John's Journal...

How to Have All the Hunting Land You Want to Hunt

Understand That Predators Aren’t Easy

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Do you want to have all the land you need to hunt and even more? Instead of you looking for land to hunt, how about if farmers and ranchers call you to come hunt their properties? Predator hunters often enjoy these kinds of perks. When coyotes, raccoons, bobcats, foxes and/or feral hogs create problems for landowners, deer hunters and turkey hunters, anyone who can remove these predators generally has an open-ended invitation and a warm welcome awaiting him to hunt new property. Predators kill and eat newborn livestock, including calves, lambs, goats, deer fawns, occasionally adult deer, poultry, domestic pets at times and turkey poults. They also destroy turkey nests and the nests of songbirds. In years past, trappers have kept predator numbers down. However, with the decrease in fur prices for many years, the predator hunter has replaced the trapper in many areas as the way to keep predator Click to enlargepopulations in check. Therefore, to have all the hunting land you want to hunt, become a predator hunter.

In most southeastern states, the understory in the state’s forests sometimes keeps hunters from seeing more than 50- to 100-yards away. Probably that’s why much of the predator-hunting information comes from the West where hunters can sit on a small hill fully camouflaged, get downwind of the area they want to call, begin to call and spot coyotes, foxes and bobcats coming from as far as 1/2- to 1/4-mile away. If a predator starts to circle downwind to try to smell what it’s hearing before it comes in, the hunter can get the shot. However, when a coyote, a fox or a bobcat hears a predator call in the Southeast, the animal often can circle downwind out of sight, due to the thick foliage, smell the hunter and leave the area before the hunter’s ever known the animal has visited that place.

Click to enlargeYou need to know the terrain where you’re hunting, if you want to take predators. Too, always block your back. If you can stop the predator from circling downwind of you, you drastically can increase your odds for taking these animals. Here’s some setups that work.
* Call with your back up against a sheer rock bluff. Then when the predator starts moving in and arrives at the bluff, the animal will turn and come toward you.
* Set up next to a creek or a river. If a predator responds to a call, generally the animal won’t cross a river or a creek but instead will turn at the creek and come toward you.
* Hunt with your back to a field or a road, since clean, open spaces will act as a barrier to cause the coyote, which typically has a home range of 2- to 20-square miles, to come to you, if it attempts to circle downwind.

Click to enlargeDouble Down on Predators:
Al Morris, a member of Hunter’s Specialties’ Pro Staff and one of the nation's top predator callers, explains, "One of the most-effective ways to take predators in thick cover is to hunt with a buddy. Since I know that predators will circle downwind and come to me, I have my hunting buddy sitting and looking directly behind me. He looks for clearings off to the left or right of where we’re calling. About 60 to 70 percent of the time, he’ll see and take the animal coming in before I will. If you don’t have eyes in the back of your head or a hunting buddy behind you who can look downwind for the predators that will circle before they come in, more than likely you won’t see or get a shot at the animals you’re calling. “My partner and I hunt in many predator-calling contests and have been highly successful. We hunt thick cover where most other predator hunters don’t want to hunt. We both carry a shotgun as well as a rifle, and we assume that most of the predators will be taken behind the caller instead of in front of the caller. That’s why you need to buddy hunt for predators and have your buddy looking downwind from the caller."

Tomorrow: Use New Decoys


Check back each day this week for more about "How to Have All the Hunting Land You Want to Hunt"

Day 1: Hunt Predators – One of America’s Fastest-Growing Sports
Day 2: Understand That Predators Aren’t Easy
Day 3: Use New Decoys
Day 4: Hunt Feral Hogs and Define a Landowner’s Problems
Day 5: Find Land to Hunt


Entry 353, Day 2