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Washington Coyote Guides

Shelby's Trophy Guide Service.  Specializing in trophy Blacktail deer in the western Washington area, Shelby's Trophy Guide Service has over 29 years of experience, and is owned and operated by Boyd "Edward" Shelby Jr. Book your hunt today (360) 373-5720

 

 

Coyote print

bunny print.. note the forefeet are behind the back feet indicating that this bunny was in a hurry

 

Little Bandit CoonCougar in woodsSuburban WWA coyote

Washington State Predator Hunting Tips

Cougar  -   Coyote   -   Raccoon  -  Bobcat

If you can contribute information click here Submit information (tips, area suggestions, etc)

                                                                                                                                                              

Cougar

  • distribution map
  • It is currently illegal to use hounds to hunt the general season Cougar in Washington.  Hound hunting is virtually the only consistent way of finding cougars.
  • It is very important to note that very few cougars can actually be hunted except as incidentally to other hunting.  It is an extremely lucky individual who can find one in the wild.  Cougars are bright and know their territory better than any other animal. 
  • Cougar have an excellent sense of smell.  Be especially aware of your smell when in Cougar country. Scent tips
  • Stands can be used for Cougar.  Position the stand in travel corridors between tall timber and fields/clearcuts.  Benches between two prominent hills are good places to ambush Cougar moving.
  • Calling of Cougar has been known to be effective.  They are naturally very curious.  A predator call (wounded rabbit, fawn bleat, etc) have been known to bring in Cougar.
  • Cougar are primarily nocturnal and will rarely be caught unaware during the middle of the day.
  • Snow is your best bet on successfully tracking a cougar.
  • Recognize cougar sign.  In areas where one night you hear coyotes close by and none the next night can mean that a cougar has moved in.
  •   Fresh cougar scat typically full of hair and resembles housecat poop.
  • Be careful when approaching game that was downed the day before.  There are some hunters out there who have successfully tracked their shots from the evening before and in the morning have found their deer or elk already claimed by a cougar.  You can recognize the cougar signs by the fact that cougar only eat a bit of their deer or elk until they get full and then cover it up with grass and dirt.  Coyotes, however, tend to call in their other pack mates and they eat the entire carcass, guts and all.  The Cougar will usually just be within a short range of his cached food unless spooked off.
  • Cougar rarely eat dead animals they find.  They tend to only prefer animals and birds that they have personally acquired.  This is not the case in times of bad winters where food is limited.
  • The 2010 Trend report by the WDFW estimates that the statewide population of cougars to be anywhere from 1,900 to 2,100 animals.

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                 

Coyote         

   

