Question for Rich Higgins

Slydog

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About the 4 seasons of the coyote. I know that you are a busy man but I have to ask this anyway.

Q: If each season meaning, winter, spring, summer and fall, there is a differant set of rules for coyote vocalization, could you break them down and explain them one at a time for everyone?

The reason I asked this is because there is much confusion about this topic.

I hope that came out right?

sly

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ 07-22-2003 15:10: Message edited by: Doug ]</font>
 

Crow Woman

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good question Sly... How bout it Rich H

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Rich Higgins

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How did I miss this? Must have been the glare from that train wreck on the other thread.
For the purpose of locating and calling coyotes with coyote vocalizations I categorize the climatic seasons and the social seasons or periods of the coyote more or less together. Those four seasons are basically and loosely
mating(about 15 Dec.-15 Mar. and covers courtship and breeding),
denning( about 15 Mar.-15 May which includes whelping),
pup-rearing(about 15 May-15 Sept.), and
dispersal(about 15 Sept.- 15 Dec.)
Each of these social seasons influence social bonds and territorial size and defense which influence vocalizations and response to same.
Mating season is usually a very busy time for coyotes. The period of most transients (as much as 60% of the population) due to recent dispersal and the time of greatest territorial behavior among residents and greatest sociality among adult pack members. It is also the time of greatest aggressive behavior. Transients are not very vocal at all. At any given time they are probably trespassing on someones territory and subsequently maintain a low profile. These facts should be considered when selecting stands and type and presentation of howl.
Denning season is when the coyotes are the least vocal. They expend more energy in feeding and providing for the pups and less for territorial maintenance. They often will not bother defending boundaries only core areas. This must be considered in howl and stand selection.
Pup-rearing. The conditions outlined in denning season hold double at this time. Adults appear to be reluctant to reveal their and the pups locations and are less vocal and more nocturnal and precuspular. Territorial maintenance is very low level. Core area defense is extremely high level. Dispersal. Most every ones favorite time because not only are there a lot of dispersing pups joining the transients , but the relaxing of social bonds free the adults to range greater distances and expand the home ranges and territory boundaries. Also to be considered when selecting howls and stands.
Austin and Lehner both identified 11 coyote vocalizations, Camenzind identified 9. Of these only two are of interest to the caller whose goal is to elicit a vocal response to locate and to elicit an approach to bring them to the stand.
Researchers use group yip-howl playbacks as locators because that vocalization elicits a similar response from adjacent packs. This is the one I use to locate.
Coyotes will more often silently approach a lone howl than any other vocalization. This, in one variation or another ,is the one I use to call them to the stand.
I've already outlined the limitations of the threat bark-howl(challenge) on the train-wreck thread.
So depending on the seasonal behavior and current population dynamics extant, and knowing the general locations of coyotes either through howling or, more than likely, scouting and familiarity with the area. I will set-up in over lapping home ranges and start the stand with a very non-threatening juvenile howl so as not to intimidate YoY or nonterritorial transients. I don't even include herald barks (possibly perceived as agonistic) with those howls. Since coyote vocalizations are usually graded, I will escalate to a more mature adult lone howl and then to a territorial claim over the course of the stand.
It is important to know, so that you don't expect to be overrun by huge packs of yapping coyotes everytime you blow a howl, that studies with radio-collared coyotes have shown that coyotes will often times re-position themselves within their territories before approaching or vocally responding to a howl. For that reason I often stay on stand 20-30 minutes if I'm fairly certain coyotes are within hearing distance. Many, many times they show up towards the end of those stands.
When I want video of pups and adults during denning or pup-rearing season, I approach as closely to the dens or rendevous areas as I can and howl a yip-howl(territorial claim) which can result in some interesting and up-close behavior.
I do not initiate aggressive vocalizations, I let the coyote do that and just follow it's lead. A coyote full of adrenaline and anger is going to spend alot of time in your face. A coyote full of adrenaline and fear is looking for an excuse to head for the next area code.
Lunar phases apparently have no influence on vocal response, wind and barometric pressure do. Coyotes like moderate wind ,not high wind, and they like low front conditions.
This is way long. The rest we can sort through with Q and A.
Disclaimer: As Dennis Miller says, This is just my opinion, I could be wrong.
Edit: made judicious use of enter button

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ 07-17-2003 20:51: Message edited by: Rich Higgins ]</font>
 

ColdNosed

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Thanks Rich H that helps logically explain some of my experiences that were responsible for turning me off on howling.

In your experience will a yip-howl from a single call work nearly as well as a group yip-howl for locating? I don’t always have a buddy along and I really don’t want to get or make a recording.

I found it interesting that the coyotes repositioned themselves before they responded. Are they trying to get a look at or wind the stranger?
 

