Whitetail Deer Feeders – Gravity vs. Spin?

Whitetail Deer Feeders – Gravity vs. Spin?

There is a lot more to feeding deer than dumping out a bag of corn. Deer feeders: spin or gravity? Corn or protein pellets? They all have their place in a properly managed deer lease. Josh Kinser explains the what’s and where’s to get you started down the road to deer feeding success.

Watch video: https://www.getzone.com/at-the-ranch-whitetail-deer-feeders-gravity-vs-spin/?trk_msg=1MFMTJNMQNLKJ7AAV1NDSEIJRC&trk_contact=S9T806MV5GTHKKBTJCPN0JEM1S&trk_sid=96GTFEPLCJ392LIP8RQTA1C6A4&jwsource=cl

Tense Video Shows Grizzly Charging Unsuspecting Hikers

Tense Video Shows Grizzly Charging Unsuspecting Hikers

While hiking in Montana’s Glacier National Park, a pair of hikers witnessed a large grizzly bear charge another group of hikers, causing them to panic and run in the opposite direction despite the advice of experts.

The tense moment was captured by Dulé Krivdich, who posted the video to his Facebook page with a caption reading: “Be Bear Aware Folks.”

Krivdich and his wife – who can be heard in the video – were hiking back up after visiting Hidden Lake located in a secluded little corner of Montana’s Glacier National Park. The two reached a high point on the trail that provides a spectacular view of the trail and lake below, and that’s when they laid eyes on a 500+ pound grizz barreling down a trail below them. And to their horror, the bear was heading right towards a group of hikers who were oblivious of the bear’s presence.

The two started screaming as loud as they could to alert the hikers, but it almost backfired on them in a major way..

See, as soon as the hikers saw there was a bear heading in their direction, they turn and sprint back down the hill towards the lake. Luckily for them, though, the bear doesn’t appear very interested in getting in a foot race, and eventually moseys onward.

“We saw people booking it like we’ve never ever seen before in our lives. Even in the Olympics,” Krivdich said as he recalled the tense moment.

Krivdich also included the following in the caption of his video on Facebook:

“This was this afternoon hiking back up after visiting Hidden Lake. Just a switchback below where my wife and I just motored through, this big fella (I’d say a 500+ pound Grizzly came through a treeline, down a meadow and swiftly on to the trail itself to get to wherever he wanted to go. Now hikers just below on the same trail are totally unaware of what’s heading their way as we from above start yelling that there is a bear barreling down the same trail. As one yells back “what do we do?” “Just start making a lot of noise!!! Don’t run!!!! But just then, the grizz made a bluff charge and we saw people booking it like we’ve never ever seen before in our lives. Even in the Olympics. But I think that it was a case of the Bear not knowing people were coming up as the people had no idea but even once they did, they still did the worse thing…….they RAN!!! Thank goodness that it all went well afterwards. Other than that it was a beautiful day for a hike down to Hidden Lake.”

So let this serve as a reminder; If you’re in grizzly country and encounter a bear running towards you, running is the LAST thing you should do. Your instincts will certainly try to tell you otherwise, but running may trigger a predatory response and grizzly bears can easily run you down if they truly wanted, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks explains on its website.

Fortunately for these folks, the bear was probably confused when it saw multiple people take off running through the woods and opted not to go on pursuit.

California Votes Again to Harm African Wildlife & Communities

California Votes Again to Harm African Wildlife & Communities

The elected officials of California State Assembly’s Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee approved SB 1175, a bill that would ban the possession and importation of thirteen species of African game animals. In doing so, the committee willfully ignores the overwhelming scientific evidence that confirms that legal, regulated hunting is an irreplaceable component of any effective African wildlife conservation plan.

Safari Club International has steadfastly opposed this legislation at every turn and has done so hand-in-hand with African wildlife officials such as Maxi Louis of Namibia and George Pangeti of Zimbabwe, who see SB 1175 as an existential threat to the wildlife species they have committed their lives to conserving.

Maxi Louis, the Director of the Namibian Association of Community Based Natural Resource Management Support Organizations (NACSO), testified in front of the committee today in order to communicate the ways in which Namibia communities rely on sustainable hunting as part of a larger conservation effort that protects animal species health and wildlife habitat, while also supporting local jobs and livelihoods.

“Conservation hunting protects large habitats that can be otherwise used for agriculture of not deriving livelihoods from their farmlands,” said Louis. “Namibia is one of the driest countries in sub-Saharan Africa and badly affected by drought due to climate change. Wildlife conservation is proven to be one of the best resilient and adaptation tools that are currently used by rural communities in the semi-desert areas.”

