How to Locate and Hunt Roaming Coyotes
Home Ranges and Habitat
Home ranges can vary in size and can be large enough that coyotes may never hear your calls, no matter how much you turn up the volume.
According to a study in Georgia, some coyotes stay within a 3 square mile home range. However, others have territories as large as 25 square miles.
Smaller Home Ranges
In addition, home ranges tend to be smaller when the habitat is better. Typically, better habitat means it has more available food such as rabbits and other small mammals. Coyotes in areas with poor to marginal habitat need to travel farther to find food. Therefore, it only makes sense their home ranges would be larger.
According to a study conducted in western Virginia, where coyotes had home ranges of 8 to 10 square miles, the territories expanded drastically during the winter, to as much as 40 square miles. This study took place in Virginia’s mountain/valley region, which consists of large mature forests in the mountains and agriculture in the valleys. The forested areas were considered poor habitat due to the little undergrowth for small mammals and birds. Researchers believe there were fewer rabbits, squirrels and birds in the winter. This makes coyotes cover more ground to find food.
Also, western coyote home ranges vary by habitat and food availability, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture scientist, Dr. July Young. Some studies show home ranges in places such as Texas, Utah and Colorado that are as small as a few square miles. However, others are as large as 27 or more square miles.
Most of it depends on the available resources. Typically, more productive habitats have smaller home ranges because they tend to be wetter and greener. Better habitat just means there are more rodents, fruits and other foods available. Therefore, they don’t have to travel as far to survive.
Some coyotes do not have a defined home range or a core area, at least not in the typical sense. These coyotes are called transients. Transients are often young, lone animals that are likely searching for unoccupied territory where they can settle down and establish their own home range. Coyotes are territorial. Therefore, they don’t often welcome outsiders. As such, outcasts wander, sometimes over great distances.
It takes months before some transients find a place to settle down. They often use linear corridors such as rivers, power line right-of-ways and major roads as travel routes.
While resident coyotes don’t move that much, they can still cover a lot of ground within their home ranges. They will occasionally move several miles within their boundaries in a single 24-hour period. Coyotes in a high-quality habitat can cover about 200 yards every two hours on average and up to 425 yards every two hours.
While there is no obvious pattern to residential coyote movements, these studies did find that they rarely cross into other coyote home ranges. They have well-defined boundaries and typically stick to them.
While urban coyotes are occasionally spotted during the daytime, they generally wait until darkness to roam the parks, alleys and woodlots of suburbia.
These are just a few tips on how to locate and hunt roaming coyotes. For more information on our customized hunting blind options or to order your customized hunting blinds, contact us with the link below!