How to get better at Predator Hunting

Predator Management is a key tool in helping game animals reach their full potential.

Predator Hunting, anyone can do it, but how do you get good at it?

Before I start throwing out random tips that may or may not help you get better at predator hunting, I want to make sure you understand how many years I have been predator hunting and how many times I still fail

The Mythical beginning…

I was 9 years old sitting between my uncle Roy and my Dad.  I remember they were blowing a Johny Stewart PC3 and an Olt hand call.  These were their “Magic” calls , which only expelled dying prey distress sounds.  Just 3 years later, I was sitting next to my good friend Kenny blowing on my hand call.  This Thompson Center hand call was my “Magic” call 😉 and I called in over 50 predators with it before I wore it out at the age of 17.

Honestly, I have tried so many calls and strategies, which all seemed to be the “Secret Weapon” when they worked, but then the “Magic” call would stop working or the strategy would fail, so they quickly became just another tool.  Many years I spent searching for the “Secret Weapon”, because I knew there was some sound, call or concept, which would bring predators in every time.

Predator Hunting is something anyone can do, but it takes time to excel at it.

Lee Murphy & I made 12 stands over the weekend (April 18-19th).  We called in 11 coyotes & we were able to get 7 of them.

The truth about predator hunting/calling.

I fail quite often when predator hunting, some days I may only call-in 1 coyote in 20 stands.  Those are very rare now, but it still happens to me. The key is to get back up and pull the facts out of the situation, not the MYTHS.  The old wives’ tales will really hinder your growth as a predator hunter.

As human beings we love absolutes, but in the predator hunting world, there are SO many things which are unknown. We don’t know each coyote’s personality, territory or what they have been thru proceeding our interaction with them, but so often we just expect every coyote to respond if they hear the call.  I see so many guys  who will always remain at a certain predator hunting skill level, because they are not admitting what they do not know.  Instead, they fill these voids with myths or made up absolutes, it’s natural to do that when you have more bad days than good, I use to do it myself.

Predator Hunting is a huge passion of mine and that is why I started guiding predator hunts:

The good news!  

If you have made it this far, you are not one of the guys who wants to see a plateau in their predator hunting skills.  You are hungry and you recognize you don’t have all the answers.   I will be the first to admit, I don’t have all the solutions to your predator hunting questions, but here are some ideas which may help you get better at predator hunting:

  • You will fail more than you succeed.  Keep grinding.
  • Be-careful what you read or watch.  Pull out the facts, not Myths.
  • You don’t live in the woods 24/7 like predators do, so be cautious of using the term “Call-shy or Educated”.
  • Read and watch studies or documentaries about predators.
  • Observe dog and cat behavior any time you can.  Yes, watch “the Dog Whisperer”.
  • There are no “Magic Calls or Sounds”, but knowing when to use sounds is a different story.
  • Scout and know the country well!  Know where to drive and walk, in order to remain unnoticed.
  • They won’t come, if they are not there.
  • Social & Environmental factors are big players in predator hunting.
  • Predators don’t have a fridge or supermarket.
  • Predators have territory.  Get in their house undetected!
  • Predators are all different, but have tendencies.
  • It takes time and effort.
  • Never stop learning.

As many of you know, I am not one of those guys who is going to toss out the typical predator hunting tip list.  I find it very frustrating in the hunting industry, so many are afraid to admit all of the hardwork, ability and skills it takes to be a good hunter, in this case, predator hunter.  So, much of my hunting success is because of years and years of trying, failing and succeeding.  This learning curve process never stops, if you want to continue to get better.

-Craig Steele


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