The "Anything But Deer Hunting" series is an attempt for us to continue our love for the outdoors by learning about other outdoor activities in the hunting and fishing space. On this episode, we talk with Nate Thomas, one of the hosts of the Missouri Woods & Water podcast, about predator hunting. Specifically coyote hunting.
Nate shares when he was introduced to coyote hunting, the strategy involved in this style of hunting, and the gear you might need before your first hunt. Nate also discusses the coyotes nose and how it is undefeated in the field, specific firearms and optics needs, and why hunting coyotes ranks up towards top of his favorite things to do.
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What's up everybody? Welcome back to another episode of the Anything but Deer Hunting series right here on the Sportsman's empire right here on the Nine Finger Chronicles podcast. Hopefully, you guys are [00:01:00] enjoying your march thus far. I went on a shed hunt. I found zero sheds, so there's that. I drove two and a half hours to get to this farm.
I shed hunted it. I turned around and I drove two and a half hours. And I found zero sheds. So it's pretty it's the drive there is full of excitement cuz you're you have this feeling of, Hey man, I know I'm gonna find sheds when I get into this little piece of timber or this little CRP strip or whatever.
And then what happens is you don't find those sheds in that place because I, for one reason or another, I'm not really. And the drive home after that really sucks and . And so I I put the pedal to the metal, I put on my favorite positive jams and I made it home Shed hunting and I don't think I'm even gonna be able to go again this year just because of the schedule.
I might be able to go out this coming [00:02:00] Friday, but I doubt it. Just cuz of work and kids and life. And it is also spring break. So unless I'm taking kids with me, we're family with me. Yeah. No I probably won't be able to go. And when the invitation, it sounds something like this, Hey, who wants to go walk through a whole bunch of thorns and look for deer antlers?
Who's down? Y yes. You're gonna get wet. Yes, you're gonna get st. Stuck with thorns. Yes, those thorns and cock birds will stick to your clothes and more than likely you'll never get 'em off. Yes, you'll probably get scratches on your face and your arms. And so and so that's not very appealing, especially on some the only other farm I really care to shed hunt there is some field edge, but that takes five to 10 minutes to walk.
And although I've found good sheds there in the past, it just hasn't been the same. So shed hunting season was really three hours long this year. And I don't [00:03:00] know. I just, I. I wish I had more ground to hunt. Back in the day I used to shed hunt all the time. And since then, back in the day is back in the day I've lost all those properties and, they've been sold and purchased and changed hands.
And really what that is that's a big no-no for me to go shed hunting anymore. And public land gets pounded. So that leaves me with the farms that have access to hunt and there's no deer on 'em during the wintertime. , there's that. What else we got going on? Today's a really good episode, man.
I'm gonna tell you we got Nate Thomas from the Missouri Woods and Water Podcast on today, and he is going to talk about his second favorite thing to do or. Really close to. First it's deer hunting, and then it's coyote hunting. Maybe a little predator hunting if you want to, if he calls in some bobcats or things like that.
But he's a fan of coyote hunting, and so today he talks about the learning curve. He talks about the barriers to entry. He talks about the financial[00:04:00] cost of being a coyote hunter. He talks about a little strategy and then overall, why he love. Coyote hunting and why he loves the coyote in general. So it's a really good episode.
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3, 2, 1. All right on the phone with me today from the Missouri Woods and Water Podcast. Nate Thomas. Nate. What's up, man? Nothing. How are
[00:08:47] Nate Thomas: you guys doing up there in Iowa?
[00:08:49] Dan Johnson: We're doing pretty good. I am. I'm looking to get out and do some shed hunting, but. Yesterday , I went to the doctor. I tu okay, Tuesday of this week.
I was doing [00:09:00] some dead lifts and all of a sudden my knee started hurting really bad to the point where I can't even walk upstairs anymore. I have to do the one leg shuffle up the stair. And so I went to a doctor yesterday and we took some x-rays. . It's not reassuring. When the doctor says a couple things, he's boy, this knee is garbage.
that, and then he. Usually we try to wait until 60 for a knee replacement, and here I'm 42 and he is I would say that you might need one. , and so I got a, one of those steroid shots in my knee and hopefully that helps. And
[00:09:34] Nate Thomas: it should, man. Yeah, I'm in the same boat as you. I've had four knee surgeries on my left knee, and I'm in the same boat.
It's just straight garbage. There's, arthritis all throughout the knee, just because that's what he said. I go, I actually go get a cortisone shot every six months in that knee. Yeah. And it helps. I'm just trying to make it to 55.
[00:09:53] Dan Johnson: Yeah. . Yeah. And so the doctor replacement? Yeah. The doctor told me, he's Hey man I am under the [00:10:00] impression that you might as well live a really good, healthy life while you're younger and then just go through another knee surgery at 70, because that's about the time when most people get 'em anyway, your.
Junk and you might as well go live with a good knee. So I'm gonna see what the shot, how that shot feels in a couple days, cuz he said it could take a couple days for it to kick in. But yeah, once it kicks in, I'll have a better idea of how it feels. And if, if it's something that keeps coming back really quickly, I think I might just go ahead and get the knee replacement, man, and then take the six months to rehab it and then you.
