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Coyote Time

10/13/2021

by: Natchez Shooting Supplies

Wildlife biologist and outdoor writer Larry Weishuhn reveals his top tips for calling and hunting coyotes. Originally posted by Hornady.

Under the cover of darkness coyotes yipped, yapped, and yodeled in just about every direction. The temperature hovered in the mid-30s as we gathered around the warming campfire at Hargrove Ranch. At the suggestion of our host Craig Archer, and fellow hunter Eddie Stevenson, I threw another log on the fire. Embers ascended skyward as if offerings and in the glow of the flames I could see Gary and Steve Roberson smile.

The ‘morrow’s morning came grudgingly, gray and frigid. In a hushed voice, Gary Roberson spoke, “If a coyote or bobcat comes in to the right of that tallest cactus almost straight ahead of you, take him Larry.” I nodded. Gary Roberson waved toward the left, “Eddie, if one comes in to the left of that cactus, he’s yours.” He continued, “I’ll watch behind us, just in case one tries to slip in.” Then added, “I sprayed a bunch of Texas Raised Hunting Products’ Predator Death Grip on the bushes next to the speaker. That should hold a coyote’s or bobcat’s attention and give plenty of time for a shot.”

Moments later Gary turned on the Rogue, his new electronic call which replicates exactly the same high pitch sounds made by a distressed rabbit — sounds no other electronic call can achieve.

In less than 20 seconds, a coyote appeared below me running through waist-high weeds, weeds I had grown up calling “wolf weed”. He weaved back and forth through the tall vegetation, heading towards the speaker positioned in Eddie’s area. I watched. Seconds later Eddie shot and the coyote crumpled.

Gary let the electronic call play a couple more minutes hoping another coyote would respond. When none did, Eddie retrieved his take. I walked toward Gary and Steve Roberson. Steve is Gary’s son and ace cameraman for their Carnivore television series which appears on Pursuit Channel.

“Well done!” said Gary, as Eddie dragged the coyote up to where we waited for him. “Load him up and let’s find another place to set up. Maybe we can call in another one before lunch” added Gary, smiling.

Before our morning’s coyote foray was over, we indeed shot two more. Our plan to reduce the Hargrove Ranch’s predator population to boost the whitetail and mule deer fawn survival rates was working.

As a wildlife biologist who long worked on wildlife management programs for whitetail, mule deer and other native wildlife, including non-game to song birds, I had suggested reducing the coyote population during winter and then again in early spring before fawns are born. In winter, because it is not uncommon for coyotes to pull down mature bucks suffering from the rigors of the rut, and in the spring/summer before fawns start hitting the ground.

February and early March are great times to hunt coyotes as well as bobcats. In some states the taking of bobcats is restricted or there is a fur season during which they can be taken, so always be sure to check your local regulations. Coyotes can pretty well be taken in most places at any time of the year.

The Burnham Brothers’ revolutionary and unequaled Rogue electronic call is the best tool I have ever seen used to take predators. And of course, I too have my ever-present Burnham Brothers C-3 mouth-blown call with me, whenever and wherever I hunt.

Over the past few years, Gary Roberson of Burnham Brothers Game Calls’ has done considerable research into what levels of sounds coyotes and bobcats can actually hear, which he has measured in hertz.

Research demonstrates humans can hear up to 23,000 hertz, coyotes up to 45,000 hertz and bobcats up to 64,000 hertz.

The standard electronic call with their speaker system and using recorded sounds take sound levels up to about 20,000 hertz, far below what coyotes and bobcats hear when a real rabbit squeals in distress. This is one of the reasons why if an area has been called to several times, coyotes and bobcats tend to no longer respond like they did when they heard the recordings for the first and second time. The sounds simply are not right.

Gary and his technical team developed not only a recording system that actually records to the level of a distressed rabbit and other distressed prey animals, but they also developed a speaker which presents and broadcasts those real sounds to their actual hertz levels. This is something no other electronic game call can currently do. He trademarked those techniques and equipment, so it will be years before another electronic game call company can come close to duplicating the process.

Actually, mouth blown calls, like the Burnham Brothers C-3 I carry with me everywhere, produce more hertz, beyond those produced with any current electronic call. This is one of the reasons I have often called in coyotes and bobcats in areas which have previously been called to, where predators were stated to no longer respond to calling.

The end result is that the Burnham Brothers’ Rogue electronic call works far better at calling in predators than any other system. As mentioned, calling in coyotes and bobcats where most serious predator hunters were previously convinced they could no longer be called in.

Using the world’s best and most unique electronic game call, the next step is simply choosing a firearm. My choices in these important missions have two constants, Trijicon scopes and Hornady ammo. I love hunting predators with rifles. My primary choice usually comes down to one of several Ruger №1’s, including a 257 Roberts, 270 Win, 30–06, 300 H&H Mag and possibly some bigger caliber rounds like the 405 Winchester and maybe even a 450–400 NE 3-inch. Too, I recently procured a Henry 30–30 Win single-shot, as well as a 30–30 lever action, which are both topped with Trijicon Huron scopes. Using Hornady 30–30 Win 160 gr. FTX LEVERevolution, these two are extremely accurate and fun to shoot.

Hornady 160 gr. FTX LEVERevolution cartridge in 30–30 Win

Regarding bolt actions, those will likely amount to a 6.5×55 Swedish Mauser, shooting Hornady 140 gr. SST, a 275 Rigby shooting Hornady 140 gr. SP InterLock and a 280 Ackley Improved, shooting Hornady Precision Hunter 162 gr. ELD-X. Those three are Ruger M77 Africans. Then too, I have a 300 Win Mag in the same configuration that I plan on hunting with this year both for predators and big game, with it I’ll be shooting Hornady 200 gr. ELD-X Precision Hunter. Oh yeah, I also need to mention my Ruger M77 Guide rifle, topped with a Trijicon AccuPoint and shooting Hornady Outfitter ammo, loaded with 250 gr. GMX.

It is difficult to narrow myself down to a single rifle. I guess that means I’ve got to do a lot of different predator and big game hunts this year…

Do those rounds sound a bit big for less than 40-pound animals? Not to me. I like hunting coyotes and predators with the same rifles, scopes and ammo I use when hunting bigger game. Doing so is a great way to learn more about my hunting guns, and my abilities with them. And in my world, there is no such thing as over kill or too much gun!

Before heading out on a predator hunt, or for that matter any other hunt, I spray down with Texas Raised Hunting Products’ Scent Guardian. That includes clothes, hat, gloves, boots, binos, firearm and all other gear. The only other thing I usually take with me beyond my binoculars are shooting sticks, where I can rest my rifle for making a precise shot. Quite often I make these myself by cutting three sticks or relatively straight limbs about 40-inches in length and tying them together about four or so inches from one end. This length or height suffices since most of the time when I am hunting predators, I will be sitting down with my back against something to break my outline. If you have commercial shooting sticks, that too, is great. I have learned over the years everyone tends to shoot a lot more accurately with a properly rested firearm, no matter the target.

I guess all that’s left to say is it’s time to head to the coyote woods…

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