George Pangeti, the former Deputy Director of Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority,  also testified today and urged the committee to consider the assessment of African conservationists more seriously, who have clearly explained why this proposed legislation is detrimental to conservation and sustainable management of wildlife in Zimbabwe and surrounding regions.

“Revenues from hunting on state land are used to fund conservation programs and administrative services for the Wildlife Agency,” said Pangeti. “At all times, there is constant communication with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to ensure that there is compliance with the CITES regulations, the Endangered Species Act of U.S. and local Zimbabwe legislation governing trophy hunting. My plea is that such a big state like California should not be party to the reversal of good wildlife management practices and benefits that have been established so far at great cost.”

SCI CEO W. Laird Hamberlin commented on the committee’s decision to ignore conservation science, saying, “I continue to be disappointed by California’s elected officials who support SB 1175, even when expert conservationists from Africa have clearly demonstrated how the legislation will have the opposite of its intended effect. As this bill goes onto the next step in the legislative process, I hope that other members of the California General Assembly will take what Mr. Pangeti and Ms. Louis have said here today to heart and stand up for African wildlife conservation efforts by voting ‘no.'”

The Mysterious Substance of Antler Velvet

The Mysterious Substance of Antler Velvet

The month of August is when whitetail bucks experience their final month of being “in velvet.”

By Labor Day, on most years, bucks will have stripped off the velvet covering on their antlers and become “hard horn,” displaying the iconic bone white rack we expect.

The velvet we are referring to of course is the apparent mysterious, dark and fuzzy looking substance that covers their growing antlers.

Whitetail antlers are some of the fastest growing cellular material of all animals, sometimes measured at growing up to one-quarter inch a day. Elk and moose antlers can grow up to one inch per day and even add a pound of antler per day!

The velvet is literally farmed and is used in cancer and bone research. Additionally, antler velvet has found its way into the human pharmacology treating various aliments and issues.

Antler velvet is marketed to relieve arthritis as well as healing torn ligaments and tendons in professional athletes. But due in part to its high amount of IGH (Insulin-like Growth Hormone) is banned in most professional sports including the Olympics because it stimulates HGH, which is our Human Growth Hormone.

Currently, deer antler velvet is sold as teas, extracts, capsules, and pills, easily available on the worldwide web and in local health food stores.

Antler velvet has been used as a medicine for thousands of years in different cultures, and is obtained from bucks during the velvet growth stage. Deer farms currently market antler velvet worldwide. Some of the major deer antler producers are in China, Russia, North Korea, and New Zealand.

Antler velvet has reportedly few side effects, unless taken in massive amounts, which has been reported to create alimentary canal issues and lots of gas.

Deer antlers when in the velvet stage are soft and easily damaged. When broken, which can happen when a buck runs through the woods, hits a tree limb with the antler, and knocks off part of the soft, bulbous tip, it will bleed profusely.

Antlers in velvet are reportedly the only appendages in the animal kingdom that have the same temperature as the body’s core, being almost hot to touch.

Antler fragility and vulnerability may be why most antlered bucks at this time of the year (summer) are so reclusive and rarely seen.

It stands to reason that if bucks in velvet were rushing around in the woods, as they do during the fall and winter, they could easily damage their delicate, soft growing antlers, so crucial to their fighting and breeding status just around the corner in October and November.

Usually, by mid-August, our whitetail buck’s antlers have all but quit growing.

In these final weeks of August, bucks antlers begin to “harden up.” And by early September, most bucks have lost the soft velvet covering, in a way, unsheathing the bone-white, lethally sharp fighting weapon.

In just a few weeks, by early September, bucks will rub their velvet as they almost continually spar and test their antlers on convenient branches, saplings, trees, and on each other.

Other Cervids such as elk, moose, caribou, and other deer such as Red deer and Mule deer all go through this same antler growing cycle, obtaining enough mineral mass in just a few months, from Spring to Fall.

Whitetails do not start growing their antlers until May, when the first bumps appear on their heads where they had dropped their antlers from the previous season.

Antler shedding, the dropping of antlers is quite varied, depending on the individuals. Some bucks have shed their antlers during deer season, in December, and others do not shed until April.

Researchers have determined that Cervids actually undergo a sort of osteoporosis by pulling the minerals and elements out of their bones. Antler genesis requires a large amount of calcium, magnesium and other minerals to form the mass of that much bone, so quickly.

Deer utilize the bone mass in their sternum and chest to provide the raw material for their antlers, having been quantified and measured by researchers.

When antlers are in fuzzy velvet, actually each tiny hair follicle is a sebaceous gland, producing a greasy substance called sebum. Researchers have determined that bucks make a special effort to smear the sebum on overhanging branches, scent marking these branches over scrapes as part of the whitetail communication network.

