Trying to start predator hunting

Discussion in 'Varmint Hunters Forum' started by Stealyourface, Sep 26, 2017.

  1. Stealyourface

    Stealyourface Refuge Member

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    I'm planning on doing some predator hunting at the end of fear season. I've done a fair amount of reading on coyote hunting, but don't have any real experience. I have about 80 acres of hardwoods to hunt. And by my count, when I walked the woods a few weeks ago, there were over 10 dens that I saw. There are supposed to be a good number of fox and bobcats as well. I've never seen a bobcat there, but I found some tracks in the spring. I thought I was crazy at first, but after talking to a few folks I'm told we have a good many. I have an electronic call already and a lure. I have a 243, that will probably only be used hunting a field at my buddies house, but have an AR and shotgun to use in my woods. My bow too, I guess. Anybody bow hunt predators? Anyway, I've done a lot of ready on coyotes, but how would you approach bobcat?
     
  2. StrutNut

    StrutNut New Member

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    Bobcats often like the soft stuff and they will take their time coming in. Fox will typically come in right away but often hang up so be ready. Coyotes are pretty aggressive but can come from a long distance so a 20 minute calling sequence is pretty normal. For only 80 acres its kind of one and done as your calling will cover all that and then some. I have had coyote's come in from several miles. Start soft, increase volume and dial it back as they are coming in has worked best for me. Your shotgun will kill more than anything else you mentioned. I often carried both when calling in the woods but I do prefer a rifle in open country. If you have that many yotes in a small acreage and are planning on hunting deer I would get a trapper in there or learn to trap as it is a much more effective way of managing the population.
     
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  3. calling4life

    calling4life Elite Refuge Member

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    Go out about 15 minutes after sunset and howl, a long "who's here" howl, sit quiet and listen for responses. That'll give you an idea of the coyotes, just don't drive up in your 900hp drag car blaring music, quiet, shut all the lights off, shut the power off, give it a second, howl, and then listen. Don't drive up in a 900hp drag car, don't be blaring music, pull up quiet, shut the vehicle and lights off, howl, and wait. Do it on a calm night too.

    You can actually hear coyotes from a long, long way away if things are quiet enough, but when listening this closely, even things like crickets will pi$$ you off with their noise.

    I don't hunt bobcats, but I'd be sitting 40+ minutes, and given that you only have 80 acres, if that was all I was going to hunt, it's what, 3 stands, I'd be sitting on each stand for an hour or so.

    A lot of my coyotes have been killed at 40+ minutes too.
     
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  4. Stealyourface

    Stealyourface Refuge Member

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    Well, truth be told, there are about 10 stands on that 80 acres. But only 3, at most are ever going to be hunted at a time, during deer season. I'll probably be the only person chasing coyotes and bobcats.

    If I was going to try up to 3 spots in a day, I'd divide the property into 3 zones, north, which borders the creek, east, which borders another property but is maybe only 1/4 mile from the highway, and west, which also borders another property, but is maybe 1/4-1/2 mile from the wma. The south side is bordered by fields.

    I tried on stand for about 3 hours one day during the summer. 3 hours was about all I could stand in that sweat box. At the time, I was thinking that my calling could probably cover the entire woods from that one spot. But I did start a little early, maybe 3 in the afternoon. I thought at that time of year that they might be more active during the day if there had been a litter in the spring. But I probably hung it up a little early. After I packed up and headed to the truck I started hearing some yips off in the distance.

    Of the ones I've actually seen, it's always been in the morning, all the way up to 8 or 9 a.m. But I can't go into the woods without finding tracks. I'm not sure if the number of dens I've seen is truly indicative of the population. Some could be old, I guess. I don't know. One of the guys that has been deer hunting there for the past 10-15 years said there are 6 or 7 packs on or using the property. Personally, that seems like too large a number for that acreage. But I'm no expert. I don't know how he came to that count anyway. He also said he had a pack chase him up into a tree stand a few years ago. It's not impossible, but that'd be pretty bold.

    I may try that calling after dark and listening. I've heard try that, but hadn't really thought to do it.

    Also, I hadn't really thought about trapping until it was mentioned above. But if the population is that dense, I may need to consider it.

