John's Journal...


Predator Hunting 103 – The Hunt

EDITOR’S NOTE: What does it take to become a professional hunter, and get to travel the country doing TV shows, putting on seminars, making videos and spending most of your life as a hunter? What gives a predator pro the credentials to stand before a group and speak as an expert? Allen Morris of Springville, Utah, a Hunter’s Specialties’ pro, has hunted coyotes for 28 years. He has placed in the top 10 in the last nine World Championships of Predator Hunting and came out second place in 2002. Although Morris and his partner had the same number of coyotes as the first-place team - 13 taken in 1-1/2-days, the first-place team returned to the tournament site 10 minutes ahead of Morris. Since the contest is judged on who takes the most coyotes the quickest, those 10 minutes were the difference between first place and second place. Click to enlargeHowever, no one can dispute that Allen Morris is one of the best predator hunters in the nation. This week, we’ll talk with Morris about hunting predators.

After you’ve called in a few coyotes, bought an electronic caller and had reasonable success with it, most predator hunters want to know, “How can I get better?” The real secret to becoming a better predator hunter is to spend more time scouting than you do calling and attempting to take the coyotes. I spend much more time scouting for coyotes than I do actually hunting them. The number-one message I try to get across to all predator hunters is that you can’t call or hunt an animal that’s not in the area where you’re attempting to take it. Therefore, the best way to be the most successful in the shortest time is to hunt coyotes in regions where coyotes live. If you’ve seen coyotes when you’ve been deer hunting or turkey hunting, those are good places to start looking. Next, I look for fresh tracks, especially after a snow and fresh scat (fresh coyote droppings). After you know you’re in a place where coyotes are living, you have to look for the best place to set up to call. I describe this process as picking fights you know you can win. You have to set up in a place where you know you can take the coyote. You’re not going to take an animal that you can’t see. Therefore, when you’re calling bobcats, coyotes, and foxes, you have to try and call them in a place where you can see them, regardless of whether you’re hunting in the East or the West. The real secret to hunting coyotes is not only how well you can call, but if you can call a coyote in to a place where you can shoot him.

Click to enlargeHere are the five things that I look for when I’m setting up to take coyotes:
1) Elevation - I want to set up on a place that is a bit higher than the area to where I’m calling, which means getting on one side of a creek bank or on top of a small hill.
2) Trails - Look for openings in those trails. You want to try to call a coyote down a trail that it normally travels into an opening through which he normally will pass.
3) The Sun at My Back- When the coyote comes in below me, (elevation), he’ll have to look up to see where the sounds are coming from, which means he has to look into the sun. When he’s looking into the sun, he can’t see you as well as he can if he isn’t looking into the sun.
4) The Correct Wind - I always use all Hunter’s Specialties’ Scent-A-Way products to kill and mask my human odor, but I still want to hunt with the wind in my face. In a perfect world, you always set up with the wind in your face. However, since we don’t live or hunt in a perfect world, sometimes we have to set up to call downwind. I don’t mind calling downwind as long as that coyote has to come out into an opening where I can see him first. When you have to call downwind or across the wind, that is when using Hunter’s Specialties’ Scent-A-Way products and staying as scent-free as you possibly can really pays off.
5) Camouflage - I always hunt in Realtree camouflage from head to toe. The most-important parts of the body that you absolutely have to keep camouflaged when predator hunting are your face and your hands. The most-critical part of keeping a coyote from seeing you is to not move. Click to enlargeHowever, you have to move to call and take the shot. Therefore, when you move, you need camouflage to mask your movements. I’ve hunted and taken coyotes in plaid shirts and blue jeans by sitting extremely still and having my face and my hands camouflaged. You have to camouflage those hands while you’re calling. When you have a big face like mine, anytime I move my face, I’m flashing a big mirror at the coyotes. Yes, camouflage is important, and I strongly recommend you wear Realtree camouflage from head to toe, especially on your hands and face.

To learn more about Hunter’s Specialties’ predator products, go to


Check back each day this week for more about ALLEN MORRIS AND PREDATOR HUNTING

Day 1: Predator Hunting 101 – The Beginner
Day 2: Getting started Predator Hunting
Day 3: Predator Hunting 102 – Setting-Up
Day 4: Predator Hunting 103 – The Hunt
Day 5: Calling and Shooting Predators



Entry 338, Day 3