If you’re a beginner bow hunter who is looking for tips on how to hunt coyote, you’ve come to the right place!
In this guide, we’re going to outline everything you need to know when trying to hunt coyotes using a bow. Whether you’re a bow or crossbow coyote hunter, there will be plenty of helpful coyote hunting tips in this guide for you to take with you on the hunt.
Let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
- How To Hunt Coyote – Choosing The Right Bow
- Guide to Hunting Coyote With A Bow or Crossbow
- How To Hunt Coyote – Coyote Hunting FAQ
How To Hunt Coyote – Choosing The Right Bow
If you’re looking to hunt coyotes with a bow, you’re going to want to ensure you have the right tool for the job. It’s very important to use the right kind of bow if you want a successful kill on a coyote.
If you’re a seasoned predator hunter, you’ll know that it’s easier to have a successful coyote hunt with a gun rather than a bow. But that’s the thrill of bowhunting, am I right!? To the NRA family out there, we really recommend you try a bow!
Predator hunting with a bow is a real challenge and requires different tactics, strategy and skills to those used in deer hunting or when hunting other prey animals. Predators operate very similarly to bow hunters, utilizing stealth and preparation to swing the odds in their favor. You will just have to be better, and being successful starts with having the right weapon.
What kind of bow should I use?
When going for a coyote hunt with a bow, your job will be made easier with tactical crossbow rather than a compound bow or recurve bow. A crossbow will give you more range and more power over that range than a regular bow can hope to achieve. This allows you to remain in stealth from longer distances and still achieve a clean kill.
Crossbow Recommendation: TenPoint Titan M1 Crossbow
- ALL-TIME BEST SELLER - One of the best values on the crossbow market, the Titan M1 measures a compact 9” wide and shoots up to 370 feet per second with same-hole accuracy.
- SMOOTH, ACCURATE SHOOTING - Powered by VX-5 inverted cams that elongate the power stroke and increase rotation, the Titan M1 delivers lethal accuracy shot after shot. Plus, the T5 trigger reduces friction and delivers a crisp, consistent break.
- ULTRA-LIGHT DESIGN - One of the lightest & easiest-to-handle TenPoint crossbows at just 6.4 lbs, the Titan M1 features a stock with optimal comb height, an adjustable butt plate, and strategically placed cutouts that reduce weight & improve balance.
If you’re looking to hunt coyotes with a crossbow, we’d recommend a crossbow like the TenPoint Titan M1 Crossbow. This crossbow offers a great balance of features. It’s compact and boasts an ultralight design, making it perfect for maneuvering in tight spaces like within a ground blind for bowhunting or a hang on tree stand, both of which are super useful on a coyote hunt.
It gives a clean, fast shot at 370 feet per second, which is incredibly powerful but not so fast that it loses accuracy. The crossbow scope which comes with the pre-installed is also quite decent and enables pinpoint accuracy over a large distance. It also features a hyper sensitive trigger and smooth, balanced cams for deadly silence, a critical element for a coyote hunt.
Compound Bow Recommendation: SAS Fued Compound Bow
- Upgraded from our SAS Top Rated Feud bow, the all new designed aluminum riser makes it lighter and faster.
- IBO Speed: 300 FPS+
- Draw Weight: 30-70 lbs
If you’re a dedicated bow hunter and want a real challenge, it is possible to take down a coyote with a regular bow. You’ll struggle to get close enough to make a shot with a recurve bow count, but you can definitely still hunt coyote with a compound bow.
What makes the compound bow package stand out is that focus on deadly silence. Coyotes senses are highly attuned and your best chance of successfully taking one down will come from minimizing any chance they have to see, smell or hear you. This SAS Fued compound bow package comes pre-fitted with noise dampeners on the string and limbs and also features a drop-away arrow rest, making it practically noiseless to shoot.a major advantage when hunting coyote.
On top of the that, this weapon is lightweight at only 3.9 pounds, pre-fitted with a 3-pin bow sight for increased accuracy, and able to shoot at over 300 feet per second, giving you the deadly power you need to take down your prey in a single shot.
Guide to Hunting Coyote With A Bow or Crossbow
Now that you’re familiar with the kind of bow you need for a successful coyote hunt, it’s time to dive into everything you need to know to get the perfect shot.
