February has long been my favorite month to call coyotes!
It all started many years ago when I was about 14 or 15 years old, growing up in the rural Zimmerscheidt Community of northern Colorado County, Texas. I had been reading about how fellow Texans, Murray and Winston Burnham called up coyotes and other predators using a mouth-blown reed call they produced and manufactured. And yes, they were being sold commercially. I took some money earned from helping worked cattle and digging post holes with an old drop auger and ordered one of the Burnham Brothers predator calls.
My long awaited “wolf call” arrived by mail in January, shortly after our annual whitetail season had closed. I suspect I drove my mother, dad, younger brother Glenn and my dad’s coonhounds crazy blowing on the call practicing how to blow it.
A cold, wet front had passed through our area. The sun came out, but the temperatures remained cold. I had finished my chores then asked my dad if I could borrow his Winchester Model 94, a .30-30 and got permission to go “across the road” to the backside of property we had access to, to see if I could call up a “wolf”. Back then we called the local coyotes wolves. They were quite large. In the previous deer season my uncle, Herbert Aschenbeck, had shot one that weighed 52 pounds on official scales. Pretty good size for what we normally consider coyotes.
After crossing a couple of creek bottoms, I set up to call with my back again a big cedar tree. After waiting a few minutes to let “Nature return to normal” I started blowing my call doing my best dying jackrabbit imitation. No sooner had I started I spotted movement behind a screening of yaupon bushes coming directly toward me. I could hardly believe I was calling in something.
That’s when a monstrous “wolf” appeared running right toward me. Up came the .30-30 and in rapid fire, fast as I could work the rifle’s lever and shoot, I shot all of my seven shots in the rifle’s magazine in the “general direction” of the coyote. He left unscathed. I immediately jumped up, empty rifle in one hand and now a hunting knife in my other, just in case the “wolf” decided to make good his charge. Slowly I back up and continued doing so until in a fair sized opening, fully expecting to any moment being charged! There I turned around and quickly proceeded back home. I could not wait to tell my mom and dad what had happened.
I was hooked!
Over the years I have called predators or attempted to do so almost everywhere I’ve traveled. For year I carried a variety of mouth blown calls and had at least good success nearly everywhere I blew on the call.
More recently I have been using an electronic call produced by Convergent Hunting Solutions called the Bullet HP, which not only has various predator enticing sounds on it, but also those for hunting wild hogs and even some whitetail rattling and grunting, which I recorded for the Bullet HP.
The Bullet HP works off of bluetooth on your cell phone, and once you’ve downloaded the app, it works regardless of whether or not you have phone reception or not. It’s easy to set up and extremely easy to use as well.
In setting up to hunt predators, I like to set up using my Nature Blinds Stalking Shield, which provides cover for me regardless of where I hunt. I set the caller about 25 to 50 yards away from where I’m set up where I can see downwind, but with shooting lanes to the left and right of exactly downwind. Most predators approach potential “food” downwind.
In terms of firearms, I’ve used a great variety of calibers in rounds both in pistol, rifle, muzzleloader, as well as various gauges of shotgun. However, I like hunting with the same rifles and handguns I use when hunting big game. Hunting coyotes and bobcats with big game rifles gets me more and more familiar with them, and also helps me gain confidence in my shooting them. To me there is no such thing as being “over-gunned” for any particular species when it comes to hunting.
BEST TIME TO CALL
I call whenever I can find time to do so regardless of the time of day. However, I have also learned that predators, same as with deer, have a tendency to move during prime activity or feeding times, as found in solunar or activity charts. Thus, if those times show peak feeding times during the mid-day, that’s when I’m going to call. It doesn’t always work that I call in more predators during those times but it does so many times more than not.
On DSC’s TRAILING THE HUNTER’S MOON television show there is a short segment in every show about calling predators using the Bullet HP. You can find the exact airing times on www.trailingthehuntersmoon.com or by going to www.thesportsmanchannel.com. These are great way to learn more about hunting predators, regardless of where you pursue them.
Larry uses a combination of Zeiss optics and Hornady ammo with Ruger firearms for all his hunting, and trains frequently on the SAAM course at FTW Ranch.