Unveiling the Secrets: When Is The Best Time to Hunt Coyotes?

Unveiling the Secrets: When Is The Best Time to Hunt Coyotes?

If the hunting bug has ever bitten you, you’ll know that half the thrill lies in the anticipation, the stalking, the waiting, and the eventual heart-pounding moment when you make your move. But wait, you can’t just waltz into the wilderness at any old time and expect to find a coyote served up on a silver platter. Oh no, sir! This begs the question: When is the best time to hunt coyotes? Strap in because we’re about to embark on a deep dive into the world of coyote hunting to answer that very question.

Understanding Coyotes: A Brief Profile

Understanding Coyotes: A Brief Profile

Alright, let’s get one thing straight: To hunt a coyote, you’ve got to think like a coyote. These critters are fascinating. Often described as cunning, coyotes are versatile predators that have adapted to a variety of environments, from deserts and plains to forests and even urban areas. They’re mainly nocturnal but can also be active during the day. And let’s not forget, they’re highly territorial creatures. What does all this mean for you, the hunter? But understanding a coyote’s behavior and habitat is the first step toward a successful hunt. Knowledge is power, my friends!

Seasonal Patterns: How Do Coyotes Behave?

Seasonal Patterns: How Do Coyotes Behave?

As the seasons change, so do the habits and activities of coyotes. Let’s break it down, shall we?

Spring Fever

Spring is when life begins anew, and this holds for coyotes as well. It’s the birthing season, which means female coyotes will be busy nursing and taking care of their pups. Male coyotes will be busy hunting to feed their families. So, is this a good time to hunt? Well, yes and no. While coyotes are preoccupied, they are also on high alert. Disturb their den, and they’ll become exceedingly wary, making them difficult to hunt.

Sizzling Summer

Come summer, and the pups are a bit older, eager to learn the ropes from their parents. Coyotes are busy teaching their young how to hunt and survive. What’s interesting is that during this time, coyotes are a little more reckless as they try to secure food for their families. Translation: this could be a window of opportunity for hunters.

Autumn Antics

The time when leaves change color, and there’s a chill in the air. It’s also when coyotes start preparing for winter. Food is abundant, and coyotes are less cautious. This could be an excellent time to hunt, especially for beginners.

Winter Woes

As winter sets in, food becomes scarcer, forcing coyotes to take more risks, which makes them vulnerable. The downside? They become more unpredictable and can cover vast distances in search of food, making them harder to locate.

Why Timing Matters in Coyote Hunting

Why Timing Matters in Coyote Hunting

So, why does timing matter? Good question! Coyotes, like humans, have their daily routines and seasonal habits. Hitting the field at the right time significantly improves your odds of a successful hunt. Think of it this way: You wouldn’t fish for trout in a muddy pond during a drought, would you?

Similarly, understanding the coyote’s daily and seasonal rhythms will put you several steps ahead in the hunting game. The more you know about when coyotes are most active or vulnerable, the better prepared you’ll be. So, timing isn’t just the icing on the cake. It’s an essential ingredient.

Day vs Night: The Ongoing Debate

Day vs Night: The Ongoing Debate

Ah, the age-old question: is it better to hunt coyotes during the day or at night? Honestly, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Both options have their perks and pitfalls.

Daylight Hunting

Let’s start with the daytime. One obvious advantage is visibility. You can see clearly, making it easier to spot and aim. The downside? Coyotes are incredibly cautious animals and are usually less active during the day, especially if they’ve had a run-in with hunters before.

Nocturnal Ventures

Now, what about nighttime? It’s a whole different ball game. The cover of darkness makes coyotes more active and a tad less cautious. However, hunting at night presents its challenges: reduced visibility, the need for specialized gear like night vision scopes, and, let’s not forget, the added spookiness that comes with darkness. To each his own, but know that both options require planning and experience.

Hunting Coyotes in Spring: Pros and Cons

Springtime brings with it a new set of challenges and opportunities.


