Predator Hunting FAQ by Shane Hurkmans
What is predator hunting?
Predator hunting is, hunting any animal that prays on other animals an such. Fox, coyotes, bobcats, coons, wolves, mountain lions, skunks, lynxes, mink, pine martins, fishers and wolverines are considered predators.
Why do you predator hunt?
I hunt predators for two reasons. One, for the pelts, skulls and bones, plus a man can make a few extra bucks if you are good at it. Second reason is to save a few ducklings, fawns, rabbits and other small animals, so they might have a chance in the spring.
Are predators easy to hunt?
No, not at all, they are harder to hunt than deer. Wolves, coyotes and fox are some of the smartest animals I know. Predators survive by hunting other animals. With this in mind they would not live to long if they were not resourceful. Predators have keen eyes, ears and a sense of smell that create a big problem for those hunting them.
Some say that coyotes and wolves can smell ten times better than humans can smell. So, when hunting coyotes and fox you have to be sent free and be quiet when getting in and out of locations were you intend to hunt, camo clothing can fool the eyes of coyotes and fox but movement has to stay a minimum to be successful.
How do predator’s impact fawns and waterfowl?
Predators like fox, skunks, coyotes and others have a big impacted on fawns, turkeys and ducks in the spring. Some studies have shown that trapping predators on breading grounds has a 30% increase in duck production in areas were trapping was employed over other areas were predators were not trapped. Fawns are another big meal item in the spring for wolves and coyotes. I have heard up to 20% of all fawns born in the spring are killed. Coyotes and wolves also have big impact on farmer’s calves, sheep and other livestock. I talked to one farmer that had lost 5 calves in one spring. Some of these sheep and calves are worth hundreds of dollars.
How many ways can predators be hunted?
There are many ways to hunt predators. One way is the use of dogs. The most common use of dogs is in running down bears, mountain lions, coon, coyotes and fox. Other ways to hunt are calling, baiting, trapping and stalking. Most farmers prefer calling because hounds can scare cattle and sheep. Calling can be employed close to pens and livestock without dogs running all over the place.
What do you do with the carcass after you shoot one?
When I kill a coyote or a fox, I do one of two things with them I sell the whole carcass to a taxidermist or taxidermist schools for mounting. I take them home and skin them and take the skulls off. After I take the pelt off the carcass, I stretch the pelt over a stretching form. After I have them stretched and all the meat off the hide, I put them in a bag and put it in the freezer. At the end of the season I sell my furs to a buyer.
What caliber do you use?
Any caliber will work for coyotes and fox. Your hunting rifle will do just fine. Most guys that hunt for the pelts use the smallest caliber they can for hunting coyotes, fox and bobcats. The smaller the hole in the pelt the better price you can get for your hides. The most popular calibers for hunting smaller predators are 17 rim fires up to 25-06. For the larger predators the most used calibers are 223, 22-250 and the 243.
Good luck and be safe in the outdoors.