Pros and cons of summer coyote hunting
(www.grandviewoutdoors.com) by Mark Kayser-Summer officially arrives in late June. In addition to barbecues, baseball, beaches and home maintenance, a few of you are still pursuing coyotes. Most states have year-round seasons with no limits so taking advantage of the infinite hunting window makes sense … or does it? Listed below are the pros and the cons of summer dogging. If you’re an avid dog-days coyote hunter it may have you re-thinking your enthusiasm. And if you’ve never hunted coyotes in the summer you may be re-considering a trip to the “back forty” to test your summer coyote prowess.
Weather: You have to admit that summer mornings have a bit more appeal than a subzero morning in January. Cool mornings and comfortable evenings add up to no bulky clothing and no frostbite. You’ll encounter some dew, but that’s better than a blizzard any time.
Enthusiasm: You’ll find few windows of opportunity where coyotes are more enthusiastic to come to the call. If you pressure a den area and adults believe you’re a canine invader, get ready for a front-row show.
Density: As summer progresses and pups get bolder you’ll be hunting amongst the highest density of coyotes for the year. In early summer pups stick close to the den, but as summer progresses they get bold and eventually are turned loose by their parents. Calling just gets better and better into early fall.
Savior: You can be a protector of other species, especially deer fawns, by taking out summer coyotes. It’s a documented fact that coyotes have a dramatic shift in diet when fawns hit the ground and rely on them for as much as 70 percent of their nutrition. Any coyotes you shoot now could help your big-game hunting later.
Weather: Yes, the weather has two sides. In my backyard of Wyoming the mornings and evenings are too-good-to-believe. East, South and Southwest hunters might debate that description. In the East and South hunters fight heat, but even more of an issue is the oppressive humidity, which can turn any camo clothing into a sweat-soaked mess in minutes. In the Southwest it’s heat, heat and more heat.
Vegetation: You may not deal with vegetation in the deserts, but the rest of the country is cloaked in its thickest outfit of the year. Thick grass, dense bushes and thriving crops all combine to hide sneaky coyotes coming to the call. You may call more coyotes than you’ve ever called before, but will you see them?
Reduction: If your summer calling efforts work you may experience success like never before. But if you don’t have acres and acres of country to call you may be putting a dent in your winter outings when furs are prime. Coyote prices have jumped in recent months making it profitable to hunt prime coyotes. Any coyotes you remove from the landscape now have a tough time becoming prime later.
Mission Impossible: Do you recall the pro point on how taking a few coyotes now might save a fawn for later? It’s true, but when I talk to friends of mine in the animal damage control business they point out your efforts need to be relentless. You need to call, trap and use any legal means to make a dent in marauding coyotes. If you take a clan out it only takes weeks for another group to move in and set up base camp if you’re not waiting there with a roadblock.
Summer coyote hunting is something everyone should experience, but as you can see, it’s debatable whether you should be fanatical or simply enjoy the occasional outing.
What’s your take on the summer season for coyote culling? Sound off in the comments section below.