read his opinions on coyote behaviors. He has a well rounded education about coyotes. Of course there are other hunters who also have a well rounded education on coyotes. R.Higgins & J.Nystetter being two of those hunters. Pardon me if I misspelled their last names.

Anyway more on behaviors; I've missed my share of coyotes mainly on long distance running shots. However, some were still balled up as I took my 1st shot. The coyotes I did miss. ran straight away or otherwise cut hard right or left & ran to their "core area". That core area being their old den site. Not all coyote will seek a hardened shelter such as an old den hole or culvert tube, brush pile ect. during a harsh winter. I've witnessed a handful of coyotes. That were bedded down between harvested corn rows. Those instances involved blizzards. That buried them completely. They are one tough critter. Which is why I have an admiration for them. Not just tough in harsh weather conditions. But tough as nails in a fight or taking a pounding from a firearm.

An interesting thing about them. I seen where a pair of coyotes caught a coon out on an open snow covered hill. Both of those coons were bit & mauled (flat)from bow to stern. Their bodies looked like they went through an old wringer washer. Another coon was holed up in a small roadway culvert. A lone coyote found that coon then drug him out & killed him right there. That coyote fed on it's carcass. I figured because it was very hungry. Because the temps were brutal during a long spell. Otherwise the coyotes just kill them & leave them where they lay. Red Fox on the other hand. When they kill a coon they eat it. Red Fox also kill a lot of domestic cats. Mainly when they are rearing kits. I found that behavior interesting. Why not eat cat 365 days a year?


Rich Higgins and I have talked on the phone a few times.  He knows his stuff.  So does Nistetter and a few others whose names I can't recall.  I've not hung out at other predator calling sites for years. 

Had an interesting to me interaction with a pack of coyotes that I think I posted about here several years ago.  In 6 inches of snow I was 400 yards up near the top of a medium sloped clearcut when a coyote howled down in the timbered creek bottom below the clearcut and across the road that ran along the lower edge of it.  I set up and tried to call and tried a few howls though I've not used howls much.  Kind of experimenting.  Several coyotes replied from the creek bottom, though none would come into view, and after a half hour I gave up and left. 

I had to drive the lower road on my way out and saw fresh coyote tracks crossing it, one single coyote.  I hadn't seen him in the brush and stumps and lumpy terrain so got out to check to see how far up the hill toward me he had gone.  His tracks kept out of sight from where I'd been sitting above, and went up on a small knoll close to the road.  There he had sprayed his scent, turned and sneaked back across the road. 

Kind of funny, as if he was commenting on my calling or telling me something with with scent.  I suspect it was a territory thing, warning me not to cross the road to the territory of his pack.   :shrug:

Re how tough coyotes are:  I sure agree with you.  Pound for pound IME they are as tough as Rocky Mountain goats and grizzly bears.  Extremely tenacious of life, hard to kill if not hit well.


Yes both of those men are quite knowledgeable, same as Possum Al. Speaking of tough. Some shots will drop & kill a coyote as if they were a ship anchor. However, other solid hits will pound them hard. Knock them down & then they'll regain their footing & take off like a rocket. Over my hunt years I've used varied calibers of high powers, also ammunitions. Not one killed a coyote any better than the other. I shot 3 coyotes broadside in the chest where their heart is. One coyote I snuck up on I reckon I got to within 50' of him or so. Exit wound was massive. Still he got to his feet & tried to run. But I quickly hit him again, & he fell stone cold dead.

2 of those 3 were balled up sleeping around the 300yrd marker. Exit holes I could've put my fist in. Yet they got to their feet & ran all out. I connected on them with follow ups. Those large exit holes I could see clearly inside their chest cavities. The bullet (.243 95 gr Ballistic Tips). Fractured & tore out parts of both lungs & part of their hearts. Yet they ran like they were never hit. Remarkable & tough as nails.

Speaking of hand calls. I learned on Crit'R call pee wee. It took me a solid wk before I felt I mastered all of it's sounds. I like high pitched hand calls. But also very raspy(double reed closed calls). Nothing in between does it for me. Many yrs ago I learned using my voice to make fawn bleats. By tightening my vocal cords & saying "meee-ant". One fall day I called a doe with within rifle muzzle range( I could've leaned forward & tapped her muzzle). It was a hoot! As I was on a little, tall weeded knoll wearing full camo. There she stood at barrel length. Staring a hole in me stomping her front foot & snorting snot. I never did call in a canine using it. Go figure.

Most realistic coyote vocal hand call I ever heard. Was a Quacker Boy(sp).

I was a medic for many yrs. Like us humans(animals that is). Some of our/their organs(liver, spleen, ovaries/testicles, kidneys, pancreas & lungs) are considered solid organs. Thus, they can fracture from a high speed pressure wave. Such as what proceeds, envelopes a high speed bullet. Not only the bullet but that pressure/shock wave. Can expand those organs so much. That they can blow apart & or fracture. Sometimes not resulting in immediate death. I've told young hunters. If you hit a coyote solid & knock him down. Best to prepare for a follow up. Because they're not dead until their dead.


Bedded down or on their feet; My experience is about coyotes on the north central plains region.

Of all the coyotes I've seen. When I noticed the same behaviors of most of them. I paid attention to what is "most likely". Some behaviors I've only seen once, a few other behaviors I've only seen a few times(so my opinion/theory) of those coyotes is quite limited. I average out those accumulated behaviors to form an opinion/theory. As to what I believe is occurring. 

Pre-sunrise; Some coyotes are already bedded down for the day. While the majority of coyotes are still on the move up until around 9-10 am. Before bedding down. Few are on the move past 10am prior to bedding down. A few "stragglers" are on the move after 11am.

I'm not talking about mating season per se. Because that no doubt alters their otherwise routine behaviors.
But I'm talking about other routine behaviors.

I also believe it is easier to call in a coyote. When it is "on" it's feet vs one that is bedded down. I've tried both & it has been my experience. Yours may vary.  Because some coyotes may be more hungry, aggressive &  or territorial for example. And that changes things.

When they are bedded down for the day. They will/may lay in that exact focal spot all day long. If they are not alarmed or pressured. I've seen early morning bedded coyotes. Balled up on the down-wind slope. That same coyote as the day rolled on. Stayed in that same focal spot. But had got up on that spot. Then turned it's back against the wind again. As the wind shifted directions later on that day. 99.9% of the time. A bedded coyote will always prefer the wind at it's backside. The stronger that wind. The more in- alignment. Their muzzle will be facing to that down-wind. Knowing that consistent/routine behavior. a Caller or spot/stalker can use that behavior. To gain an upper hand on a coyote. By avoiding his sight ability.


One winter day near the end of January. Hunting wide open rolling hills. I seen 5 coyotes in a linear formation. Traveling Westward along a 1/2 mile away fence line. Each coyote was mainly spaced evenly apart. The lead coyote set the tempo. I believe she was a female that was in heat. I noted she stopped then squatted to pee. Then she moved on at a slow casual pace.

What was really interesting to me. When she paused to pee. Each coyote(which I believe were all males). Stopped in formation, not breaking rank. Until after she pee'd & then moved on again. After she advanced forward. One by one, each of those males pee'd where she pee'd. None of which broke rank in that formation. I never tried my hand on any of them. Because I appreciated the observation of their individual behaviors.

One Winter I seen 86 coyotes. One of which I believe was a coyote hybrid. Because it had very long flowing hair. Like a Long Haired Collie. I tried my hand on 20 of those coyotes, killing only 14 of them. No doubt I could've killed many more if I had wanted too. But I gave them a free pass.