Amazingly, in just a month, these soft, vulnerable, dark velvety mysterious growths on a buck’s head will become the iconic, bone white, pointed fighting tools we admire and desire.

Author: Oak Duke

Source: https://www.eveningtribune.com/sports/20200802/mysterious-substance-of-antler-velvet

12 Deer Cartridges You’ve Probably Never Hunted With

12 Deer Cartridges You’ve Probably Never Hunted With

You may not know this, but it is possible to kill a deer with a cartridge that’s not the 6.5 Creedmoor or 350 Legend. Blasphemy, you say! But it’s true.

The concept of a deer cartridge has always been fluid, and in your grandfather’s time, there was a long list of “deer cartridges.” Here are a dozen that you may never have heard of, and I’ll wager most of you have never shot, yet back in the day they all had their time in the spotlight. In fact, many were the 6.5 Creedmoor of their era. For example:

.22 Savage Hi-Power
While the Winchester Model 1894 was the rifle of the deer hunting masses, the Savage Model 99 was the thinking hunter’s rifle. It’s the gun that “gun guys” gravitated to when the fall turned cold and the bucks were rutting.

The idea of introducing a hot new cartridge to spur sales is hardly a new marketing idea. Hitting the market around 1912 in the Savage Model 99, the .22 Savage HP was the brainchild of the great Charles Newton. A necked-down .25-35 Winchester, it used a .228-inch diameter 70-grain bullet at 2790 fps.

Soon enough its “magic killing powers” were being touted in the social media of the day: magazines. Savage ran advertisements of Reverend H.R. Caldwell with a tiger he killed in China with the cartridge. The patron saint of undersized cartridges, Walter D.M. “Karamojo” Bell, shot a Cape buffalo with the .22 Savage HP and lived to write about it. Here in the US, the .22 Savage HP was promoted heavily as a deer cartridge. One with “killing power well beyond its paper ballistics!” Sound familiar?

Anyway, a few years in the field exposed the truth and the .22 Savage HP faded as a big-game cartridge. Once ammo became scarce and the odd diameter bullet made life difficult for handloaders, a lot of rifles were converted to .25-35 Winchester. If you can find one that’s unmolested now, it’s a treasure and a piece of history. No worries about shooting it, Norma has ammo.

.25-35 Winchester
When Winchester launched their Model 1894—the rifle that would dominate deer hunting for a century—they introduced two new smokeless powder cartridges. The .30 WCF, later renamed the .30-30 Winchester, is even today one of the most popular deer cartridges on the market. For years it was said it had killed more deer than any other cartridge. I suspect the .30-06 Springfield has won that title in recent years, but there is no way to prove either claim.

The other cartridge was the .25-35 Winchester. Its main claim to fame is that it was the United States’ first sporting cartridge using smokeless powder, as it slightly predated the .30-30 Win.

At the time, .25-caliber rifle cartridges were popular, which seems to be the only logic in introducing this one. It was pretty much neither fish nor fowl, and quoting Cartridges of the World, “It has never been noted for great stopping power on deer or similar animals.”

Still, people bought the rifles and the cartridge has accounted for a lot of deer. Sales of its big brother overshadowed it by a wide margin until World War II gave the .25-35 Win. a merciful death. Other than a novelty, mini-run of rifles some years ago from Winchester, I don’t believe any American manufacturers have made rifles postwar.

.25 Remington
Winchester had a .25-caliber, so “me too” Remington had to have one, right? In 1906 Remington introduced the first successful semi-automatic hunting rifle along with four new rimless cartridges. The .25 Remington was to compete with the .25-35 Winchester, and they both ended up on the trash heap of obsolete cartridges.

Remington later chambered the .25 Rem. in its Model 14 pump-action rifle. When that was replaced by the Model 141 in 1935, the .25 Rem. was dropped—at least officially. I have one that I researched and found to be a custom order. Just like many of my grandfather’s generation, I have even taken a whitetail deer with the rifle.

.250-3000 Savage
This is another Charles Newton creation and it set the hunting world on fire. In 1915 hunters were still in awe of cartridges that broke the 2000 fps barrier using that newfangled smokeless powder. The .250-3000 (.250 Savage) got its name because the 87-grain bullet had an impossible muzzle velocity of 3000 fps. Chambered in the Model 99 lever-action rifle, it was an instant success.

Newton wanted Savage to use a 100-grain bullet, but they refused. While the 87-grain turned out to be a sporadic performer, that “3000 fps” was a huge marketing tool. Old-timers scoffed while “enlightened” hunters flocked to the cartridge. With good shot placement, it dropped deer like you switched off their circuits. In 1935 Savage finally offered a 100-grain bullet and this cartridge has never looked back.

