View Full Version : Coyotes in heavy snow cover

12-19-2007, 06:07 AM
How should your coyote tactics, calling and setups change for hunting in heavy snow cover. How do the coyotes adapt to snow cover? I assume that you can not call them in from any great distance. Do they tend to hang around deer yards? Any tracks that I have cut have been in cedars and the like.

I am sure the guys in the Rocky Mountain area have to deal with snow a lot, but this is the first we have had any amount of snow in 15 years.

12-19-2007, 10:58 AM
The coyotes will hang around the deer yards and they will use any beaten down trails (deer,snowmobile, etc) to stay out of the deep snow. The cedars is also a good spot but visability is limited, thats where the shotgun shines.
Hope this helps.

The Baron of Bufflehead
12-21-2007, 11:19 AM
snowmobile trails and train tacks. I've got a couple of spots where those cut through, so I'll try there. There's plenty of cedar cover 'round here too, so I'll try calling down into some of that. Thanks for the tips, Q-W!:TT:

12-22-2007, 05:47 AM
I managed to get a coyote to start yesterday but it would not fight the snow to come in to the decoy. Hopefully after the upcoming thaw the snow will stiffen up.

The Baron of Bufflehead
12-22-2007, 01:09 PM
The snow is melting fast Barry. We were out this morning, and just by noon the snow was noticeably wet and starting to settle. We saw three, but one was while driving and the other two had us made on the way in to our calling spots.:CL:

12-23-2007, 05:08 AM
Baron sounds like you got alot of coyotes up there. I'm lucky to call in three in a season! Usually have more red fox show up.
Did they circle down wind from you? I've had them circle down wind as far as 150 yards. At least the ones I know of! I use a Foxpro and try to put it at least 50 but prefer 100 yards up wind and always keep an eye on the down wind side.
What I try to do is locate a natural travel route. In one of my favorite locations is a shallow ditch that seperates a long brushy area from the big woods. The fox and coyotes always walk down that ditch in the winter. So what I do is wait for a wind to be right, west in this case as ditch runs N and S with brush on the W side. I set the caller 50 yards or so into the brush (up wind) from the ditch and I sit about 30 yards on the other side of the ditch. Knowing that they always travel down tha ditch, this is the route that they should take to get down wind of the sound which is between me and the caller focusing their attention on the sound (down wind) and away from me (up wind) This is the way you have to think if you want to be very successful. I'm no expert but this is what I have learned in the last 4 years.
This stuff can get addicting!!!

The Baron of Bufflehead
12-23-2007, 07:31 AM
Baron sounds like you got alot of coyotes up there. I'm lucky to call in three in a season!

They are certainly around, but seeing three in a day is tremendous for us! And I'm with you Q-W on maybe calling in a few in a good season. I am still learning, but so far calling coyotes has proven to be the most difficult hunting challenge I have taken up. After all last winter and a few hunts so far this year, I've got but one to my credit. Have probably called in more, but been busted and never even knew they were there. It is fun, and certainly one heck of an adreneline rush when it works! I hope to learn my way to a point where at least I stop making stupid mistakes, which I am likely doing. It's a really tough game to begin with here in the east, and even tougher to figure out on your own. Having a teacher would be way better than this trial and error stuff.:CL:

12-23-2007, 11:55 AM
Baron, You are so right! They are by far the most challenging game I've ever hunted. At times they can make you look down right :ST: and leave you :hs:

12-23-2007, 09:34 PM
I had a trapping bud in NewYork State. Hammered the yotes near the deer yards

12-24-2007, 03:07 AM
salthunter, what part of the state? I live in Western NY between Buffalo and Niagara Falls.

12-24-2007, 11:49 AM
there is a weird shift in all game patterns around here. coyotes were pretty much nonexistant 10 years ago and now seem to be over-populated.

most of the guys around here run hounds I am the only hunter that I know of calling (poorly!) them in.

12-24-2007, 12:05 PM
I have had real good luck setting up on the edge of frozen rivers large streams and lakes. They will fly to a call on the ice. Look for tracks, you won't believe how they run the ice.

12-25-2007, 05:53 AM
I have had real good luck setting up on the edge of frozen rivers large streams and lakes. They will fly to a call on the ice. Look for tracks, you won't believe how they run the ice.
Flipper is right out here we shoot alot of them off the ice/snow cover lakes. For some reason they love to bed out on the ice in the wide open.The best times to find them there is is int he middle of the day, they will be asleep and give you plenty of chance to get close before calling to them.

We had 30" of snow last year and it made it for tough hunting. I had one that took 45 minutes to cross a field to get to me. Slow and steady he came right in. I kinda felt sorry for as much work as he had to put into die'n. :rof: It was the first time I had humped that real deep snow. I found that the same stands produces but you had to double the time on a stand. If I normally set a paticular stand for an hour then I stayed for 2 hours, etc. I also found that the 2nd and 3rd day after a big snow was the best.


It is snowing now and we have a full moon this week.The night hunting is going to be ROCKIN'. I can't wait to get out it's a whole idffrent game at night! :OUCH:

12-26-2007, 07:26 PM
salthunter, what part of the state? I live in Western NY between Buffalo and Niagara Falls.

Sent you a PM

01-02-2008, 07:33 AM

Been too busy hunting to reply until now. Heavy snow can make coyote hunting both very difficult and very easy. It makes it incredibly hard for the hunter and the coyote to get around. Much of the coyotes diet can swith to Carrion "dead animals" during phases like this. One day in ND, I came across 12 coyotes eating on a "dead pile" of cattle. We tried everything to get those coyotes to come in but why would they want to run any distance in heavy snow to eat a rabbit/fawn, etc when they were dining on steak. Challenging them didn't work because they were already fighting between each other with that many coyotes on a carcass.

In a case like this, waiting for the coyotes to leave and then setting up near the dead animal is a fantastic way to get them later. This isn't available very often so look for areas as others have mentioned where you can get in on the coyotes in areas where the snow is either hard or not as deep. Focus around areas where there are lots of cattle, deer, etc as the coyotes will be there to try and eat any dead animals, eat the cattle crap, after-birth if calving is going on plus the deer and/or cattle help break down the snow so coyotes can also move around better. All good options.

Personally, I prefer less snow but it can be great if you find the right places. When the weather gets really bad and snow heavy, many times the coyotes will hunt together to bring down bigger prey like deer. So, during times like this, I often switch from smaller prey like rabbits and birds to bigger game distress like deer. Switch vocalizations from territorial to more coyote fighting and or family sounds to try to get coyotes into the area to help kill the fawn/deer in distress.

Hope something helps out.

01-04-2008, 06:12 AM
thanks or the excellent points Kirsch!

We seem to be getting more and more snow on a daily basis. It is thigh deep on the flats and up past your waist in the drifts. I am going to take your advice and snowshoe into areas around deer yards. I have noticed sign on the deer trails while closing out the deer season last week.