How to Use an Electronic Predator Call
Image: USFWS Mountain Prairie via CC

How to Use an Electronic Predator Call

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Coyote and predator hunting, in general, have exploded in popularity in recent years. The reasons for this are well understood. There are plentiful numbers of these animals to hunt, no seasons, and hunting has become necessary to thin the population to protect farms and areas with high populations. Traditional hunting methods are not usually highly effective against coyotes and other predators. They are intelligent and one of the most elusive animals in North America.

You must use their instincts and calls against them, and learning how to use an electronic predator call is a great way to be successful in hunting these animals. An electronic call can accurately simulate the distress, group, or lone calls of the coyote as well as numerous other predators. In this article, you will learn some of the finer points of using an electronic coyote call.

Practice Calling

The coyote is among the most feared and misunderstood animals in North America. The American Indian has long respected the intelligence and the wiles of the coyote, earning a place as a central figure in Native American folklore and legend. If you are going to attempt hunting the coyote, you will discover that there is truth to the legends.

Tracking, stalking, and trapping a coyote is almost impossible as they are so cunning an animal and seem to possess a sixth sense that lets them know when humans are hunting them. This means if you are going to go about hunting them, you should be using one of the best electronic coyote calls to bring them to you.

This also means you had better practice your calls before you take to the fields. Coyotes are quick to learn and if you flub your calls, the area you are hunting in will be empty, as they will go to ground or leave.

You must begin by practicing with your call until you have all the calls down cold and you can switch from one to another as the situation warrants it. Learn the possible directions you will be approached from and prepare yourself mentally to switch your position to cover them.

You also need to learn the different volumes levels to use as coyotes respond differently to the same call at lower volume differently that when it is louder.

Know the Types of Calls

Coyote walking along the tree line.
Photo: Jeffery Love

Coyotes and predators respond to a wide variety of calls. They will investigate anything that sounds like it could be food.

Bird’s distress calls often get results as a bird in distress may mean a fledgling on the ground, which a coyote would consider easy pickings. Almost any animal distress call can be effective, which is why most electronic callers have a variety of these types of calls for you to try.

The waning hours of the day are often the best time to learn, as this is when the search for food is starting for coyotes that have been denned up during the day. For electronic coyote calls to work well here, experience and timing are needed. Here are some tips to help you get started.

  • You need to know which time of the year and what the coyotes are doing. During the mating and cub rearing time a pup’s call will attract attention and often override a coyote’s natural defensiveness.
  • Learning the group, whine, and yelps a coyote makes and duplicating them is a good way to lure a coyote. The solo calls of a young coyote can also bring inquisitive coyotes in to investigate.
  • While coyotes are territorial, they are not as defensive of their turf as a wolf, which will fight to the death to protect a given area.
  • Coyotes can be nomadic and will stay if they are rearing pups until after they are old enough to travel may move on to other areas. February through April is the nominal coyote-mating season.
  • Learning a pack’s core area when they are around is a good way to use the “Threat Call.” But this takes prior planning to work well.
  • You need to master your volume, as they will respond if the call seems to weaken. Coyotes do not kill potential rivals they cow them and then let them leave the area. The weakening of your call is such a maneuver.
  • The best howl is the lone howl at a low frequency. This works best after you have found the core area of the pack.
  • Learn to blend your calls. Distress, lone howls, group calls all combined will get better results than relying on one type of call only.

Learn to Program Your Electronic Caller

With so many variables going into coyote hunting, you can now see the need to be able to operate your e-caller to its max potential. You need to learn all the different calls that it can produce and different volume settings needed to simulate the sounds of a weakling call. Learn a louder setting to simulate the threat howls.

You also need to know how to program the unit for the various animal distress calls. You will never know which distress call will work with a particular coyote. So you need to be conversant will the entire repertoire of calls your particular electronic coyote call can produce. This will a key point of expertise to gain as you hunt the coyotes and predators.

Learn to Improvise in the Moment

The most important thing to know about hunting coyotes is to be adaptive. No coyote acts exactly like another. Depending on their experience, they may be nearly impossible to lure in without improvising. This is why you have to be flexible in your calling strategies and don’t rely on a set pattern.

A call that worked yesterday may not get a rise out of them today. You have to learn patience and be able to wait in your stand or blind for hours, because a suspicious coyote may take his time to close in to investigate a call.

You need to adapt to the terrain and blend in. Building a good stand that matches the terrain is one skill you should develop. Coyotes are wary of anything that doesn’t match their environment. Be aware of your surroundings, approaches to your stand, which way the wind is blowing, and be prepared to change positions depending on the weather.

Multiple blinds and stands may also be required to successfully get the pack that is roaming your area. Coyotes are quick to spy out human works in the wild and they may know more about your stand then you do, if you constantly use the same spot.