There is something about being in the woods with predators that can make your pulse race a little bit. However, every time you are in the woods, you are there with predators, so what makes this different? On this episode I dig into the fear of predators, where it comes from, why it comes, what to do about it, and when extra precautions really should be taken when hunting. 

Fear is irrational by nature. The dark can make us afraid, the woods at night can make us doubly afraid, and predators in dark woods can be enough to paralyze some people with fear. But the truth is, darkness cannot hurt us, darkness in the woods is no more dangerous than darkness in your bedroom, and if there are predators in the woods, there are there day and night, whether you are hunting predators or not. But when we are hunting animals with sharp teeth or claws, we are more aware of them, and it weighs on us more.

Most predators are more afraid of us than we will ever understand. We have to work hard, do everything right, hide, and work to draw predators into gun range, hoping they do not detect us before we can pull the trigger. The moment they sense our presence, they often flea. So why would we be afraid of them? That occurs with far more animals than most people realize as well.

There are only a handful of north American forest animals that post any significant threat to hunters. You are more likely to be injured falling, cutting yourself with your own knife, or getting in a car accident on the way to the woods than being attacked by a predator in the woods. With rare exceptions, you do not need to carry a sidearm for protection from animals.  Other hunters, maybe, but animals, almost never.

However, one of the best things you can do is gain all the knowledge possible and then contact your local game commission and local hunting guides, where every you plan to hunt, and ask them about what the local risk factors are during the time of year you plan to hunt there. There is no substitute for this because there are so many variables in different ranges and seasons, that only true focused locals will know what dangerous and when in their area.  

In some areas, brown bears may pose a significant danger to deer hunters, in other areas allegators may be a threat to duck hunters. But the only way to know for sure is to contact local officials and follow their guidelines to stay safe when you are hunting. There is always some risk, but the kinds of things that most people fear are irrational and unrealistic. And the things that do merit some concern are often nowhere close to them. 

In this podcast episode I go deep into the different predators most people hunt or are likely to encounter and talk about the risks and risk levels posed by each. This episode focuses on north American animals, yet many of the principles apply far beyond this region as well. 

Hunting predators at mid to long range with a varmint rifle is the regular approach and for good reason. But there are many lesser-known weapons and tactics for hunting coyotes and more. On this episode I talk about the many ways you can hunt predators based on the guns and gear you have, or your thirst for challenge. 

The tools you have and are comfortable with are often the tools you want to use when it comes to hunting anything. That is often the case for predators as well. A shotgun for example can be a good weapon for predator hunting but it changes the way you hunt, the ranges, the tactics, and of course the way you setup your shotgun makes a difference.

Ammo selections, choke tubes, practice routines, sights, and cover all need to be considered well in advance to be effective. The decoy positioning needs to adjust as well because the predators must get close. Your call location and routine may be different, and off course you must judge the wind flawlessly. You have to get the coyote within 100 yards, and usually much closer to get a good clean ethical kill shot.

When using a bow, you have to begin taking into account not just a predator’s excellent sense of smell, but also their keen ears. Trying to get a coyote to come within 30 yards and stop long enough for you to draw, aim, and shoot is a noble challenge under even the best of conditions. Using a red or green flashlight at such short distances is also very difficult.

At 100-200 yards, predator hunting flashlights give you an excellently sized light beam for illuminating your target and limiting their depth of vision. At 20 yards, that same flashlight is more like a laser pointer. Many of the higher quality flashlights give you the ability to adjust the beam density from focused to floodlight but good luck adjusting the focus on the flashlight while keeping it on target and holding and drawing a bow at the same time. For more, here is another podcast episode I did titled All About Predator Hunting Flashlights.

No matter what weapon you use, you have many adjustments to make in order to be effective. And the more you can think about in advance, the better your odds will be. Take using a flashlight again for example, the way this is done with a rifle, vs. a bow, vs. a handgun are very different. Advanced planning and practice are the keys to preparing for different hunting strategies. The key is that you need to practice before you are in the woods to develop effective ways to handle new situations.

Listen to the podcast episode to hear more.

A bad hunting habit can cost you a lot of opportunities while pursuing predators. But fixing a bad habit can readily boost your chances of success hunting coyotes, foxes, and more while seemingly doing nothing different. On this episode I identify several bad habits for predator hunting and how you can easily fix them.

Take Aways

  • Predator hunting can seem relatively simple at times, but it is a very skillful activity.
  • What you do, how you do it, and what you omit makes all the difference.
  • A bad hunting habit can appear invisible to you if it is not called to your attention.
  • Doing everything right can often be overshadowed by the negative effects of a bad habit.
  • A habit is not a one-time mistake, it is a regular tendency, something that follows you hunt-after-hunt. 
  • No one is immune to picking up a bad predator hunting habit. It can and will happen unless you intentionally work against it.
  • Every bad habit that you fix can make a big difference in how successful you are.
  • Listen to the episode to hear about the three bad habits for hunting coyotes and foxes.