Or like I said on the a different podcast, wait for Elon Musk to come out with robot legs and I'll just remove my own legs and put robot legs in. I
[00:10:47] Nate Thomas: still don't get why having as many knee surgeries as I've had. It sounds like you've had too. Yeah. They can take a acl off of a dead person and put it into your knee.
, but [00:11:00] they can't figure out how to replace the cartilage around inside your knee. Your meniscus and all those, because that's what's causing me problems now that I'm getting a little older. Yeah. Is the cartilage that I don't
[00:11:11] Dan Johnson: anymore. The bones spurs. Yeah. Yeah. All that stuff. I'm
[00:11:14] Nate Thomas: just, I can't figure out why science can't figure out how to replace that, Carly, you know what I'm saying?
[00:11:18] Dan Johnson: We all know that healthcare is all about treating the symptoms and not curing the problem. And so There you go. Yep. And so that's how they make their money anyway. Yes. Anyway. You good? You Good man. Good life, happy family.
[00:11:35] Nate Thomas: Yeah. Busy life. Yeah, I, we're doing all kinds of stuff this weekend, but.
Everything's good down here other than the weather today, but yeah. You got some rain? Yeah, it's raining its ass off. And we're actually myself, Micah and Andy are going down about an hour and a half south of us and we're doing the the first ever coyote hunt for the Missouri Disabled Sportsman.
So we're taking three mobility [00:12:00] impaired individuals on the first ever pilot hunt for them. Yeah. Along with some other people that are volunteering and it's ran in its ass off today, so Yeah. Hoping it stops here soon.
[00:12:08] Dan Johnson: Most of those guys are tough anyway, and if they if they're like.
strapped into a wheelchair or some kind, or they have to use crutches to walk. They're, those are the type of people, if they want to get out the, they'll go in any type of weather and they'll tough it out because, shit, they're tough already from having to live the way they live.
[00:12:29] Nate Thomas: Yeah. And they've got these, I don't know if you've ever seen 'em, but these, they call 'em track chairs.
Oh yeah. I've seen 'em. And from what, our contact at MDs has said they can go anywhere. , no matter how muddy or nasty it, . And so the, I'm not worried about the mud and all that. I just, I'm worried about the quality of coyo hunting. Yeah. So if it's raining, the coyotes aren't gonna wanna mess around and Yeah.
So I'm hoping it stops so they can have an enjoyable experience more than anything.
[00:12:53] Dan Johnson: But yeah. Hey, one second. I gotta, my dumb ass forgot to shut off my space heater. Gimme one sec. Yeah, you're
[00:12:59] Nate Thomas: good[00:13:00]
[00:13:06] Dan Johnson: there. We.
Okay. And that's that kind of is, that kind of is the perfect transition into what we're gonna talk about today. And so this this series, and I've mentioned this before, is the anything but deer hunting series and what I wanna accomplish in this conversation. Is a conversation about things out to do outside of deer season.
Not necessarily outside of the dates. You can do 'em in the dates as well. But I wanna go back all the way to the earliest that you can remember of you being interested in predator. .
[00:13:49] Nate Thomas: I think to be able to tell you that story, I want to go back to my last deer season and really get into that deer that I was after.
I'm just kidding.
[00:13:59] Dan Johnson: We're gonna, [00:14:00] I'm gonna flip the script on you. We're gonna talk about deer hunting strategy today, , anything but deer.
[00:14:04] Nate Thomas: I wanna talk about deer. Dammit. No. Oh it's been long enough, I'd say probably five, six years ago, somewhere in there. Okay. So fairly recently. . Yeah. It's not, we haven't been doing it for two decades.
, it was just one of them deals where, deer season would end and winter would set in. And about this time of year you're just like, hu I wish, I wish it would hurry up and get the spring so we could put cameras out or start doing stuff. And yeah, there was this dead space and none of us, waterfowl hunt, we don't duck hunt or goose hunt and.
we're like, what is there to do? And Andy and Micah did it before I did within a few months, but I don't know. It was just like, Hey, here's a call my brother has, he let us borrow it. Let's go out and hunt some coyotes. Yeah. And I think the first time I went, we're sitting there and [00:15:00] all of a sudden there's this freaking coyote like 30 yards away from us.
Yeah. And the feeling it gave. was something so totally different than the feeling I get from deer and elk cunning that it automatically, it just immediately hooked me. Yeah. Oh, this is fun.
[00:15:17] Dan Johnson: Was it, and was it the calling them in and having them respond to a distress call?
Or was it just simply just being
[00:15:23] Nate Thomas: close to them? It was the fact that when you're hunting a deer, you know you're setting. To, ambush them. That's the idea. You don't want them to know you're there until you shoot 'em. Or even after. With the coyo, it's just interesting because you're attempting to make a predator come to you.
Yeah. Whether that's to eat what you're attempting to be or to fight what you're attempting to be. You're trying to make a predator come hurt what you're pretending to be Right. And it's just really cool. And then when you see. , they're, they know that something's going on [00:16:00] up there, there's no question.
