John's Journal...


Calling and Shooting Predators

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. However, 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.

Click to enlargeI’ve heard western predator hunters complain that they don’t have these vast open places to hunt coyotes like the hunters in the East do. However, I believe if the western hunters will start hunting with a shotgun and partner they can take more coyotes. If you set up your partner 75- to 100-yards away and downwind of the caller, then you’re going to take more coyotes. A coyote that circles 100- to 200-yards downwind of a caller will be tough to see and tough to take. If you have your partner set up downwind, the partner can take the coyotes that the caller never sees. Setting up on the edge of a creek bank so that the coyote has to come down the other side of the creek bank is an ideal type of setup for the partner to be able to see and take the coyotes that the caller never sees. If your thick cover is across the creek, then you know that the coyote will have to come to that creek bank to get to that animal he thinks is in distress. This tactic is productive to use with a partner. You have to remember that 70 percent of a coyote’s diet is made up of mammals that live in the ground - rates, mice and moles. All those animals like to live in thick cover. Therefore, your odds of taking coyotes are 70-percent better when you’re hunting thick cover than when you’re hunting open terrain. You have to remember that we are breeding smarter coyotes than the ones we hunted in years past. Predator hunting has become popular, and we have such good equipment now. Most of your predator hunters want to use those new rifles, those new scopes, those new binoculars and those new predator callers to take coyotes in open country at 200 to 300 yards. Most hunters like to shoot .22/250s that are enhanced with the latest and greatest bullets ever developed when these coyotes come running in across open country. However, these coyotes are the ones that die quickly. Therefore, the only coyotes left to breed are the ones that are staying in thick cover. Smart coyotes live in thick cover and breed. The coyote is a tremendously adaptable animal that has the ability to learn how to avoid a lead Click to enlargeencounter. If you are going to take more coyotes, you have to hunt them in places where most predator hunters don’t want to hunt. Most of today’s predator hunters don’t want to get in thick cover, and don’t want to use shotguns. That’s where we’ve been the most successful.

I shoot the Benelli Super Black Eagle 2. I use Winchester Supreme .00 buckshot, and No. 4 buckshot. I can take the coyotes up to 50 yards easily. I carry a rifle with me also in case a coyote is hung up at 50 yards, and will not come in; this gives me a chance to rifle him. My favorite call this year has been Hunter’s Specialties CYC1, which is a mouth-blown open-reed coyote dog howler. If there is one call a coyote hunter needs in his arsenal of calls, it’s this call because it will make every sound that a coyote makes, and it will produce the sounds of a cottontail in distress, a jackrabbit in distress, a doe deer, a fawn deer and a mouse squeak. Eight of the 13 coyotes we killed in the World Championship this year we took using this call. The other coyotes were taken with the Hunter’s Specialties’ PC1, which is a variable-pitch caller, and the PC7, which is a rabbit-in-distress call. If you prefer an electronic call, I recommend Hunter’s Specialties’ PreyMaster. My two favorite rabbit sounds for this electronic caller are the Grown Click to enlargeCottontail or the Vittle’s A’la Jackrabbit, but I also like to use the Kid Goat Distress call. The Prey Master can also be used as a locator call to locate coyotes by imitating the sound of groups of coyotes howling. Now that deer season is over, and turkey season has not begun in many states, give predator calling a try. I know if you try it, you’ll love it like I do.

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 5