The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

February 3, 2014

Outdoors Insider, with Dale Sunderlin: Stay safe on the ice

(Continued)

Get edyoumacated

There’s a little more or maybe a lot more to it than that. I’ve only been active at it for the last two or three years and believe me I’m a novice and definitely still learning. Two very good friends of mine, Tim Starkey and Scott Sutch, went to an ODNR Coyote Hunting Seminar a couple of weeks back at District 3 Headquarters in Akron and they said it was excellent.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend with them due to a broken pipe in my upstairs that bled down through my first floor and into the basement. My bad luck when it comes to attending seminars in Akron just never ceases to amaze me.

But the good news was that Tim being the professional that he is took some excellent notes, which he has allowed me to share with you:

Coyote Hunting, presented by Wildlife Management Supervisor Scott Peters

n Generally their habitat and food source area consists of a mix of farmlands and woods, which can boarder and encompass some urban areas as well as rural areas.

n Their hunting route maybe as big as 10 miles.

n They breed from January thru March with their gestation period being approximately 63 days.

n Female yotes will have 1 to 12 pups in April thru May.

n The pups will start hunting at 8 to 12 weeks old.

n The family will stay together thru the fall and then the young ones are run off

n Most of their diet consists of rabbit size animals or smaller and road kill.

n Coyotes will have an impact on small to medium size mammals, turkey, grouse, woodcock and waterfowl.

n Coyote will eradicate and or displace red and gray fox for food in their area. So generally if you see fox in your area there aren’t any coyotes around.

Firearms

Rifle wise, a .17 caliber or up to a .243 caliber for coyotes is more than sufficient. Cartridge wise a soft or hollow point is recommended. As a side note here I’ve talked with several coyote hunting fools who also use a 10 or 12 gauge shotgun with 00 Buck shot for the up close and in person shots, hence usually when they are hunting with coyotes dogs.

Best time to hunt:

If you’re hunting daytime the first two hours and last two hours are generally the best. In the depth of winter as we’re experiencing now just about anytime during the day could be good considering they’re out and about looking for a food source.

Locations to hunt:

Coyotes will take the path of least resistance, trails, edges of fields, logging roads, etc. Make sure you keep the sun at your back and sit in the shade, good camouflage will help also. Coyotes just like deer will use the down wind approach.

When moving to a new set up, from one setup to another they should be no less than half a mile apart. Coyotes have excellent hearing and it does no good to move a couple hundred yards and call to the same dead area you’ve been working for the last hour.

Electronic calling

Start by calling three to five minutes with a coaxer call using a low volume then wait a few minutes. Then use a distress sound at a low volume for 5 minutes, pause and wait a few minutes again.

At this point, when you start back up, use a moderate sound for 5 minutes, followed by a loud sound for 5 minutes. Take a break and again wait a few minutes. After the break start back up with a low volume coaxer again for 5 minutes. Call for a total of 30 minutes maximum at one location.

Don’t just sit there

Like I said, there’s a lot more to it than you might think but it’s an alternative to sitting around the house waiting for the snow to melt. Also, think of it this way — you’re helping the deer and turkey population out in Northeast Ohio.

The more coyote’s we harvest the less deer and turkey they’ll get. And this time of year is critical to harvest them. If they take down one doe that could be three deer they take out of the herd if that doe is carrying twins. And for every female yote we take now we could be depleting their population by up to 12 future coyote’s if she’s carrying that many.

Heck, you might even want to get in the Coyote Open contest. Do your part, get out there and hunt some yotes.

Remember, pass it on or it will surely pass on.

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