If you’ve put any considerable amount of time into hunting coyotes, then I’m sure you’ve told yourself there’s got to be a better way.
These sly creatures seem to have a knack for eluding hunters, no matter how many tricks we try in order to bag a triple every time we go out to the stand.
Trust me, I feel your pain. That’s why I wanted to explore another ‘yote hunting strategy today; one that doesn’t involve the use of callers and decoys.
Rather than debating over e-callers or hand callers and then trying to decide the perfect cal sequence to draw the coyotes out of hiding, just skip that whole mess entirely.
Today we’re going to explore how to bait coyotes in order to draw them out to a designated spot without having to use caller.
Related: 5 of the Absolute Best Coyote Baits
This does take some time and effort beforehand, but if you’re hunting in an area where coyotes are call shy from too many seasons of overly enthusiastic hunters then hunting over bait is just another trick up your sleeve.
Hunting over bait is the term used to describe hunting coyotes by placing out a set bait pile, and waiting for them to come on out and investigate. This does take patience, and it also takes some resources in terms of procuring the bait you’ll be using.
With traditional baiting, the first step is to pick a good spot. You want an area that’s got good ‘yote traffic but that isn’t too open.
If its open on all sides then you’ll be hard pressed to spot every animal coming in towards the bait pile. Choose a larger open area that is blocked off on one or two sides to funnel foot traffic.
Traditional baiting involved, essentially teaching the coyotes over a period of a week or two that they can reliably find food in this spot. This guarantees that you’ll see some action when you do set up your stand.
The first time you leave out bait it’s recommended to set up some trail cams to keep an eye on things. This will let you know how many animals are coming to feed and reassure you that you’ve chosen a good spot.
After a few weeks of constant bait, you can set up your stand and let the games begin! As always there’s debate on when to do this, but you’ll usually have success at dawn or dusk, or overnight if you’ve got lights you can bring with you.
Pressure baiting goes one step further than traditional baiting. This practice is designed to not only draw the animals out of hiding, but to ensure that when you’re ready to hunt there will be more than enough coyotes for you to bag a few each time.
This Pressure baiting article explains the theories involved in more detail, but the basics will be covered here.
Just as with traditional baiting, you begin leaving bait at your chosen site several weeks before you actually intend to hunt.
With the method it’s important to do this at the same time every day. The consistency essentially trains the ‘yotes that dinner’ at 5.
Once they begin to understand this, start tapering off the amount of food that you leave. What you’re trying to do is artificially create food scarcity. You want there to be more hungry coyotes than food. What this does is ensure that the smarter ones will start showing up earlier every time so they are guaranteed a meal.
After you get to this stage, it’s time to get in your stand. Do this earlier than the time when you’d normally bring food, and then you can pick off the early-approach coyotes as they come out to the bait site.
If you stealthily retrieve their bodies as you shoot you can rack up a surprising number of kills with this method.
What To Use For Bait
This forum post has lots of interesting ideas in terms of what to use as bait, if you’d like to check it out. The most common practice for hunters is road kill, though.
However, if you want to go this route please be sure that it’s legal in your state. Some areas don’t allow the harvesting of roadkill, or require special permits for the privilege.
Another option if you’re looking for a lot of bait on the cheap is to get in contact with your local meat processor.
Just like when getting permission to hunt on a farmer’s land, being friendly may just open some door and get you a good amount of scraps that the business would’ve otherwise discarded.
How To Place The Bait
If you’re a little unclear as to how to place the bait or want to get a better visual for the sort of spots you ought to be looking for when placing bait, check out this video.
The person who posted this shows you his setup for hauling the bait, as well as a few examples of dump locations.
If you are getting your bait as scraps from a meat processor, you might want to go ahead and freeze it in order to keep the ‘yotes from snapping it up too quickly to be useful.
If you take all the smaller scraps and but them in 5 lb buckets you can fill the remaining space in the buckets with water and freeze.
If you dump these at a site during the colder months, along with a few fresh pieces to carry the smell, you’ve created meat-sicles that the coyotes will have a harder time running off with.
I hope you’ve found this helpful! Have you tried one of these strategies before, or plan to try it soon? Leave a comment and share your experiences.