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How to Hunt

  • Hunting Calls

    Coyotes can hear upper frequency up to 80 kHz, compared to the domestic dogs limit of 60 kHz. They have distinctive voices, consisting of various howls, high-pitched yips and occasional dog-like barks. Calls may be a long rising and falling note, like a howl, or a series of short notes, like yips. When a coyote calls its pack together, it howls at one high note. After the pack is together, it howls higher and higher, and then it will yip and yelp and also do a yi-yi sound, very shrill, with the howl. Coyotes “sing” as a way to communicate with other coyote families and as a way to keep track of their own family members.

  • Tracks, Gaits, & Scat

    Coyote tracks are oval-shaped. Their front paws are slightly larger than their rear paws, measuring about 2.5 in long by 2 in wide. Coyote tracks have claws, but they will not show if the ground is too hard. The Overstep Trot is one of the most common gaits. This is where the front and hind feet land close together, with the hind landing slightly ahead of the front. Coyote scat is often rope-like, very tapered, and spongy, with a diameter of 1/2 in. It is often gray-colored and filled with hair and bones of small rodents. Coyotes place their scat in the middle of trails and roads as a form of communication.

Appearance and Lifecycle

Coyotes vary in color from grayish-brown to yellowish-gray on the upper parts, with a buff or white throat and belly, a reddish-brown tint to the forelegs, sides of the head, muzzle and paws, with a bushy black-tipped tail. They have erect pointed ears that are proportionately large in relation to the heads and a slender muzzle. Their feet are relatively small in relation to the rest of the body. The average litter size is six pups and they reach full maturity within the first year. Coyotes can live between 10 – 14 years in the wild and up to 18 years in captivity.

Coyotes can be hunted or trapped at any time with approved methods. You need a hunting license to pursue coyotes on public lands and possibly on private lands under some circumstances. A furbearer’s license is needed to possess a coyote pelt. See the Hunting Furbearers section of the ODFW Web site.