- Chris Campanelli
It's Time to Kill a Coyote
We have officially arrived at a transition period on the outdoor sporting calendar. Deer season is out just about everywhere and turkey and fishing seasons are still pretty distant. Shed antler hunting season can be a thing in some areas, but it's still a bit early. What is an outdoorsman to do?
Kill a coyote. Or two. Maybe even 20, if you can manage.
In an era of hunting where it seems like you have to obtain a PhD to pull the trigger on the proper animal, you really cannot go wrong by engaging in predator hunting. Almost every state or province in North America could use a hand in controlling predator populations. Many areas are seeing all-time highs in coyote numbers, which leads to alarming trends in game animal populations. Meaning that if we want to continue our favorite traditions of hunting whitetails in the fall and turkeys in the spring, we should think about doing some predator control.
Beyond doing good deeds for the game animals we cherish, predator hunting can be a true gift for the cabin-bound outdoorsman.
February marks the height of coyote breeding season in most areas across the U.S., especially along the East Coast or in the Midwest. Coyotes will be ramping up their activity levels tenfold throughout this month. Vocalizing and moving more than most other times of the year. We know what that means for quality hunting.
Mid-winter coyotes are ultra responsive to calling, so it can be an absolute blast to chase them. Especially when you're making the transition from deer hunting season to spring turkey season, as we will be in about two months. You're just itching to do some aggressive hunting after doing long treestand sits all fall. You're also ready to get vocal and start calling ahead of spring turkey season. Predator hunting can be just what the doctor ordered to bridge that gap.
Furthermore, predator hunting is a straight-up challenge.
Make no mistakes about it, hunting the hunter is not an easy feat. That's why I have so much respect for guys like Randy Anderson, Al Morris or Abner Druckenmiller. Some of my favorite predator hunters. When you find someone who routinely puts fur in the truck, you probably found yourself a top-notch hunter. It's not easy.
Putting a coyote or any predator down is like the ultimate game of chess. You have to account for almost everything to find success. It just feels like predators are able to discern man-made sounds and human presence better than other animals. You are truly hunting the best hunters in a given ecosystem. Not an easy task.
But who among us doesn't like a challenge? I'm pretty sure that the vast majority of outdoorsmen and women love a good challenge. If we didn't, we wouldn't have the gumption to chase mature whitetails or whacky spring gobblers. A good challenge can only make you better, and that is yet another positive check-mark for predator hunting.
If you are capable of producing successful predator sets in February and March, you can definitely find success in the spring turkey woods. In regard to simple marksmanship skills, you can kill just about anything if you can put a bullet in a bouncing, spooky coyote. Predator hunting definitely keeps you sharp during a period of the year where it's easy to get lost in a bag of potato chips in the easy chair.
Yes, it's cold and ugly out there, but who wants to be locked up inside of the house all day long? Not I!
It has been my experience that the predator hunting bug can latch onto you pretty quickly. Sure, you would rather be deer or turkey hunting, but why not make the most out of a dead period? I think we have illustrated plenty of positives surrounding predator hunting. It's just a matter of motivating enough hunters to go out and make a difference.
If enough hunters take to the field and put some fur in the back of the truck, we can start to take care of a much bigger problem surrounding predator overpopulation. We can also have a helluva time in the process.
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