Step 1: Searching for Coyote
The first step to successfully hunting coyotes is finding them. This might seem like stating the obvious but it can actually by quite hard to locate coyotes as they are animals that are constantly on the move throughout their habitat.
Your starting point should be habitat maps. Coyotes, more specifically the Eastern Coyote or canis latrans, are found throughout North America in both Canada and the United States. You can click here to see a map of different states and provinces where coyotes can be found.
Always remember to read the official journal from your state’s wildlife commission for regulations and laws regarding coyote hunts in your area. (See examples here from Massachusetts, West Virginia, and South Carolina) This can give you a better picture of ideal hunting seasons, times, locations, and rules to know before you hunt.
Once you’ve narrowed it down a little, you’ll need to start searching in places where coyotes like to forage and hunt. They live in all kinds of areas but tend to frequent farms, flatlands, grassy plains and wooded areas. They also tend to focus on gullies and valleys in hilly country. A good place to get some ideas is Google Maps. Make sure you have a the satellite view on and search for places where coyotes would typically be found.
You should definitely talk to the local hunting community too. Visit the pro shop and ask about coyote sightings or chat on hunting forums on your preferred social media platform. It’s also a good idea to get in touch with local farmers. They may be experiencing problems with coyote taking out their livestock or know of a fellow farmer with a similar problem. You can then get permission from landowners to hunt there.
Once you’ve found an area with reports of recent coyote activity, it’s time to do some scouting. Walk the area in search of evidence of these wily predators. If you’re very lucky, you’ll catch a glimpse of the creatures as they search for food, but oftentimes it’s not that easy. Instead, keep your eyes peeled for tracks, den areas, feces, fur and leftovers from the pack’s kills. These are all great signs that you’re getting close!
Step 2: Using Coyote Call Sounds aka Locating Coyote
Okay, so you’re off to a great start. Having found some evidence the that coyote pack has been nearby recently, you might think you’re ready to set up your hunt. But don’t jump the gun just yet! Unless you’ve had visual confirmation of the coyotes lurking in the area, you shouldn’t commit to the location.
In addition to spotting the yotes, there’s one other piece of undeniable evidence you can gather, coyote calls. As you scope out a location, you should use coyote call sounds to see if you can get an auditory confirmation of the pack’s presence. This is known as locating coyote, and mirrors the behavior of these animals in the wild.
Coyotes are territorial, pack animals. They use howls and calls to communicate with each and to communicate with other nearby groups. By periodically using a coyote call sound while your search, you might illicit a response from coyotes in the area, providing proof that they are nearby and allowing you to commit to a location.
When using coyote calls to locate coyotes, remember that your goal is not to lure them to you. Rather, you are looking to get a response from the coyotes that tells you they are nearby. Don’t overdo it, just make three or four calls every few minutes while you search for other evidence. Your best bet here is to use several howls or group howls, as these are social vocalizations. Don’t use distress calls as this may bring the coyotes to you.
If you don’t get a response after 15-20 minutes and can’t find any other evidence, move on and try somewhere else. If you do get a response, note your location and your estimate of how far away the responding coyotes are and then quickly get out of the area. With the right call, the coyotes won’t be drawn in, but who knows. The worst thing that can happen at this point is letting the coyotes realize that the calls are coming from a hunter!
If you want to learn more about locating coyote, the video below is very comprehensive.
In terms of making the coyote call sounds, it is possible for experienced hunters to do a successful mouth call. However, for beginners, this is easiest done using an electronic coyote call. Electric call devices are a great bit of hunting gear, and ensure you’re making the right coyote call noises. Devices like the one linked below can perform a multitude of different sounds that mimic coyote vocalization and are suitable both for locating coyote and luring them in.
Coyote Caller Recommendation: Icotec GEN2 GC300 Electronic Predator Call
- 300 yard remote range
- Play 2 sounds at the same time
- NEW - Pause button
Once you’ve confirmed that coyotes are in the area with some solid evidence, it’s time to choose a vantage point.
Step 3: Finding The Perfect Position
Now that you’ve found the coyotes, you need to have a plan for how you are going to get a clean shot off. Coyotes are highly sensitive animals and it will be practically impossible to stalk one and get within bowhunting range. This makes tree stands and hunting blinds your best friends when hunting coyote and although it turns the job into a bit of a waiting game, you’ll have far more success.