Newer cartridges killed it off, but the .250 Savage, as it’s called now, is and always will be the one that launched the modern era of deer cartridges.

.30 Remington
Another “me too” cartridge, the .30 Remington was developed to compete with the .30-30 Win. As a rimless cartridge, it was technically a better design, but it lost the popularity war. It was chambered for the Model 8 semi-automatic and in the Model 14 and 141 pump-action rifles. I have one in a Model 141 and love to shoot and hunt with it. That said, I am a gun nerd and don’t mind making my own ammo for these obscure cartridges.

.300 Savage
Savage introduced this cartridge in the Model 99 in 1920. It was said to produce .30-06 Springfield ballistics from a short-action cartridge. (Again, sound familiar?) Actually, it really did come close to the .30-06 ballistics of the day.

Soon enough, most of the rifle makers were chambering the .300 Savage. It proved to be outstanding on deer, and was extremely popular until the .308 Winchester came along in 1952 and rubbed it out.

Old guns are common in the .300 Savage, and I have several. My favorite is an early Remington Model 760 pump that my wife gave me for Christmas a few years back. I try to get some deer-hunting time with this rifle every year, and have shot a few whitetails over the years with several different .300 Savage rifles, including an interesting “cull” buck in Texas. That one fell to a Remington Model 722 bolt-action. The .300 Savage is a legendary deer cartridge and it deserves more appreciation than it gets today.

.30-40 Krag
This was America’s first smokeless-powder cartridge. It was developed for the military in 1892. It was also the first small-bore military cartridge, but it only lasted until 1903 when the .30-03 replaced it.

Still, the cartridge lived on in the multitude of surplus rifles that were easy and cheap to buy, back in the days when purchasing a rifle was as easy as procuring any other tool. Far too many got carved up into “sporter” rifles, though, meaning that today, an un-butchered Krag is highly sought after by collectors. In my youth I had a .30-40 Krag carbine that was in very good shape. Like the dumb kid I was, I traded it for another gun, and can’t even remember which it was. Such memories are why I can’t sleep at night.

The cartridge was chambered in a lot of other rifles over the years. I was recently in a camp where one of the hunters had a Winchester Model 1895 in .30-40 Krag, which I unabashedly coveted.

.303 Savage
Many believe this was Savage’s attempt to cash in on the popularity of the .30-30 Win., but it’s not true. Savage developed this cartridge for military use. The trouble is, the military never took to it, so in 1895 they introduced it as a sporting cartridge. That’s the same year the .30-30 Win. was introduced, so Savage was certainly not “chasing” it in the market.

The .303 Savage is slightly more powerful than the .30-30 Win. and it was extremely popular in the Model 99 lever-action rifle with deer hunters. Like so many other great cartridges, World War II killed it off.

.32 Winchester Special
Legend has it that Winchester introduced this cartridge in 1902 to appease those handloaders who still wanted to use black powder. It was said that this “cross-over” cartridge let them use the powder of their choice. It’s probably all bunk, another one of those oft-repeated legends perpetrated by gun writers.

Winchester promoted it as a more powerful option to the .30-30 Win. with about 10 percent more whack. A lot of hunters bought into that idea, and I can remember late-night arguments in our deer camp about how the .32 Win. Spl. was better than the .30-30 Win. I have one, and every time I shoot it I remember those wonderful years as a kid, discovering deer hunting and finding my place in deer camp. That’s why it’s special.

.32 Remington
The .32 Remington was another “me too” answer to Winchester’s .32 Win. Spl. that never caught on. My Model 14 is special to me because of its history. The woman who sold it to me said it was her dad’s rifle, and it was important to her that someone who appreciates such meaning owns it. She later wrote me a letter saying she used the money to buy a necklace with her dad’s name engraved on the back, so she can be close to him every day. I hope to shoot a deer with it someday to honor the memory of a man I never met.

.32-40 Winchester
This cartridge was developed in 1884 as a blackpowder target round, and used mostly in single-shot rifles. Then Winchester and Marlin started chambering it for their lever-action rifles. The cartridge adapted well to smokeless powder and became a fan favorite. It’s hardly a powerhouse with a 165-grain bullet at 1752 fps, but it has killed a lot of deer. I have a Winchester 1894 made in 1901 that’s been in my family for all that time, and has put more than few deer in the coffers.

.38-55 Winchester
The .38-55 Winchester also started out in 1884 as a blackpowder target cartridge used mostly in single-shot rifles, but it was shortly adapted to a wide-range of rifle designs, including Marlin and Winchester lever-actions.

John Kascenska prefers a Model 94 .30-30 Win. when he is tracking whitetails.