Coyotes and foxes are most often hunted at night, but can you hunt these predators in the daytime too? You can, and it can be a lot of fun. On this episode I share tips about how to hunt predators in daylight.

Show Notes

  • To hunt predators in daylight, you need an area that gives you certain advantages, but first and foremost there needs to be predators around to hunt!
  • You need to find an area that has low daylight hunting pressure.
    • In some areas with a lot of daytime pressure, predators will lay low all day and move around freely after dark, and they can be hunted easily at night because they at not used to people being near at that time.
  • To have fair odds of success you need to scout for daylight movement. If they do not move during the day in your area then your odds will be very limited. Watch, listen, set up cameras, and talk to locals when possible.
  • Use terrain to your advantage, travel out of sight and hearing from predators and then sneak into positions with long lines of sight.
  • Listen to the episode to hear all of the tips.

Show Notes:

Up until recently every hunter using a firearm had to make a decision with every hunt. Do they protect their future or relish the present? Tetra Hearing has changed the game for all hunters when it comes to saving their hearing and enjoying every precious sound of every hunt and game species. Whether you are hunting ducks, geese, turkeys, deer, pheasants, grouse, crows, doves, elk, or anything else the Tetra AlphaShield & Multi-Pursuit hearing devices can not only save your hearing but help you hear better and hunt better.  I make no commissions on this product and there are no affiliate links. These are my own opinions and this my very own detailed and passionate review.  This may be the most important podcast episode I have ever done. Please listen to this episode.


  • Allows you to hear everything around you with crisp clarity.
  • Audio quality is exceptional, no static, hum, ambient sounds, distractions, etc.
  • Can be custom tuned to your actual personal hearing levels for each ear.
  • Instantly blocks out the sound of gun fire and loud calling to protect your hearing.
    • These are designed to both stop the incremental hearing loss that comes from infrequent shooting with the average deer and turkey seasons as well as stop the accelerated hearing loss caused by high volume shooting seen in hunting waterfowl, pheasants, doves, crows, etc. 
  • Utilizes advanced audio processing technology to filter out various sounds you do not want to hear but more clearly capture subtle sounds you do want to hear.
  • Filters out the majority of wind noise.
  • Amplifies the unique sounds of the game animals you are hunting like turkey gobbles and yelps, duck quacks and wing beats, deer grunts and footfalls, pheasants flushing, and much more. 
  • Far better than anything I’ve seen on the market. In my mind they have no competitors, no one else offering similar products is even in their league. 
  • Fits snugly in your ear and will not fall out.
  • Works great while wearing a hat, beanie, whole head facemask, camo head shroud, etc.
  • Can be put on in seconds.
  • Reduces flinching causes by loud muzzle blast and may help some hunters shoot more accurately.
  • Uses long lasting disposable hearing aid batteries you can easily and inexpensively get in bulk.
  • Super simple to use, there is almost no way to do it wrong. Before long you can easily put them on in the dark without effort or thought.
  • Is sensitive enough to pick up the faintest whisper and the wing beats of ducks but instantly blocks out the roar of magnum shotgun shells.
  • Can be programmed for the game animals that you personally hunt.
  • Improves your hearing so well that even archery hunters may want to use them to hear game more clearly from further away.
  • Designed by ear doctors and hunters, does its job with outstanding excellence. 
    • It is as if they thought of every intricate detail but put it in a package with unexplainable simplicity. 
  • Utilizes high grade hearing aid technology meant to be used constantly, reliably, and without down time. 
  • Comes with 6 different size tips to accommodate different ear sizes.
  • Tetra has confirmed that people with Health Saving Accounts (HSA) can use those funds towards purchasing their products.


  • They fit too tightly for my small ears at first. They felt acceptably snug after a few outings. But after a few half day hunts they fit comfortably enough that I would forget I was wearing them. I’d rather them fit perfectly from day one, but this is still preferred over being too loose.
    • Some people with small ears may not wear them enough to find out that their ears will adapt to them and they become comfortable over time.
  • Sounds weird indoors and around town. But they are meant to be used in the field and they do thrive in their intended environment.
  • The battery door feels a little delicate when open. Should be fine, but be careful to take it is easy when changing batteries. 
  • Price. No two ways about it, they are expensive. Costing as much as a firearm makes them a significant purchase. A very well worth it purchase, but not something most people can casually buy without saving up. 
    • They do go on sale occasionally. And Tetra has said they are working on sourcing more cost effective components to lower the prices.

Final Analysis: Every hunter using a firearm should get these, especially those hunting game requiring regular and frequent shooting like waterfowl, pheasants, doves, etc. If you are a new hunter it would be better to hunt another season or two with a less than thrilling firearm and buy these before upgrading your gun. Everyone should put these on their vision list and prioritize them as they are financially able. 

Learn more at

As a note, Tetra sent me these devices to review, thanks to them for their support. I have since bought by own Tetras.

Show Notes:

Calling predators takes a measure of skill and discipline no matter what tool you use. Electronic calls can be an easier path to success but manual calls do have some benefits that are exclusive to them. On this episode I talk about not just picking the best type of call but how you can up your game when it comes to calling coyotes, foxes, and more.

