How to Take Coyotes and Other Predators
Taking Coyotes in February with Al Morris
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 pairs
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.
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?
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 http://www.hunterspec.com/updateable/update_display.cfm?pageID=4&categoryID=8
Tomorrow: How to Take More
Predators with Gerald Stewart