Coyote-Takers Calendar: August

A month-by-month look at coyote habits.

Martin W. Duke | August 9, 2018

By Martin W. Duke and Renee Nolan

Once loaded up, I headed into the wind, making my way south and east. After 600 yards or so, I found a shadowed calling site with an excellent west, crosswind, and downwind view. Mostly, the cow-less pasture was cleanly open, except for the small, hardwood growth areas from habitual tractor bypass. This appeared to be excellent coyote habitat, including their being able to chase cottontails between occasional bramble and brushpiles. I decided for this set to unpack my inflatable fawn decoy and use white-tailed fawn and antelope distress sounds.

By this point of the summer, the August fawns are no longer weak and in constant hiding, so they accompany the does throughout their daily movements between bedding and feeding areas. While in seclusion, the does kept a watchful eye for any foul smelling intruders and could defend their offspring to a point, but now the young move freely and quickly, often times not in close proximity to mom’s watchful eye—but much in the eye of the cunning wild canines.

With the decoy positioned prominently, electronic call hidden and my face and hand camo in place, it was time for the music to make things happen. I blew the fawn-distress hand call with gusto for about a minute. I can create more volume, intensity and variation with the hand call. Then, quietly exchanging the hand-call with the e-call remote, I started the e-call.

Immediately, thundering hooves and a brown flash raced close by my side, kicking up dirt as a doe passed on the upwind side of my hide. If my back had not been against a tree, that agitated nanny doe would have trampled me on the way to the origin of the distressed fawn sounds. Visually, she was locked onto the fawn decoy that was 40 yards in front of me. Five feet from the call, she slammed on the brakes! Frozen in place, she found herself suspended between duty, maternity and electronic animation. Moments later when she put her nose to the ground, reality snuck back into her wildness. When she detected my scent from where I had walked out and placed the caller and decoy, she snorted, whirled and blasted out of there… but only 30 yards. It looked, moved and bawled like a fawn. But, it smelled like Martin! She could not make up her mind whether to rescue the fawn or herself.  With my position undetected, I stayed locked into my predator ambush stillness for more than 10 minutes as she continued her mental anguish. She would stomp around, stretch out her neck and nose toward the decoy and snort. Then, like a corralled colt, she would bolt back and forth, seemingly soliciting movement from the spotted fawn decoy to get it to follow her to safety.

Experienced predator hunters know the nanny doing her thing added realism to the setup that I couldn’t buy. I am always happy when crows begin swooping in or hawks attack my tail spinner. Several different levels of wildlife integration make the ruse more real. Seeing all that activity and stealing a meal on his mind, a jealous, hungry coyote will let his guard down and come running to the bullet.

I didn’t move or flinch. My left hand was on my bipod and right hand in the rifle’s pistol grip, with the stock firmly planted against my shoulder, as my eyes locked onto the pointy ears and low tail silhouette crossing the pasture, maneuvering for the downwind, exactly where my rifle was pointed…

Despite August’s heat and humidity, there is an excitement brewing as bowhunters prepare for deer season. Last August while coyote hunting, I called more than 150 adult does into bow range. Use this month to bundle your hunting. August is a good month to bundle your hunting efforts by making coyote-taking part of early morning scouting and season prep. After taking a coyote or three, hunters can then scout, trim shooting lanes and check stands.

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