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Year 'Round Call Sounds: Seasonal Success

Old 03-27-2013, 05:41 PM
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Nontypical Buck
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Default Year 'Round Call Sounds: Seasonal Success

Whether youíre looking at the endless selection of handcalls on the market or the sound list for your Electronic Caller, itís pretty easy to get flustered when trying to choose which sounds to use. Without a doubt, coyotes need to eat all year round, so itís easy to see why prey distress sounds are always a great choice, but there are other options that are well suited to specific times of year that can give hunters an extra edge, or an alternative sound to help lure in a few dogs that might have gotten wise to the ďbunny bluesĒ after hearing it all season long.

Keep in mind that ANY of these sounds might get lucky and call a coyote during any time of the year, but by and large, these are the "optimum times" that I would try these different sounds.

Female in heat sounds/whimpers: B1tches come in heat generally late winter, so I'll usually only use female wimpers in late january, or February through march.

Female Invitation Howls: Female howls are good through most of the year, but do best for me in the breeding season, late jan/early feb through march.

Male territorial howls and challenge barks: Coyotes are very territorial during mating season, welping, clear up through when the pups are mobile. Male coyotes will get very bold in Jan-March, so they'll investigate intruding males like crazy. I almost NEVER use a dominant male sound, but rather I'll try to up-pitch any coyote that responds to my sound. I want to sound like a "young punk on the block that needs to be taught a lesson".

Pup distress: Pups are generally born in April to May, so I'll use super high, low volume, short "peeps" of pup distress during that time. Then through the summer, the pups will be getting bigger, more mobile, and their voices will change. By late July-August, I'll use some small pup barks, then pup distress with more power, volume, and length.

Fawn distress: I keep it around mid-late spring to early summer (april-june timeframe), since that's when the whitetails are usually dropping fawns. Doe bleats during fawning season can be successful too, as that tells a coyote that there's a vulnerable doe, a vulnerable fawn on the way, and if nothing else, an afterbirth meal getting left behind.

Turkey vocals: I had heard of this trick over the years, but never really put much stock into it until a couple years ago after hearing the success Sheridan was having with it. Seems that turkey sounds work best during mating through the first month or so of a new hatch, between March up through June.

Calf/Cow distress: Whether coyotes are preying on the newborn calves or just picking up the leavings of the afterbirth, calving season is a smorgasbord for coyotes. It sometimes doesnít make ranchers happy when you sit over their fresh calves and use calf distress calls to lure coyotes (either because youíre bringing predators to their livestock, or because they just donít want you shooting around restless cow/calf pairs), but it can be very productive. Calving season will generally fall somewhere Dec-Feb depending on your area, which is fantastic for prime fur season. It takes a pretty serious call to make a cow distress bellow, but cow bellows can be as productive as calf distress sounds during calving season. If you get a spring calving season in your area, then it'll work at the bookend too, but many states seasons are closed by then.

Unfortunately, as you might notice, not many of those timelines match up with prime fur conditions, nor with the coyote hunting seasons in some states. In most areas, prey distress gets better and better in the fall/early winter for the simple fact that as it gets colder, coyotes need to eat more to keep themselves warm, and food becomes less and less available (coyotes are pretty notorious bug eaters, which disappear during the winter), but then you have to get creative by late winter because they've all been educated after hearing the same cottontail distress sounds.

One big of good news is that the pup crop of the year will get weaned and kicked loose on their own in the fall, so in that late August-September through October timeline, youíll see a lot of these adolescent dogs running around that donít have a CLUE whatís going on. No, they're not very big yet, but younger dogs are super easy to call. A desperate, exciting distress call with a lot of action and emotion will bring these youngsters in at a run, and theyíre much more apt to throw caution to the wind and forget to circle downwind.
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Old 03-27-2013, 06:02 PM
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Great info! Thanks!

I just started hunting coyotes last year and I love it, but I could use all the advice I can get. This was a helpful post.

I hunt deer near the same area I hunt coyotes. The last time I tried a fawn in distress call I saw 9 bucks running from the valley I hunt in. Apparently, the call really scared them. I've avoided using that particular call to avoid the risk of running off the deer to neighboring farms. Alternatively, a cottontail in distress works pretty well and the deer don't seem to be bothered by it.
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Old 04-09-2013, 04:06 PM
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don't get caught up in thinking that the sounds you use need to fit the "season" because for the same reason that sounds that aren't native to your area work in calling coyotes, so to will sounds that aren't "seasonally" correct.
In other words, a coyote that hears a deer fawn sound in Jan. isn't going to stop and "think" that the sound isn't suppose to be heard in Jan. Instead the instinct in the coyote will kick in and depending on several factors, the coyote may or may not respond to the stimulus/sound.
Same as howls. Coyotes communicate year round, a female howl in Nov. is just as likely to work as it would in Feb. with the only difference of being in Nov., the reaction may not be as aggressive since they aren't in the breeding phase, but howling should certainly not be left out during times that don't fit in the "breeding" period of the coyote.
Also, don't forget other sounds such as coon fight, coyote fight, growling, several bird distress sounds, fox sounds, etc. Coyotes respond to calling for more reasons than hunger, breeding, and territorial. Make'em curious enough and they'll come just as well.
Too many guys get stuck in a rut with their "preferred" sounds when in reality, the list of sounds that a coyote will come to is almost endless. Ya just gotta try some off the wall sounds to see it work.
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Old 04-09-2013, 07:37 PM
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Some guys say it's like using different fishing lures.

.................and you brought a big tackle box.
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