Yeah. And so it's a multitude of things. You're getting a predator to come in and you're tricking them. And it's just really cool to see them, hunt or be themselves. Yeah. Until hopefully you shoot 'em. So it, like I said, it's just. . So people have asked me what I like more, and I always answer deer hunting just because it's my first love.
. But I can't, it's hard to even compare the two, honestly, because they're not even similar at all. Yeah.
[00:16:29] Dan Johnson: Yeah. And so thr you said about what, five years ago is when? When this experie? Somewhere in there? Yeah, somewhere in there. About five years ago. And so when you had that first experience, was it just, was it hardcore from that
[00:16:44] Nate Thomas: point?
Pretty much. Okay. Yeah. All right. It turned into I'm gonna go buy a call. I want a new rifle. I want to do this Just like with any hobby. Yeah, it can, you can spend money on it, right? And yeah it turned into a [00:17:00] addiction, I guess you'd call it pretty quickly.
[00:17:01] Dan Johnson: Okay, so let's talk about that.
I want to talk about what the learning curve looked like for you. And is this something you do with a group of people or do you go out and do this by your. , I almost never
[00:17:12] Nate Thomas: hunt by myself. Okay. I have, yeah. But that's one thing about cow hunting. I think that, once again is so totally different than deer hunting.
I almost never deer hunt with other people other than maybe my sons. , right? , I just, I don't film, so I don't have a film guy with me or anything like that. So I'm almost always by myself. or with my sons? In Kyle hunting, you're almo. I'm almost always with at least one other hunter.
Yeah. Sometimes two, sometimes there's four of us. Yeah. And is that
[00:17:40] Dan Johnson: strategy
[00:17:41] Nate Thomas: based? Yeah, because let's say you got three guys. You're gonna have one guy calling and he's gonna be a shooter too, most likely. But, and then you're gonna have two guys, shooting, let's say if you get a triple come in or a quad come.
It's a lot harder to kill a quad with one dude, one rifle. Yeah.[00:18:00] So there's strategy to it and there's more eyes because, those things can be pretty slick and sometimes you don't notice 'em. And yeah, so I think there's strategy to it and then just it's a sport that's more fun with people.
Yeah. It's fun. You can do it by yourself. And I've done it and it's enjoyable, but it's just different, by yourself. I like doing. with other hunters.
[00:18:20] Dan Johnson: So talk to me a little bit about the learning curve then. Where do, where did you make your mistakes?
How did you, learn to be in effect from that point, where that, you had that aha moment, I love coyote hunting to, where you felt comfortable in your setups. Talk to us about that learning curve and what it looked. ,
[00:18:41] Nate Thomas: I'm still learning. Yeah. Because I'm relatively new, I guess you'd call it, but from a calling perspective, I don't feel like I'm great still.
, I feel like I can call Coyote in, right? But it doesn't really matter. Like people really worry about what sounds you're using, how you know how you're calling. I don't think any [00:19:00] of that shit really matters, man. If you're gonna be in the woods that day and that Cayo is Cullable, they're cullable.
And yeah, you could probably not do a good job. Be bad at it. And there's certain things I've learned, but what I've learned over the past, let's say five or six years, however long it's been, you are never ever going to trick a coyote's nose. Yeah. Never. Yeah. You think deer can smell?
Wait until you get around a coyote? Oh man.
[00:19:28] Dan Johnson: And I don't know. I don't know about you. I'm sure you've seen it before. With a white tail coming through the woods, they all go and then they look around and then they're just like, what? What happened? What is that thing? And then they may just, go back because there's no initial threat.
They can smell you, but they haven't seen you yet. They haven't heard you yet. And so I feel like a whitetail is a one of those animals where it takes, at least not all the time, because in some high pressure situations, they know, they smell [00:20:00] you, you're gone. But it may take checking off two of the senses in, for a threat.
But when a coyote comes through, what I've seen in the past is, Gone. And they don't wait. They don't wait around. They may run a hundred yards and then turn around and look back, but usually they're just adios.
[00:20:22] Nate Thomas: Yeah. And so I think the biggest thing I've learned is this. On my setups I've gotten to where I, I will try to, and it doesn't always work but I will try to set up where I can see my down wind still. Yeah. Because if you hunted pilots long, , smart coyotes will circle the call. The idea would be they're circling and if you catch 'em before they catch your wind, you can still kill 'em. It's like with deer hunting when we talk about cutting them.
Yep. Yep. If it's right before they bust you, that you can get 'em killed. Gotcha. It's it's similar with the Coyo I want to cover my [00:21:00] down wind because there's a decent chance that they're gonna swing through and. Catch whatever the smell, what they're hearing Yeah. Prior to coming in.
And then you won't even know they were there cuz they'll be gone.
[00:21:12] Dan Johnson: So it's almost like you want the wind to your back and then you try to catch them coming in from the right or left.
[00:21:20] Nate Thomas: N no it's, i a perfect win. I would love to be able to have it right in my face and I'm gonna see him coming from you.
