Tactics for Farmland Coyotes

Most of the coyote hunting I do in central Kentucky takes place on farms ranging in size from 100 acres to 300 acres. All of these farms are well divided by fences and gates, making it much harder to slip in to the area where I want to make my set up. Obviously, I want to make sure that these farms contain coyotes or at the very least provide travel routes they use as part of their territory. There have been several articles appearing in local newspapers about my hunting predators, combined with a good deal of exposure on various internet forums, resulting in my not having much trouble obtaining land to hunt. With few exceptions, the layout of these farms is such that one or two stands is about all the opportunity offered. As a result, the better you know the lay of the land, the more apt you are to have success hunting coyotes there.

When I approach the land owner, I usually show them letters of recommendation from other land owners and pictures of coyotes taken over the years. Most of the land owners are familiar with the other farmers, and I feel this is important in obtaining permission to hunt. Once I get permission, I never hunt that farm until I have thoroughly familiarized myself with the lay of the land and noteworthy features that help me plan future hunts.

I like to walk the entire perimeter fence lines and the interconnecting fence rows, farm roads, and hollows, looking for obvious entry and travel routes. I make a rough map of the farm, clearly marking directions. I always carry a small folding saw and pruning shears to help me clear out spots where I want to make future stands (trying to keep in mind position of the sun for good morning and afternoon stands) positioned to help me set up properly on days when the wind is right to hunt a particular area. Planning the sneakiest route you can to your various set up spots pays big dividends on actual hunts.

I obtain entry permission from as many of the surrounding land owners as possible, making it possible to hunt that farm on days when the prevailing wind would prohibit hunting there if my only entry would be with the wind to my back. If the wind is carrying your scent into the hunting area, and is also carrying any noise you make to the coyotes ears, that hunt is not likely to produce any positive results. If the coyotes hear you, they are more likely to be on full alert and either smell you or see you, eliminating your chance of success that hunt.


I cannot over emphasize the importance of knowing the lay of the land and your sneakiest routes to your setups. I believe it is the most important information you can have at your disposal. I listen to my weather radio in the morning, and can easily determine if I want to hunt a particular farm that day, and which of my access points is best with the prevailing wind. With most of my stands, my route includes provision for dropping off my FOXPRO e-caller before I reach my actual sit down spot. I like to position myself from 75 to 100 yards from the e-caller, with my sit down spot on higher ground where I can watch all directions around the e-caller. I like to call slightly cross wind with lower volumes for my first couple of series. I find that making it easy for the coyote to come from downwind works best for me, and especially in extreme cold weather, they respond with more enthusiasm to low volume sounds. The FOXPRO caller's horn speaker is very directional, and I find that the coyote likes to come in looking for the critter making those distress cries head on, so I aim the caller to where it is more predictable where the coyote will show up. The further you are from the e-caller, the bigger the field of play, increasing your odds of success.

I am blessed with lots of land to hunt that contains an ecotone, where two or more kinds of terrain meet, i.e. an alfalfa field, a creek bottom, and a patch woods as a border. I believe this represents the favorite habitat for many small and large game animals, and therefore quickly becomes the favorite hunting ground for the coyotes in the area. I always try to give the coyotes as many access routes to the e-caller as possible, thereby increasing your chances dramatically. Many of my hunts only offer time for one good morning or afternoon stand, causing me to put so much emphasis on planning my setups, and for spending more time on stand than many hunters believe in. If I lived in country where I was hunting vast areas, and could easily take my ATV or pickup and travel 1/2 mile or so to another area, I may revise my thinking in this area. For my area and the size farms I hunt, it works well for me.

I use decoys and scents on some of my stands, especially when dealing with problem coyotes. I prefer the Jack-in-the-Box Decoy from FOXPRO due to being able to control its voice and movement with my remote, and I really like some of the decoys from Edge by Expedite, especially their fawn decoy, red fox decoy, and old Yote Coyote. I sometimes hang some kind of fuzzy critter out of Yote's mouth, and that really ticks those big old males off when they see a coyote in their territory with one of their critters. I use the bipod shooting sticks by Bog Pod, and would never go on a hunt without them and a good cushion. I shoot a Browning A-bolt Silent Stalker in .243 caliber, and a Bushnell Elite 4200 series 4 x 14 x 50 scope. I handload Sierra 70 grain Blitz King bullets, a potent medicine for coyotes.

So in closing, let me say that I have met some great people since starting coyote hunting 17 years ago, both hunting friends and farmers who I hold in high esteem. I especially have enjoyed training my grandsons, two of which are excellent coyote hunters in their own right. They make good hunting buddies too. They are both dedicated FOXPRO users like their Peepaw.

Good hunting at ya!

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