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 just returned in the winter of 2006 from one of the best hunts I’ve ever been on, yet it was one of the worst hunts I’ve ever been on, and both occurred on the same day.
The reason the hunt was bad was because the wind was blowing hard, and when you’ve got a strong wind, calling coyotes and seeing coyotes is twice as difficult. However, what made the hunt so good was that in two days of hunting with writers and three days of filming for a video, we were able to see 30 coyotes. We only actually took about 15 coyotes.
One exciting part of coyote hunting is when the animals come in multiples. You may have two or three coyotes coming in at the same time. Although this is fun and exciting, often when you have two or three coyotes coming in at the same time you may only harvest one or two of them, and in most cases just one.
This territory we were hunting was virgin territory for two reasons; first the coyotes in this area never heard any predator calling; and second, I hadn’t even scouted this region, there hadn’t been any human intrusion. What that reemphasized to me on this hunt was just how critical scouting can be. For me, scouting is not just looking for facts and scat, but also looking for a good calling site, finding elevation where you can see for long distances, and also locating shooting lanes where if you see the coyote coming into a lane, you can get ready to take the shot.
One of the frustrating parts of this hunt was even though we could find good stand sites, in many instances we didn’t have brush around us to prevent the coyotes from seeing us. On one stand site, we had three coyotes come in at the same time; on another stand site, we had four coyotes come in at the same time. Even though we had seven coyotes come in on those two stand sites, we failed to take a single coyote because the coyotes spotted us before we could get off a shot.
What I learned here was I needed to do more homework to find brushier places so that when we set up and call the coyotes in, then they couldn’t see us. I think if I’d scouted more, spent more time with our guides and told them the kinds of places I needed to be where we could not only see the coyotes, but where they couldn’t see us, we would have taken more coyotes.