From nine, nine o'clock to three o'clock. Yeah. Like a perfect setup. But those are never, those never happen. Gotcha. So it might be coming, across my right side and going back that way. So if I can set up in a fence row where I can see the left side because the wind's coming that direction.
Yep. I'll catch them circling potentially out this way before I lose them. Yeah. And then sometimes they come straight in and you don't have to worry about it. Those are usually yo younger coyotes who haven't been called before or whatever. Yeah. [00:22:00] Yeah. So yeah it's if try to get off their bed and you're just, you're trying to catch 'em, Jay hooking into their bed as a whitetail. Like that.
[00:22:06] Dan Johnson: Yeah. Okay. And what would you say are some of the biggest mistakes that you've made in predator hunting that have, once you fixed them, you got better? . Yeah.
[00:22:20] Nate Thomas: If you're not a good shot, you're not gonna kill coyotes. Cuz they don't have, they're not a very big target.
And when I first started, obviously I just had a gun and so I just used it and then I got better glass and then I got a better trigger. And then a suppressor. There's all these other things that help you become a better shooter. And when you feel confident in the ability to shoot a coyote, you become a killer.
much quicker. Gotcha. When you just go hunting, yeah, you can shoot a coyote and people do it, but there's a difference between I can do it and I know I'm gonna kill it. Yeah. Yeah. There's a difference in my opinion and getting behind a trigger. I've had to practice just like we do with our [00:23:00] bows and whitetail.
[00:23:01] Dan Johnson: Yeah. Go out and shoot. And so as as, so obviously shooting is very important because if you're gonna hunt, you have to have a gun or, you could try it with a bow, but I think that would be pretty difficult. Keep bond. Yeah. I've killed some
[00:23:15] Nate Thomas: a bow, but it was while I was deer hunting.
[00:23:17] Dan Johnson: Gotcha. And so from a strictly predator hunting standpoint are there any type of. Calls or decoys that you would recommend for a novice or someone that's you know what? I got plenty of coyotes where I live. I might as well go out and if nothing else, help the deer herd survive. Or the small game, or turkeys or whatever whatever you want to save.
Remove some of these predators from the landscape. How do you are there any additional, I want, I don't wanna talk about guns yet, but I want to talk about the other tools that someone might want to consider as a No, as a novice. .
[00:23:55] Nate Thomas: The easiest thing is you can go to any Bass, pro Shields [00:24:00] Academy, whatever.
, whatever sporting places around you. And you can buy an e collar, what's called an e collar. There is several brands out there. There's Fox Pro, lucky Duck, ICO Tech Primos might even make one. So there's several brands out there that you can buy. And it's an electronic color.
Yeah. It's a basically a speaker and a remote. , you don't have to like, be the most polished color in the world. Set the damn thing out and start using it. Yeah. And that's, and then a lot of them will come with, or you can buy what's called a decoy and it's just this steak you stick in the ground that has a little rabbit tail or a, looks like a woodpecker and just sits there and spins.
You don't need those. I don't use decoys 90% of the time. . Some people also use coyote decoys, which I have never used. I could see where they would be cool. Yeah, it's like with using a decoy, a deer decoy. . So honestly, you can go to Bass Pro, spend 200 bucks on a basic e collar and go hunt.
[00:25:00] Yeah. That's all you need. Yeah. You don't need anymore. Yeah. And a gun obviously.
[00:25:03] Dan Johnson: Do you ever hunt over bait like a deer carcass or another dead coyote or something like, .
[00:25:08] Nate Thomas: Not I've never baited coyotes. Gotcha. But it, let's say the farmer said, Hey, we had a cow dye. We actually we had a degradation tag, which is, I won't get into this specifics, but it's hunting with thermals outside of thermal season because of degradation.
Yeah. So you get a special tag from the consultation. So
[00:25:25] Dan Johnson: the coyote was the coyotes causing problems? Causing problems? Yeah.
[00:25:30] Nate Thomas: Yeah. So they had a dead. . And so we knew there was the dead cow, so we checked that dead cow, but I've never like specifically sat over a dead carcass. Yeah. And just waited for coyotes to come in.
Gotcha. I might sit in that area because it's likely that they're there eating. Yeah. Or they've been there chilling because there's a free food and then I'll call him. But I've never sat there and said, Hey, I'm gonna wait for Kyles to walk by and come eat. Gotcha. This one, gotcha. I think some [00:26:00] people do.
I just, I haven't,
[00:26:02] Dan Johnson: yeah. All right. And so then you talked about those tools. Are there any bef, and before we get into guns, are there any other barriers to entry? Because I was talking to Chris Powell on the Hounds Man XP podcast, and he's and they have a dog. They, yeah, they have dogs.
They have to keep alive in order to go predator hunting with D Hounds or coon hunting and things like that. They have to keep the dog alive. They gotta feed it, they need shots, they need to train it. On top of that, the he's, he goes into if you want to take really. Truly take care of your dogs.
You need to have certain types of collars, gps, blah, blah, blah. So the barrier to entry and to doing it well is much hot, is really high. Where is the barrier of entry for someone who wants to become a coyote hunter or a predator hunter?
[00:26:50] Nate Thomas: The barrier to entry, and I think this is why cayo hunting is becoming popular, is pretty damn low.
