Author: Michael T. Huff, CoyoteLight Pro Staff
September 10th, 2014
If you hunt coyotes for reasons other than pelts, early season hunting can be the best of the year! Still not motivated to hit the fields and woods? Consider the reasons below why you should begin your coyote hunting season this month:
• Population Density
In September, coyote populations are at a high point. In many states, pups are born in April and typically disperse between October through January. High mortality occurs during the dispersal period, as pups are frequently killed in automobile accidents and many other causes which result from traveling long distances through unfamiliar territory.
• Response to Calls
Since pups are still with their parents in September, pup distress calls and territorial coyote calls may elicit a greater response from the alpha male and female during this time period.
• Hunting Pressure
In many states, once October arrives, hunters begin to saturate the woods and fields in search of both small and large game. Prior to this time, coyotes have enjoyed relatively light human pressure during the hot summer months. As such, coyotes may be less weary in responding to calls while the woods are still relatively free of constant human intrusion.
• Trapping Seasons
Trappers are very efficient in harvesting large volumes of predators. In my home state of Pennsylvania, trappers harvest 8 fox for every 2 harvested by predator hunters. I would infer that trappers also take a significant portion of the coyote harvest. However, trapping seasons do not begin until early winter. Therefore, hunting in September occurs before trapping begins and coyotes are more abundant.
• Virgin Ears
Many of your calls will fall on the virgin ears of the new crop of coyotes that have never heard the calls of any predator hunter.
• Practice Makes Perfect
During my first two or three hunts each season, I am a bit rusty in my hand calling, silent approach and set up, and remembering all of my gear. Typically, I find that I forget something or find something that needs to be replaced or repaired. Hunting early allows you to work out the bugs prior to the opening of bobcat and fox seasons so you are completely at your best and in the zone when all furbearers are on the menu.
As an example, my first coyote hunt this season occurred in late August when I took out Luke Long, CoyoteLight V.P. of Marketing. Mounted on my Savage Model 12 in .243 Win. was a new 6-24x scope. On the second set, a red fox popped out of the high soybean field in front of me thirty yards away. At 6 power, I could not find the fox in my scope before it left. I realized immediately the field of view was too small and sold my new scope the next day and replaced it with a model with a wider field of view.
• Cool Nights Emerge
After Labor Day passes, nights tend to become much cooler than they were in August. In my own experience, I have more coyotes respond on cool nights in September. In essence, this month is a transition month, similar to March. I believe the cool nights are more significant to coyotes because they still experience fairly warm daytime temperatures during September. As such, I try to plan my hunts on nights with no moon or a moon with limited illumination, and cool temperatures.
When you really consider all of the benefits of hunting coyotes in September, it pays to head out and enjoy some of the best hunting of the year! Good luck, hunt safe, and hunt with the best light for the best results, CoyoteLight!