This is the case that a lot of those cartridge above were designed from. The .22 Savage HP, .25-35 Win., .30-30 Win., .32-40 Win. and .32 Win. Spl. cartridges all used this as a parent cartridge. I have fond memories of hunting with my uncle Butch’s .38-55-chambered Marlin rifle when I was a kid. This rifle was special to a green kid because he used it to stop a charging bear at powder-burn distance. That’s pretty awesome stuff for a 12-year-old.

The cartridge pushes a 255-grain bullet around 1500 fps. Factory loads were as low as 1300 fps, and as high as 1700 fps. The hotter loads were said to be unsuitable for some rifles and could cause them to come apart, but I guess we had fewer lawyers in those days.

A lot of these rifles survive in closets, attics and dusty gun shops. If you seek them out and follow your ancestor’s footsteps into the deer woods, you’ll close the circle of tradition and discover that even those old, “antiquated” cartridges kill deer just fine.

Source: https://www.americanhunter.org/articles/2020/3/4/12-deer-cartridges-you-ve-probably-never-hunted-with/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=insider&utm_campaign=0320&fbclid=IwAR0_qnc0cMb6oDkW_ZdofQbSAWOqAawIgfZdjvB-bUy5eQF0j13wBJDvzkk

Here’s Why You Should Hunt Coyotes & How To Get Started

Here’s Why You Should Hunt Coyotes & How To Get Started

Deer are disappearing. Fawns, small game, livestock and even our pets, are being eaten alive by the exploding coyote population. Coyotes are one of the most adaptable animals in the world. Their excellent vision, sense of smell and hearing, matched with their ability to survive on eating just about anything, makes them irrepressible hunters.

Coyote population movement map showing disbursement throughout the United States.   (Photo: Stanley Gehrt, Ohio State University)

Coyote population movement map showing disbursement throughout the United States. (Photo: Stanley Gehrt, Ohio State University)

The geographic range of coyotes was once limited to the Great Plains of North America, but since the 1950’s, the coyote range has expanded by more than 40%. You can now find coyotes throughout the entire continental United States. The boom in coyote population and geographic expansion is attributed to the loss of their natural predators. In the early 1900’s, wolves and cougar populations were decimated by ranchers in order to protect their livestock and families.

Western coyotes are slightly smaller than Eastern coyotes that are seen expanding throughout the Midwest. The larger size of the Eastern Coyote is a result of decades of breeding with Great Lake wolves which makes them bigger, faster, and hungrier, typically weighing anywhere from 20-55 pounds. Today, there are 19 subspecies of coyotes recognized, all of which are rapidly growing and expanding their territories. They will eat whenever there is opportunity, but need to average about 2-3 pounds of food per day, 90% of their diet is mammalian. Coyotes are omnivores, which means, they will eat everything from dog food and insects, to rabbits and full grown deer. Overpopulation of coyotes means less food in an area. For most animals, when there is a food shortage their population caps. Coyotes will travel up to 100 miles to find their next meal and are able to adapt to new habitats. Coyotes are very elusive, hunting and traveling solo or with their mate or pups. Part of their elusiveness is credited to their nocturnal nature, especially in urban areas like Los Angeles, CA. Yes, when we said they can live anywhere, we meant it. Coyotes are now prevalent everywhere from cities in Central America, all the way up the northern reaches of Maine.

For many hunters, coyote hunting is not something our fathers and grandfathers did. For people on the east and west coast, we didn’t learn tips from our hunting mentors. Now that coyotes are present in all 49 States of the continental US, it’s likely that coyotes have moved into your area. Whether you are a hunter who has shot countless coyotes, or you are looking to learn the ropes of coyote hunting, we will show you why you should hunt coyotes and share strategy to help you to be successful.

Why You Should Hunt Coyotes

MANAGE THE COYOTE POPULATION

Coyotes are predators with little to no competition, and without serious effort, their population grows substantially every year. Coyotes adapt, then reproduce. Most animals cannot continue to live if their food source is depleted. Coyotes, however, are resourceful and migrate to new locations with new food sources. They will eat pretty much anything from trash to cat food to full grown deer, and continue to reproduce.

If an area is overpopulated with coyotes, a litter may only consist of as few as 4 pups. In contrast, if an area has little to no other coyotes, a female coyote can birth up to 12 coyotes in a litter. The average lifespan of a wild coyote is 10 years, and they are ready to mate at 20 months. That means, a female coyote can potentially give birth to more than 120 coyotes in its lifetime, which left unchecked, can lead to exponential growth of the coyote population in an area. That makes hunters and trappers critical to keeping this population in check or coyotes will continue to find new things to eat, keep expanding their territory, and keep reproducing.

