In hunting circles, Coyote hunting is a very popular sport which leads to the question, “When are coyotes most active?” You will find these wily canines in densely-wooded areas, and they can be a nuisance to inhabitants who live on the borders of woods and forests. Although they rarely attack humans, coyotes are well-known for wreaking havoc amongst livestock, especially poultry and cattle. They are also known to prey upon domestic pets like cats and small dogs.
Thus comes the need for coyote hunting. The controversial questions here are when the best time to find these devious beasts is? And where can they found in abundance? Here, we answer all your questions by offering the basic facts which will make coyote hunting a more fulfilling experience for you.
Active Season for Coyotes
Seasonally, you are likely to find these critters throughout the year. They are hardy animals, so they are active during the winter months as well. However, during the cold months when most of the woods are snowbound, or during snowstorms or thunderstorms, they are likely to be holed up somewhere, until the bad weather lets up.
Best time: day or night?
Although it is said that any time is a good time, coyotes are found in abundance in the morning time. The species that they hunt during daylight hours are usually those who are most active in the morning. There are a few factors that cause these animals to track in the morning time, rising thermals and enhanced scent being a couple of governing factors.
Another major factor that motivates coyotes to hunt in the morning hours is the fact that it is the most peaceful time during daylight hours, especially in the early morning just after sunrise. They also get the advantage of good light, but then this gives us an excellent opportunity as well.
As they say, "The early bird gets the worm." So, I say, get up early and pick them off!
The Seasonal Advantage
Talking on a seasonal level, the best time during spring or autumn is in the early evening. This time of day is particularly applicable to sparsely populated areas. You can deduce this firsthand, from the barking and yipping that you may hear in the distance just after sunset.
As humans head to hearth and home, the coyotes begin to get a bit bolder, and they start foraging for food. However, this is less likely to be the case in urban areas, where the decrease in human activity tends to occur at a much later time of the day.
Whatever the time of day or night, a good way to make these guys appear is by making a coyote call. You can use your mouth or create it through an electronic coyote caller.
Disturbance From Other Hunters
The presence of others is something that you need to factor in a while on a coyote hunt. The downside of autumn shooting around sunset is that this is precisely the time of day that you could experience some interference from other hunters, especially bird hunters. The reason for this is quite simple – birds are found in abundance around sunset, as this is the time that they fly back to their roosts for the night.
So, you need to be aware of other hunters in the vicinity and work around them, so that you don’t inadvertently step on each other’s toes.
Hunting For Coyotes In winter
This time of the year deserves a special mention, as there are a few special considerations to be made here. I have observed that winter hunting for coyotes is especially productive during daylight hours if you are in rural areas or the backwoods.
Hunting during winter presents a few challenges, and it can be physically tiring and you need to wear extra clothing but if you get good results, it is surely worth all the pain. Mid-day is a suitable time, or more specifically between about 11.00 am to 2.00 pm.
The reason for coyotes being active during these hours is they tend to preserve energy and calories at this time of the year. This need causes them to be active during these hours when it is least cold, thereby conserving their energy.
Can We Eat Coyote Meat?
This question is a frequently-asked one to which there is no definite answer. It all depends on personal preference. However, the main answer to this question is yes; you can, if you prefer to and it it’s properly cooked.
You aren’t going to turn different colors of the rainbow and grow a pair of horns or start baying at the moon! In fact, there is a school of thought among hunters that believes that you should eat what you hunt, just as nature ordained it to be. There are quite a few recipes for coyote meat going around. Here’s one that caught my eye:
- Coyote Hindquarter
- Cooking oil
- 2 cups red wine
- Three onions, chopped
- One garlic clove
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- Spices (according to your taste)
- Two cabbage heads and any other fresh veggies of your choice, chopped
- Eight potatoes, chopped
- Fry the meat chunks until brown
- Add wine, onions, garlic, salt and pepper and any other spices of your choice
- Top up the pot with water (about double the amount in volume of the main ingredients)
- Toss in potato chunks and other veggies like cabbage, carrots or beans
- Cook for 30 minutes until the meat is tender
- Serve with hot biscuits or corn bread
Summing it up
Let’s take a quick look at what we have here. You asked, “when are coyotes most active?" The answer to this question is not entirely conclusive but just requires a bit of common sense to answer. You want to find coyotes; you need to understand their motives for coming out and be aware of the particular time of day or season of the year when they do.
As stated previously, you can help the process by making some authentic coyote calls, either manually or through an artificial coyote caller which you can buy through the internet.
Good hunting is all about understanding your prey. Once you can establish a pattern and create a routine based on the habits of these predators, you will be able to answer this question, "When are coyotes most active?” which is the key to successful coyote hunting.
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