The Stand

Quite simply if you can't see them you can't shoot them. An elevated position can be a great help and it doesn't take much. Just slightly up hill or even a small stool or bucket to sit on will make a huge difference.

While a large viewing area is nice, it isn't mandatory. As I said in the Firepower section, a large number of shots are under 100 yards. If they are moving toward you at a fast pace you will hold off until they present a nice shot or at least a shot that you are comfortable with.

Late in December of 2008 me and a buddy set up a stand in the timber overlooking a piece of open ground. We expected the critters to follow the tree line along the edge about 50 yards in front of us. 5 minutes into the calling a coyote showed up right there in the timber with us about 50 yards away but not out in the open where we expected him. 10 minutes later a bobcat showed up standing in the coyotes tracks. We never did see anything along the tree line where we expected them to be. However, this stand did afford us some elevation and plenty of cover. The bobcat is at the taxidermist, the coyote got away.

As I look through my records several things stand out but one is certainly concealment. I mentioned that a coyote can spot a human sitting and recognize them as a human. Critters know there territory. If something is out of place they can spot it at quite a distance. I have proven this to myself accidentally. My home overlooks a section of open ground. I pass the windows several times a day and it's just my nature to look out the window. If there is a critter or anything different out there on that open ground, my eye goes directly to it. I've spotted deer, coyotes, foxes, house cats and even squirrels just by glancing out the window. Why? Because it's different or out of place. I believe critters function the same way.

So with that in mind, look for a stand that will allow you to blend in or be concealed. Shadows work very well. Hiding in a brush pile or up against a couple of logs works well. You can even hide behind a patch of taller grass or brush. Just something to breakup your outline along with your camo will go a long ways towards making you less visible. While I am all for scouting an area and even picking a couple of stands ahead of time, sometimes you are controlled by other factors such as wind direction and the angle of the sun. The stand might work perfect at sunrise but not at all an hour later.

A lot of what I have read says that a coyote will always circle downwind or try to get downwind. I don't buy it. Too many times they just come charging in too fast to have had the time to get downwind or even concern themselves with it. I can tell you that if you face downwind and expect them to come from that direction, they won't. I've broken every rule in the books and seen coyotes when I knew that there wasn't a chance of a snowball.

I sky lined myself one morning several times on the way to a fence line at the west edge of a piece of property that I was hunting. Found a huge post in the middle of the fence line, sat down against it, waited a minute or so and started calling. Within 45 seconds had a coyote jump through the fence 30 feet to my right. I don't know who was more surprised but he won. But... I'm thinking in 45 seconds, he didn't have much time to circle downwind.

What I think works best is to look across the wind and be prepared to shoot any safe direction.

Another coyote that I lost didn't even come close to doing what I expected. I was sitting on the rim of a large draw that ran down through the timber. Expecting a critter to come galloping through the timber out in front of me. To my right was a water cut that spilled into the draw. The cut was probably 10 feet wide and 6 or 8 feet deep. I started calling and when the coyote showed up it came from my right and dropped down into the cut. I had the gun pointed and everything just waiting for him to pop out in front of me. When he climbed out of the cut and landed 20 feet to my right the look on his face was priceless and I'm sure he told his buddies the same thing. As he retreated at 80 plus miles per hour I barked at him. Sure enough he stopped broadside at 40 or 50 yards to look back at me. I rolled him over with the 22 Hornet. He got up and ran never to be seen again.

In summary:
Sit anyplace you can sit and have a view. Use anything and everything you can to breakup your outline. Expect the un-expected.