HELP DEER AND SMALL GAME POPULATIONS THROUGH COYOTE MANAGEMENT

Coyotes usually breed from January through March, with a gestation period around 60 days. As babies are born in the spring, male coyotes will hunt and return with game for the female coyote and her pups. What else is being born in late spring all across North America? You got it, whitetail, mule deer fawns, and elk calves. An extensive study conducted in Oklahoma found that “coyotes were responsible for 86% of annual white-tailed deer fawn mortality.” Since fawns aren’t as strong, fast, and tough as mature deer, this makes them a perfect target for coyotes to bring back to their families, or a first hunt for a coyote pup.

Coyotes need to consume about 2-3 pounds of food per day. The average whitetail fawn weighs 6-8 pounds, the perfect adult cottontail rabbits weigh 2.6 pounds on average. Coyotes generally eat animals smaller than them, like small game and rodents. However, in the winter, when those food sources are more scarce, they are likely to go after fully grown big game animals like deer, elk, and moose in winter months.

COYOTES SPREAD DISEASE

Coyotes contract various types of disease and then spread them when they roam or come in contact with other animal species. Canine hepatitis and canine distemper are among the most prevalent diseases found in coyotes. When Canine Distemper is inhaled by our domestic dogs it has a high mortality rate. Rabies and tularemia can even be transmitted to humans and other animals. Coyotes often carry parasites which include mites, ticks, fleas, worms, and flukes that can turn into flesh eating mange.

We talked to Bobby Mills, a retired game warden with 24 years in the law enforcement division of the Michigan DNR, acting as a Senior Detective. He is also an avid predator hunter. He explained to us that “Tuberculosis is contracted through coyotes feeding on infected animals, like bears and raccoons, and they contract to other species.” He speculates that “In NE Michigan especially, potentially CWD is spread through feces and urine.” Bovine Tuberculosis is an epidemic in whitetail deer. A study conducted by the US Department of Agriculture in Colorado reported that they “sampled 175 coyotes in the bovine TB-endemic area. Fifty-eight tested positive, and infection prevalence by county ranged from 19% to 52%”. Since male coyotes travel up to 100 miles in search of food, and can carry any sort of disease with them, it makes it hard, and at times, nearly impossible, to manage and quarantine infected coyotes.

HONE YOUR HUNTING SKILLS IN THE OFF SEASON

Coyote hunting makes you a better hunter because to successfully hunt coyotes you need to be aware of every single aspect of the hunt. From the camo you wear, to the movements and sounds you make. Hunting coyotes forces you to become a part of wildlife; to be the top predator. On top of that, coyotes are fast learners, adapt quickly, have great eyesight, and an impeccable sense of smell. If they pick up your scent, or identify your call as fake, your hunt is ruined. They recognize you as a threat and adapt to avoid your hunting strategy. This makes them one of the smartest, most challenging animals to hunt. As hunters, ourselves, we understand coyotes are extra cautious of their surroundings, which challenges us to hunt smarter. You must outsmart all of their excellent senses. You must camouflage yourself, make just the right call, and stay down wind so they don’t smell you, with the goal of getting close enough to get a successful shot at this small, quick predator.

KEEP HUNTING YEAR ROUND

In many states, coyotes can be hunted year round. In April 2016, the state of Michigan opened up its coyote season to 365 days a year, with no kill limit.  “The key reason, for me, is extending my hunting opportunity. Coyote hunting keeps me out and helps alleviate the postseason (deer hunting season) blues. Ice fishing didn’t cut it for me. – and so, I started hunting coyotes with a centerfire rifle, that allows me to get out and be active while having a positive impact on hunting as a whole,” said Bobby Mills. Coyote hunting is a great way to stay outdoors and active during the “off season.” You become more familiar with the area, walking and getting to know the terrain better than ever. While you’re out after coyotes, you are also able to scout for other wild game, like turkeys. When spring turkey season begins, or even deer season, you will be better prepared. You will be more alert than ever and your ears will be listening intently, your movements smooth, and your eyes on the lookout.

Key Components & Strategies for Hunting Coyotes 

Whether you are hunting coyotes who have never experienced hunting pressure from humans, or coyotes who know exactly what to smell, look, and listen for, predator hunting requires sound strategy to locate, hunt, and successfully shoot coyotes.

SCOUTING COYOTES

Coyotes inhabit many different terrains. However, they spend a lot of their time hunting in open areas as opposed to hardwoods, so when you e-scout, look for fields, swamps, creek beds, and easements you can use to get in undetected. HuntWise is the only hunting app that shows phone numbers along with landowner names and boundaries. If you identify coyotes on a parcel of land you can learn who owns it and gain their contact information in a matter of seconds. Farmers are usually aware of any coyotes impacting their livestock and welcome the help eradicating the issue. Hunting public land is also a great way to get on coyotes, many mobile hunting apps, like HuntWise, show public lands boundaries. When you are scouting a property to hunt, identify any houses, barns, buildings or other dwellings where people could be at least 450ft around the hunting area. Know the possible places your bullet could end up. Shooting from an elevated location is a good way to shoot into the ground is a good way to avoid this. Safety is always paramount.

