There is nothing more fun in the off season to do then get out and do some coyote calling. It is a nice way to fine tune your skills and another excuse to get out into the field.
PICKING A LOCATION
I like to set up on a high location when gun hunting; elevation allows you to see a coyote approaching and anticipate its moves for a one-shot hunt. In the west, bluffs and hills provide great elevation. In the Midwest or east, improvise. Use haystacks, junked machinery, hay lofts in abandoned barns-even tree stands- to give you needed elevation.
When I am bow hunting I prefer to get down and sit in brush with my back to impenetrable cover; that way I don’t have a cat or coyote running up my back. I look for structural funnels that help me get them to come where I want them to.
Predators, without fail circle downwind to scent-check the location of where the sounds presumably made by prey originate. Remember this and be sure to have an opening downwind to allow you a shot. Ideally, set up with a barrier that blocks a predator such as a coyote from circling downwind. Put a creek, cliff or bluff downwind at your back, and predators can’t circle and catch your scent. Scout for such features before the hunt, or scout from home with the aid of a topographical map or internet aerial photos.
If you can’t find a natural feature, don’t overlook manmade barriers. Old barns, farm machinery and metal windbreaks can provide concealment from circling predators, especially in an open pasture.
STAYING OUT OF SIGHT
For setup success, make sure to melt into the backdrop. Wear camouflage and choose a pattern that matches the terrain and time of year.
Plus, don’t forget about covering the head and hands. Predators are far more acute to movement then deer and will pick you up if your not well concealed. I use an FX3 electronic call if you have this luxury I like to set it out in front of me about 20 yrds. But not directly in front of me I prefer to my right on a 35deg angle that way the predator is looking passed me and may actually have to cross me to investigate the call. I sometime use a rigor rabbit decoy and jackrabbit scent to add to the illusion plus it gets the predators eyes focused on the decoy and not me so I can draw back more freely.
Finally, for the best setups, scout for potential coyote bedding sites and approach then stealthily. Focus on rough terrain, thick timber pockets and week-choked coulees and areas with a lot of sign. Then, select an elevated position on wind, with the sun at your back or side. After getting into position, follow a calling routine.
Call for a few minutes, and then wait in between sessions for a few minutes. For coyotes I find that if they don’t come in the first 10-15 minutes they wont come. However this is the opposite for Lions, bobcat and bear who take there time coming in.