Get Out Now: Why January is a great time to call coyotes

By Stuart Hoegh

Many articles claim that it is best to call in the beginning of November when the young inexperienced coyotes are first on their own. While there is some truth to this, here are the reasons why right now is a great time to call.

Minimal Pressure

Most years I am wearing snow camo throughout December and January. This year I have been wearing early season deer patterns. The weather has been too warm for snow, and, as a result, has kept most coyote hunters on the couch. Hunting from a truck is only possible when there is enough snow to make the coyotes easily visible. This means that there have been less coyotes killed this year. Additionally, the coyotes are not as timid to come out during daylight hours in search for food. This means there are likely a lot of coyotes ready to be called.

Greater Flexibility

Coyotes begin to pair up and breed beginning in January. This means that howling becomes much more effective. Professional coyote caller Randy Anderson often uses a higher pitched female howl during this time of year, and I find it is effective. Furthermore, the same rabbit-in-distress calls you have been using will also work. I like to begin with a quiet closed read call for about thirty seconds on thirty seconds off, then switch to a louder open read call with a slightly more raspy tone after five minutes of calling. After ten minutes with the second call I do one of two things. On a hunt in early January, after twenty minutes of calling, I used my call to make a yipping sound almost like a pup-in-distress. The coyote popped out of a draw 200 yards away, and dropped at 80 yards. A week later I heard a coyote howling as I walked into the stand. After fifteen minutes with dying rabbit sounds I let out two howls with a sequence of barks spaced out every two to three minutes. The coyote appeared out of the fenceline twenty yards to my right but disappeared before I had my rifle up. I also called in 6 others on rabbit-in-distress calls during the last couple weeks. My point is that you can use all of your calling strategies during this time of year and expect results; don’t be afraid to try different sounds in order to draw coyotes in.

Less Food

As the weather gets colder animals need more food in order to maintain themselves. Coyotes have been eating mice and rabbits for the last three months, and the numbers are being depleted. This means you are more likely to find hungry coyotes desperate for an easy meal.

Let me know if you have any questions on strategies for hunting. Get Out Now, Stu.

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