On the Trail of Coyotes

On the Trail of Coyotes

If you’re looking for a challenge that’s out of the ordinary, you’ll love chasing super cunning and vigilant canines.

The oldest of us will undoubtedly remember the Road Runner comic book featuring a large geo cuckoo, the intelligent bird, and the poor coyote who never managed to catch the latter.

This was a children’s show that distorted the facts because the truth is, the coyote is a successful hunter with more than one trick up his sleeve. This remarkable runner, able to reach a top speed of 64 km / h, adapts his hunting tactics according to the size of his prey as well as the available food sources.

On the Trail of Coyotes

For two weeks now, it has been possible to collect these animals with a developed nose and hearing that a smell or noise can suddenly interrupt or modify their course. The season, which stretches over almost four months, will end on March 31.

First Contact

Mario Cote, 58, from Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac, has been hunting since he was a teenager. In 1987, this nimrod targeted a deer in the Maniwaki sector, fired, and the latter, fatally injured, managed to travel several hundred meters before collapsing. He tries to locate it part of the night to no avail. In the morning, this follower resumes his research and discovers the carcass of his cervid completely devoured by coyotes.

From then on, he decides to chase these canines to carry out certain depredation and try a new experience that will very quickly become a real passion.


Over time, Mr. Cote has developed all kinds of techniques and approaches that have enabled him to harvest 320 quarry coyotes. He has even offered his services as a guide for more than two decades.

Its playground extends over more than 500 km² in the area delimited by the municipalities of Saint-Placide, Saint-Lin, Saint-Eustache, and Lachute.

This expert spends many hours a week prospecting his territory in a vehicle to spot coyotes, fresh footprints, excrement, etc. It also scans the horizon around manure heaps, woodland edges, along streams, etc. Then, at the very end of the day, he will try to hear the howls of the twilight.

Tips and Tricks

When he discovers a promising woodland edge, for example, he goes there the following day, 30 to 45 minutes before sunrise. It positions itself 250 – 300 yards from the spot in question, taking care to hide well in a ditch or along a fence and blend into the landscape. He wears a green camouflage suit at this time or white when there is snow on the ground. He doesn’t want to be seen or felt.

Once installed, it utters two or three short hare calls in distress using the Conception CP calls. Each call should not exceed a duration of 10 to 12 seconds. He repeats the same scenario every 20 to 30 minutes, making sure to change the tone. He will also introduce female coyote moans into his sequences to further charm the males and give them the impression that a competitor is in the area to steal his potential lunch.

Mario uses a FoxPro mechanical caller to mimic an injured hare jumping in place when the targeted predator turns fierce.

He changes sites if he has not had a response or eye contact after 60 to 75 minutes. Considering that the hunting potential is much better in the morning, he usually stops hunting at the end of the morning. According to the specialist interviewed, the most productive time of year coincides with the first snows of December and January. Several specimens then move in groups of three to five.


“Coyote hunting has to be done at long range. Although all calibers of rifle, rifle, and black powder, as well as bow and crossbow, are allowed, it is preferable to use high-performance weapons such as .204, .223, .22-250, etc., which offer excellent groupings at very long distances,” added Mr. Cote.

Mario used a 7mm with 90 and 100-grain bullets that he reloaded himself in his early days. He managed to group in 5cm² at 300 yards. He has been using a .22-250 with 55 grain V Max warheads for the past few years. With this weapon, it lodges its projectiles, in a circumference equivalent to that of 10 cents, at 100 yards.

The use of a good rangefinder is an undeniable asset to counter ballistic falls at a great distance.

Read More