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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Long time lurker, first time poster.

I thought I would share with you my experiences with hunting coyotes in an urban environment. The reason for doing so, is that most TV shows on predator hunting or magazines speak mainly about rural hunting and the rules in rural hunting really don't apply. I spent roughly two years doing this and am hoping that all the things I learned (and money I spent) can help someone else out.

I live on a one-arce lot with a valley/green belt behind me (with a series of wet weather creeks). I live outside the city limits, but less then 10 miles from downtown Austin. My neighborhood has more rabbits and deer then could fit in the San Diego Zoo. With no hunting taking place the wildlife is overfilling, fresh water, nice lawns and no predators means that the coyotes would soon or later show up, and when they did, they did so in force. Not uncommon to see four or five in the backyard wandering around at 6pm. My homeowner's association does not allow firearm discharges, and more importantly I don't want to wake the neighborhood or hit someone or their property. The truth is if I fired a gun at the coyotes - it would hit the creek since I'm on top of the hills and that angle doesn't have a house for over 700 yards. But best to be careful.

Air guns or bows. I tried both, from the AirForce Talon SS (30+ Foot Pounds of Energy) to a Parker Crossbow and everything in between.

The short answer - Crossbow. Forget traditional bow, compound bow - you want a quick shot that's easy to aim. After three practice shots anybody can be a decent shot with a crossbow. They are quiet and push 85 foot pounds of energy (FPE). The crossbow also can support a scope, I suggest you don't go laser dot accessory but rather a Burnham Brother SL-18, for 29 dollars you get a dual 9 volt battery light (you need to purchase the amber filter on their website as well), that's WAY cheaper then the 119 dollars I spent at Cabelas for a crappy scope mounted Primo's with an external 6v battery pack (I felt like batman) that died after 4 months.

The other item that good was the FoxPro remote predator caller. It has a remote button that allows you to change the sounds and volume of the caller. Distressed rabbit or deer fawn works semi well, but only when they are within hearing distance. The landscape in my neighborhood (the valleys) cause the sound to bounce and it's hard to know where the sound is coming from. A good example: I can walk across the street (opposite the valley) and can't hear the caller. But if I walk across the street and down their valley - I can hear it like I was standing next to it. So I have learned that the coyotes get confused by placing trail cameras (12 of them) all over in a 1.5 mile radius and I watching the trail camera footage for the times I used the caller. I got them moving, they just couldn't figure out where to go. If they are close (sub 250 yards), they can zone in easy enough. Don't bother with a decoy if your in an urban area, it didn't increase my odds, I believe it's because it's such tight quarters - my clearest view is 30 yards without cover.

I didn't want to sit my backyard waiting for them (I got the first two coyotes doing that, but it took over a hundred hours of hunting). So I purchased a number of motion sensors systems, and the cheaper one turned out to be the best. I found it on Amazon.com it's the Chamberlain motion sensor system. Basically 30 dollars a sensor, up to 8 sensors, 1/2 mile distance to the base station. The base station blinks and/or makes noise on motion, the number of blinks and beeps is unique to each sensor, so you know exactly what path they are traveling. I put these sensors all over my property and I can be working and hear it go off. Grab the crossbow and take care of business. I spent thousands on different systems, all too complicated, required wiring or sucked batteries down like no tomorrow. This cheapo system was perfect! Less waiting, more killing. Tip: Set your motion detectors out further then you think, you need enough time to get your shooting spot. I setup my system in a arc with three levels deep. So I could tell which way they were moving and if they were coming in or out.

I purchased a pair of Bushnell night vision googles, this helped quite a bit in spotting the coyotes. Their eyes reflect in the googles and can spot them easy. I tried a night vision scope, wasn't good, you just can't get a good field of view and you have to resight the bow, so switching scopes is a pain.

What I tried that didn't work.
I tried red flood lights in the backyards (indirect), I had them come on at dusk and go off at dawn - nothing - wildlife viewings dropped by quite a bit with them.

I tried super powered PCP air rifles but the killing power (FPE) isn't enough. You can spent more and increase the FPE but it's expensive for the amount of FPE you need. And Yes, I moved up to a 4500-PSI compressor - the whole nine yards. I don't want to wound the animals - I want them dead. I think it's unethical to hurt them (sorry, just my belief, no offense). Granted some of the big air guns have enough FPE to do the trick, but I gave up before I got there.

Using a Deer Stand - yup purchased a deer stand, stood up there for hours on end. Didn't matter if I was up high or not. I'm sure it works for Deer, but the coyotes would come just as close on the ground or in the stand.

Baiting with Dog Food - no coyotes, but lots of raccoons, possums and other varmints!

Scent remover - in an urban environment, there is no point, the human scent is so strong. Just make sure you are about 40 yards away, anything closer and they won't come on it.

