Examples of coyote hunting maps
So, let’s look at some examples:
The map above (Topo A) is an example of a single stand that I chose by topo scouting. I had never been in the area before. But on this stand, which I located precisely on the map and loaded onto my GPS ahead of time, we called in four coyotes and killed all four of them. Let’s talk about some of the things I saw on the map that attracted me to this spot. I parked the truck at the letter “T” on the map. Note that the road starts to go through a small saddle at that point and that the parking spot is well hidden from the stand. The red line is the approximate path that I walked from the truck, going around the back side of the small hill, never exposing myself to the area I’d be calling. The spot I sat down to call from is at the letter “X”. I set the caller about 40 yards in front and downhill from my sitting place. Now, note the red numbers 1,2,3,4 and 5 on the map. Those are five separate draws, or small drainages that all feed in to the area covered by my rifle on this stand. And draw #5 actually has two more draws feeding into it, that are within coyote hearing of the stand. So, what I saw on this map when topo scouting it from home, was that I had a bunch of draws all coming together, which is a terrain feature that has provided good stands for me many times in the past. And I also saw that I could hide the truck and only have to walk about 250 yards to get into position. I could even see from the map that I’d probably have good elevation above my caller and a good view on this stand. Last but not least, I knew this would make a better stand in the evening than in the morning due to the direction I’d be facing. Setups like this don’t always pan out of course, but frequently they do and this one certainly did!
Now let’s look at another map (Topo B). This is a spot I have not been to yet. But I plan to hunt it someday. Some of the things that appeal to me, about this spot on the map, are: The roads marked as “4WD”. Nothing about topo scouting is 100%, but normally “4WD” indicates a rough two track that doesn’t see very much travel. Sometimes when I get there, I find these old trails are so faint, you almost have to know they are there to even find them. Which might mean, the coyotes living in this area don’t get as much pressure as those closer to more travelled roads. Also, note the river on the right side of the map. I have not been to this spot, but I’m somewhat familiar with the general area. It’s pretty dry country without much permanent water. The rivers that do exist are always what I call “life zones”. The bottoms along the rivers always hold good concentrations of prey for coyotes. And so usually, a decent population of coyotes will be found along these river systems. And finally, note how the terrain is broken up with lots of potential spots to hide the truck and get setup without walking very far. All of the red “X” marks are spots I think look good for being able to hide the truck and make a quick setup, calling into country that I expect to hold coyotes. Note, I wouldn’t expect all those “X” marks to work out as actual stands, but seeing so many potential spots in one area on the map is always a good sign. The terrain doesn’t look too steep, either. To me, it looks “just right” – enough small hills to make hiding the truck and sneaking into position easy, but not so steep and deep as to make it hard to move around in. Once more though, I need to stress that these are all characteristics that “I” like to see, to go along with my personal preferences in how I hunt coyotes. What you need to be looking for, are the things that go along with your personal hunting preferences. Whether that be terrain type, road access, cover, whatever it is you like to see, that’s what you need to be looking for when you’re topo scouting.