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As a keen hunter, I often get asked when is the best time of year to hunt coyotes? is.
There isn’t necessarily a “best” time, but rather various opportunities and advantages throughout the seasons. In this article, I’ll break down the pros and cons of hunting coyotes during different times of the year, supported by my experiences and knowledge.
Table of Contents
Spring and Summer: Denning and Pup Season
During spring and summer, coyotes are denning and pups are emerging from their dens. This can be an excellent time to hunt coyotes as they are more active and engaged in raising their young. Using different calls, such as distress calls and howling, can be highly effective during this time.
I recall one spring afternoon when I used a distress call to lure in a coyote. It didn’t take long before a curious coyote emerged from the brush, responding to the perceived distress of its pack member. This experience taught me the effectiveness of distress calls during denning and pup season.
Fall: Late Mating Season
The late mating season in the fall offers phenomenal opportunities for coyote hunting. Using calls that mimic the vocalizations of coyotes can be extremely effective during this time. There’s nothing more fun than when they start pairing up and really start answering back to the vocals and howling those coyotes in.
I once had a memorable hunting experience in the fall using a coyote vocalization call. The response was almost immediate, and the excitement of hearing coyotes howl back and engage with the call was electrifying.
Winter: Prime Pelt Season
If you’re after a beautiful coyote pelt, winter is the prime time to hunt. The pelts are thicker and more valuable during this season. Many hunters find themselves with more time to pursue coyote hunting in the winter as they’ve already filled their tags for other game animals.
How to Call Coyotes at Different Times of the Year
Fall / Feed Up Season (September – January)
During this time, coyotes are focused on food to gain weight for the winter and breeding season. Use distress calls like the FoxPro Eastern Cottontail distress, Cottontail distress number one, woodpecker distress, rat distress, or young Cottontail distress. These sounds mimic an easy meal, attracting coyotes.
Rut / Breeding Season (Mid-January – April)
Coyotes are focused on reproduction during this period. Start with vocalizations such as coyote group, coyote pair Yip howl, or coyote pair. After a brief pause, use distress sounds like baby Cottontail distress or vole squeaks to coax the coyotes in closer. Sets usually last 20-30 minutes, with minimal calling.
This is the most challenging season as coyotes have other food sources and are recovering from the rut. Focus on distress sounds, avoiding vocalizations unless close to a den. Experiment with different distress calls like calf distress, kid goat distress, or pig distress. These unfamiliar sounds might pique the coyotes’ curiosity and lure them in.
So, in my opinion there isn’t a definitive “best” time of year to hunt coyotes.
Each season offers unique opportunities and challenges, and the key is to adapt your hunting strategies and calls to suit the season. By understanding coyote behavior during different times of the year, you can maximize your chances of success. I hope this helps answer your question and provides you with valuable insights for your next coyote hunting adventure.