Early Season Predator Hunting

Submitted By Jimmy Estes Feb .22.2016

Have you got those summertime blues? If you are like me, you cannot wait for deer season to come around, but there is an option to consider this time of the year—early season predator hunting. Depending on where you live, most states have very liberal seasons on coyotes and it’s a great time not only to get outdoors but to also hone those shooting skills for this fall.

The calling tactics I use on early season coyotes aren't much different than what I use in the winter—a lot of prey distress sounds on my Johnny Stewart game calls and subtle coyote vocalizations on my Johnny Stewart hand calls. My scouting tactics are different, however. I do a lot of scouting, looking for and keying in on locations that have fresh agricultural activity, such as freshly bush hogged fields, fresh hay fields or maybe an area where cows are having calves. These places are a magnet for early season coyotes.

I also like to look for tracks and scat around the areas so I know that there have been coyotes there recently. Don’t rule out howling right at dark as a tool for locating coyotes for the next day's hunt. If your early season weather is like mine, hot and dry, try to make your best stands right at daylight and right at dark to increase your odds.

To get prepared for the hunt I use the same recipe—a shower with Scent-A-Way Green soap, dressing in the field, Fresh Earth Scent Wafers and a liberal spraying down with Scent-A-Way Max to optimize my chances in the field. Remember that coyotes in the early season react much like winter coyotes and come in from the downwind side so make your setups with this in mind.

Early season is a great time to get a jump on your predator population. Be sure to check your state regulations for season dates and bag limits, grab those Johnny Stewart game calls and get out there! Good hunting!!