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Thread: Coyote hunting from an Iowans point of view

  1. #1

    Default Coyote hunting from an Iowans point of view

    Serious coyote hunting season starts after the first snow fall usually mid December and goes until after the coyotes are done breeding which is usually about the first or second week in feb.. Snowfall is critical, we have had winters with very little snow and in such winters the coyote numbers sore. First you can't spot them and second you can't track them. Last winter we had 60 inches of the stinking white stuff and spent more time dragging each other out of snow drifts than hunting.

    Our method of hunting is totally legal and is a lot of fun. Most everyone in our group is 50-75 years old(except for our offspring that are starting to tag along some) and we know all of the farmers in the area thus we have a green light to access 99% of the land in 3 counties. Most land in these parts is sectioned off into 1 square mile areas with roads every mile both east and west and north and south. We have a few sections that are 2 miles between roads but not many. The average saturday coyote hunt begins as the sun is coming up. By then I am usually already a few miles from town on a gravel road eyeballing the country side for a coyotes. Silence will be broken on my FM radio as the guys are starting to get out and around. We do a head count to see who all got out of bed and who is nursing hangovers (never me...I don't drink). Then we all meet at a starting point and get after it. The normal procedure is to circle the section with at least one truck on each of the 4 roads making up the perimeter of the section and then one or two or more vehicles drive back into the section and jump the coyotes. We keep track of them visually and with the radio guide each other to a place where we can get in front of the coyote and cut him off and get some shooting.

    Early in the season the new hatch of coyotes are kinda dumb and the ones that don't wise up quickly are the first to die. During this part of the season most of the shooting is inside 200 yards. As the season progresses the now educated coyotes need a little more gun as they tend to hang up further out, it's not uncommon to see one crouching low to the ground at 500 yards just watching the trucks and when they do jump it's balls to the walls shooting and often at 300+ yards.

    4 or 5 years ago our group killed 119 coyotes in one season and never got more than 20 miles from home while doing so. Last winters 60 inches of snow made it so you couldn't drive anywhere without getting stuck and we only killed 48. The ideal winter is 2 inches of fresh snow every friday night....like thats gonna happen...and no wind....that aint gonna happen either.

    These are the guns that the guys in our group use

    Jonsey-BPS AR223- He's the worst shot in the group..shoots a lot of bullets though

    Kenny-Bushmaster AR 223 varmint usually only hunts the early season when the pickins are good.

    Steve H- Remington 700 220 Swift with a McGowen varmint barrel , uses it all season.

    Gus- Savage varminter in 22-250 also his all season gun.

    Jimmy-Uses a Wilson custom AR 223 early in the season then breaks out a Ruger 77 in 220 Swift and once in a while late in the season he uses a Wizzby MK5 in 257WBY.

    Denny -75 years old and can still shoot. Denny used a Browning BAR in 243 for years and just recently switched to a RR AR in 243. I witness him killing a pair of coyotes last winter at over 300 yards running broadside full out. 2 Shots 2 dead coyotes.

    Andy- Uses a Wichester Coyote in 22-250 early in the season then switches to a 270 WBY mag as the dogs get smart.

    Steven(my son) stole my mini14 a few years ago and he likes it. Last year was his first year with us and he's still a little green. He made a few of them run faster if that counts.

    Me- I've used a Ruger 77 in 243 for 95% of my hunting. I have others but this is the one I have confidence in. However at least some of the early season dumb coyotes are going to get shot at with a 30-30 this winter.

    Perry- Perry joined this group about the same time I did back in 1980. He has been shooting the same Winchester model 70 in 22-250 since a kid (a hundred dead coyotes prior to joining the group). He is the best shot in the group. If a coyote runs past him inside 300 yards and doesn't die then that coyote is having a very good day. The year we killed 119 coyotes Perry accounted for 52 of them. The rest of us chased them around flinging bullets at them and making them run faster then eventually they would run past Perry and die. I would put this guy up against anyone anywhere in the world for his ability kill stuff on the run at great distances. Perry sometimes hunts during the week while the rest of us are working( he works nights) and he has a knack for jumping them on his own and killing them before they get away. I think it would be safe say that that one rifle has killed a thousand coyotes over the last 30 years.

