The Best Coyote Hunting Areas in Southern California

Coyotes are one of the most impressive hunters out there. Armed with excellent eyesight and a keen sense of smell, they eat almost everything, making them very hard to hunt.

The coyote population has increased dramatically in all of Southern California. Before you embark on the coyote hunting adventure, you have to know all about the best coyote hunting areas in Southern California. Choosing the perfect location, understanding the ‘on the season,’ and using the correct strategy and gears will bring you a hefty bounty.

Coyote hunting is simply exhilarating, and a good hunter must learn all the crooks and crevices of the best coyote hunting spots in their areas. To know more about this topic, keep on reading.

What Are The Best Coyote Hunting Areas In Southern California?

Like any other state in the US, Southern California has its fair share of good coyote hunting spots. However, not all spots will guarantee coyote sightings all year round. 

The Best Coyote Hunting Areas in Southern California

The Cleveland National Forest should be at the top of your list when talking about the best coyote hunting areas. With a vast terrain divided into three Ranger Districts, this area has a large coyote population. Coyotes are found throughout California as they are native to the area. 

San Jacinto National Park, Los Angeles National Forest, and Lake Perris Wildlife can also check out. National parks are the best spots for coyote hunting because they offer an ideal habitat and a regular food supply for coyotes. 

If you’re an avid hunter and you notice that the rabbit or small game population seems a little off, there are high chances that a pack of coyotes is lurking around.

Apart from national parks, coyotes are found near isolated areas devoid of humans as coyotes shy away from humans. Although hills and prairies are classic coyote hunting spots, nowadays, coyote sightings have occurred near the edge of suburbs. 

The Best Time To Hunt Coyotes

There is a famous saying that coyotes are always in season. This loosely translates to the fact that coyotes are available throughout the year. 

However, winter is the best time to hunt coyotes. Now you may ask why is winter the best time to hunt coyotes? As the temperature drops during the winter season, coyotes need more food than usual to keep warm and survive. 

Additionally, the mating season for coyotes spans from late January to early February. During the mating seasons, males typically become more aggressive and violent. As a result, they fall prey to callings much more quickly. Furthermore, hunters often use pups in distress calls to attract female coyotes and respond more to protect their pups.

During the winter, coyotes sport beautiful, glistening fur to protect themselves. So you can save this fur and sell it to make some extra money. The winter season is also perfect if you want to make some easy bucks selling the fur.

General Laws For Coyote Hunting:

Whether you have been hunting coyotes or are a beginner, it is always essential to keep the general hunting laws in mind. 

Here are some of the most vital coyote hunting laws:

  • Make sure you have a hunting license. For example, hunters must have a hunting license to hunt coyotes in California.
  • Using electronically recorded animal or bird calls is not allowed in some areas. In California, it is strictly prohibited to use any electrical recording imitation to attract prey.
  • Hunters cannot use baits to attract any nongame mammals in California.
  • In some areas, hunting nongame mammals is not allowed for one and half hours after the sunset and one and half hours before the sunrise.
  • Lights are used in certain areas. It is important to note that hunters can only use light from non-moving vehicles.
  • Hunting down mammals by cars or other motor vehicles is strictly prohibited.

What to Look for While Hunting for Coyotes?

Finding the best coyote hunting areas in Southern California is quite easy. However, scouting for coyotes in those areas is a difficult task. Coyotes can be found everywhere, starting from rough terrains to hot deserts. Once you select an area where you want to hunt, the next step is locating them.

These are a few things that you can look out for:

  • Farmers around your selected area can tell you about the whereabouts of coyotes. As coyotes prey on their livestock, they might even invite you in to hunt coyotes inside their ranch.
  • Check out the fox population in your area. If there is a lower number of foxes, then there might be a possibility of coyotes in that area as coyotes and foxes are competitors.
  • During the winter, use the snow. You should look for coyote tracks in the snow. Coyote tracks are similar to dog tracks, so make sure you are not confused.
  • Coyotes are notoriously nocturnal animals. If you cannot spot them in the day, wait for the dark blanket during the night as they are guaranteed to come out.

Types Of Coyote Calls:

Often people ask what the most critical part of coyote hunting is? My answer to that is your coyote call. It does not matter if you select the perfect spot and use the correct gears. If your coyote call cannot attract a coyote, you will remain empty-handed.

One of the most used calls is the distress call. During the distress call, distressed sounds are produced by animals such as rabbits or antelopes. The coyotes are fooled into thinking that there is prey nearby. Although distressed calls work the best, you cannot use them all the time.

Electronic calls are perfect for beginners. They accurately mimic the sound of many animals. High-quality electronic call devices will enable you to download even more sounds on them. However, coyotes are brilliant animals, so make sure the coyotes do not become “call shy.”

Experienced hunters also use their hands to make calls. It takes a certain level of practice to make accurate hand calls. Both open-hand calls and closed reed calls will attract coyotes, but open-hand calls are easier to perform.

To get the perfect coyote call, you can mix them up. As coyotes are pretty clever, they will leave the area, leaving you with an empty bag if they intercept your call as fake.

Choosing The Perfect Gun And Gear:

One of the reasons people like to hunt coyotes is that there are no restrictions on weapons. You can use absolutely any kind of firearm to hunt coyotes if your state allows it. But you might have to use different weapons depending on where you hunt them.

When it comes to big woods, shotguns will be your best bet because big woods typically means close-range shooting. If you are hunting coyotes in farmlands, you need to opt for long-range rifles. 

Coyote hunting in the suburbs requires air rifles to take down any coyote within 50 yards. Additionally, if you are hunting coyotes on the west, you need something to precisely hit where you aim.

Use Decoys to Get Them Under Your Leash

Hunters often use decoys with a combination of coyote calls to attract coyotes. You cannot hunt if you cannot attract coyotes. So use decoys that will effectively pull your prey to you.

You can use various decoys that look like critters like rabbits or antelopes. After setting up, put your decoy in a clear space and step away. Start calling for 10-20 minutes and then wait. Initially, if any coyotes respond, chances are they will not reveal themselves to you. Wait for some time and call again.

Decoys will not bring the best results all the time. For example, you will have a better chance to hunt more coyotes just by using coyote calls during the fall season. But during the winter season, when young coyotes begin to mature, that is your golden opportunity to use decoys. 

The Reasons For Hunting Coyotes

Coyotes are native to the US, and it is vital to keep their population in check. 

Firstly, coyotes are ferocious hunters. They will eat anything and everything. They are accountable for numerous livestock killings. Not only that, if left alone, coyotes can easily clean off hundreds of small game mammals such as rabbits, deer’s, or antelopes.

Secondly, coyotes can spread disease. Coyotes can spread rabies to your dogs and pets. Apart from that, coyotes are carriers of fleas as well. Therefore, the coyote population must be kept in check to reduce disease spreading in the entire ecosystem.

Thirdly, killing coyotes can be good practice when you hunt for game mammals such as deer or turkeys. As coyotes are quite advanced animals, you need to use all your senses. This, in turn, will polish your hunting skills.

Bottom Line

People all over the United States have joined together to make a beautiful coyote hunting community. Coyote hunting brings people together as they embark upon adventures and share their much valuable experience about the best coyote hunting areas in Southern California.

Therefore, if you are only a beginner or an avid coyote hunter, it is best to keep your ears and eyes open since you might end up finding coyotes in the last place you expected to find them. 

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