Rich Higgins

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"In your experience will a yip-howl from a single call work nearly as well as a group yip-howl for locating? I don’t always have a buddy along and I really don’t want to get or make a recording."
ColdNosed, the lone yip-howl will work as a locator, but not nearly as well as our locator technique. Tyler and I will drive towards the area in question, Tyler yip-howling out the right window and me howling out the left. We stop every 100 yards or so and listen for a second or two. What the resident coyotes hear is a couple of coyotes advancing on their territory and making claim to it. It can really light them up.

"I found it interesting that the coyotes repositioned themselves before they responded. Are they trying to get a look at or wind the stranger?"
Actually, and this is just my best guess, I believe it's a retreat to an area they are compelled to defend or an area in which they feel safer and more secure. When the intruder does not advance, they approach to investigate him. Reseachers catagorize movement into only two groups, approach and retreat. Moving downwind and moving to a better vantage point for a better view are probably considered approach.
 

Krustyklimber

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Coldnosed,

I am glad you see it... I am lost.

I sure wish I could learn what all these howls are, you guys might as well be speaking Greek.
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11 vocalizations?

Maybe you could translate this thread, for those of us who are not up to speed with coyote howling jargon?

Mr. Higgins,

Perhaps if you could hit enter once in awhile, this would be easier to read.
I have trouble understanding where one thought ends and a new one starts, but I do find it interesting.
wink.gif


I believe this lack of understanding is hampering my efforts to call coyotes. I seem to always use the wrong howl, wrong howler, or a combination of both in the wrong way at the wrong time of year.
But this may be do to the fact, that no matter what you report you have done on these BBs, someone is going to tell you you did it wrong.
I am about to give up on howling all together... because I don't think I know how to properly do it, and I am afraid doing it wrong will do more harm than good.

If I cannot identify a territorial overlap, find a denning area, or rendezvous point how do I know what to do?
I am sure many of the others who kill the coyotes they see have a much harder time identifying these areas and characteristics of the coyotes they call.

Do you think that calling the same coyotes over and over has taught them that you are no threat , and thus has changed the nature of your calling?

"hey, it's Ty and Rich, lets go see what games they're gonna play with us!"

And do you think that relationship would have been impossible to create if you had killed them, thus making it almost impossible for you to have learned what you have?

Thanks,

Jeff
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Crow Woman

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I called Rich H about this one yesterday morning because it totally threw me. The night before around 7pm, I was relaxing in the hottub and stewing about not being able to use Sly's new howler yet. So I went in the house and grabbed it and came back outside into the hottub and started fooling around with it. I started with just simple howling. So I howled for about an hour. I wanted to get the right feel for my lips and the feel of the correct position in my mouth which would produce the smoothest and most versatile sound.

After an hour of straight howling, Gary came home and joined me in the tub. We had the stereo going and were just waiting for the stars to come out and just when it started to get dark around 9:10pm, 100-120 yards straight directly up from us they starting in their chorus of singing and yipping. I said to Gary to quick go grab my gun and shells. The minute he came up out of the water, all I saw were 5 or 6 black streaks going through the hay exiting.

The hay is chest high but from them moving so fast, they were leaving a pattern. So I started to howl at 7pm and Gary got home at 8pm when I stopped and the coyotes somehow sneaked down in the pasture before 9pm and I never knew anything about there repositioning of themselves until they started singing.

So lone howl, repositioning themselves silently... yup... I'm a believer.

And BTW... Sly's calls... Yup... you betcha!
wink.gif


So on with the experiments... next up, I will play the yip howl tape out the front window of the house projecting the sound North and I will be setting in outside facing South lone howling. I'm anxious to see the response... To be contd.
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Crow Woman

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I did try maybe about 5 single barks within that hour, but thought I would concentrate on learning just one sound at a time focusing on the lone howl. Over and over again
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varmit hunter

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I have already talked to Rich about this incident. It may are may not help some of you.

I got a frantic call last month from a rancher that had just lost a calf. He had just cut his hay field the day before. We got there about one to scout it for a evening stand.

The back of the property is very dense woods. That is sliced by three pipe lines. I opened up with some jip howls, The heated things up with some barks mixed with howls. The big old male trotted out about fifty yards from the woods in the wide open. The rancher responded just as the big male hoped he wood. Before I could say anything. He blasted off in the truck headed for the male screaming for me to shoot. We are bouncing along at 35 MPH. He is screaming shoot him. I am thinking this guy must think I am DAA (Wrong).

The Dog is running to our left. I am screaming to the rancher to head to the pipe lines to our right. He keeps saying, But he is going to the left. I am still screaming go to the right. Total kayos.