  • Coyote hunting at night should only be done by very experienced hunters.  The laws around hunting at night, safety considerations, game warden management, and numerous other issues make hunting coyotes at night an activity which should not be attempted by novice hunters.
  • From the WDFW regs "Bobcat, raccoon, and coyote may be hunted at night during established bobcat and raccoon seasons, Except that: it is unlawful to hunt any wildlife at night or wild animals with dogs (hounds) during the months of September, October, or November in any area open to a centerfire rifle deer or elk season."   WAC 232 - 28 -342 It is unlawful to hunt any wildlife at night or wild animals with dogs (hounds) during the months of September, October, or November in any area open to a modern firearm deer or elk season. The use of hounds to hunt black bear, cougar (EXCEPT by public safety cougar removal permit (WAC 232-12-243) or a commission authorized hound permit (WAC 232-28-285), coyote, and bobcat is prohibited year round.
  • Coyotes are virtually everywhere in Washington State.
  • Glassing and Stalking are common ways to hunt coyotes in Washington.  Look for coyotes feeding in the open or moving between bedding and feeding areas.
  • Coyotes have an excellent sense of smell.  Be especially aware of your smell when in coyotes country. Scent tips
  • Stands can be used for coyotes.  In woodland areas, position the stand in travel corridors between tall timber and clearcuts and along skidder roads.  Benches between two prominent hills are good places to ambush coyotes moving.  In open areas place a stand where above a gully or wash.  The coyotes will use low points in topography to travel so they are not silhouetted.
  • Calling of coyotes has been known to be effective.  They are naturally very curious.  A predator call (wounded rabbit, fawn bleat, etc) have been known to bring in coyotes.
  • Think of off season coyote hunting as improving the numbers of big game available during the fall.  Coyotes definitely take a toll on fawn survival as well as overwintering survival.
  • In the same vein, coyotes are huge predators of upland birds and ducks.  You can conserve quite a few game birds with the harvesting of a single coyote.  You might have a good chance at getting off season access to some private hunting lands if you offer to cull a few coyotes for them.
  • At this time, electronic decoys and calls are legal for enticing coyotes.  These things are lethal.
  • Rig a rabbit pelt, a discarded deer tail or coyote tail to a small fishing pole.  Attach a length of fishing line to the pole and use the line as a jerk string.  This action will visually draw coyotes to the area. 
  • Post up alongside fencelines or ditchlines...  Coyotes use these funnels to travel on.
  • Stay in touch with your hunting friends or fishing buddies.  Or go back to the area you shot your deer or elk the next day.  Gut piles and old carp fish piles are wonderful ways to catch a few coyotes unaware.
  • Coyotes are extremely social.  If you can use a call effectively and sound like another coyote, you can be quite successful.
  • Ranchers and landowners may have an issue with you hunting deer or birds on their property, but, may not have any problem with you asking to hunt coyotes on their property.
  • Coyotes prey on deer fawns, elk fawns, and any ground bird nests they can find.  Effective coyote management can help keep other animal populations thriving.
  • In the desert areas of Eastern WA, we hunt the seeps and water sources for the 'yotes... they need water and will come in a couple of times a day , or night. (courtesy Mark W)
  • When hunting song dogs, pay attention to fresh scat.  If you see fresh scat (still moist) chances are your coyotes are still in the area and will remain there. (courtesy Mark W)
  • Camo up!  These song dogs have amazing eyesight, they will spot you well before you spot them (if you let them. (Courtesy Mark W)
  • For most Eastern Washington hunting situations, be prepared for the long shot... use a smaller caliber long range rifle and be ready for the 200+ yard shot. (courtesy Mark W)
  • Winter coyotes are very hairy/bushy... consider that with your shot placement.  They are a lot smaller than you would think.  Your vitals zone is small regardless of how big the coyote looks.   (courtesy Mark W)
  • We've had success using crow distress calls.  The coyotes aren't used to the sound and they think there is a dead or injured bird ripe for the taking. (courtesy Mark W)
  • We always place ourselves on the highest available ground where we can see 360 degrees.  There is little way to know where a coyote will come in from.  (courtesy Mark W)
  • Less coyotes = more deer and more birds.  (Mike R, Chelan)
  • I use my turkey seat to sit and wait for song dogs in the open country.  I make sure, however, that I am not skylighted and plant myself with something blocking my silhouette. (Mike R, Chelan)
  • Buy the best binoculars you can afford.  Good glass will allow you to watch for dogs all day long with no eye fatigue. (Mike R, Chelan)

                                                                                                                                                              

Raccoon

  • Raccoons are virtually everywhere in Washington State.  
  • Look for Raccoons feeding in the open or rooting around rotting trees.
  • From the WDFW regs "Bobcat, raccoon, and coyote may be hunted at night during established bobcat and raccoon seasons, Except that: it is unlawful to hunt any wildlife at night or wild animals with dogs (hounds) during the months of September, October, or November in any area open to a centerfire rifle deer or elk season."   WAC 232 - 28 -342 It is unlawful to hunt any wildlife at night or wild animals with dogs (hounds) during the months of September, October, or November in any area open to a modern firearm deer or elk season. The use of hounds to hunt black bear, cougar (EXCEPT by public safety cougar removal permit (WAC 232-12-243) or a commission authorized hound permit (WAC 232-28-285), coyote, and bobcat is prohibited year round.

Take the shot?

