Outdoors enthusiasts, rejoice! Night hunting coyotes is now legal, thanks to the Missouri Department of Conservation’s September ruling. From February 1 through March 9, licensed hunters can use artificial lights while helping to thin the unwieldy predator population.
If you haven’t tried it yet, you can add a whole new dimension to the sport. With limited vision, you’ll have to rely on all your senses to outwit coyotes in the dark. They’re nocturnal, which helps, but this list of the best equipment for night hunting will be your biggest advantage. Stock up on supplies, and don’t forget to set your alarm in February.
Hunting coyotes at night means shooting at a closer range, so your weapon of choice will depend on function, your comfort level, and your budget. Top choices include the AR15, the .223 bolt-action rifle, a high-end air rifle, or a shotgun with No. 4 buckshot.
Without these, your weapon won’t be very effective. Don’t spend a lot of money before you’ve been out a few times because the wrong equipment makes it too awkward to be stealthy. Your options include weapon-mounted lights, night vision scopes, thermal technology, headlamps, and handheld lights. Coyotes don’t have many weaknesses, but they do have dichromatic vision, which is a kind of color blindness. Be sure to include something with a red light to ensure they won’t see you coming.
Coyotes are engineered for survival and have a super-strong sense of smell. So, it’s crucial to buy scent control clothing or wash the items you have with a scent control soap. If your skin is light, coyotes will spot you in the dark, so cover up as much as possible. A face mask will disguise you at night and protect you from COVID-19 during the day. It’s not hard to find a scent-treated camo mask at outdoor supply stores; you can wear it as a scarf and pull it up over your face when you need it.
There’s not a lot that’s more fun than mimicking a bunny in distress, and you can freestyle this sound as much as you’d like. However, a good electronic or mouth call will free up your hands and is likely to be more effective. You can adjust the volume for more range and can experiment with a variety of yips and howls. Some calls come with decoys, too.
Don’t forget to pack batteries, warm and cold-weather gloves, a first aid kit, and water. Catching your breath in a shooting chair never hurts, either. If you love the thrill of the outdoors, investing in the best equipment for night hunting will pay off. Just make sure you’re well-rested before your next outing.