  • Females are nursing, and males are hunting more frequently to provide for the family.
  • Coyotes are preoccupied with their young, offering hunters a chance to sneak in closer.


  • They are also on high alert and extremely protective of their territory.
  • Disrupt their den, and you might find yourself going home empty-handed.

The Summer Stretch: Can You Catch Coyotes?

The answer is a resounding yes! Summer is an interesting time to go coyote hunting.

The Good Stuff

  • Young coyotes are learning to hunt, making them less cautious and more prone to making mistakes.
  • Parent coyotes are focused on feeding and teaching their young, giving you more opportunities to find them.

The Caveats

  • The heat can be a factor. Hunting during the cooler early mornings or late evenings is generally better.
  • Beware of ticks and other summer-loving critters that can turn your hunting trip into an itchy affair.

Fall: The Season of Plenty

If there’s a jackpot season for hunting coyotes, many would argue it’s fall.

Why It’s Great

  • Food is abundant, making coyotes less cautious.
  • Cooler temperatures make for a more comfortable hunting experience.

What to Watch Out For

  • As the season progressed, coyotes might have had more encounters with hunters and could be more wary.
  • They are also bulking up for the winter, meaning they might roam less and be harder to find.

Winters: A Hunter’s Paradise?

When the snowflakes start to fall, does that mean it’s time to grab your gear and head out for a coyote hunt? Let’s dissect this notion.

The Pros

  • The scarcity of food during winter means coyotes are more likely to take risks, making them easier targets.
  • Tracks in the snow can make it easier to locate and follow them.

The Cons

  • Harsh weather conditions can make hunting more challenging for you. It’s cold out there!
  • Coyotes may have a larger range during winter, making them harder to locate.

Full Moon and Coyotes: Myth or Fact?

Full Moon and Coyotes: Myth or Fact?

Ah, the full moon. It’s been the subject of many a myth and folklore. But what about its impact on coyote behavior? Interestingly, studies suggest that coyotes are indeed more active during a full moon. The bright natural light makes hunting easier for them. However, this doesn’t necessarily make hunting easier for you. The added visibility can make coyotes more skittish and harder to approach.

The Role of Weather Conditions in Coyote Hunting

Mother Nature plays a pivotal role in any hunting expedition, and hunting coyotes is no exception.

Rainy Days

Contrary to what you might think, a drizzle is an excellent time to hunt. Coyotes are less likely to hear or smell you coming.

Do Coyotes Hunt In The Rain? Yes, coyotes are opportunistic predators and will hunt in the rain. Rain can make it harder for them to hear and smell prey, but it can also mask their own sounds and scents, offering a degree of stealth. Coyotes adapt to various conditions to ensure their survival.

Sunny Skies

While the nice weather might be pleasant for you, the sun makes it easier for coyotes to spot you from a distance.

Windy Conditions

The direction of the wind is crucial. Always make sure you’re downwind of the coyote to avoid your scent being carried to them.

Gearing Up: What Equipment Do You Need?

Gearing Up: What Equipment Do You Need?

Let’s talk gear. A successful hunt is only as good as the equipment you bring along.

  • Firearm: Choose your weapon carefully. A reliable rifle is often the best choice.
  • Optics: Don’t skimp on a good scope or binoculars.
  • Camouflage: From clothing to your hunting blind, make sure you blend in.
  • Boots: You’ll be doing a lot of walking, so invest in comfortable, waterproof boots.
Choosing the right clothing for a hunting trip is crucial. Opt for camouflage patterns that match your environment to blend in. Dress in layers to stay warm and remove or add clothing as needed. Wear moisture-wicking, scent-controlling fabrics, and invest in quality, waterproof boots. Prioritize safety and comfort while being mindful of local hunting regulations.

Coyote Calls: When and How to Use

A coyote call can be a game-changer. Using different calls to mimic wounded prey or coyote howls can lure them into the open. However, timing is crucial. Overdoing it can make you seem suspicious, and not doing enough can result in a missed opportunity.

