Thursday, February 3, 2011

Coyotes on Ice

One of my favorite locations to call in mid-winter are frozen rivers, beaver ponds, frozen marshes, etc. Usually these areas are frozen well enough to access come January. What makes these areas prime spots are for a couple reasons. Most of these areas are adjacent to swamps, tag alders   etc. Which attract deer and other game like rabbits this time of year because of the better food sources available. In turn these areas attract coyotes, but also in the case of rivers are the travel corridors that are easily traveled coupled with the fact it’s breeding season for coyotes. Travel on these river systems, even smaller creeks is easier since wind tends to keep the ice fairly clean of snow or atleast minimal compared to the wooded areas . On the rivers I like getting up on higher ground looking up and down the river, by getting up on a ridge over looking a river it helps keep your scent stream out of the river way. Usually the wind will travel up or downstream depending on the layout of the river and land, but when the wind hit’s the river corridor its going to follow the river because it acts as a channel or funnel. Even a slight breeze can carry your scent a long way on a river,by getting up and out of that funnel can increase your odds or if you cant, setup where your calling to the most likely area to hold coyotes with the wind in your face.  With small ponds back in some swamps the wind can circle like in a bowl because just like on the river, tags, thick cedar etc. can act as a wall.

 These areas give you a nice ambush and in cases with rivers a sight advantage because normal the coyote will hit the ice and follow the sound in and in some places I call I can see 500-600 yds, plenty of time to be ready. For calls I like open reeds like the Red Desert howler, critter call, or Tally-ho. The open reeds give you versatility from deer, rabbit distress to coyote vocalization with howls, yips, kiyi’s etc. During this time of year I like starting out with a couple of howls and then just sit for about 5 min. to see what happens, sometimes you’ll get a pair moving in right away on ya or you may hear a response up or down river, while one coyote is silent and coming in. And in other instances nothing, which brings the point, if their not there their not coming. After the 5 min. mark or so if nothing makes itself known I’ll give a few wails of distress, not too much just enough to sound like something ran into trouble, lot of times if you have that silent sneaker coming in that can kick him into high gear and bam, he’s right there. The opposite is true as well if you start out with distress sounds and nothing shows, then light up a few barks and howls and you can see a coyote materialize in an instant. There really isn’t any cut and dried ways of doing it. Breaking and mixing  things up is about the most consistent thing  I’ve found. Here’s some pics of some nice mid-winter locations. And coyote I took on one occasion on a small pothole surrounded by a ridge and cedar swamp on the opposite side.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for taking some time to write this post. Coyote hunting is quite common in North America as hunters seek to catch the coyote for the use of its fur. The animal is dog-like, omnivorous, and smaller than a wolf as it weighs up to 50 pounds. See more