Let me give you fair warning right now. If you are hoping to find some easy tricks for calling coyotes in this column, you are barking up the wrong tree!
There is nothing easy about calling coyotes. Of the dozen or so hunters I have introduced to calling coyotes, only a couple of them are still at it. Most of them have given up and gone on to easier winter pursuits, such as ice fishing, playing cribbage or watching basketball.
Coyote calling in the Midwest and Eastern part of the country is a low percentage deal. In other parts of the country, especially the West and Southwestern states, good callers will call in a coyote on every third or fourth set. But we simply do not have the numbers of coyotes here in the Midwest and East that they have in Western states.
Over the years, I have kept track of the number of sets I have made and the number of coyotes called in, and here in the Midwest, my average is right around 1-for-8. My best year ever (the winter of 1997-98, which was a real doozy) I averaged one coyote called in for every six sets!
What I call a “set” is this: On average a set is going to take about an hour. The walk in to where I am going to call from takes 15- to 20 minutes. I’ll usually spend 20- to 30 minutes calling, sometimes a little less, sometimes a bit more. Then you have the hike back to the truck. Add it all up and on average, a set is going to take about an hour, maybe a little longer. One coyote called in for every eight sets? If you’re thinking that is not much action you are right. And that is precisely why so few hunters stick with it.
I could have sugar-coated this, but that’s just not my style. The plain truth is that calling coyotes in the Midwest and Eastern parts of the country is a low percentage deal. You either accept that, or you go ice fishing or chasing bunnies in the winter.
Still interested in giving it a try? Then tune-in in Part 2 and I’ll share with you what the coyotes have taught me over the last 30 years.
Please read more in Part 2.