Spotting Techniques: How to Locate Coyotes

Finding a coyote is half the battle. Here are some techniques to spot them:

  • Look for Signs: Tracks, droppings, or remnants of a kill can indicate a coyote’s presence.
  • Elevate: Being on higher ground gives you a better vantage point.
  • Quiet is Key: Coyotes have excellent hearing. Keep noise levels to a minimum when scouting.

Tracking Coyotes: The Signs You Should Look For

When you’re out in the field, your eyes and ears are your best tools. However, knowing what to look for can give you the upper hand.

Paw Prints

Unlike domestic dogs, coyotes have more oval-shaped tracks. Look for these in mud, soft ground, or snow.


Coyote droppings are another telltale sign. These are often filled with hair and bones, unlike domestic dog waste.


Coyotes are quite vocal, especially during their breeding season. Listen to their unique howls and yips to pinpoint their location.

When Is The Best Time To Hunt Coyotes?

Finally, the million-dollar question: When is the best time to hunt coyotes? After considering various factors such as season, time of day, and lunar cycles, the best time is often during their breeding season from late January through March. During this period, coyotes are especially active and easier to call in.

Planning Your Hunting Day: A Practical Guide

Organizing a coyote hunting trip isn’t something to wing. You’ll need a game plan.

Pre-Dawn Scouting

Early mornings can be golden opportunities as coyotes are often still active.

Mid-Day Lull

Coyotes are less active during mid-day. Use this time to relocate or take a break.

Evening Hunt

Many experienced hunters swear by late afternoon to dusk as prime coyote hunting time.

Dress Code: What to Wear When Hunting Coyotes

You might be tempted to go all “Rambo,” but practicality wins the day.

  • Camouflage: Blend in with your surroundings.
  • Layers: The weather can change quickly, so be prepared.
  • Boots: Comfortable and waterproof, a must-have for any hunter.

Safety Measures: Not to Be Ignored

Safety should always be your first concern.

  • Communicate: Always let someone know your location and plans.
  • First Aid: A basic kit can be a lifesaver.
  • Weapon Safety: Always treat your weapon as if it’s loaded.

Licenses and Legal Aspects of Coyote Hunting

Before you step foot in the field, make sure you’re well-versed in local laws and regulations. This often means acquiring the proper licenses and understanding the legal hunting times and zones.

Ethics of Hunting: Responsible Practices

Last but not least, ethical hunting should be at the forefront of any hunting trip. This includes respecting landowners’ property, minimizing suffering to animals, and adhering to “fair chase” principles.


Can I Hunt Coyotes Year-Round?

In most states, yes. Coyotes are often classified as a nuisance species, which usually means that they can be hunted year-round. However, laws and regulations vary by state, so check your local laws.

What’s the Best Caliber for Coyote Hunting?

The .223 Remington and the .243 Winchester are popular choices, but what matters most is your comfort and proficiency with the firearm.

Do I Need a Special License for Coyote Hunting?

It depends on the state. In some states, a general hunting license covers coyote hunting. In others, a special predator license might be required.

Are Coyotes Dangerous to Humans?

Generally, coyotes are more afraid of humans than we are of them. However, there have been instances of coyotes attacking small pets and even, in extremely rare cases, humans.

How Effective Are Coyote Calls?

When used properly, it is very effective. Coyote calls mimic prey animals like rabbits, rodents, or other coyotes and can be a great way to attract these cunning predators into the open.

What’s the Best Time of Day to Hunt Coyotes?

The best time can vary, but early morning and late evening are generally the most successful times for coyote hunting.


Well, there you have it, folks. Coyote hunting is a challenging yet rewarding endeavor that tests your skill, patience, and understanding of this cunning predator. Remember always to prioritize safety and to be respectful of the animals and the environment.

Rose B Walker

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