You need a collar and a gun. Yeah. Now, , [00:27:00] there are things that can make it better and make you more successful, but they're not necessary for you to go hunting. What are the, you don't have to have a tripod. Okay. You don't have to have other things. So basically an e caller and a gun, and you can go hunt.
[00:27:16] Dan Johnson: What what time's a year? I know you're out of Missouri, so just use Missouri. What are the dates you can legally hunt coyotes or bobcats or whatever in.
[00:27:27] Nate Thomas: in Missouri, you can hunt a coyote almost all year long during the day. Yep. Now, during the night, it's a different different story and you can technically hunt a coyote during the night all year long too.
You just can't use lights or thermals. , you have to use natural moonlight, which is crazy to me. I don't know who would just go hunting in the dark.
[00:27:43] Dan Johnson: That's a crazy rule. You would like it's not, it's from a safety Yeah. . I think that's a, I think that's a coyote . I think
[00:27:51] Nate Thomas: that's a bad idea. But so you can essentially hunt a Coyote, Missouri all year long.
, there's a window during Turkey season that technically you're not supposed to [00:28:00] hunt 'em then either. Yep. And we don't, I don't think a lot of people follow that rule, but I follow the rule and it's coming up either at the end of March or April, I can't remember, for 10 days where you can't hunt 'em during the daytime hours either.
Yeah. It's during the hatch or Yeah. You know when the turkeys are. So anyways at nighttime in Missouri, you can hunt with artificial light or thermals from February 1st through March 31st. Okay. So about a two month season. Yep. And bobcats are a little different. Bobcats you have. Sometime around November 15th through February 31st to hunt them.
Okay. Only during the day. They're not legal at night. During night season. So bobcats, foxes are a little bit different than coyotes, but coyotes essentially they're free game. Yeah. Gotcha. During the day,
[00:28:49] Dan Johnson: most of the year. And Is there, because I know you, you hunt during the summertime as well.
Yeah. For these animals is there a time of year that you would prefer, or is there a time of year that makes [00:29:00] them more killable?
[00:29:02] Nate Thomas: Sometimes it's I think summer might be the best time actually. Why? The only thing that, so they have their pups? . Okay. First couple weeks the pups don't get out of the den.
Okay. Then they get out of the den and they move around a little. and, just maybe a couple yards away from the den. , then they get out and they start getting themselves into trouble. Okay. When pups are old enough to start getting themselves into trouble, you can really piss off coyotes.
Gotcha. The mothers the dads the satellite females. The satellite males, like you can get groups coming in to. Yeah. In the summertime, the only thing that sucks about summer is it's also summer. So you're dealing with ticks and tall grass and, yeah.
[00:29:48] Dan Johnson: But so it's a territorial thing.
[00:29:50] Nate Thomas: Yeah.
If when they think there's something's going on with their pups, they, they are susceptible to getting called and not just one, like lots [00:30:00] of 'em, multiple coyotes just running in. Yeah. Yeah. And then, Breeding season is also the other time, which is ending right now. Today's March 3rd or something.
Breeding season, January, February-ish. . They're more cullable because just like deer season, sometimes the males get stupid. Females are also looking for mates. . We called one in last week a single male, and he was 600 yards. And all I did was a really faint female invitation and he just came running.
Yeah. During breeding season, they can also, be a little dumber. So I would say like January, February, and then late May, June. Okay. Because the pups are still really young and the grass isn't crazy tall. Sometimes you can get in there, it's not terribly hot. Yeah. Is a lot of fun.
they're just hard. You, they're just nastier in the summertime. Their coats are so gross. Yeah. In the summer, . Yeah.
[00:30:58] Dan Johnson: Okay, so [00:31:00] we've talked a little bit about the learning curve. We talked about the best times to hunt 'em. Now he's gotta start getting into the gun. Now you said the barrier entry is fairly simple and any gun might do, but your gun looks like something out of call of.
So your rifle does . Talk to us about what the best option, can you get away with a multipurpose gun that you al already used for deer hunting? Talk to us about the best type of rifle or gun to use for coyote hunting.
[00:31:32] Nate Thomas: Yeah, and there's a several ways to go about it, like you just said.
Yeah, I've got one, one of my rifles is one that I also use for deer hunting. For the person that you know, doesn't have the money to maybe do more than one. Or even, not that they don't have the money, they don't want to dick around with more than one rifle. It'd make more sense to get a rifle that you could use for both deer hunting and coyo hunting.
So that are, that's gonna be calibers like the 2 43. I've got a six arc, which I'm using for both ri or [00:32:00] coyote and deer. If I use it during deer season. . So that'd be like the 2 43, the six arc, six five creed more, calibers like that, that you can get higher grain, bullets.
Yep. And then you, if you want to just hunt coyotes there's rounds like the, the classic 2 23 round , the 22 2 50, which is what I run. I'm a big fan of that one. There's all kinds of Cal Coyote specific calibers out. that would've take forever to list them, but honestly, there's a lot of people out there with AR that are 2 23. You can use those to kill coyotes. They're not the best, in my opinion, but they'll do the job if you shoot. Yeah.
