We explain coyote rut behavior and give you hunting tips from the pros.
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The coyote of the winter months of February and March isn’t exactly the same animal it was just a few months earlier. Yes, it’s still smart, opportunistic, and stealthy. But the coyote experiences a number of drastic behavioral changes through the course of the winter, a reality well understood by the seasoned coyote stalker.
Around the first of the year, coyotes are getting themselves territorially established, says Dr. Julie Young, who heads the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Predator Ecology and Behavior Project in Logan, Utah. At that time they are looking for a 7- to 10-square-mile territory where they can set up shop.
“By early to mid-January, the young of last year have pretty much dispersed,” says Young. These youngsters can roam for the next few weeks, often getting pushed around by established adults until they find their own niche in the landscape. But the larger reality driving coyotes and their behaviors in February and March is procreation.
Here's how an in-depth look at that behavioral change and tips from the pros on how to capitalize on it.