  • Calling of raccoons has been known to be effective.  They are naturally very curious.  A predator call (wounded rabbit, fawn bleat, etc) have been known to bring in raccoons.
  • You will find raccoons in trees, near water, near dumps, anywhere there is a food source.
  • There is a growing legion of hunters who are taking to the suburbs and contacting landowners who have issues with raccoons near their homes.  A bow or a decent pellet gun can take care of raccoons quietly and efficiently.  Take great care in ensuring that it is legal and safe to hunt these suburban raccoons.

                                                                                                                                                              

Bobcat           

distribution map

  • Bobcats are generally located in wooded areas and are virtually everywhere in Washington State.
  • Glassing and Stalking are a common way to hunt bobcat in Washington.  Look for bobcats feeding in the open at night, early morning, or at dusk.
  • Bobcats have an excellent sense of smell.  Be especially aware of your smell when in bobcat country. Scent tips
  • Stands can be used for Bobcats.  Position the stand in travel corridors between tall timber and open fields.  Benches between two prominent hills are good places to ambush bobcats moving.
  • Calling of bobcats has been known to be effective.  They are naturally very curious.  A predator call (wounded rabbit, fawn bleat, etc) have been known to bring in bobcats.
  • It is currently illegal to use hounds to hunt Bobcat in Washington.
  • Look for bobcats in trees, blowdowns, and rock outcroppings.
  • From the WDFW regs "Bobcat, raccoon, and coyote may be hunted at night during established bobcat and raccoon seasons, Except that: it is unlawful to hunt any wildlife at night or wild animals with dogs (hounds) during the months of September, October, or November in any area open to a centerfire rifle deer or elk season."   WAC 232 - 28 -342 It is unlawful to hunt any wildlife at night or wild animals with dogs (hounds) during the months of September, October, or November in any area open to a modern firearm deer or elk season. The use of hounds to hunt black bear, cougar (EXCEPT by public safety cougar removal permit (WAC 232-12-243) or a commission authorized hound permit (WAC 232-28-285), coyote, and bobcat is prohibited year round.

                                                                                                                                                             

Wolves

Wolves are currently not hunted in Washington State

 

                                                                                                                                                             

 

All other critters not classified:

(from the 2011 WDFW website, the following rules apply to hunting these species.  Open and closed seasons can vary.. Check the current regs to ensure that the season has not been changed.)

 

Raccoon - No bag limit - Sept. 1- Mar. 15 Closed on Long Island within Willapa National Wildlife Refuge
Fox - No bag limit - Sept. 1-Mar. 15 Closed within Mount Baker-Snoqualmie, Okanogan, Wenatchee, and Gifford Pinchot National Forests, and GMUs 407 and 1410
Coyote* - No bag limit - Year round Season - Hunting license required. Cannot be hunted with dogs
Cottontail rabbit and Snowshoe hare 5/15 Sept. 1-Mar. 15
Crows - No bag limit - Oct. 1-Jan. 31 Crows in the act of depredation may be taken at any time.
Mountain beaver - No bag limit - Year round Season - Hunting license required.
European rabbit - No bag limit - Year Round Season - Hunting license required.
Gopher - No bag limit - Year Round Season - Except mazama pocket gophers
Gray and fox squirrels - No bag limit - Year Round Season - Except western gray squirrels
Ground squirrels - No bag limit - Year Round Season - Except golden-mantled and Washington ground squirrels
Moles - No bag limit - Year Round Season - Hunting license required.
Nutria - No bag limit - Year Round Season - Hunting license required.
Virginia opossum - No bag limit - Year Round Season -  Hunting license required.
Porcupine - No bag limit - Year Round Season - Hunting license required.
Shrews - No bag limit - Year Round Season - Hunting license required.
Spotted skunk - No bag limit - Year Round Season -  Hunting license required.
Striped skunk - No bag limit - Year Round Season - Hunting license required.
Voles - No bag limit - Year Round Hunting license required.
Yellow-bellied marmot - No bag limit - Year Round Season - Hunting license required. 
Note: Olympic and Hoary marmots are protected

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