[00:32:40] Dan Johnson: What about like slug guns a shotgun or buck shot? Are those legal
[00:32:46] Nate Thomas: Some places They are and there are people that shot gun hunt coyotes.
Okay. . I have never done it. I think it would be fun as hell because that means you got a coyote right on top of you. Close. Yeah. Yes you can. I just haven't done
[00:32:58] Dan Johnson: it. Gotcha. And so when it comes to [00:33:00] range, obviously a rifle is gonna be better than a shotgun, as as far as reaching out is concerned.
But talk to us about an expected shot distance in coyote hunting.
[00:33:13] Nate Thomas: So where we. you're gonna set up, we set up so that we can have a coyote anywhere between 50 and let's say 200 yards. , like that's what we would prefer them to be in that range. Somewhere in there. Yeah. If we have a coyote at 20 yards, that's cool, but something went weird.
Something went off for that coyote to be so close to us. And honestly, where we are in Missouri, you're not gonna get much more than a 300 yard shot out here. . Just because we have, rolling Hills Haul. timber. So three, you can get some longer shots, but let's just say 300 and in.
Yeah. But if, when I'm on a set, I would like to see the Kyle inside 200 yards, right? Between 50 and 200. That's where I'd like to see 'em. Yeah. Be why? I think it's obvious, right? The closer they are, the better you're gonna shoot.[00:34:00] I practice further, but I guarantee you I'm a better shot at a hundred yards than I am at 400 because.
Why wouldn't I be? Yeah, it's like saying you're a better shot with your bow at 85 yards than you are at 15. Yeah. Really? Yeah. That's not true. Yeah. And if you, if that is true, you've sucked somewhere, like you gotta fix something. So I would prefer to have 'em a little closer because I know I'm going to put that right where it needs to be.
Right at 400 yards. I have done it. I know what my calculations are when it comes to. , and I know what my holdover is, or I know what my my MOA is, but it's still not a, a chip shot, right? So I don't want to shoot a coyote at 400. I want to shoot a coyo inside too.
[00:34:43] Dan Johnson: Gotcha. So when it comes to when it comes to a shot, right?
Are we aiming for the vitals, like right behind the shoulder or are is predator hunting more of a, Hey man, just get a bullet. .
[00:34:58] Nate Thomas: So I used to aim [00:35:00] right behind the shoulder. Just like you would a deer, right? Yeah. With a coyote. I have started aiming on the shoulder. Yeah. And there's a reason for that.
So you aim behind the shoulder, you're probably, if you hit there, you're gonna kill 'em. Yeah. But there's a decent chance that they might run. Yeah. And a coyote that you don't find doesn't do you, especially if you're doing a tournament, then you didn't do anything. So what I want to do is I wanna break that coyote.
I want to get rid of its landing gear. Get rid of every possibility of it. Moving from the spot I shot it. Gotcha. And with, with the bullets I'm shooting, if I aim on shoulder, I'm not only gonna break that cow down, I'm also gonna kill it on impact with the hydro shock. And then the bullet's gonna penetrate through bone and Yeah.
And mess everything up. Yeah. It's still, it still typically passes all the way through. Sometimes if you shoot 'em just through, let's say the vitals and you just go meet through meat, they don't even know what hit 'em for 80 yards and they're fast. Yeah. [00:36:00] And they're just gone. And you don't even know where they, went to sometimes.
And I don't wanna make a habit of tracking coyotes. The last thing I wanna do is find a pissed off coyote that's not dead. Yeah, that makes
[00:36:10] Dan Johnson: sense. Yeah. So what about head shots? Is that an ethical shot for a predator? .
[00:36:19] Nate Thomas: If you feel like you can make the shot. Sure. I've shot a coyote in the head before cause that was the only shot it gave me.
Yeah. But I knew that I could do it. Yeah. Would I take a shot at 300 yards at a coyote on the head? No. Cuz I don't think I'm, that's a difficult shot to make. Yeah. At 50 yards when they're just standing there looking and, they're present. And that's the only shot they give you. If they give me a chest, I'm going to, I'm gonna move my scope down to the chest and shoot on the chest, not the head.
Yeah. But I've shot cows in the head before. It's effective, but when I shoot a deer in the head, probably not. Yeah. So it's, I guess it could be, I'm being a little bit Hi hypocritical. Hypocritical. [00:37:00] Yeah. In that situation. . If they give me an easy enough shot I'll take it. Gotcha, gotcha.
[00:37:05] Dan Johnson: All right. And so then what, so we've talked about the guns. Is there a specific scope or do you need a scope? You've mentioned thermals. Do you need thermals?
[00:37:16] Nate Thomas: No. You don't need thermals, , but thermals are fun as hell. Yeah. The problem with thermals are they are so expensive. Yeah. And in Missouri, you get two.
and a decent thermal cost, a couple thousand dollars. . So no, you don't need thermals now during the daytime. Yeah, you should, you would need a scope. Yeah. Once again, you can get by with the cheapest scope out there. You can go buy a scope for a couple hundred bucks and a gun for a couple hundred bucks for that matter and be ready to hunt.
