Southeastern Outdoors Birds & Birding
Southeastern Outdoors
Home > Outdoor Activities > Hunting & Shooting > Iowa Coyote Hunting
Fishing Gear & Supplies at Bass Pro ShopsWeb Site Promotion

Iowa Brush Wolves Offer Adrenalin Pumping Excitement

December 18, 2007

By Lowell Washburn

Universally villainized as a low down, chicken stealin’, good for nothing sheep killer; the wily coyote may well be our most despised species of wildlife.

But for Iowa predator caller, Steve Griebel the perspective is strikingly different. He respects the unpopular wild canine and, from a purely recreational perspective, even goes so far as to regard the species a highly valuable natural resource.

“For me, it would be hard not to respect the coyote,” says Griebel. “When you think about it, coyotes are pressured the year round. They’re chased with dogs, chased with trucks, trapped, pursued by predator callers, and continually harassed by farmers. No other furbearer – anywhere -- endures that kind of pressure.”

So how do coyotes manage to survive and even thrive under the continual onslaught? Superior mental and physical abilities appear to be part of the answer.

“Everyone will shoot at a coyote,” says Griebel. “Pheasant and rabbit hunters, deer hunters, everyone. I think the term ‘once burned twice shy’ definitely applies to coyotes. Every time they survive an encounter with humans it just makes them that much cagier.”

Griebel, who is also an avid trapper, recalls a year when he captured more than 100 Iowa coyotes. When those animals were skinned, he discovered more than half contained .22 caliber bullets, buckshot, or birdshot. It’s easy to see why coyotes --- at least the survivors --- become so effective at avoiding human contact.

“In order to survive coyotes need to have the best of all physical abilities,” said Griebel. “As far as I’m concerned, they have the very best eyes, ears, and nose of anything in nature. In my opinion, nothing even comes to close to matching them.”

Although Griebel enjoys matching wits with coyotes in a variety of ways, predator calling is his favorite. Although the coyote season is open year round, pelts attain their highest quality and value during the dead of winter. But as the year progresses, coyotes become increasingly crafty and elusive. If a hunter is interested in seeking the ultimate outdoor challenge, try calling coyotes after the increased pressure that accompanies Iowa’s shotgun deer seasons. It just doesn’t get any tougher than that, says Griebel.

“In Iowa, coyotes can be anywhere ---- To them, everything is habitat,” Griebel notes. “The main thing is to play the wind and always have a good downwind view. The first call I use is a Howler. To a coyote, a howl can be a challenge or an invitation. It’s a locator and I’m hoping to solicit an answer.”

If there’s no response, Griebel switches to a distress call, usually one that mimics a cottontail rabbit.

“Usually I’ll call for about thirty seconds or so and then wait for a minute or two. If one call doesn’t work I’ll try something different, just like you would when turkey hunting. Early in the fall, you can call a lot. Later in the winter most of the rabbits are gone, and I rely more on howling.”

“Coyotes are always looking for an easy meal and, generally speaking, if you call they’ll come. There are times when it can definitely get exciting,” says Griebel. “Sometimes after hearing your howl a big male will decide to defend his territory and come charging right in with his hackles up. Once the coyote pinpoints your location, it’s as if he’s staring right through you. They really look huge and you get a sense of what it’s like to be the rabbit.”


Related Links & Resources:
Iowa Deer Hunting Report
Iowa Coyote Hunting
Self Check Compliance rates
M.D. Deer Data Collection Changes With Self Check
Iowa Hunting License Sales
Iowa Deer Harvest




Questions, answers and tips about big game hunting can be found in our Hunting Discussion Forums.

Hunting Info
Hunting & Shooting
Poachers Caught
TN Deer Harvest
Hunting Jokes
Trophy Room
Venison Recipes
Tennessee Hunting
Sponsor Links
What's This?
Related Links
Iowa DNR
Iowa Cabins
Shooting Ranges
Hunting Guides
Gun Books