One of the most common ways to attract coyote for hunting is using bait. Since they’re opportunistic scavengers and predators, this means that finding the optimal bait can be somewhat difficult. Read on and we’ll discuss the viability of different things which can be used to make sure you get the best coyote bait possible.
If you happen to be out and about hunting other small game animals during the day, it’s likely that you’ve made a couple of kills. Whether it’s ground squirrel, rabbit, or even larger animals, a fresh pile of guts makes for prime bait. After you field clean your kill, throw the guts in a bag and place them somewhere that you’ll have a clear line of fire.
After positioning yourself upwind, sooner or later one or more of those wily coyote will emerge to come out and get their paws on some offal. This will give you a great time to take the shot and it might be one of the absolute best baits you can get your hands on.
There are a couple of drawbacks to this method, however, which is mainly the fact that you’ll have to haul around enough guts to make sure the coyote don’t just take them and run off before you can take the shot. You’ll also have to have made a couple of kills or taken a larger animal earlier in the day.
While not quite as attractive of a method, many coyote hunters have had a lot of success with this method. Essentially what you’ll want to do is fill a bucket or mold with entrails and maybe even scraps of meat from previous kills and then freeze the whole thing.
Hunters recommendations vary widely on this, with some recommending using softball sized pieces for a single day of hunting, and some have used larger buckets in order to ensure they can return time and time again.
A larger bucket in a colder portion of the States can even be used for an extended period. If you have a busy lifestyle, a cold climate, and an area you like to hunt coyote in then this method can keep them coming for weeks to months. Some people have claimed they even last all season.
The drawback is, of course, having to gather all of the offal and off-cuts together which can take some time. This method also isn’t nearly as viable during warm weather as it is during the winter.
It’s pretty obvious when you think about it, coyote love dog food. It makes for a great and cheap bait when you don’t have access to guts or carcasses.
Using dog food as bait has some tricks to it. One of the main ones you’ll want to attempt is to bury a good amount of it in a location, placing it perhaps half an inch under the soil, and spreading out kernels of it in a wide area around the central bait pile.
The coyote will eventually find that there is dog food in the area and begin seeking it by scent, giving you a perfect opportunity for a shot while they home in on the larger pile of dog food that you have buried in the center of the area.
This works best in semi-rural areas, and it’s a favored trick of those who take care of coyote which might have already been exposed to dog food during forays into the outskirts of town. It also has the advantage of not attracting as many other scavengers as many types of bait.
There’s little risk of a vulture flying off with your bait, for instance, if you use dog food as your bait.
There’s no need to let any animal go to waste, and in many areas of the country it can be quite easy to find road kill. Whether it’s a possum or a house cat, these carcasses will often prove themselves to be quite good bait as long as you stay upwind.
Some hunters recommend dipping the road kill in blood as well in order to make them even more attractive to the coyote you’re seeking. In doing this you’re virtually guaranteed to attract at least some sort of scavenger, and if you’ve scouted the area and timed your baiting properly it’s likely you’ll be able to harvest a coyote over the corpse.
The absolute holy grail of using this method is being able to find a road kill deer. Since it won’t be able to be hauled away by a single coyote you stand a much better chance of getting your shot in while it’s gnawing away at the carcass.
Of course, you’ll want to be sure to check the legality of using roadkill in your area and responsibly dispose of any remains after your hunting session is over.
Fish also make a viable bait source, which is great for those of us who love to spend time angling as well as hunting. They can be used in many of the same ways as the above methods: just save the heads and guts in the freezer and make a pile.
One of the main ways they’re used as bait by experienced coyote trappers and hunters, however, is by salting them. When salted, the fish can be kept almost indefinitely without making your house reek or taking up room in your freezer that could probably be better used by stocking with more edible game.
It’s not a bait of last resort, it’s actually quite effective, but it is a bit specialized when it comes to making sure you have some on hand.
Finding the best coyote bait really isn’t that hard. In fact, the placement and way you bait is generally much more important than what exactly you plan on using to bait them with. You definitely can’t go wrong with any of these, however. So get out there and hunt some predators.
Did we leave out your favorite bait? Have any questions? Drop us a line below!
I am Kevin who is a founder of deerhuntingfield.com; Here at Deer Hunting Field, we want to teach and educate. Hunting is a passion which has existed in mankind since almost the beginning, and with the advent of the internet, we can now share information, tips, and more with each other faster than ever before. This is a crucial part of our philosophy.