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Calling Tips

Find coyotes You can't call in coyotes if there aren't any there.  We've tried and it doesn't work.
Get permission to hunt on lots of land Hopefully you're getting permission on the land where you found coyotes.  Don't be fooled though.  Sometimes the coyotes are where you least expect them.
Practice calling The time to get familiar with your call (mouth or electronic) is not in the field.   Especially if there is a coyote in front of you.
Practice shooting Get to the range as much as possible.  This includes before, during and after the season.  The more you shoot, the better you will be in the field.  I do all my sighting in and practicing in exactly the same position with the same equipment that I'll be using in the field.  For me, this is the prone position with a Harris bipod.
Only shoot standing coyotes This may be hard for some of you.  You know who you are!  There are lots of "Hot shots" out there that can shoot more rounds at running coyote in a minute than I can shoot at standing coyotes in a year.  The big difference is the number of coyotes in the truck at the end of the day.  I don't have any statistics to back this up, but the odds of hitting a running coyote are very low.   Why not increase your odds and bring home more coyotes?  All you have to do is stop the coyote.  I give a bark with my mouth.  It works in all weather conditions and is always available.   I do know of one hunter in South Dakota that can hit running coyotes regularly, but he practices shooting at a moving target all summer long.  He is the exception not the rule.
Mentally prepare (before and during the stand) This might sound like gobble-d-gook, but hear me out.  As you read books and articles on calling, think about how you can apply what you've learned when you're calling.  When you get to your stand and are ready to start calling, take just a minute to look the situation over.   Think about where the coyotes are likely to come from and what you're going to do when they get there.  The three things I think about are: Get on them, safety off, and squeeze nice and easy.  This goes a little beyond mentally preparing, but I also move my gun to 3 spots as if a coyote were standing there both before and after the stand.  This will give you a hint of what to expect when they do come in.  When I first started doing this, I found my bipod catching on the low brush and my attempts to be smooth were unsuccessful.  Now, I specifically look for things that will mess me up ahead of time.
Know your equipment The time to try your new Johnny Stewart electronic caller for the first time isn't in the dark on your first stand of the year.  Take it from me, you can't read the controls or see where the cables go. On a positive note, I see the latest remote controls have been redesigned, so the UP button is on top of the DOWN volume button.  A subtle, but very nice change.  I've had to label my remote with white athletic tape to make it clear.
Adjust / Emprovise Calling coyotes is not like shooting targets at the gun range.   Coyotes have a mind of their own and the terrain is never the same.  Mentally preparing will help, but you have to think fast and do the best you can.  If the coyote comes in too fast and you can't see it through the sage in the prone position, get up to your knees and shoot.  If you can't see the coyote through your scope and he's 10 yards away, get your eye off the scope by moving it back two or three inches.  If he's running away because you spent too much time trying to see through the scope, bark at him to get him to stop.  Yes, these are all things that happened to me or Ken.
Have a backup I like to have a backup for everything or at least as many things as possible.  Here are some examples: gun, calls, land, partners and tires.  At one time or another, I've had to us my backup for all of these.  This means you may have to use your back up mouth call instead of your favorite.  If the electronic caller battery dies on the stand, break out your mouth call. If you don't have a backup, that's where the adjust and emprovise comes in.
Be patient Not every coyote comes running in to get shot.  If a coyote won't come in, sometimes just sitting (or laying) there is best.  I've waited 1 1/2 hours for a coyote to come in after I sighted him 30 seconds into the stand.  Why did I wait so long?  It was a nice day and I wanted to learn more about coyotes and what they do.

Parker, Colorado
Phone: 720-851-8186

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