Once you know the land you are going to hunt, how do you know there are coyotes roaming this land? And how do you locate them to get your shot? Often times, coyotes are so elusive we don’t actually see them until we are aiming at them through a scope. That said, coyotes leave a lot of evidence of their presence; here’s what to look for.

  • If there is an absence of foxes in the area, that’s a sign coyotes are present. Foxes are a natural competitor of coyotes. Coyotes will eat foxes, but foxes don’t eat coyotes.

  • Put out trail cameras, just like deer or any other animal, you can often get a peek into wilderness with trail cameras. Some hunters even put old meat scraps to improve their chances of luring in a coyote to the camera.

  • Look for tracks in the snow. Coyote tracks look just like dog tracks, so be aware of any possible dogs that could be in the area and the size of their tracks.

  • Lack of rabbits and small game. If you are a small game hunter and notice a drastic decrease in rabbits squirrel and other small game, there is quite possibly a coyote reeking havoc on their populations.

  • Listen for them at night. Coyotes are the most vocal animals in all of North America. Since they are most active at night, you can often hear them howling, yipping or barking.

We asked Mills the key to finding coyotes, he told us to look for “Field edges and woodlot edges, marsh, and CRP areas, hunt around these areas to call them out of these areas to the fringes. Coyotes like to look over frozen surfaces during the breeding season, this allows them to see far and find a potential mate.” He also told us to keep an eye out for ravens and other predatory birds as this is typically indicative of a carcass, which makes for an easy meal for a coyote. When you are in the field and you observed evidence of a coyote, pull up HuntWise and mark it on your map as this is a great way to start to understand coyote patterns and develop your hunting play. In our blog, 3 Things You Must Remember When Hunting Coyotes on Public Land, we share strategies that use river, streams, and deer trails to your advantage.

PLAY THE WIND

Coyote’s sense of smell is impeccable so playing the wind is crucial. Always stay downwind of a coyote. If they get a whiff of your scent they will make sure to avoid you, or worse yet, they may even leave the area entirely. Scout before your hunt and plan according to wind conditions. Using an app like HuntWise allows you to see aerial views of the land you are hunting and the direction of the wind, so that you can plan your play accordingly. Bobby Mills strategically uses the wind to his advantage by using a crosswind set up. “Setting the call upwind but hunting the crosswind – maybe on a lake, may allow you to get a shot without being picked off.”

CALLING

While calling to a smart predator like a coyote is exhilarating, over calling or calling incorrectly creates “call shy” coyotes, making them weary of every noise thereafter.

When hunting coyotes you can use electronic calls, diaphragm calls, prey distress reed calls, and coyote imitation calls. Many predator hunters have their favorites, but most use multiple styles of calling. The most important takeaway is to learn how to use the call well, so coyotes don’t become educated on the sound.

Popular Types of Coyote Calls

ELECTRONIC CALLS

An electronic call will make the perfect imitation of animal noises. Electronic calls come with a variety of sounds loaded on it and a speaker. The more expensive electronic calls have more sounds and many have the ability to load more sounds onto them. An advantage to using electronic calls to place on decoys, or just upwind of where a coyote is headed, as coyotes often hunt their game from downwind. If you are new to predator hunting, electronic calls are a sure way to trick coyotes with more realistic, consistent call sounds. Seasoned predator hunters can expand their strategy by incorporating various electronic calls, diaphragm calls, and reed calls. We found this list of the 9 Best Electronic Coyote Predator Calls Reviewed (2019 In-Field Test) by Outdoor Empire very helpful.

DIAPHRAGM CALLS

Diaphragm calls are great to use when you are on the move. They can be used to mimic prey distress calls or coyote howls, barks and growls. Diaphragm calls are used in lieu of other calls to make a more dynamic hunting setup. The concern with diaphragm calling is that if you are not good, coyotes can identify the error and never come to the sound again. A common issue is that coyotes become “call shy.” When you are taking your hunt to the next level with diaphragm calls, make sure to do your homework and practice. Utilize YouTube channels and instructional resources. Here is champion caller, Al Morris, demonstrating the basics of using a diaphragm.

PREY DISTRESS CALLS

A distress call is like saying “supper is ready, come and get it” because the sound produced mimics an animal in distress. That could be the sound of a bird caught in a fence, or a rabbit caught by another coyote. Animals make a variety of sounds when they are distressed, which means your calls need to reflect reality. You can find calls to mimic all range of distressed animals, from rabbits to rodents, to birds, cats, and even fawns.

