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Coyote Calls: Choosing the Right Sounds When Calling Coyotes

Heath Wood | Mossy Oak ProStaff

Abner Druckenmiller of FoxPro is able to harvest coyotes all across North America and all throughout the year. He does this by making the most of the many sounds and vocalizations available on his FoxPro electronic caller. Read below to see what different sounds are his favorite and how he does it year after year.

With today's technological advances in electronic callers, hunters have access to hundreds of sounds and vocalizations when it comes to trying to fool the most educated coyotes. Some of the most asked questions of beginning coyote hunters include:

  • Other than coyotes howling, what are all of the other sounds used for?
  • What are the best sounds to use when coyote hunting?
  • Should different sounds be used in the spring and summer as opposed to fall and winter?

Even though many hunters have used coyote vocalizations in their calling sequence for years, it seems that over the last decade, the popularity of incorporating coyote vocals into every setup has intrigued many beginning hunters as well as the seasoned hunters that need a little spice added to their calling.

One of the most popular techniques when using vocals is to start off a stand with some coyote howls, wait a few minutes and then begin playing distress sounds. A simple distressed rabbit call seems to still be the go-to sound above any other.

Coyote Calling Tips

Foxpro electronic callerCo-host of FoxPro Furtakers on the Outdoor Channel, Abner Druckenmiller likes to start his setups with the sound Coyote Pair from his FoxPro electronic caller, then a moment later he will throw in some distress sounds.

“I like to paint a picture when specifically targeting coyotes,” said Druckenmiller.

One of the main reasons for using coyote vocals is to mess with a coyote’s territorial instinct. When using a coyote sound, it fools the predator into thinking that a pack of coyotes has invaded his or her area, which makes them respond. If not for a territorial reason, coyotes will also respond to coyote vocals trying to beat one another to a free meal. Druckenmiller is not limited to just coyote howls, adding that he uses multiple coyote vocal sounds such as Female Coyote Whimpers, Coyote Growls, Coyote Pup Distress 3, and Yipping Coyotes.

Adding realism to calls is a great way to prevent pressured coyotes from learning the most commonly used sounds by hunters. Although Druckenmiller prefers using coyote vocals to build confidence in stands, using many of the unique sounds on the caller such as bird sounds can also up the success rate of calling in coyotes.

Several years ago, I attended a predator hunting seminar in which the speaker was talking about carrying a crow call with him when calling predators. He touched on the point of making a set-up more exciting by adding a few crow sounds into his calling sequence. At first, I was skeptical. However, after hearing this, I begin noticing how many times I would call in crows when targeting coyotes in my own set-ups. Just like the seminar speaker was saying, all of the commotion of the crow sounds lets animals in the area know that something is going on, enticing them to check it out.

Druckenmiller agrees with this tactic by saying he has used crow sounds and magpies along with coyote vocalizations to add realism. The same goes when using prey distress sounds. 

“I will start off with Bay Bee Cottontail, then go to something with more volume to reach out further like Eastern Cottontail and Jackrabbit Distress,” said Druckenmiller. “I always play sounds such as Nutty Nuthatch or Ranting Red Birds on my stands. I like to mix up the bird sounds to cast out a different cadence of sound to try to trigger a response.” 

After playing his desired calling sequence, Druckenmiller will add some more coyote vocals to end his calling efforts. 

“I will play Yipping Coyotes, then towards the end I play Coyote Pup Screams, or Pup Distress 3 for approximately 4 to 5 minutes then sit silent or play Vole Squeaks for one more minute before I break stand,” adds Druckenmiller. 

As for answering the often asked question as to what all of the other sounds on the caller are used for, they are used to make the common distress sounds work as much as possible. As Druckenmiller says it is to build confidence for a coyote that everything is real, making him come to the call. The unique sounds being used to add realism is the same as a turkey hunter scratching the leaves with his or her hand when calling to a gobbler. It paints a picture in the animal's head assuring them that everything is good.

Calling Coyotes:  When to Use Which Calls 

Foxpro call listIn wondering what time of year to use predator calls, some hunters say that they only use vocals during the winter months when coyotes begin breeding. Coyotes are more vocal during that time. However, some of the best coyote hunters that I have talked to over the years have one thing in common, they stick to the same sounds all year long. Druckenmiller is one of those hunters.  

He said, “My go-to sounds do not vary from year to year or coast to coast.” 

Druckenmiller hunts coyotes throughout the year in several different states. By adding coyote vocals, enticing those vocals with bird sounds, and adding unique sounds when using distress calls, he is able to successfully harvest several coyotes a year by sticking to the basic distress sounds and at the same time making those sounds work by adding a wide variety of sounds along with it. 

In my own experience, I too have found that sticking to basic sounds all year can be very successful. This especially goes for using coyote howls. I have had coyotes running into a basic howl during the spring, summer, fall and winter. Making the most of the sound library to juice up basic calls is a sure-fire way to bring in more coyotes on a regular basis.

No matter the caller that is being used, take time to study the list of sounds and vocalizations that is on it and become familiar with the many scenarios that can be applied when out in the field. From your choices, paint a picture of an easy meal that a coyote just can’t pass up. When you establish that go-to sequence of calls and vocalizations, you can be confident it will work anywhere.

For more information on FoxPro calls and/or FoxPro sounds visit

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