He finally heads to the right. Just in time for us to see two bitches crossing the pipeline. Each with a litter about a month apart in age.

Now the purpose of this long winded tail.

Howling does effect the position of the pack. In this case. I believe the male was drawing us off while the two bitches relocated the pups.

Went back about a half hour before dark. The male responded once again. This time it was on my terms. A 55 gr V-Max canceled his next plan.
 
D

Dick Reece

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Krusty,I am not trying to bust your chops with this post,I'm trying to help,so please bear with me.Remember I am new just like you,so by no means do I pretend to know anything about predator hunting,the best I could do on the subject would be to quote what I've seen someone else type.

I believe from Rich's post, that a group yip howl is composed of 2 or three yips in quick succession,followed rapidly by a lone howl,whilst another hunter is doing nothing but the lone howl.

As to the lone howl,I'm fairly certain it is just that,a Lone,lonesome sounding,single howl.I don't know how many times and with what rhythm or timing this would be done,perhaps Rich can take it from here and explain the rest of this,as well as what comprises a threat bark howl, etc ?

Also Krusty,I have a short tape that came with my Primos open reed howler,which demonstrates some of the various coyote vocalizations, I'd be glad to send you a copy if you wish ?

There's a thought Rich,maybe you should manufacture an instructional tape of the various coyote vocalizations,with a short set of instructions as to under what circumstances each would best be used ? I'll bet it would sell like cold beer at a ditch diggers contest!

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ 07-17-2003 14:15: Message edited by: Seldom Ever ]</font>
 

TBone

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Wait a second, Seldom-- Just for the record, do you know anything about coyote hunting, or not??? Some posts, you come across like a seasoned old salt. Others, you mention how new you are. I see that in, what, 5 months, you've racked up 1340 posts. That's a lot of questions! Or are most of your posts.... uhh... ???? Full of it?

Hey, Krustyklunger, don't be afraid to try howling because you may make a mistake! Get out there and BLOW, man!!!! Go for it! See how much you learn, see what works for you.
 
D

Dick Reece

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TBone, you've not been here long,with only 5 posts ? Ask anyone you want,I have never claimed to be a seasoned predator hunter,nor have I said anything to give that impression.

I am,however,a seasoned hunter.I am 51 years old and I've been hunting for close to thirty years now.So,if I sound like a veteran hunter,it's only the knowledge I've acquired while pursuing game other than predators,coming through.

My number of posts is because I do ask a lot of questions,and these are discussion boards and I like to get involved, not just sit on the sidelines.Hope I was able to satisfy your curiousity.
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Cdog911

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Jeff,
I'll chime in on that last piece of advice. You won't call coyotes sitting at the computer talking about it. Don't analyze - DO. Here's what you need to do, and why.

Take whichever howler you find works best for you and get out there are use it. Little hint: lone howls. Other than the short herald barks that immediately precede the lone howl, stay away from stand alone barks. Go out and howl. In time, maybe sooner than later, something will show up. Now's when the fun starts. Contrary to a lot of what has been said about coyotes responding to a call, they act a whole lot different coming to a howl. Before Rich taught me his technique, I was old school and believed that everything had to be perfect or that coyote would bust out and be gone. In reality, you can get away with a lot of unconventional stuff with a howled coyote, and for me, this has been the funnest part of calling them.

Lone howl- two-three short staccato herald barks (optional) going into a rising long howl that peaks and falls of the other side. Pretty typical howl sound.

Threat bark- in my experience, two sharp barks followed by a howl that starts moderately low, and rises abruptly in a wavering, wailing scream-like blast. No drop off at the top. Usually been two barks, wailing howl, two sharp barks. A lot of the "coyotes" I hear on movies are doing what sounds like a threat bark to me. It's very distinctive and once you hear it, you'll know it the next time around.

Ki-yi's - scalded dog. I've got my own footage of coyotes in front of me, only slightly amused at my lone howls, but when I give them a puppy ki-yi, BAM! They're coming in hot and heavy. Any time of the year, too.

Bark- one short "ark!" on the howler. Better than a whistle stop. Brings them to a stop right where they stand.

Yip howl or group yip howl- SE, I had a pack this last fall that would play with me quite often. The group howl they gave me each night was exactly as Rich described it through my piece on howling in T&PC. It would start as a lone howl then fall into chaotic yips and yelps, then fall off like the tail end of a lone howl. The first lone was one coyote, the pack would join in for the melee, then they'd just kinda drop off. If I answered back with my voice, or better yet, with my howler, they'd get all wound up then. Our little meet and greets got to be such a routine that they'd wait for me to come off my deerstand and were right across the creek from me running and yipping where I could see their ghostly shadows gong between the dark silhouettes of the trees. Absolutely thrilling.
 
AMK Sportsman

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