WHAT IS A COYOTE CALLING EVENT?
The World Championship Coyote Calling Contest® (WCCCC®) knows that there is some confusion about just what a coyote calling activity is. It can be on a stage or in the field. Our name is 28 years old and despite changes in the organization it is still the same name out of respect to the founder(s).
Coyote calling is a great skill and requires practice and developing technics that work. Just locating coyotes requires skill too. Everyone that tries to call coyotes knows the extreme challenges it requires. Here is more information.
A BRIEF HISTORY-
We will use Kansas as an example. Back in the 1960’s farmers and ranchers would ask neighbors to gather once per week or once per month to help do coyote control in the area. Generally meeting at a local dirt road intersection, local Grange Hall, or farm or ranch headquarters they would come together with trail hounds, “sight” dogs, trucks, and cars with hunters in them and develop a plan to remove coyotes in the area. Citizen Band (CB) radios (one channel primitive radios) were in many of the trucks and cars with 102 inch “whip” antennas. The hunters would surround a “section” of land (640 acres) and drop the hounds and the chase was on! Hunters would be a at known “coyote” crossing location and wait for them to be pushed through by the dogs. In other cases some hunters and young adults would climb the fence and “walk” the section evenly spread to push the coyote out for the hunters to take them.
The days results were generally displayed to other farmers and ranchers by hanging the taken coyotes on a barb wire fence for all to see. A successful day was consider to have taken 2 or 3 coyotes with as many as 25 hunters, 10 or 15 hounds, and one or two “sight” dog trucks. To enhance the number of hunters farmers and ranchers began to offer a cash prize to help pay for the days gasoline too. Often hunters were invited to “gas” up at a farmer or ranchers place using the farmer or ranchers fuel storage tank(s). Offering prizes goes back as far as the 1950’s or even before. Of course as Americans are, there was always a friendly competition to see who could get the most for the day. It was intended as good sport and very common.
Coyote Calling was just being discovered in the early 1960’s in the midwest. Texas seems to be the place it started the strongest. But in those days the most popular method was as described above. We called it “truck” hunting. It was fast and furious all the time too.
From the 1960’s through the 1980’s coyote calling was a small part of coyote hunting. Coyote hunters where considered an oddity to most hunters. But the need for controlling the coyote increased in those years. Really active and open “hunting events” began to come into their own in the late 1980’s. There were great “coyote hunts” often called “fox hunts” where they used dogs (trail hounds) to chase and catch them. The Central United States Fox Hunt held in Garnett, Kansas in 1967 had 300 dogs in it competing for prizes, trophies, and awards.
Basically 300 coyote chasing hound dogs were released on the landscape around Garnett, Kansas and field judges raced after them to monitor and score them on how good they were (or were not). In those days trespassing was not an issue if you were chasing the deadly coyote! It was 100% “go get’m”!
Calling events evolved from the “truck” hunts and dog hunts as a desired skill and sport over the years. In Kansas for example the State had one full time “coyote expert” (F. Robert Henderson) who would travel the state teaching farmers and ranchers to trap and call their own coyotes to resolve damage issues. In other states the Federal program called Animal Damage Control was use extensively where federal trappers would tackle the job of dealing with coyotes. It was a free service to the ranchers and farmers then.
Various types of rewards continued as an incentive for participation to help cover the cost of gasoline, travel, raising dogs, to help pay for equipment, and more. It is an American tradition for sure. Many farmers and ranchers would pay for private coyote control too. They would hire trappers and hunters to deal with coyote issues. Getting paid (receiving a prize) is far from new in the coyote control world.
The actual events started exactly like the farmers and ranchers gathering on a country corner and going after coyotes to protect their family, livestock, and crops. Farmers and ranchers began to find that they did not have the time to chase coyotes, trap them, or call them, and so they began to “pay” for help like any other service. Popularity grew to were these rural business men and women found that by putting up prizes like cash, free gasoline, or a side of beef help bring in more coyote hunters. The local Grange Organization or other farming or ranching organization would put on an annual “coyote” drive. There would be a huge lunch or dinner, prizes of all types including cash and it was a festive well attended event.
It was common to have local politicians, ministers, law enforcement, and more at the event supporting it, enjoying the gathering, and talking to the attendees. Huge tables of fried chicken, potato salad, barbecue, corn on the cob, and much more were there for all. Many times the event was advertised in the local paper and then reported in the social section as to who was there. It was festive, honorable, and often an important business and social activity not to be missed.
