MAKENZIE’S OUTDOOR ADVENTURES: Calling for coyotes
HOLLIS, Okla. (KSWO) -Coyotes can be hunted year round in Oklahoma.
And a couple of tournament hunters have proven there is truly an art to calling in predators.
It’s the latest edition of Makenzie’s Outdoor Adventures.
In rural Oklahoma, it’s common to hear the howls of a coyote. But for a couple of southwest Oklahoma hunters, they’re the ones doing the howling.
Derick Hodges, and Jody and Stetson West, are tournament coyote hunters.
“It’s a thrill, it’s an excitement. It’s live action,” said Jody West.
From the sequence of their calls, to how long they stay at each stand, they’ve got coyote hunting down to a T.
According to Jody, a lot of their success comes from trial and error and putting their boots to the ground and learning coyote behavior.
“You never know where they’re going to come in it’s all about adjusting to where what they’re going to do or at what time of year,” said Stetson.
The calls they use range from an animal in distress, to aggressive fighting.
“A coyote is going to do three things. He’s going to eat, he’s going to breed, or he’s going to fight,” said Jody. “And that’s the same with about any animal you find. They all have different behaviors and what they’re going to react to.”
“There’s no real rhyme or reason, everybody is kind of the same,” said Hodges. “They want to think they’ve got the secret calls and everything else, and it’s not really about that. We like to think that we’re trying to play what the coyotes are doing that time of the year.”
It’s also about knowing the land they’ve accumulated over the years.
“We know a lot of farmers and ranchers, and they want us to get out and they want us to kill these coyotes and these Bobcats,” said Hodges. “That’s their livelihood you know. When you’ve got predators out there that are you know eating their calves when they’re born or their sheep or their lambs, you know anything of that nature, they don’t like them out there.”
Once they get to a stand, they quickly put out the call and get set up.
Then they start calling. 14-year-old Stetson West, says it all happens really fast.
“Most of the time they’re going to poke their head out and if they don’t see anything, they’re going to run straight back in,” said Stetson. “So as soon as you see them you just gotta be ready, and it’s gonna be fast and you gotta shoot.”
Afterwards, they typically take the coyotes to a fur buyer in the area.
They encourage others who may be interested in coyote hunting, to give it a try.
“I’d say the biggest thing is patience and persistence,” said Hodges. “We didn’t give up after our first couple years of hunting where we were only killing one or two or three every tournament.”
“Get out and get a call. I mean it ain’t gotta be nothing fancy,” said Jody. “I mean we run a fox pro, a lot of people run a lucky duck. You can go and get hand calls and learn how to do it that way. We do a lot of hand calling too, that’s how I learned. Just get out and make a sound, and see if you can get one to come in.”
Hodges also hosts the Hollis Predator Hunt every year, to raise money for the baseball and softball teams in Hollis.
It’s held the first weekend after deer rifle season.
For more information about that hunt, you can check the Oklahoma Predator Hunters Facebook group.
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