Conning Coyotes - Using Their Nose Against Them (2023)

The coyote is not known for being one of best looking animals on the planet, they smell worse than a wet dog, and I hear that they don’t taste very well either. With these defaults, people often wonder what it is that makes the coyote such an intriguing animal. Some would say it’s due to the fact that they are the most adaptable animal on the planet, living in every different environment known to man, or perhaps it’s because they can chase down prey with their incredible speed which can reach up to 40 mph. Even though those are both impressive traits – to the hunting world, the coyote is such an appealing predator because of their impeccable sense of smell. The long, narrow snout of a coyote is used to smell even the faintest odor of food, because its survival depends on it. Their sense of smell is so powerful that they can locate prey underneath the snow. This powerful nose is also used to distinguish dangerous predators, including hunters, and it is believed that coyotes can smell such predators from over a mile away.

This elusive nose is something that hunters and trappers have been trying to fool for decades

For many years, hunters have been educating themselves on ways to fool a coyote’s nose. However, many have fallen short realizing that fooling a coyotes biggest weapon is virtually impossible. In the past, I have written articles about using scent eliminating tactics on coyotes and in most of those articles I have stressed that fooling a coyote’s nose one hundred percent is never going to happen. It is possible to trick them into being unalarmed when smelling human scent by aid of scent eliminating sprays, mostly because it makes a coyote think that the scent is older and it will not spook them. Over the past couple of years, I have combined my scent eliminating efforts and at the same time used a scent attracting tactic to create a double punch making the efforts of fooling a coyote’s nose a reality.

Conning Coyotes - Using Their Nose Against Them (1)The first step in this double punch method is to eliminate human scent by using a complete scent elimination regimen. This complete system needs to consist of washing and storing all hunting garments with an odor eliminating detergent such as Scent Killer Gold Laundry Detergent. Once all of the human scent is gone, keep the odor from coming back before the hunt by storing them in a bag or storage container designed to keep any odor from coming in or out. When it is time to start hunting, dress in the field, then spray everything that will be used while hunting with Scent Killer Gold Spray. This should include all garments, boots, weapons, electronic caller, decoys, etc. After these steps are completed, use a windicator to determine wind direction, keeping in mind to always try to have the wind in the best possible direction for approaching coyotes to avoid picking up on human scent.

The second part of this one-two method is using scent to attract coyotes when calling. This is a tactic that I have tried a few times in the past, however, I didn’t find it successful until I started combining it with my own scent eliminating efforts, as well as paying more attention to my application techniques of the scent itself. This tactic is not used as a cover up scent, this is to be used to attract coyotes, keeping their focus on the scent long enough to get a shot. The two products that I have found to be the most effective when attracting coyotes are Wildlife Research Centers Coyote Juice and Predator Sniper. Coyote Juice appeals to a coyotes territorial instinct as well as their hunting instincts. Predator Sniper has a long range scent and can be used for many different predators whether it be coyotes, bobcats, or even fox. Coyotes are notorious for approaching a calling setup from the downwind side. By using the Coyote Juice or Predator Sniper along with sounds such as prey in distress or coyote vocals, it makes the setup seem more realistic thus keeping the coyotes interested in what they are hearing and smelling instead of trying to smell danger from humans. Keep in mind that there is a right way and a wrong way to apply a calling scent.

Conning Coyotes - Using Their Nose Against Them (2)

When using scent in the past, I would use a liquid applied directly on the ground or an aerosol style scent that I would mist through the air, neither of which worked effectively. The liquid did not work due to the scent soaking into the ground, making the longevity decrease. The aerosol is a great way to spread the scent in a wide area, however that comes with a downside. The downside being that once the scent has been misted and it floats downwind, it is no longer only in front of the hunter where it should be, it is everywhere and that is not necessarily a good thing. When using products such as Coyote Juice or Predator Sniper it is recommended to put it on a scent wick or on objects such as a limb or a fence post. The key is to keep scent elevated off of the ground, by putting the scent on an object it keeps the scent dispersing as long as the air is flowing, which keeps a constant aroma of scent flowing near the desired setup.

Conning Coyotes - Using Their Nose Against Them (3)

A coyote’s three keys of defense are its eyesight, hearing, and smell and the key is to play into all three of those defenses. That can be done in ways such as having an electronic caller blaring a free meal to entice them, along with a decoy twisting around to catch their attention, and adding Coyote Juice or Predator Sniper assures that what they are seeing, hearing, and smelling is real.

Conning Coyotes - Using Their Nose Against Them (4)

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