John's Journal...

Steve DeMers - Master Predator Hunter

Calling Coyotes

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: I first met Steve DeMers of Whitehall, Montana, on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere after he’d just taken a coyote at 1,102 yards when I was hunting with Central Montana Outfitters of Great Falls, Mon. I couldn’t believe DeMers had made that shot until a friend of mine, Chad Schearer, the public-relations director of Black Powder, Inc., told me, “John, I was beside him with my binoculars. I heard the report of the rifle, and after what seemed like an eternity, the coyoClick to enlargete just fell over. It was an incredible shot.” In 1974, DeMers began hunting coyotes for their pelts. Today he hunts them for the government as a wildlife specialist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to reduce the damage coyotes do.

Regardless of how far you can shoot accurately, if you don’t have a target, accuracy won’t count. Steve DeMers has developed coyote-calling tactics that consistently pay off for him. “I use an electronic call,” DeMers explains. “But I won’t tell you the name of the call because I don’t want other people to start using the same caller. I’ve learned from experience that the more a particular brand-name call is used with coyotes, the less-effective it becomes. Hopefully I’m utilizing an electronic caller that many other predator hunters don’t. To be effective, you have to give the coyotes different sounds than what they’ve heard previously.”

DeMers prefers the coyote howl call, the pup squeal and other coyote sounds rather than prey-species calls in his area, except in the dead of winter. “We have plenty of mice, deer and agriculture in the region I hunt,” DeMers advises. “So, the coyotes here rarely search for food. When I use a coyotClick to enlargee sound like a howl or a pup squeal, I’m triggering a territorial response from the coyotes. The animals in my section of the country are much-more interested in protecting their territories than finding meals.”

Too, DeMers feels that using coyote sounds helps him call-in more adult coyotes than pups, but an adult won’t come running in liClick to enlargeke it will for a prey sound. Therefore, DeMers often must take long-range shots. “When a coyote is 300-yards or more away and he’s not totally dialed-in to the location of the call, he’s much easier to stop, allowing you to take a shot at him,” DeMers emphasizes. “To stop the coyote, I yell at the coyote with my natural voice or howl to it.  If you let a coyote get too close, he’ll often come running in and be much harder to stop so you can take a shot. Many predator hunters make the same mistakes as others because they get the same information from similar sources. I buy many instructional predator-hunting videos to see how other predator hunters teach people who buy videos to hunt. I want to learn which types of callers and sounds the video instructors are recommending. Then I can avoid using the same callers and sounds everyone has seen on the videos. Too, I try to insure that the sounds I buy for my electronic callers are made by animals and not by hunters blowing through mouth calls. The best sounds you can purchase are new sounds from different live animals each year.”

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Tomorrow: Protecting Humans from Wildlife and Wildlife from Humans

Check back each day this week for more about "Steve DeMers - Master Predator Hunter"

Day 1: Becoming a Consummate Long-Range Shooter and Choosing the Right Equipment
Day 2: Bigger Equipment Isn’t Always Better
Day 3: Fine Tune Your Shooting and Your Gun and Remain Consistent
Day 4: Calling Coyotes
Day 5: Protecting Humans from Wildlife and Wildlife from Humans


Entry 466, Day 4