Obviously, in my opinion, with scopes with glass, you do get what you pay for sometimes. . I prefer a little nicer scope now just because it makes things easier for me. But yeah you should, you'll need a scope and a basic three by nine scope would do you , if that's all you had it [00:38:00] wouldn't be any problem.
Gotcha. And a basic gun would do you if that's all you had. Yeah. And. Hey, I like this. You get into it, you go buy a cheap collar. You have a cheap gun, some, a cheap piece of glass on it. You get into it, you decide, Ooh, I really like this. And just like any other hobby, you're gonna start upgrading at that point probably.
Yeah. There's more expensive calls out there. There's more expensive guns, there's more expensive glass. There's tripods, bipods , different packs, just, all kinds of stuff, just like any other type of hunting. It can be just as expensive .
[00:38:35] Dan Johnson: Yeah. So winding down the podcast here.
W why do you, why does Nate Thomas like coyote hunting so much?
[00:38:45] Nate Thomas: For several reasons. It's, like I said earlier, so totally different from whitetail hunting. It gives me a different rush that I'm, I guess I'm seeking. . . I really enjoy hunting a coyote because, and this is probably gonna be a different answer than a [00:39:00] lot of people would give you.
I respect the hell out of that animal. Yeah. If you think about a coyote, they're the most successful predator in North America. Bar none. , they can live anywhere. They can deal with anything you throw at 'em. and it doesn't matter. It just doesn't seem like it matters what you do to 'em. They keep coming.
And you gotta respect that. So I respect that animal. I have a certain love for coyotes. Yeah. That, is similar to the, my love for deer. Not really the same, but, I do enjoy the animal. I do think they're beautiful. Some of 'em can be really ugly, but most of them are really beautiful.
. And at the same time my, my first love is deer hunting. , I know you don't feel like you're making much of a dent, but the study I read for every Coyote kills on average about 19 fawns at some point a year. I'll have to, it was a picture I saw a couple weeks ago and I don't know if it's a year or not, but that's a, so I can't remember.
[00:39:53] Dan Johnson: a lot of fawns for. One coyote.
[00:39:56] Nate Thomas: Yeah, I should've had that saved before I got on with you. But [00:40:00] yeah, I dunno if it's over its lifetime or a year. Yeah. Yeah. I don't care. So if I can kill three coyotes off of a farm, did that hurt the deer? , no. It couldn't have done anything but help.
At the same time, by killing coyotes, I feel like I'm helping my deer, my Turkey other animals that are not predators, right? So I do it for a multitude of reasons. It's a nice time passing. It's a big rush. I respect the hell outta the animal and I feel like I'm helping other animals. I love at the same.
[00:40:27] Dan Johnson: If you were walking around the woods and a coyote pup popped out and it was like, and it started whining, would you pick it up and take it home and treat it as a pet? No.
Good answer. Not a chance. Okay, good. Not a freaking chance. Good.
[00:40:45] Nate Thomas: First off, cuz you know that's a wild animal. Do you realize what it would do to your house, ? I'm sure people have done it. I'd be more likely to kill it than I would. Take it home.
[00:40:55] Dan Johnson: It's take it home. It's almost like that one that one blind [00:41:00] lady who put up the little poster that's Hey, is anybody missing a white cat
It's a picture of a possum and it's is anybody missing a white cat? It's pretty angry all the time. .
[00:41:12] Nate Thomas: Yeah. That's because it's a
[00:41:13] Dan Johnson: possib lady here. Yeah, exactly.
[00:41:15] Nate Thomas: I can only imagine. I'm sure people have done it before and there's somebody probably yelling. They're speakers right now. Oh. It was the best dog I ever had.
I don't care. Nasty bastards, yeah. I will say they're a nasty animal. Yeah. I've seen some of the stuff they eat and it's just oh my God. Yeah.
[00:41:29] Dan Johnson: Especially when they're, that's so good. When their favorite thing to do is start at the butt hole of an animal and then eat it forward.
Yeah. , maybe not.
[00:41:37] Nate Thomas: Little odd. I had somebody ask me, and I'm gonna, I'll probably get scolded on this one too. I had somebody ask me, do you eat the coyotes? Yeah. And I said, no. Yeah. And they're like, that dude that's red meat. You, I'm like, dude, you could not pay me enough money to eat a coyote.
Yeah. Couldn't do it. I see what they eat. I see what they do. I will never eat a coyote. And if, if there's a new law that gets passed that says you have. [00:42:00] Eat the meat off of a coyote that you kill. I'll stop coyote hunting . So you're never gonna get me to eat a coyote. There's certain things I won't do.
And that's one of them. Yeah.
[00:42:08] Dan Johnson: Yeah. Real, real quick do you skin out the coyotes and tan the fur for market or anything like that?
[00:42:15] Nate Thomas: Yeah, and it just depends, like down here the hides aren't great. , because we're, it, it stays warmer down here. , like a coyo up in North Dakota, they have beautiful fur.