COYOTE CALLS

Coyotes are most vocal during their mating season. So coyote calls are most used by predator hunters during winter months. Making the sound of a coyote can signal many things and they are vocal all year round. Coyotes are territorial and when you call like a coyote, it challenges a coyote’s territorial instinct. This is mostly male to male barking and howling. Coyotes are also not going to pass up the opportunity to get a free meal. Pup distress calls only work when pups are present, and pups are born in April and May. So using a pup distress call in January is only going to raise a red flag for coyotes in the area. Practice your calls so you mimic a real scenario.

 

How to Effectively Call in Coyotes

TEMPT COYOTES WITH PREY

Set the scene to make the situation as realistic as possible. Often times, this means using a variety of sounds. You can call the coyote to you, to an electronic call, or to a decoy. A common technique is to tease a coyote with the opportunity for a free meal. Start off with coyote howls, wait a few minutes, then bring in the distress sounds. Once coyotes become educated about a particular type of call pattern, you may need to change your strategy. The advantage of using an electronic call is that it calls away from your scent which allows you to be more strategic with your placement in correlation to your call.

CHALLENGE A COYOTES DOMINANCE OR TERRITORY

During the breeding season, January-March, focus on howls and coyote calls rather than distress calls. Coyotes mate for life, and practice monogamy, they will stick together and look out for one another. In breeding months, a male coyote will go after food for their female companion. A good strategy is to threaten their territory. If you are able to call in a pair of coyotes, try to shoot the female first, as this will give you a better chance of stopping the male with a pup distress call, and improve your chance of doubling up. The Ohio Division of Wildlife released findings of a very detailed explanation of the 10 coyote vocalizations which includes some insight into the meanings of each. To learn more about their findings on the meanings of the growl, huff, woof, bark, bark-howl, whine, yelp, woo-oo-wow, lone howl and group howl, click here.

Hunting Coyotes with Decoys 

Decoys are a great way to convince curious coyotes to commit to investigating your calls. Call for 10-20 minutes, then wait with your senses on high alert. Coyotes will most likely remain hidden for a while searching for what is making the sound. If you are hunting with an electronic call, place your call next to your decoy and get out of the way. Position yourself 50-75 yards away with good visibility to take your shot. You can use decoys of coyotes, or small game animals like rabbits. Decoys are especially effective as they connect the sound with the animal, proving the sound they heard is real.

Guns & Gear for Coyote Hunting

One of the most fun aspects to hunting coyotes is the fact that you can use just about any form of weapon to shoot them, from traditional bows to AR15’s. However, laws vary not only by state, but even county. Before you head out to hunt make sure you check your local laws on what kind of guns are legal to use, and limits on time of day and year. Some states allow coyote hunting 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with no limit on firearms or accessories like night vision scopes. Others have strict guidelines. Most hunters use an array of firearm styles, however you want to keep in mind the type of shooting you will be doing. Remember that coyotes like open terrain, and you will most likely be taking pretty far shots. Your deer rifle will do the job just fine, but if you are planning to purchase the best rifle style, look for a flat-shooting .223 caliber rifle. Check out this list of top coyote guns by gunnewsdaily.com.

The Best Time to Coyote Hunt

In most states, coyote hunting is legal all 12 months of the year. Most people enjoy hunting coyotes in the winter months for many reasons. For one, their fur is the thickest in order to keep them warm in cold temps. This makes their coat in prime condition for selling as fur or using as decoration in your home. In winter months, their food sources become limited as insects and rodents are unavailable. This causes coyotes to become a bit more active during the day and more desperate and responsive to free meals. Coyotes are still the most active from dusk until dawn. Some states allow night hunting, that makes for an exciting unique hunting experience. There are many other variables that attribute to a coyote movement. With the help of HuntWise’s HuntCast you can predict peak movement times for coyotes in your hunting area. You don’t want to miss out on your best chance to get your shot at a coyote.

Coyote hunting challenges your hunting ability, keeps you hunting during the off season, and helps protect the other wildlife in your area. And while there are a variety of hunting styles and methods, the bottom line is that hunters are on the frontline of managing the rapidly growing population of coyotes.

A distress call is like saying “supper is ready, come and get it” because the sound produced mimics an animal in distress. That could be the sound of a bird caught in a fence, or a rabbit caught by another coyote. Animals make a variety of sounds when they are distressed, which means your calls need to reflect reality. You can find calls to mimic all range of distressed animals, from rabbits to rodents, to birds, cats, and even fawns.

Source: https://www.besthuntingtimes.com/blog/2020/2/3/why-you-should-coyote-hunt-how-to-get-started