    Another question, regarding wind. I've read about how to set up with the wind for coyotes and bobcats, but in the thick of the woods, there is little to no wind. The air just isn't moving. How would you approach that.
     
  5. calling4life

    calling4life Elite Refuge Member

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    Throughout the years I've heard plenty of arguments on wind regarding coyotes, bobcats, they say it isn't such a big deal. But coyotes, you hear 80% of the time they'll circle downwind to get the scent, so hunt with the wind in your face... Which doesn't make sense to me, if 80% of the time, my coyote is going to circle downwind to get my scent, then why don't I just make downwind my killbox, this way downwind puts him exactly where I want him, hunt with the wind at my back.

    There were great coyote hunters that hunted while smoking cigars, great coyote hunters that hunt with the wind at their back, at their front, and every other which way.

    My view, at the very least, have a good view of your downwind, because if the real stat is even just 51% of your coyotes are getting downwind, and you hunt with the wind at your face, you're missing the majority of your dogs. I actually hunted quite a bit with the wind at my back, and I've had coyotes within an honest pee stream distance straight in front of me, they have incredible noses, the real question is, what do they do with the information. Some coyotes may nose a human and 100% of the time, they run away, they are gone, some, may curiously follow the scent in, some, know that human means deer hunter, which means gut pile, some, know it means getting shot at.

    They'll smell you, rubber suit wont help, coyotes are too good, be aware of that and be a predator, decide what you want to do and try it, if you make a stand with the wind at your back and you find that the coyotes are bailing before you can get eyes on them, try the wind in your face, if you then walk out and see fresh tracks behind you, maybe a crosswind. You may also find that you'll need to do something more along the lines of finding barriers, like hunting with your back against a lake, mountain, hunting in a valley where there's really only one or two ways in and out, something that limits how the coyote can get in, therefore exposing them to being predictable.

    They're a predator, they are intelligent, they are curious, they are territorial, they eat, they mate, they battle, they aren't easy and I'm certainly not a pro. I moved, so I'm now going to be hunting thick wooded areas too, my plan of attack is to find beaver ponds, rivers, creeks, snowmobile trails, etc... to use to expose them, but I'll be hunting them in winter. They'll use those areas as walkways and ambush points naturally, hunting them now, with foliage, it's just flat difficult, but can certainly be done. MFK calls, they do a lot of coyote killing in the woods, they have many YouTube videos you should check out of them doing such.
     
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  6. tornadochaser

    tornadochaser Elite Refuge Member

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    80 acres? I'd be running trail cameras over a bait pile to get a determination of what species are active. Calling will work, but with that small of a property you'll educate yotes real fast. I would lean towards archery/shotgun over the bait pile (if legal in your area) or trapping.
     
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  7. Stealyourface

    Stealyourface Refuge Member

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    I just came in from deer hunting. Saw 3 opening day (Saturday) but nothing this morning. While sitting in the stand I heard a cotton tail in distress, nearby. The initial call was loudish, but the intermittent calling afterwards was much softer. I noticed that all the squirrels disappeared for a while after that. I was hoping that given the lack of deer I might just have the opportunity to sling an arrow at a coyote. But if he was there, I never saw him. Went to check my cameras in the way out. There is a den near one. There are entrances that look like they were going to the same den, feet apart. One has fresh dirt around it. I don't think that hole was there before, but I could be wrong. This would've been near where I heard the cotton tail. I've never picked up anything on my cameras but deer and squirrels. But I finding coyote and bobcat tracks isn't a problem. I may lower my cameras a bit. I've been kind of surprised that I haven't caught any coyotes on them. Lots of pictures in the middle of the night, but nothing ever seems to be on them.
     
  8. tornadochaser

    tornadochaser Elite Refuge Member

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    Watch coyote activity long enough and you'll find out that a lot of those "dens" are holes made by badgers digging for gophers.
     
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  9. Stealyourface

    Stealyourface Refuge Member

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    While possible, I don't think we have badgers in north Alabama.
     
  10. Vahunter

    Vahunter Senior Refuge Member

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    Or skunks, or fox, or.....
     

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