    There ya have it! No bears, no moose, no caribou, no goats( none ya should probably shoot anyway) but lots and lots of coyotes!

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by elmerkeithclone View Post
    ...but lots and lots of coyotes!
    And one whale of a lot fun!

  3. #3
    Member Nukalpiaq's Avatar
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    EKC, now that was a good write up on coyote hunting down in your part of the country. Sounds like your area has high coyote productivity, especially if the numbers have been sustaining the hunts for the last 30 years. Let us know how your 30-30 does this winter.

  4. #4

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    What part of Iowa?

  5. #5
    Member mit's Avatar
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    Back in my Nebraska days they used planes for spotters and pick-up's with dogs. Don't know if they still do. That was the 70's
    Tim

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    Quote Originally Posted by elmerkeithclone View Post
    Serious coyote hunting season starts after the first snow fall usually mid December and goes until after the coyotes are done breeding which is usually about the first or second week in feb.. Snowfall is critical, we have had winters with very little snow and in such winters the coyote numbers sore. First you can't spot them and second you can't track them. Last winter we had 60 inches of the stinking white stuff and spent more time dragging each other out of snow drifts than hunting.

    Our method of hunting is totally legal and is a lot of fun. Most everyone in our group is 50-75 years old(except for our offspring that are starting to tag along some) and we know all of the farmers in the area thus we have a green light to access 99% of the land in 3 counties. Most land in these parts is sectioned off into 1 square mile areas with roads every mile both east and west and north and south. We have a few sections that are 2 miles between roads but not many. The average saturday coyote hunt begins as the sun is coming up. By then I am usually already a few miles from town on a gravel road eyeballing the country side for a coyotes. Silence will be broken on my FM radio as the guys are starting to get out and around. We do a head count to see who all got out of bed and who is nursing hangovers (never me...I don't drink). Then we all meet at a starting point and get after it. The normal procedure is to circle the section with at least one truck on each of the 4 roads making up the perimeter of the section and then one or two or more vehicles drive back into the section and jump the coyotes. We keep track of them visually and with the radio guide each other to a place where we can get in front of the coyote and cut him off and get some shooting.

    Early in the season the new hatch of coyotes are kinda dumb and the ones that don't wise up quickly are the first to die. During this part of the season most of the shooting is inside 200 yards. As the season progresses the now educated coyotes need a little more gun as they tend to hang up further out, it's not uncommon to see one crouching low to the ground at 500 yards just watching the trucks and when they do jump it's balls to the walls shooting and often at 300+ yards.

    4 or 5 years ago our group killed 119 coyotes in one season and never got more than 20 miles from home while doing so. Last winters 60 inches of snow made it so you couldn't drive anywhere without getting stuck and we only killed 48. The ideal winter is 2 inches of fresh snow every friday night....like thats gonna happen...and no wind....that aint gonna happen either.
    Great post.

  7. #7

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    Serious coyote hunting is all year round, or should be.
    PROUD TO BE A VETERAN

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Water-Man View Post
    Serious coyote hunting is all year round, or should be.
    Not possible here. 40% of the landscape is waist deep in soybeans from sometime in june until november and another 40 percent is head high with corn. I suppose if you could call one out onto the gravel road you'd be ok. Very, very little pasture ground left to call one out into. It just isn't worth the effort and nobody does it!

  9. #9
    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    Nice post EKC, sounds like we have identical coyote hunting methods. I stopped this type of hunting some years back - the group thing - the guys that still do it have been getting a little grief from Wardens last few years though.
    One guy got a ticket for "obstructing justice" when a warden checked him and while they were going over the stuff this guys brother called him on the radio to see where they were and he simply said we are being checked by a warden. Warden said it was a tip off to the other hunters and that was obstruction!
    I guess some of the guys had been shooting from the roadway at the coyotes and that's a no no for sure - so they have been watched pretty hard. Mind you most of these are gravel roads with very limited traffic - but still a road....
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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