John's Journal...

How to Take Coyotes and Other Predators

Taking Coyotes in February with Al Morris

Click to enlarge Editor’s Note: Al Morris of Springville, Utah, one of the nation’s leading competitive predator hunters, has hunted coyotes most of his life and has placed high in the World Competition every year. Hunter’s Specialties has asked Morris to tell us how to take coyotes in February.

Question: Al, what are the coyotes doing in February, and how are you going to hunt them?
Morris: All coyotes breed in February. From January 15th to March 15th, every coyote from Canada to Mexico will be going through their mating cycle. I break coyote hunting down into three seasons – the fall season, the breeding season and the spring-and-summer season. So, February’s in the middle of their mating season. At this time of year, since the coyotes are territorial, you can take advantage of the breeding Click to enlargepairs that have kicked their pups out of their core home areas. I believe that coyote sounds can be deadly effective at this time of year. The two calls I like to use most are the dominant male call and the female ready-to-breed call. Both of these calls trigger territorial responses from the coyotes, the most-territorial animals on the planet in my opinion. Coyotes won’t let another coyote move in and live in their area. The key to hunting in February is finding the coyote’s core region and then howling in the dogs. I don’t use the same type of howl when I blow the caller.

Question: Tell me about the Mac Daddy Howler.
Morris: Hunter’s Specialties added a megaphone with a camouflage sleeve to the company’s Mac Daddy elk call. This call will make pure, clean howls. Most howlers are open-reeded mylar calls, but the Mac Daddy Howler produces a true diaphragm sound, which in my opinion is a far-superior sounding howl.Click to enlarge

Question: How do you call with the Mac Daddy Howler?
Morris: You simply put the Mac Daddy in your mouth, blow on it and use your finger on top of the caller to activate the false tongue to create the howl. When I bark on it, I push down hard on the lever of the call to make the barks. Then I add more air pressure to make the howl. Using the Mac Daddy Howler, anyone can make perfect coyote barks and howls. During February, I use almost exclusively coyote vocalization to call in the dogs. Now, I still use my coyote dog howler, the CYC1, which makes a great male-sounding coyote bark and howl. This call is a little deeper than the Mac Daddy Howler, and it has a somewhat more-guttural sound than the Mac Daddy. But the Mac Daddy Howler seems to make better female coyote howls and barks. I use both of these calls, and I don’t believe there’s a coyote on earth that won’t come in to check me out when I use these two howlers.

Question: What do you do after you take a coyote out of an area?Click to enlarge
Morris: Don’t forget that coyotes are still eating at this time of year, so don’t abandon all your prey distress sounds like your rabbit-in-distress and fawn-in-distress sounds. The real key to coyote hunting is firing on more than one cylinder and taking coyotes with more than one tactic. We’ll try to trigger coyotes to come in because of their territorial and breeding instincts, and because they still have to eat. So, although I believe that barking and howling are the most-effective calls you can use in February, they aren’t the only calls you want to use to bring in coyotes. Occasionally, I’ll use the fawn-in-distress or rabbit-in-distress calls to pull in hungry coyotes. The key to calling coyotes is to understand their primary concern during the month you’re hunting them. For instance, during mid-January, throughout the entire month of February and halfway through March, the coyote primarily has breeding on his mind. The coyote also wants to protect its territory, but it still has to eat. So, even though I believe that coyote sounds are the most effective to bring in dogs in February, I also know they’re not the only calls that work. Even during the breeding season, coyotes have to eat. Therefore, don’t abandon all your prey sounds just because your dog sounds seem to be the most effective.

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

Tomorrow: How to Take More Predators with Gerald Stewart

Check back each day this week for more about "How to Take Coyotes and Other Predators"

Day 1: Taking Coyotes in February with Al Morris
Day 2: How to Take More Predators with Gerald Stewart
Day 3: Mix Sounds for More Coyotes with Gerald Stewart
Day 4: What I’ve Learned Hunting in February with Al Morris
Day 5: The Expert’s Squeak with David Hale



Entry 391, Day 1