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  • I am interested in purchasing a predator hunting rifle. I have my eyes on a .220 swift. In your opinion, what caliber of gun do you consider ideal for predator hunting taking all considerations into matter (accuracy, long-short range, pelt damage, cost,
    Answer:

    Gerald Stewart's reply:

    I use a 22.250 55 grain hollow point, but I am only interested in knockdown not pelt damage. The .220 swift is pretty good for what you are wanting. You might look to the Internet bulletin boards for some of the conversations about the .17 caliber, which some consider to be good for the best overall predator gun.
    Scopes-I have used the Luepold Varix II 3 x 9 up to this point but am excited about the quality of the Swarovski 3 x 10-42 mm that I just had mounted on a Darrell Holland Custom 22.250 varmint rifle. Good luck.

  • How should I use the electronic caller, should I let it run all the time or stop it and turn it back on a couple times during the call? What calls should I use different times of the season, (I only hunt in the winter November-March) and I live in Nebrask
    Answer:

    Gerald Stewart's reply:

    There are two philosophies of calling technique and they both will work to varying degrees. You can call intermittently, choosing your time gaps depending on your own personal preferences, or call constantly with an electronic caller.
    Most people using mouthcalls will choose to call for a short while and then sit quietly for a couple minutes. You can do this for several sequences and then move to the next spot. Those using an electronic caller have the option of letting the caller do the calling for 10 to 15 minutes then move on. Both techniques will work.
    In the winter, food source sounds will work well for you. In later winter and early spring coyote vocalizations will work extremely well as calling sounds.

  • What sounds would be better for summer time coyote hunting?
    Answer:

    H.S. Pro Staff:

    Coyotes will have pups with them during the early summer months and normally hang fairly close to their den. A pup in distress call will work well; you can use a lone coyote howl late in the afternoon to locate the den then move in a little closer. If you are trying to control their numbers this tactic is very effective. However, if you are hunting the coyotes for their pelt you need to wait for colder weather because during the summer their fur is pretty thin.

  • What type of lighting technique do you use for night hunting coyotes, red fox, and gray fox? Do you just shoot for the eyes using a red lensed light or light up the field to see predator? Please explain light technique used for each animal type.
    Answer:

    H.S. Pro Staff:

    You are on the right track with the red lens, but also try to hold the direct beam just above their head instead of directly in their face. Also use a quality scope on your rifle that has outstanding light gathering ability, such as Swarokski. Granted, quality optics can get expensive, however they are the most important part of your equipment and you will be shocked at how well you can see at night. As far as light technique is concerned, I don't really do anything different but make sure the shooter is ready when the light is flipped on because more times than not the animals won't look for long. Also, be cautious of your scent control just as you would be if you were hunting deer. Remember, these animals make a living with their nose! Good luck.

  • What is the best way to go about locating a coyote? And is early morning better to hunt?
    Answer:

    Gerald Stewart's reply:

    Scouting for coyotes can involve your eyes and your ears. Sightings, droppings and tracks can give you a general idea of the density of coyotes in your area. By the use of howlers or howling tapes you can scout with your ears. A combination of all three aspects of scouting can give you a general idea of coyote locations, travel areas and density.
    Early morning and late afternoon generally will be the most productive hours for daytime calling although the winter months can provide good calling potential during the midday hours.

  • I am a beginner at predator calling. I don't see every movement that the animals make to my call. Do you think every time I go out there I'm just educating them not to come to my call?
    Answer:

    Gerald Stewart's reply:

    There is a very good chance that animals come to your call and you won't see them. My father taught me at a very young age to leave an area quietly even if nothing is seen. He was very adamant about not educating animals to our presence. He did not want them to associate humans with the distress call.
    We would drive into an area and drop off people and equipment while leaving the engine running. I would slip out and Dad would drive away and walk back quietly. After the stand we would not talk but gather our gear and walk out not talking until we were in the vehicle.
    I have always believed that you get a couple of chances to call a predator before they start to hang up on their approach. The most educated are those that begin to bark or howl from 200 yards out. Those are the most difficult to call in.

  • Is it wrong to do any calling in my hunting area before the season opens or while scouting?
    Answer:

    H.S. Pro Staff:

    There is a gray area when it comes to this question. Some people say it doesn't hurt anything and others will come unwound when the subject comes up. Personally, I do a little calling, just enough to locate the birds, then I lay off and slip out of the area. Usually when doing this I use some type of locator call such as a coyote howler, crow call, or a gobble call but very little, if any, turkey hen yelping. I look at it this way. Turkeys are smart enough as it is--I don't want to educate them any further. Good luck.

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