Gerald Stewart: Hunting Thick Cover Coyotes

Editors Note: Gerald Stewart of Texas, has been calling predators for 40 years, and he helps design and develop many of Hunter’s Specialties’ predator calls.

I’ve hunted coyotes in Vermont, Kentucky and many other states. But what I’ve learned is that in Texas where I live we have different types of terrain that can match the terrain that you’ll find in any of these states. We have an incredible variety of terrain and foliage in Texas, and even if we don’t have the same type of plants you have in the East, the calling techniques we have to use are the same in many places in Texas that you’ll find in many sections of the East.

I think any time you’re hunting thick cover in many areas in Texas and in the East you have to do a lot of scouting. When I’m hunting in thick-cover areas, I go one step further than I do if I’m hunting a wide-open area with plenty of coyotes. Coyotes in the East are much smarter, and the terrain is much thicker than many areas in the West. I’ve found that in hunting in the East you have to call more often to take coyotes.

Another problem you often find in the East is you have more people trying to call in fewer coyotes than you do in the West. The critical key is to set up with good viewing lanes and good shooting lanes. I always hunt with a shotgun even in Texas to get the coyotes in really close.

One of the big secrets to taking coyotes in the East is getting elevation for your stand. In many eastern areas the foliage is so thick you’ll either have to get on the side of a hill to take a stand, or you’ll have to hunt from a tree stand. In many areas of the East, there are enough tree stands that hunters use to deer hunt so that finding a tree stand to hunt from isn’t too difficult.

The tree stand gives you a tremendous advantage because if you’re using a remote caller, and you put the caller on the ground, the coyote comes in hearing that call from the ground. That coyote’s looking for the animal that makes that call on the ground and not up in a tree. I think that using a tree stand gives you the advantage of being able to see him come in from a further distance than if you’re sitting on the ground. Too, you have the advantage of having the coyotes’ attention on the ground looking for the prey animal and never considering that you may be in the tree.

In Texas country, we often hunt coyotes out of tripod stands. In many parts of south Texas where you can’t see a coyote coming from a long way off, hunting from a tripod or some type of deer stand is a common tactic used by many predator hunters.