John's Journal...

Al Morris on Winning the 2007 Coyote Calling Contest

Why Hunt Coyotes Now

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note:  Forty-one-year-old Al Morris, from Springfield , Utah , a Hunter's Specialties’ predator pros, has hunted coyotes since he was 12. He’s also helped in the production of the “Operation Predator Videos 2, 3, 4 and 5.”  Al Morris and his partner, Garvin Young, for won the 2007 World Coyote Calling Contest in November, 2007. Al and Garvin were the first team to win the World Coyote Calling Contest twice and the only team to consistently finish in the top-10 places in the championship for the past 11 years.  This week Al will tell us how he and Garvin won the World.Click to enlarge

During January and February, the coyotes are stressed. Since the pups were born in April or May, they’ve been overrun with a supply of food. All spring, summer and fall, the coyotes have had plenty of mice, moles, rabbits, deer, elk, antelope and other critters to eat. But now that deep winter has arrived, the mice, the moles, and all those little animals they’re accustoming to eating, which probably make up 75% of their diet, are usually under the snow and hibernating or staying underground most of the time. The pups are almost full grown. They’ve been kicked-out of the family. They’re hunting something to eat, and so are the adults. Too, right now is mating season. So not only will a prey-in-distress sound call a coyote at this time of year because they’re  hungry, but a howl and other coyote sounds will attract coyotes.

This time of the year can provide some of the most-exciting hunting for coyotes that you’ll have all year long. They’re attracted to food sounds and coyote vocalizations. February 15 is generally considered the peak of the coyote-breeding season. From January 15 until March 15, you can attract coyotes not only to fill up their stomachs, but because of their territorial instincts and their breeding nature, now’s the time you can experience some of the best calling of the season.Click to enlarge

The Coyote Dog Howler is one of my favorite calls at this time of the year. This call will reproduce every coyote vocalization that these animals make. You can also use it for prey-distress sounds. On a typical setup at this time of the year, I’ll generally start my calling sequence with either a jackrabbit-in-distress call or a cottontail-in-distress call. Three to 5 minutes into the stand, I’ll start doing some coyote vocalizations. I’ll do some pup-in-distress calls on it. Then I do a coyote challenge call. I want to let the coyotes know that one coyote has caught a rabbit, and now there’s other coyotes fighting over that rabbit. Because these animals are so territorially minded and so curious, they’ll usually come in to that sound. Click to enlarge

This time of the year generally has the worst weather of the year. In the World hunt, rain fell on us all day. When hard rain wasn’t falling, we had drizzling rain, but that PM-4 never let us down. I’ve also had that PM-4 in freezing conditions when the temperature was less than 30 degrees. Even when the speaker would freeze-up on us, we would put it near the heater in the truck. That worked just fine, and then the Preymaster would be ready for us to hunt with it again. I’ve become a strong advocate for electronic callers, even though most of my calling career has been with mouth-blown callers. The PM-4 is the first electronic caller I’d use and bet I’d win a World Coyote Calling Contest. I bet on the PM-4 and won.

We have 35 kills for the “Operation Predator 5” DVD from Hunter’s Specialties. Every coyote on the video was taken with the PM-4. This new unit has made finding and taking coyotes much easier than we have ever been able to take them before. “Operation Predator 5” will be coming out in June or July of 2008.  However, you can call Hunter’s Specialties or go to your local dealer and order the video now. 


Check back each day this week for more about "Al Morris on Winning the 2007 Coyote Calling Contest"

Day 1: How We Won the World Coyote Calling Contest
Day 2: Setting Up for the World Hunt
Day 3: The Preymaster Helped Conquer the World
Day 4: Get Them Downwind
Day 5: Why Hunt Coyotes Now


Entry 442, Day 5