An In-Depth Guide to Coyote Hunting with Dogs

Coyote Hunting with Dogs

Table of contents


Coyote hunting with dogs – it’s an adrenaline-charged journey that reflects the primordial dance between the hunter and the hunted. This tradition is not merely about the thrill of the hunt but serves a practical purpose in controlling the coyote population, safeguarding livestock, and fostering a unique partnership between man and dog. If you’ve ever felt the call of the wild and the urge to engage in this primal pursuit, here is a comprehensive, detailed guide on coyote hunting with dogs.

Understanding the Quarry – The Coyote

In the first chapter of this exciting journey, it’s crucial to understand the animal you’re about to hunt. Coyotes, known for their cunning and adaptability, make a challenging and elusive quarry. Let’s dive deeper into their characteristics.

Coyote Senses

Coyotes possess remarkable senses. Their sight, hearing, and smell are extremely keen, and they can detect even the slightest hint of danger. Understanding this will help you plan your hunting strategy.

Coyote Speed

Coyotes are sprinters and can reach speeds up to 40 miles per hour. This speed, coupled with their endurance, can turn a hunt into a marathon pursuit.

Coyote Behavior

Coyotes are most active at dawn and dusk. Understanding their feeding and breeding habits, territorial behaviors, and movement patterns is key to a successful hunt.

Choosing Your Canine Companions

Your four-legged partners in this venture are just as important as your own skills and knowledge. There are typically three types of dogs involved in coyote hunting: hounds, terriers, and herding dogs.

Hounds for Hunting

Hounds like the American Foxhound and Plott Hound have excellent tracking abilities. Their incredible sense of smell makes them the perfect candidates for tracking and chasing coyotes.

Terriers in the Field

Terrier breeds such as the Airedale and Jack Russell are small and agile, making them ideal for driving coyotes out from their dens.

Herding Dogs and Protection

Herding dogs such as the Border Collie and Australian Shepherd are traditionally used for livestock protection. Their keen intelligence and protective nature make them valuable allies in deterring coyotes.

Training for the Hunt

Training your dogs for the hunt is a comprehensive process. It involves not just teaching them how to track and chase, but also establishing obedience and building their physical condition.

Obedience Training

A good hunting dog should be obedient. Teaching basic commands like ‘sit’, ‘stay’, ‘come’, and ‘heel’ forms the foundation of hunting dog training.

Conditioning Training

Hunting is a physically demanding activity. Your dogs need to be in peak physical condition. Regular exercise and a balanced diet are key to keeping your dogs healthy and ready for the hunt.

Tracking Training

Teaching your dogs to track scents is a crucial part of hunting dog training. Start by dragging a scent rag along the ground and rewarding your dogs when they successfully follow the scent.

Scouting for Success

The next step in your hunting preparation is scouting. Understanding the terrain, identifying signs of coyote presence, and planning your hunting strategy are all elements of this phase.

Identifying Coyote Signs

Tracks, droppings, and signs of kills are all indications of coyote presence. Learning to identify these signs will help you locate your quarry.

Understanding the Terrain

Different terrains call for different strategies. Familiarize yourself with the area where you plan to hunt. Look for vantage points, cover, and potential hazards.

Planning Your Strategy

Based on your understanding of coyotes and the terrain, plan your hunting strategy. Decide where to position your dogs, when to start the chase, and how to drive the coyotes.

The Thrill of the Hunt

With your dogs trained and your strategy planned, it’s time for the hunt. Your dogs will be your partners, guiding you to your quarry.

Starting the Hunt

The start of the hunt is a crucial phase. Position your dogs based on your strategy and release them when the time is right.

Pursuing the Coyote

Once the chase is on, trust in your dogs and follow their lead. Remember, coyote hunting is a test of endurance, so pace yourself.

Ending the Hunt

If all goes well, your hunt will end with a successful catch. Remember to always prioritize safety – both yours and your dogs’.

The Post-Hunt Routine

After the excitement of the hunt, it’s time to care for your canine companions. Check them for injuries, and make sure they’re properly rested and fed.

Before embarking on a coyote hunting adventure, it’s essential to understand the laws and regulations. Always check the local hunting regulations and ensure you have the required permissions.


Coyote hunting with dogs is an adventure filled with thrills and challenges. With proper understanding, preparation, and respect for nature, it becomes a rewarding experience that deepens the bond between you and your canine companions.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the legalities involved in coyote hunting with dogs?

Ans. Coyote hunting regulations differ by state. Always refer to your local wildlife agency or game warden to stay informed about the rules in your region.

2. Which dog breeds are best suited for coyote hunting?

Ans. Breeds such as the American Foxhound, Plott Hound, Airedale Terrier, Jack Russell Terrier, Border Collie, and Australian Shepherd have proven effective in coyote hunting.

3. What’s the best time to hunt coyotes?

Ans. While coyotes can be hunted year-round in many places, they are most active at dawn and dusk.

4. Is it dangerous for dogs to hunt coyotes?

Ans. Yes, hunting coyotes can pose risks to dogs, especially during close encounters. Therefore, maintaining safety measures and monitoring your dogs during the hunt is crucial.

5. How should I train my dog for coyote hunting?

Ans. Start with basic obedience training, move on to conditioning exercises, and then introduce tracking drills. Consistent training from a young age will yield the best results.

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