have a pointy set of ears and a nose to match. Now it’s shooting time. Others hunt from a base camp in known coyote territory and set out with overnight camping gear, glassing the ridges as they look for tracks and listen for the noisy calls of the coyote. Once they have located the coyotes, they camp for the night and then await them at first light. Most of these shots are long range. The hunters quietly glass the area at first light, waiting and hoping to shoot one as they start their morning prowl. A classic Western method of hunting is running coyotes with horses. It requires a recent unfrozen heavy snowfall of a foot or more to show tracks and slow the coyote but not the horses. An unfenced area suitable for horses to run without cliffs, gulleys, big rocks, high mountains, etc., is essential. The riders fan out at break of day within easy hollering distance until one locates fresh tracks. The pursuit begins. Once the coyote realizes he is being stalked, he begins to run and the horses alternate between a mild
American Shooting Journal // July 2019
gallop and trot until the coyote is worn down in the snow, whereupon he is dispatched with a pistol or a rifle. That is, providing he doesn’t get away. Disappearing in the rocks or a den is old hat to these coyotes and they frequently make good on their escape. A more efficient variation of this is chasing the coyote with greyhounds or wolfhounds with the hunters following on horseback. Wolfhounds will dispatch the coyotes themselves quickly and easily. After all, they were bred to kill wolves, which are much larger than coyotes. Coyotes are sometimes run down with snowmobiles and shot. Hunting them from planes and helicopters, where legal, has also been done. Picking them off from the air may not be sporting, but killing coyotes is usually dead-serious work instead of sport. COYOTES BREED AROUND Valentine’s Day, February 14, and 63 days later have pups around Income Tax Day. Decoy dogs are sometimes used then. The cur goes out and the
coyote parents attack it. The decoy dog then runs back to its owner, who shoots the coyotes pursuing his dog. There are three types of coyotes out there at all times. The territorial adults, this year’s pups, and adolescents looking to establish their own territory. When coyotes have pups, they are constantly hunting day and night and this is when they pose the greatest threat to pets and livestock. For those of you worried about running out of coyotes, just remember that they breed fast. Kill one and another will take its place in a month or two. You have to kill at least 90 percent of the coyotes in a given area to make an impact on the population, and even that won’t last long if the hunting pressure is let up. Like wild hogs, the coyote is an invasive species that is determined to stay, and breeds fast enough to do it. Its natural enemy in nature is the full-size wolf and the wolf presents even more problems than coyotes. You hunt coyotes in order to protect game animals, livestock, small children and pets.