, they're worth a lot. Kyle in Texas, Kyle out in Arkansas, Kyle, Missouri. Not really that great. Yeah. Okay. So during the wintertime, if we get one that is, is got a nice pelt on it that isn't manji we will usually give it to a buddy of ours that's a trapper or get it tanned, but not to sell, because honestly they're worth like 15 bucks.
It's usually just getting it tanned just to display because, it had a nice hide on it and we'll skin it and get it tanned, but most of them, man, they're just, they're either manji or [00:43:00] not. Nice. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:43:02] Dan Johnson: All right. Here's your sales pitch to anybody who's listening right now, who found what you said have said today, interesting.
Why don't you go a, get ahead and give your sales pitch of why someone should try coyote hunting or at predator hunting in. .
[00:43:16] Nate Thomas: Why the hell not guys? It's cheap to get started, like I just said earlier, all you need is a rifle and a call. Yeah. And even if you don't have a call, if you have an elk call or a little rabbit call, you can use that.
, then it's even cheaper. It's decently, it's getting harder, but it's e it's historically easier to find coyo hunting property than it is Yeah. Deer hunting property. , knock on a few doors and ask if you can kill some coyotes. And you're probably gonna get some yeses. Yeah. And you can go give it a shot.
And it's something to do in the wintertime when you're not doing anything else. So have at it. Yeah that's what I think,
[00:43:52] Dan Johnson: I would think if you're a serious land manager who does not coyote hunt I would think letting a couple Coyote [00:44:00] guys come on your farm every year would just be a huge benefit.
[00:44:04] Nate Thomas: I do. I do too. Cuz we have hunted farm. work. Farmers have called us and said, I have a huge problem. Yeah. Come help. Yeah. And that's because nobody's been out there hunting. And all of a sudden they've got 15 coyotes within, 200 acres and 15 coyotes will really cause problems. And even with cows and, all kinds of stuff.
Yeah, absolutely. Coyotes. Coyotes are indiscriminate killers, man. Yeah. They walk by a faw in the field, they're gonna kill it. They walk by a baby calf. It doesn't have a mama around, they're gonna kill it. Yeah. They don't care what, they don't specifically hunt anything. They just kill. , they can eat
[00:44:42] Dan Johnson: the most convenience for them.
[00:44:44] Nate Thomas: So they can they can
[00:44:45] Dan Johnson: cause problems. Cool. Nate, man, I really appreciate you taking time outta here today to hop on and bs with us. A little bit about coyote hunting. If, is there a resource out there that you would send people to that may help them [00:45:00] get better educated on coyote hunting or predator?
[00:45:04] Nate Thomas: Yeah, our podcast. There you go.
[00:45:05] Dan Johnson: What is that? Is that ? No. If there are some, do you, I know for a fact you guys put out a lot of coyote hunting content, and if that's where you feel is gonna educate these people, then yeah, promote it. There
[00:45:16] Nate Thomas: are some podcasts like ours, Missouri Woods and Water.
We do a lot of coyote content. There's some other really good podcasts out there. On coyote hunting. Coyote hunting doesn't have that much of a podcast. Follow following, I guess you'd say it right?
[00:45:29] Dan Johnson: Yeah. So Fox Pro. Yeah. Yes, sure.
[00:45:33] Nate Thomas: FoxPro has a good show with John Collins. There's Eastman's Predator Pros.
That's another Kyle Hunting podcast. That's only two I can thank off the top of my head. Gotcha. And then, like I said, we do quite a bit of Coyote content and then on, on YouTube there's FoxPro has a a YouTube channel where they do a lot of hunting. If you just YouTubed coyote hunting there's some people that do stuff on film and it'll help you learn quite a bit because if you pay attention, when you hear the coyote coming in, you can hear the call [00:46:00] that they're using. Yeah. So you can say, okay, I'm gonna start trying to use this. Or whatever. Cuz there's different times of years for different things help work better at times.
Yeah. It's just a learning curve, just like any other sport that you get into. Don't take it too seriously. Have fun and you're gonna enjoy it. I can promise. Yeah. It's that fun to me. Awesome.
[00:46:20] Dan Johnson: Thanks Nate, man. I really appreciate it.
[00:46:23] Nate Thomas: Hey, no problem buddy.
[00:46:27] Dan Johnson: And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen, another episode in the books. Huge shout out to Nate. Huge shout out to all of you. I really do appreciate it. If you like the content that's coming out of the Nine Finger Chronicles Camp, there's only really one way for me to grow, and that is through word of mouth.
Because Instagram and Facebook, all these other places have banned me and. I would really appreciate it if you would take time outta your day to let your friends, your other hunting buddies know any other type of hunting community that you're [00:47:00] in about the Sportsman's Empire and the Nine Finger Chronicles, and just let 'em know that if you're looking for some really good content from a passionate outdoorsman, this is the podcast for you.
So huge shout out to all of you for taking time outta your day. Huge shout out to Tethered Wasp, HuntStand and Vortex and all of the other network partners that participate on this. Hopefully we got some new guys coming on board earlier early. Early in the summer, and I can share that information with you.
But let's be good to one another. Let's stay positive and if we're gonna be in a tree, man, let's wear our safety harness.