Thursday, September 30, 2010

Play Their Instinct, Not Their Hunger

This is the time when of you should have your rifles sighted in, your rigs ready to roll and all of your other necessary gear fine-tuned and ready. The last remaining factor that spells success or failure is totally dependent upon you, the hunter. Ultimate success will be dictated by your skill and strategy.

All of us spend a great deal of time analyzing our prey. We scout for the most likely habitat and attempt to zero in on just exactly where and when the animals are most active. However, what worked just fine last month and produced several kills may not work at all this month. Coyotes seem to move around a lot and in the process; they can become more “educated” due to hunting pressure. These shifts in animal behavior necessitate a shift in our attitude and procedures too. Perhaps it is time for you to try something completely different.

Although the general animal habitat guidelines don’t change, perhaps our attitude and techniques for attracting them should. Chances are, the typical coyote and bobcat have heard the pleading jackrabbit call more than once or twice and it may not have the startling effect we would expect. Hey, even my dog is a perfect example of that. He hears me testing different pitched calls all the time. Now he is used to those sounds and he only reacts when I introduce something new into the mix. Therefore, new ideas and a fresh approach might make the difference between hunting success and failure.

On the last hunt, I tried sounds, sequences and techniques that were different than my usual bag of tricks. I changed more than the sounds however; I tried an entirely new coyote calling psychology.

In the past, my calling was not a part of a larger plan. There was no scripting of sounds or end game in mind. I simply played a CD or worked a mouth-call hoping that a hungry critter would respond. I was only appealing to one sense…..hunger. That would mean for me to be successful, the following factors would have to be in place:

• A hungry coyote would have to be within hearing distance of my call.
• That coyote would need to be hungry enough to respond.
• That coyote would be comfortable responding in the calls’ territory.
• The coyote would not be educated to the specific sound.
• The coyote’s hunger would overcome caution.

For my money, those are too many variables. By appealing to only one sense, you severely limit yourself. For the best success, appeal to as many of the animals senses and “instincts” as you can. The ultimate key word there is instinct.

Webster’s dictionary defines instinct as “a largely inheritable and unalterable tendency of an organism to make a complex and specific response to environmental stimuli without involving reason. b: behavior that is mediated by reactions below the conscious level.

That is our ultimate edge gentlemen, playing on their instinctive responses. If you plan your ambush to appeal to instinct rather than their thought process, your chances of success will be greatly enhanced. Their instinctive reactions will override their education and hopefully result in a bang-flop for you. My last hunt seemed to prove this theory out and if you give careful consideration to formulate more of an overall plan to your calling techniques, I’m sure you will agree.

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