So much has changed today. In the middle 1980’s the coyote calling and hunting world began to expand
(perhaps even sooner) and more and more hunters joined in the great sport and control effort. 45 RPM record recordings were replaced with 8 track tapes and players, then cassette tape players. It continued to get better with new types of plastic mouth calls, diaphragm calls, better reeds, and then into digital sounds and players. The improvements in calling were the same for turkey, duck, goose, elk, bears, and other animals too. Coyote calling does not exclusive on using calls for hunting.
Improvements in camouflage has greatly improved (from none in the 1950 and 60’s). Cover scent, shooting sticks, rifles, optics, bullets, and so much more has improved to may it more fun and more successful for the hunters.
BUT-Then comes the coyote- Skill is required!
The coyote also evolved and got smarter, more determined, more wary, tougher, and more elusive. With many more hunters blowing a call at them they figured it out quickly and became less responsive, more cautious, and just plain harder to get. The hunters became more determined too. The real problem was that the coyote was smarter on how to kill livestock, kill pets for an easy meal, live in town, and just survive in general. It takes great skill to persue coyotes successfully today.
SOME OF THE ANIMALS THAT GAME CALLS ARE USED TO HUNT FOR IN NORTH AMERICA-CALLING IS NOT EXCLUSIVE TO COYOTES!
A. TODAY’S CALLING EVENT-
Coyote calling as grown in to a serious affair today. Great skill is required too. There are on stage calling events and outdoor hunting events. In each the competition in each is fierce too. Each event is different too. Overall the effort to get the wiley coyote is about the same though. It is still hard…perhaps even harder than ever before. They still have four feet, flawless
camouflage, a very sharp eye, radar hearing, problem solving skills, high speed (40 mph) with built in four paw drive, and a determination for survie that exceeds humans.
An increased number of coyote events across the United States has been seen. Generally 50% or more of the participants are joining an event for the first time (there are NO exact recorded figures though. It is just our experience and estimate). They come to learn and be around others in the coyote calling sport, to hear stories, see equipment, meet other coyote hunting enthusiasts, hear about techniques, and more. It is our estimate that 10% of the participants in a coyote event take 90% of the take animals. It takes skill to be successful in this activity.
In interviews with contestants show that few are there for the prizes (if any). They are more there to share common interest, test their skill, enjoy talking with other participants, and for the title if they win. In outdoor hunting events 100% of the participants know they are helping farmers, ranchers, the general public, and more by reducing/controlling the coyote numbers and helping to remove a dangerous threat. On stage calling events are just as exciting and participation is very high.
B. SOME MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT CALLING EVENTS-
1. Coyote Events are the only ones that offer prizes – As sportsman/hunters/anglers have been doing for centuries they are proud of their success in hunting and fishing efforts. Every single hunting action or effort has a prize at the end… the legal take of an animal(s) the hunters were licensed to harvest. There are tens of thousands of animal trophies, body mounts, and rugs in homes and businesses across America and Canada showing the successful hunt. There are thousands of pictures, videos, and stories of successful hunts and fishing trips too. There are dozens of periodical publications that report the success of hunters and fisherman and there are televisions shows, radio shows, and lots of internet sites reporting hunters and angler successes too. Many sportsman organizations honor hunters and anglers on their success each year too. Awards, prizes, and other rewards for successful hunts have been the norm for decades.
2. Publicity- It appears that because coyote events often advertise that has made them a target. Opponents state they are “shocked” to hear about these decades old coyote events yet say nothing about a “big buck contest”, the “biggest bass” contest either, a childrens fishing derby, or similar. Those are OK we guess.
3. Wholesale slaughter- The largest misconception is that these events promoteote “killing fests”, are irresponsible shooting sprees, dangerous to the public, and much more…just evil things. If a hunting event the success rate per participant is generally very low. Most are thrilled if they even see a coyote during the contest time. In the scheme of things the hunting events contribute to the over all management of predator damage in the are too.
4. Dangerous- Claims of wild dangerous shooting, racing up and down public roads, trespassing, and more are made about these events. All contestants are aware of required strict compliance with all laws including traffic laws, hunting laws, civil laws, tribal, and criminal laws. Non compliance generally results in immediate expulsion from the event. It is not uncommon that the contestants are banned from that event for ever and their name can be shared with other similar events.
5. Wasteful- It is said that in events where the coyotes taken are discarded. That hunters or fisherman should only take what they eat. Coyotes are NOT editable in anyway but are harvested for the quality fur, skull (educational use) urine and glands. All of these items can have great value too.
