Many avid whitetail hunters shift their focus to coyote hunting in winter. This time of year is generally referred to as the deer hunters' "off-season," and hunting coyotes after the whitetail season can be helpful for several reasons.
Not only does harvesting a nice coyote keep your skills as a hunter sharp for fall, but it also helps manage many of the species you love to hunt. Considering coyotes are predators, deer, turkey, duck, and rabbit are all hunting targets for these predators and human hunters. However, without controlling the coyote population, human hunters will struggle to find sufficient numbers of wild game to hunt each season.
Coyotes will travel for miles to meet their basic needs to survive. They work very hard for every meal and are almost always on the hunt for food. Coyotes will roam up to 100 square miles searching for food in the winter. When their pups come in mid-winter, that range can double.
Therefore, you must understand how to fool these predators to get inside their heads for a successful hunt. Here are three simple tips for winter coyote hunting to help you scout the best land to find coyotes and end your hunting trip with a successful coyote kill.
1. Locate “The Thick Stuff”
What do we mean by this? We mean to locate the areas where you think coyotes’ prey could easily hide. You’re likely also to find coyotes where you find a coyote’s prey.
With snow on the ground, coyote prey has to be much more careful, as there is not as much “natural camouflage” for these animals to use to their advantage. So, try locating brush piles, shelterbelts, and other similar hiding spots. This increases the odds that coyotes might lurk around in these areas.
Consider hunting near field lines where the tree lines are very thick. Use the HuntWise app to locate land boundaries with high potential for tree lines and brush.
2. Try The “Backtracking” Method
The key to coyote hunting success is understanding what they are doing both before and after you locate them. For this, try the backtracking method.
With backtracking, you will call coyotes in and try to determine where they were coming from before they came to you. This method helps hunters understand where coyotes will hang out and what they might be up to at certain times of day.
Now granted, this takes a lot of patience and a lot of trial and error. However, after backtracking for several seasons at various times and places, you will develop some insight into the patterns these coyotes follow during these winter months.
3. Set-Up Your Position Downwind
During the winter, a hunter must avoid being detected at all costs. Therefore, hunters must approach their set-up from downwind, which should help better cover their scent because coyotes are often known for approaching their “targets” from downwind.
Make sure you are scouting beforehand and checking the wind conditions on your HuntWise app to ensure you are prepared before you go in for your set-up. Coyotes can spook easily, so staying as quiet as possible will help your success immensely during a hunt.
Predator Hunting is Easier With HuntWise
Predator hunting is nothing short of difficult, but many hunters love the challenge during the off-season. Coyotes are smart, and they adapt very easily to various environments. However, with patience, persistence, and these three crucial tips, we are sure that you will see success and harvest a coyote this winter.
As you plan your hunt, make it easier to get a coyote by using the HuntWise app. With HuntWise, you get weather and wind forecasting, can mark prime spots of coyote activity, mark a walking path as your guide into your set-up, and check land boundaries and private landowner information to make the most of your time in the field. Use the app for exclusive gear discounts, too!
Good luck, hunters, and shoot straight.
Content updated December 19, 2023.
Try HuntWise For Free
Start your risk-free 7-day trial now!