It’s best to try to hunt these creatures low to the ground, so a ground blind for bowhunting is a great choice. Find the perfect position and set up your hunting blind the day before, so you don’t end up scaring off the coyotes in the setup process. Stealthily return in the early hours of the morning and patiently wait for perfect shot.
Below, we’ve recommended the 360 Degree View Hunting Blind from Black Hoof Outdoors. It’s comfortable, roomy, easy to setup, has loads of portals to shoot from and is made completely from one-way, see-through fabric, giving you a complete 360 degree view all around you whilst inside.
Hunting Blind Recommendation: Black Hoof Outdoors 360 Degree View Hunting Blind
- Unparalleled Visibility: The new 360 degree view pop-up hub style hunting blind from Black Hoof Outdoors is the most portable, versatile, and effective ground blind on the market. Sets up in seconds, provides excellent visibility in all directions, and then folds to fit into a sleek backpack carry bag for easy transport. This product includes (1) Hunting Blind, (8) Stakes, (4) Tie downs, & (1) Backpack Carry Bag
- No Blind Spots: Strike silently with unparalleled visibility. See-through fabric allows the hunter to see out while remaining undetected by animals. The 8 vertical windows and 4 shoot-through mesh openings mean more flexible shooting angles for gun and bow hunting. Additionally, the 4 large triangular mesh openings can be used as shoot through screens for bow hunters or as wide angle viewing windows.
- Durable & Sturdy: The hub style ground blind provides maximum durability and sturdiness without compromising portability. Leave staked-down at your favorite deer, duck, turkey, or hunting spot, or pack and go. This versatile deer blind takes seconds to deploy and will keep you and a friend or two undetected and ready to strike.
Although not quite as effective, hang on tree stands and ladder stands are still very useful vantage points to stealthily wait for the perfect shot. We’d recommend using a hang-on tree stand for the added element of stealth. The model below is ultra-weight, comfortable and roomy enough to draw a compound bow.
Tree Stand Recommendation: XOP-Xtreme Vanish Evolution Hang On Tree Stand
- Brand New Color Scheme - XOP Green and Storm Grey!
- High quality cast aluminum construction - If you've had enough of the clunky steel stands, its time to make the switch. Every XOP stand is durable, solid, lightweight, easy to transport and incredibly quiet
- Heavy duty stand with a 350 pound weight rating: platform Dimensions 27” x 19”: Overall weight 12 lbs.
To get a killshot, using hunting blinds or treestands can make a big difference in your game. The next challenge will be to get them close enough to your camouflaged position to take your final shot without being seen. This is where the coyote calls come in again and for a little extra help, we are also going to use bait and decoys.
Step 4: Calling In Coyote, Coyote Bait, Coyote Decoys
You almost have everything in place. You’ve tracked down the coyotes, located them and committed to a solid position with ground blinds or a treestand. Now what? There’s one last step – Bringing the coyotes to you. To maximize your chances, we are going to be using calls, coyote bait, lures and coyote decoys. These will allow you to bring the coyote within within bowhunting range.
The first step is to call in the coyote. Again, an electronic device will be super helpful here, but it’s very much an art form and will take some practice. Instead of the howls we recommended when locating coyote, try using whines and yelps, imitating the sound of another coyote in distress. What’s even better is to use distress calls from animals that coyote typically prey upon, like turkey, rabbit or deer.
It’s important to hit a sweet spot here. If you call too often or too many times or use a familiar call over and over, there’s a good chance you’ll scare coyotes off. Only make the call sounds every few minutes and be patient. If the coyotes don’t appear after fifteen to twenty minutes, try another call. The video below offers a nice and quick summary of which calls to use for each situation.
If you’re still not having success calling in coyotes, you can up your chances of a successful hunt by using coyote bait and decoys in conjunction with calls. Remember, coyote hunting is about truly tricking the senses of these cunning creatures. Calls will trick their ears, bait will trick their nose and decoys will trick their eyes. It’s the perfect combo!
Coyotes will eat almost anything, so you don’t need to be too creative when it comes to coyote bait. The best thing to use is some good old-fashioned natural resources like meat. Just like the tactics when hunting big game predators such as bears, bloodied meat like venison pr rabbit can really help to lure them in.