6. Anybody can do it! Coyote hunting and calling requires skill to master. It can take years to learn just a little about how to call, know where to go, and know what to do when you get there. In this case practice does not always make perfect. It requires study, determination, persistence, the correct equipment, practice, and much more to master.
C.WHAT CALLING EVENTS REALLY ARE TODAY-
Today’s coyote events are nothing more than a legal gathering of sportsmen who share a common interest. They are attended by responsible, licensed, trained Americans pursuing a sport they love and have a legal right to attend. The participants are of all ages, gender, race, and origin. Grandpa and grandson or daughter, father and son or daughter. mother and son or daughter, best friends, husband and wife, uncles, cousins, brothers, sisters, and so many more. Whether it is fishing, hunting, trapping, or similar it can involves everyone.
Many of these organized events have very strict rules (all will vary a little) like the following;
1. SAFETY- At all times the participants must use the highest level of safety. Today nearly all participants have had some type of required Hunter Safety training, firearms concealed carry permit training, NRA firearms training, and more. Many event applications now require that question to be answered for record keeping. They are to report all issues with safety to the event too.
2. LAWS- No Laws of any kind can be broken by the contestants and this includes game laws, traffic laws, and more. If a traffic law is broken during and organized event it is to be reported to officials of the organized event and they will determine how to judge it.
3. BE NICE- Participants must be polite, respectful, and courteous to everyone including law enforcement, local civic leaders, landowners, the general public, and everyone else. They are to avoid conflict whenever possible. Any and all confrontations are to be reported to the organized event officials.
4. ANIMAL CRUELTY- At no time are any of the participants to be involved in any animal cruelty as defined by law in their area. They are to report ALL acts of animal cruelty violations immediately to local authorities. This is witnessed or done.
5. Alcohol, illegal drugs, misuse of prescription drugs, or anything that will affect the judgement or actions of the participants (while handling firearms) are not allowed for any reason at any time during the participation of the event. Prescription drugs are not included and each participant is expected to follow the guidelines of the prescribing doctor and issuing pharmacy. No exceptions!
6. Disposal and/or use of taken animals (if any)- In a hunting event each event generally has a policy and plan to deal with the taken animals (if any). If a hunting event the goal is to reduce coyote populations for damage control and further to make good use of the carcass by harvesting the fur, skull, glands, and urine. Each has a monetary value, can be used in training, and used in other industries. Many events cooperate with local Game Officials that are seeking data of the areas coyote population allowing them to take the animals for research purposes.
7. SUPPORT OF LIVESTOCK GROWERS- Each hunting events works hard to support and tries to meet the needs all local ranchers, farmers, and livestock growers int he area to help reduce losses to coyotes.
8. SUPPORT OF HUNTING CLUBS AND ORGANIZATIONS- Each hunting event works hard to support and tries to meet the needs of all local hunting and sportsmen’s groups who are experiencing game losses to coyotes.
Hunters are the greatest conservationist in America and contribute tens of millions to the nations economy each year. No other group supports wildlife more than hunters. With the growing number of hunter contestants in these organized events even more money is been contributed than ever before.
8. Contributions to charity- It has become very common that these organized events donate a good percentage of the proceeds to a local charity. There are even coyote hunting events sponsored by charities! Examples are;
a. ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Another coyote hunt this weekend is sparking controversy. However, this time the organizer says much of the proceeds go to charity to help terminally ill children.
b. Coyote hunters raise funds for charity-Comet staff report
This past season, the Coyotes for Charity hunters harvested 310 coyotes. The hunters are from Miami,Wabash, Fulton, Kosciusko, Grant, Howard, Marshall, Carroll, Cass and Huntington counties.
c. FAIRVIEW SPORTSMEN’S CLUB
Established in 1934
280 Carver Street Granby, MA. 01033
FSC 4TH Annual Coyote Hunt for Charity
When: February 2nd through March 7th.
Wildlife support- Many organized coyote hunts are for the support of wildlife and hosted by Wildlife organizations like Deer Hunting Organizations, Antelope Hunting Organizations, Turkey Hunting Organizations, and Elk Hunting Organizations. These groups know that reducing coyote numbers helps support their favorite big game species. Even the Quail and Pheasant hunters support these organized hunts because coyotes can be (and are) devastating to those populations too.
ORGANIZED EVENTS- Contests are nothing more than organized events with the participants being hunters who have the same interest-coyotes.
THESE ORGANIZED HUNTING EVENTS ARE NOT EVIL!