Electronic Calls:

  • Are way easier to start with
  • Are fast and easy to use
  • Save your lungs and energy
  • Have a massive variety of sounds you can use
  • Are more expensive
  • Require batteries
  • Are only semi-weather resistant

Manual Calls:

  • Are harder to learn
  • Take time and practice to master
  • Require much more energy and focus to use
  • Are small and easy to transport
  • Have no batteries or electronics to mess up
  • Are dynamic and flexible
  • Add realistic variation to your calling


Show Notes:

Coyotes have super powers when it comes to their sense of smell and there is no way to go head-to-head with them in that area and win. On today’s episode I talk about how to overcome their greatest advantage. 

Take Aways:

  • Coyotes sense of sight is not better than yours, at least not in daylight. You can see more colors and with more clarity.
  • Coyotes sense of hearing is good but it is overridden by their sense of smell.
  • Coyotes can smell many times better than humans, and they have sense of smell super powers that go beyond sensitivity.
  • Learn more and what to do on this episode. 

Not all coyotes are created the same, and not all are in the same stage of life. On this episode I talk about the three main types of coyotes and the tactics you can use to hunt them.

They may all be of the same species, maybe even the same family of coyotes but their habits put them into different categories, and they behave almost like different animals to some extent. These predators can subsequently be hunted in different ways, almost as if they are different game entirely.

    • Home Range Coyotes. These animals that have made their home in a specific range. They will mark it, patrol it, defend it, and hunt for food there. Learn how to hunt them by listening in.
    • Dispersing Coyotes. These younger coyotes are being pushed out of an area by the alphas because there isn’t enough room or food for all of them. They are looking for a new home.
    • Transient Coyotes. These savvy lone dogs never settle down and are constantly on the move. They are ever looking for new places.

They way you hunt these different types of coyotes varies considerably, it is not a one method fits all approach. If you are able to identify the coyotes in your area, then you can tailor your hunting tactics to them in order to have the highest possible measure of success with each hour spent in the woods.

There is also a lot to consider here when it comes to pest control. Certain types of coyotes may not be a problem at all and they do not warrant taking any steps to hunt, trap, or drive away. Others on the other hand can become a serious nuisance or worse and warrant very definitive action to protect livestock, game, or even your family.

You can often identify these coyotes with trail camera footage if you are able to place cameras in some key areas. Just because you see a coyote from time to time does not mean you have a problem or even a huntable animal. Some coyotes are just passing through and may never return to your property ever again. 

Listen to the whole podcast episode to learn more about the three different kinds of coyotes.

Show Notes:

Bait can be a powerful tool for coyote hunting and other predators when used right, but it can be a liability when used wrong. On this episode I talk about whether you can hunt predators with bait, whether you should, and how you can get started.

Take Aways:

  • Can you hunt coyotes with bait? In many states yes, it is totally legal. Be sure to check your local laws.
  • Should you hunt them with bait? Philosophically, usually. When it comes to safety, that depends on where you live, listen to learn more.
  • How can you start hunting with bait? This all boils down to what should you use for bait, where do you put it, and when should you place it there.

There can be excellent opportunities to turn a deer hunt into a coyote hunt if you think outside of the box and take some basic principles into consideration. On this episode I talk about 3 ways to maximize your time and effort in the woods.

If coyotes are in the area or menacing an area you can convert any deer hunt to a coyote hunt. Simple awareness of the situation is all you need to make some small adjustments to your plan. You do not need to bring much extra gear to hunt predators while out deer hunting.

A simple call, be it a hand call, mouth call, or electric call can be all you need to lure a coyote into rifle range, whether you are in a tree or a hunting blind, or just sitting on the ground. You can easily keep one in your pocket for slow days or times where you spot a predator at a distance. 

People often get sidetracked thinking you need a special varmint rifle to hunting predators, and that could not be further from the truth. Any weapon that will take down a deer will also take down a coyote. You may do some damage to the pelt with a big bore rifle, but chances are you are not going to be overly concerned about selling it, else you would more likely be trapping them. 

Be mindful of your hunting plans, converting a deer hunt to a coyote hunt is best done if you do not plan to hunt deer in that area again in the near future.  Shooting a predator or calling too much for one can sour a spot for deer hunting. So if you are nearing the end of a hunt or an area is proving unprofitable, converting to a predator does not have many potential cons. But if it is your best deer spot you may want to hold off or at least wait until a time where you won’t be in the woods for a while afterwards. 

There is one tactic you can use to literally draw in deer and coyotes at the same time, and take whoever shows up first.

Always be mindful of your blaze orange regulations, many places require you to wear orange to hunt coyotes if it is during a particular deer season. Even if wearing orange is not required, it is a very good idea if you are on the ground and it is a firearms season. If you are in a tree the risk is a little lower but always mind your local hunting laws for you particular hunting jurisdiction. 

Listen to the whole podcast episode to hear it all.