Coyote-Takers Calender: September

Leave the e-call at home, and call up both coyotes and does with fawn distress.

Martin W. Duke | September 8, 2018

By Martin W. Duke and Renee Nolan

Traditional hunting season has arrived, and even though summer’s heat has waned only a few degrees from the past 60-day average, our excitement is on the rise for all the possibilities and adventures ahead. For predator hunters, fall’s arrival is only a page turn during our continual pursuit for those that take from us, and it only marks a slight change of pace and perspective in our quests. For me, fall resembles the beginning of a physical calendar of sorts, with August being the holiday period where coyote-taking picks up as described in August’s article, and big game hunting options begin. The big plus is the hard work done in August is about to pay big benefits with the beginning of archery season, because our effective use of fawn distress has shown us where big pockets of doe groups are located.

I once heard one of America’s most successful game-call producers, Mr. Will Primos, ask the famous midwestern coyote yodeler, Randy Anderson, “If you were only allowed one call in your pocket, which one would it be?”

Mr. Anderson’s immediate reply, “Lil’ Dog.” That not only shows his faith in the call’s effectiveness, but also reveals its versatility. The Lil’ Dog is an open-reed style call that can reproduce mouse peeps, distress calls of birds, rabbits, fawns and pup whines. It is also a great pup howler.

A great thing about modern e-calls is their extensive call inventory. Each of the boxes I use contain more than 120 different sounds. To simplify, I only use a few, knowing that my setup is far more important than call variation. Free hands are important. That is why I am a dedicated diaphragm-type call user. It allows my left hand to remain on the bipod’s controls and my right hand on the pistol grip applying constant pressure to the shouldered rifle, thereby minimizing movement at critical times when a coyote appears in close proximity, instead of my fumbling with a hand-call while trying to quietly set it down when finished with the call sequence.

With the mouth diaphragm, many different prey distress and coyote vocalizations are possible, but I only use lonesome howls, coyote/pup distress and rabbit distress. I can easily vary volume, length of note, intensity and cadence without any of the repetition that e-calls produce—not that a coyote is a music major and can discern the difference. Those are the same sounds I can produce with iconoclastic, short-barreled Lil’ Dog. However, while using the mouth diaphragm, I am able to keep my free hands in the action. My e-call’s remote is velcroed to my bipod, and I operate it with my left hand while it’s positioned on the bipod’s grip.

With the exception of the snow goose spring migration, hunters aren’t allowed to use electronic calls to take game animals. This is an important distinction between coyote hunting, a non-game species for which there are no seasons or bag limits, versus what I do on a deer stand beginning in archery season. All those adult does that came running in during August to the hand call’s fawn distress, now they get the arrow! When Mr. Wiley E. shows up, he gets the arrow, too. Ensure there are no e-calls present during this bundling of hunting efforts, lest one runs afoul of various values, morals, ethics and legislation.

On opening day of deer season, there will never be as many deer nor coyotes in the state until the opening day of deer season next year. The pace of seasonal take is increasing. Coyote pups are fully weaned and on their own, learning how to make a living without guidance, which makes them vulnerable to the elevated and scent-conscious bowhunter.

A productive tactic that can break up the long morning sit is to chime in the hour for the first five minutes of each hour in stand. I lonesome howl a bit, throw in a few pup distress notes, and definitely use the hand call fawn distress. These are naturally occurring sounds in the woods that all animals are accustomed to hearing. It has been my experience for years that doing so produces both more venison and early fall fur.

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