While checking game cameras in hopes of seeing bucks using the area close to my treestand, I realized that a few coyotes were making themselves seen on a consistent basis. Seeing the coyotes had me more excited than the hundreds of deer pictures that I had gotten in the same area. On the first cool morning, during mid October I decided to sit in my treestand – not to deer hunt, but to see if I could call in one of the coyotes that had made their presence known on the camera.
It was approximately 30 minutes before sunrise when I arrived at my stand. Before climbing in the tree, I placed my electronic caller at 20 yards from the base of the tree that I would be hunting in. Once it was light enough to see through my scope, I began a calling sequence starting with a few deep howls.
After the second series of howls finished playing, coyotes began answering from three different directions
After staying quiet for five minutes or so I started a second series of howls this time on a diaphragm call. In mere seconds, I could hear the crunching of the frost covered grass. When I turned to see what the sound was, I made eye contact with an approaching male coyote. I quickly aimed my Kimber Montana 6.5 Creedmoor and made a successful shot at 18 yards. The plan had worked.
I have said for years that scouting for coyotes is crucial in upping your success rate as a predator caller. Though it sounds simple, knowing that coyotes are in your area is the best way to call in coyotes on a successful basis. After that hunt in mid October it had me thinking of ways that I could be utilizing game cameras for coyote hunting. Over the last three years, I have made several successful hunts based on having coyotes on my game camera. If you have never used this tactic, here are a couple of tips to get started.
Where To Put The Camera
The most often asked question is where to put the camera. To be quite frank, it is not much different than when setting up a camera for deer. High traffic areas work great, areas such as the corner of fields, on a logging road, or even near a water source. Basically anywhere that the camera reaches a wide field of view to catch the natural movement of coyotes. Also, as with deer, coyotes can be baited to the camera. A lot of the areas that I coyote hunt on are owned by cattle farmers. I try to make a point to have the farmers let me know if they ever have to dispose of cattle. Unfortunately, cattle farmers will have calves that don’t make it through the birthing process. When this happens, using the carcass as bait can result in some great coyote pictures. The same goes when deer hunters have left over carcasses after processing meat, these also work great for coyote bait. Lately, I have used the Stealth Cam DS4K camera, this small compact camera produces crisp images day and night when placed over bait, as well as quality video when placing in open areas. Using a video mode in open areas will often help decide if coyotes are hunting that area or just passing through.
How Long Can I Leave Cameras Up?
A few years ago, a friend of mine went to check his camera during the early summer to start gathering deer pictures for the year. Upon arrival, he discovered that he had left a memory card in his camera since the end of deer season in mid January the year prior. When he checked the memory card to see what had been captured, he was amazed at the number of coyotes, as well as a few bobcats, that had shown up throughout the five months that the camera had taken pictures before running out of battery life. This is why leaving a camera up year round is good to catch a peek into how many predators that are in the travel area. When placing cameras on a bait site, obviously run cameras until all of the food is gone. Using bait sites is a great way to see how many coyotes are on a property because more than one coyote will feed on the bait at a time. Whereas, on a travel area it will just be one here and there.
In most types of hunting, scouting is one of the top keys to success, coyote hunting is no different. Actually in the sport of predator hunting, scouting is arguably the most important part in staying successful on a consistent basis. Using a quality game camera such as the Stealth Cam DS4K can be a vital tool to the predator hunters arsenal.
Ease of Use
Trail cameras today are vastly superior to a decade ago. With higher quality pictures, video capturing capabilities and enhanced detection they are a necessary tool in the field. The DS4K is also much more compact compared to some of the old cameras I still use today. When checking multiple cameras in the same day it used to be a chore to locate, extract the memory card, run back to my home computer to view the pictures and then return later that day. From the images I could gather where they were taken, but it still seemed like a wasted trip going to and fro for the sake of checking images. Stealth Cam greatly improved my productivity by coming out with the memory card reader to check images on the fly. A great addition for hunters of all disciplines.
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