As winter wears on so do the nerves of local coyotes. By now most coyotes have heard it all including the foot-stomping rumble of a Hemi in hot pursuit. Although any call may work at any time, especially if you can hunt limited-access properties, it takes a special message to bring a coyote into rifle range in late season. There is one exception and it has everything to do with Valentine’s Day. February is special for human lovers and the same is true in the canine world of coyotes. The month of February marks the time period when the majority of coyotes court, fall in love and settle into a quaint den.
Love clouds the minds of coyotes like it did when you were a teenager and may still do in midlife. Coyotes don the same rose-colored glasses in February as adolescent human males do year-round. As the race ramps up to find a mate coyotes travel miles to meet the right partner. They also use auditory clues instead of match.com to find the right mate.
During this time period I try to keep it simple. Coyotes are hungry, but they are also looking for mates. That’s why I primarily stick to howls. The lone howl is simple to master and it simply works to lure coyotes into range during breeding season. That isn’t to say the coyotes haven’t been duped by hunter howls and are keeping a safe distance from the perceived threat, but the confidence a howl transmits may be enough to sweet talk a coyote into rifle range.