Wearing camo - this helps but only if you are behind some cover already. I didn't see a BIG improvement, but I did notice it took them longer to spot me, just a second or two (which is important). Movement is your enemy - you move, they run. You have to be setup when they come in and stay still. The caller won't hold them for more then 10 or seconds. So act fast.

Well that's it for now - feel free to argue or share your tips - I'll take any advice I can get.

Dennis
 

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Now, that was very interesting.
Maybe I should go to town and try to hunt Coyotes......
I ain't worth a Crap out in the Woods.

Only thing I would try different would be a Silencer.
Voldoc's nephew Todd had one on a 44 Mag. Carbine
Quiet and tremendously effective.

Can't help it, I just like Shooting them.
 

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.....Wearing camo - this helps but only if you are behind some cover already. I didn't see a BIG improvement, but I did notice it took them longer to spot me, just a second or two (which is important). Movement is your enemy - you move, they run. You have to be setup when they come in and stay still. The caller won't hold them for more then 10 or seconds. So act fast.....
And bingo, you hit the nail on the head.

I've hunted coyotes and wary ground squirrels (gray diggers) with work clothes, and while I've had success, I've had more success with camo. Often it confuses them for a few seconds, which gives you a slight edge. Coyotes would stop and look a little bit longer. Gray diggers would hesitate trying to decide if I was a bush or a threat.
 

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good post....

I enjoyed your article and thoughts. I have wondered how to best hunt them in suburbs too. I love the compound but I agree the crossbow is probably better - no movement necessary to 'draw' a compound and it's up and aimed easily. I hunt deer in suburbs with my compounds but coyotes are MORE difficult to hunt and I don't want to pass a coyote shot opportunity.
Might have to crossbow shop now.
 

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Great posting, urban hunting opportunities are too often overlooked and something I think are going to be more and more common. I know I have hunted at occupied rural building (farm)sites and found that your scent is less of an issue to coyotes there since they expect to find that at building sites.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The motivation for the post was that hopefully someone looking to see what works for hunting urban coyotes would find this and save them some time and effort.

The motivation for hunting the coyotes - my neighborhood has a shortage of small dogs and cats due to the coyotes (my dogs are big and fine). More importantly my children and the neighborhood children were really into exploring the woods behind the houses. I encouraged it - organized hikes to the creek to go swimming and used ropes to climb to the valley walls. Things that kids should do, a lost art nowadays for kids - however, the coyotes have put the fear into them and they have been seen attacking small dogs on leashes. Heck, you may remember a story of the Governor of Texas, Rick Perry, walking his dog running into a coyote and shooting it. I know nationality that sounded bad to some folks but in reality its uncommon but happens around here. He lives just 3 miles away from me.
 

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One of most meaningful posts I've read in a while. I've tried most everything in your post. What you say is absolutely true. If I had read this four years ago, I could have saved a lot of money.
 

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Are you killing all those coyotes on your 1 acre of land? In my state, the Dept. Of Wildlife wants all the coyotes dead, but one still has to abide by the state hunting laws, one of which is that you must have written permission to hunt anything on someone else's property. I realize you're calling them onto your land, but must most urban lots are a fraction of an acre, and it'd be tempting for even the most law-abiding citizen to take a shot at one that hangs up just over the property line. Then it would open a can of worms and the jig would be up if the coyote died there, or ran off injured and died on another neighbor's - unless, of course one notified/got permission from every neighbor in the vicinity (not likely they'd all agree.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Are you killing all those coyotes on your 1 acre of land?
Yup I sure am. I was worried in the beginning about everything you mentioned. So I attended my HOA meetings and they informed me - kill them please, just don't use a gun.

Then I called my local sherrifs office and they said - aim down and stick with the bow and you should be okay :) Then I informed all my neighbors near me, and they tell me everytime they see one and weekly ask what my current count is. I even have permission to hunt across property lines - thankfully most of my neighbors dove or deer hunt so they are nice enough to let me do my hunting.

I agree - it's a tricky business, I don't take pictures of my kills, just to make sure in case someone changes their mind. On top of that I make sure I carry my hunting license, public land license, etc.
 

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And the Tally is????

I may have missed it but don't think you happened to have mentioned it - :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well, I was feeling proud having killed 3 this season already, until I saw the post this morning about 50 coyotes killed in last 3 years. So now I am embarrassed by my numbers. I haven't taken anywhere near that number.
 

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High power PCP...

My .22 cal English PCP puts out about 40 ft pounds and drops 20 pound racoons where they stand. Such a great feeling sniping those varmints from 30 to 50 yards. Granted, ear shots are the most effective and I don't even attempt anything than a head shot.

I would someday LOVE to catch up to a coyote and put one in his ear from my second story window or barn! We are lesss than one acre, but still have seen a rural coyote on a casual sprint down the streets.

Would love to hear if anyone has done this with a powerful and accurate PCP. Mine will shoot inside an inch at 50 yards w/the 21 grain Kodiaks.

Good Luck!!!
 
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