How to Hunt Coyotes at Night


The Coyote is a wild animal of the dog family native to North America. It is quite hilarious that people mistake coyotes for dogs. However, coyotes also mate with dogs and the offspring are called 'coy dogs.'

Coyotes have narrow, elongated snouts, lean bodies covered in thick fur, amber or yellow eyes and long, bushy tails. Their different fur colors depend on where they live; these colors include; white, tan, gray and brown.

Coyotes are smaller than wolves and as big as medium-sized dogs. It is becoming quite common to find coyotes in big cities like New York and Los Angeles because humans have further taken over the countryside. They are solitary animals who mark their territory with urine.

You can be pretty lucky at calling coyotes during the daytime, but the night hunt will produce a truckload. Coyotes are nocturnal (they sleep during the day and hunt at night). It is best to go with a partner when hunting for coyotes at night.


If the hair on your neck stands like porcupine quills at the sight of a coyote, I'd advise you stay back because coyotes are no joke. When set out to hunt coyotes, all you need is courage and these basic hunting tips which I will share with you folks.

Before going on your hunting trip, it is important that you pack a few essentials that will make your hunting worthwhile.

Get water, food, snacks and enough fuel to take you to the hunting grounds and back home.

Tips on how to hunt Coyotes at night


You and your partner(s) should discuss on signs to use when any of you spots a coyote. If you're hunting with a partner, this is not the time to share stories but a time to limit your noise. You don't want to talk loudly and get paranoid coyotes suspicious. If you must talk, do so with whispers.

Arrange your gear and be careful not to slam car doors, bang gun cases in the back of the truck, else your hunting could be ruined.


Coyotes can be located by listening attentively. This is because they are among the most vocal predators. They use their howls to make territorial boundaries, to scare enemies and to communicate with other coyotes. Sometimes they make noise, for the fun of it.

Hunt Early:

Hunting early allows for you to access the pups that haven't felt hunting pressure or heard a call. As early days of the summer disappears, coyote pups become autonomous and explore their environment without the watchful eyes of elderly coyotes.

The best coyote hunting takes place as soon as furs prime in late October for north locations and November for the remaining parts of the country.

Wear Full Camouflage:

Wear dark colored socks and shoes; black or brown, no white. Cover your face, torso and hands.


During the day, you will not need light, but at night the light is the key to having a successful hunt.

However, a clear light seems to make things quite easy. But really, the light will not hypnotize it. I mean, it's not some compelling force to make it "walk toward the light" like the poltergeist girl. A clear light will usually frighten the coyote long before you can get a shot.

The best light to use is a red light which makes the harsh bright light a soft red; it will illuminate the eyes even better, and not chase or intimidate it. Be smart to keep the light just above the predator while he comes closer. Some coyotes are 'light shy.' This can affect the brightness of your light because it is best your make your even light dimmer; it may allow shy dogs approach you for a shot.

Mouth Calls:

Whatever mouth calls you're accustom to using at day time should be fine for the night. While a howler can be used, a distress call has always seemed to be the best bet. The predator needs to be focused in your direction to reflect the light, enabling you to see him.

To avoid a coyote's predisposition to paranoia, use confidence calls as well. An example of confidence calls is; "hey over here," "come get me." After waiting for a few minutes to see if the coyote will respond, begin with a set of prey-in-distress calls, and finish with a howl which you have rehearsed. Sometimes, the howling helps to boost its confidence.

Entry of Calling Area from the Back Door:

Before going for a hunt, take note of how ranchers and farmers design entrances to fields and pastures. Some have the main entrance for visitors.

Coyotes are smart enough to notice busy routes and roads. Thus, they shy away from them.

Most times, you really can't avoid the main entrances so once you’re inside, find a safe and unused calling spot, out of the eyes of paranoid coyotes.

Vary Your Traps:

Variety is the key to a good hunt. Vary your hunting style. Don't use same calling styles, same techniques or methods every time. Try to diversify; this is because using the same methods will only work for a while, but soon enough they will find out that something is wrong and avoid the trap.

Try something new like using a remote E-caller, particularly models that allow remote operation. By placing it down range and up wind your location, you divert your predator's attention from you to another spot.

You should learn how to handle the remote, how to on and off, increase or decrease the volume to attract your predator. The remote helps to focus the coyote's attention on a spot away from yours, while you control the buttons.

Use Several Calls:

I read some books and articles by professional callers in the past. One thing I got from them is never to change calls on a stand; else it will alert the coyote that something fishy is going on.

Gary Roberson routinely uses two or more calls during set ups. He often starts with a rabbit-in-distress but switches to a higher-pitched call when he spots an approaching coyote and also to alert his partners. Roberson makes a great result.


Judging the distance at night can be a difficult task to do. Talk to your partner about the range estimate and try to familiarize with the terrain. The distance during the day is not the same at night. Shoot carefully so that you won't regret later. Last two years, our neighbor shot my dog, and I was really sad about it.


Texas night hunters are really good at scanning at night. I went hunting with them one time, and I learned how to scan fast. Be quick, your main objective is to catch eyes and not body. When you realize that your goal is to hit something reflective, you'd know how important it is to be fast enough.

If it takes more than five seconds to scan a field, then you're slow. Your partner should take half of the field while you take the other half.


Once you've noticed a pair of eyes, use the edge of your light as 'halo' effect to follow the animal. Most of the time you have to avoid shining the brightest part of the beam into their eyes, you can point it at them. Remember the light is camouflage. Note that no two coyotes are the same.

Rehearse For Tough Shots:

Practice different shooting angles. My granddad preferred to position himself high above his calling site. Bullets make greater impacts than the reason for the aim.

Always be prepared with your rifle. They can arrive within the first minute of calling and sometimes arrive late. Be very still after calling and try to be subtle with your hands and body movement while calling.

Be careful not to scare them, coyotes are quick creatures; they can run around 40miles (64 kilometers) per hour. If two coyotes answer your call at the same time, target one first else you may lose both.

Do not waste any time because immediately it sees you; it will run. To kill a coyote, you need to aim the vital organs, which are located just above the forelimbs; they include; lungs, liver, and heart.

Moon Phase:

Canines see well at night, and a moonlit night is perfect for them to hunt for food. This is one of the reasons you need to use light as your camouflage. Just like when someone flashes light into your eyes in the dark, it takes some time for you to adjust to the light.

In the same way, when the light is flashed into their eyes, it creates a new contrast, and their eyes won't pick you out easily like they can under the moonlight.

Now that you've got the perfect tips for hunting a coyote at night, it shouldn’t be much of an issue finding those wild dogs and bagging a few to take home as souvenirs of a great time out hunting!

    Alison Lawrence

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