Alternatively, there are products that are specifically marketed as coyote bait. Some use pungent meat but many boast a different secret ingredient. Coyote urine! Below, we’ve recommended a product that gives you the best of both worlds. Lenon’s Trappers Coyote Super All Call is a secret mix said to drive coyotes wild (and we’re guessing it includes tainted meat), plus it comes with coyote urine so you can test both methods out!
Coyote Bait Recommendation: Coyote Super All Call & Coyote Urine From Lenon’s Trappers
- Lenon's Trappers Coyote Special 4 oz Coyote Super All Call & 4 oz Coyote Urine
- 4 oz Jar Lenon's Coyote Super all Call Lure
- 4 oz. Bottle Lenon's Coyote Urine
Another great way to lure a predator like a coyote is by utilizing a good decoy. Moving critter decoys like the one we’ve linked below are an amazing way to lure smaller predators like a coyote or a red fox. Their jumpy erratic movement grabs hold of any nearby coyote’s attention. It’s also a great idea to cover your coyote decoy in the scent from your coyote bait, attacking both their senses and becoming truly irresistible!
Coyote Decoy Recommendation: MOJO Outdoors Critter Predator Hunting Decoy
- IRRESISTIBLE LIVE-ACTION TO ALL PREDATORS: Most effective predator decoy on the market; light-weight, portable, simple and affordable
- TOP-NOTCH DECOY TECHNOLOGY: Highly visible and tantalyzing action using realistic prey-type fur that immediately attracts and holds predators’ attention
- REALISTIC MOVEMENT THAT BRINGS IN PREDATORS: Intermittent, cyclic action for added realism
One Last Tip: Cover Your Scent
If you are still having trouble, it may be because the coyotes have got wind of your scent. As with all hunting, you need to pay attention to wind direction and always try to remain upwind of your prey. With coyotes, this is particularly important. As a predator animal, they have an extremely good nose. This means that you will not only need to keep yourself out of sight but you will also need to cover your smell.
Deodorant should obviously be your first step, but there are plenty of different hunting products out there to mask your scent. In fact, trying to reduce your odor should be front of mind whenever purchasing hunting gear. These days, you can get hunting clothes that help to minimize your smell.
A great place to start is an odor reducing set of hunting gloves and hunting boots, as we tend to sweat a lot from these areas. An sweat-wicking undershirt is also a good idea. It’s also helpful to contain smell by using a hunting blind, like the one we previously recommended.
For added effect, you can invest in a spray product to almost completely eliminate your scent, perfect for predator hunting. The product below is very effective and will deliver on its promises for all but the stinkiest hunters!
Scent Spray Recommendation: Scent Killer Wildlife Research Gold
- Convenient 24 oz field bottle plus 24 oz Easy Grip Re-filler bottle
- Works both we and dry (Hunt Dry Technology)
- Scientifically formulated to last longer
How To Hunt Coyote – Coyote Hunting FAQ
Here are some frequently asked questions people have about coyote hunting:
Can I go night hunting for coyotes?
This depends on exactly where you’re hunting. In some territories it’s actually illegal to go night hunting for coyotes, so always look up local laws and regulations before you go (here’s North Carolina’s coyote hunting regulations, for example) or you may face legislative action. To play it safe, it’s a good idea to hunt at dawn or dusk.
Are there limits on coyote hunting?
Again, this will depend on the specific area you are hunting in. However, in most cases, coyote hunting is encouraged due to increasing coyote population issues (check out South Dakota law as an example).
Most wildlife organizations know coyotes can be detrimental to deer populations in different states. Hunting coyotes can be a helpful act for local ecosystems in this regard.
Can I bring my dog coyote hunting?
When hunting coyotes, it is not recommended to bring a canine with you. Dogs are typical prey for coyotes, posing a significant threat to your animal if you bring them with you.
Can you eat coyote?
Well there’s a good question! Surely if you’re going to hunt coyote, it would make sense to harvest and eat your kill, right? But is it safe to eat coyote? The short answer is yes, but there’s more to it. If you’d like to learn more, such as what coyote meat tastes like, then check out our article titled Can You Eat Coyote During A Hunting Trip.