Coyotes are one of those wild animals that thrive in spite of human encroachment on their territory. Coyotes have adapted and capitalized on available food sources such as livestock and pets in human populated areas. Not only does this cause a problem as calves, lambs, goats, cats, and dogs are preyed on by coyotes, but coyotes can become aggressive towards humans and attacks on children are not unknown. Also, overpopulation of coyotes contributes to overhunting of natural prey. like deer, and the spread of disease amongst the coyote population as prey becomes scarce and the population becomes stressed.
Hunting coyotes to remove problem animals and control the population is frequently necessary. Some hunters incorporate dogs to hunt coyote. Dogs used for coyote hunting must be intelligent, have excellent stamina, and be very physically fit, fast and athletic, as dogs are required to run and sometimes fight coyotes when necessary. Curs and hounds are often used, although many different breeds are employed.
In order to hunt coyotes with dogs, most hunters need to maintain a pack of dogs that are used to working together and kept in top physical condition. This involves expense to feed, house, train, and transport a hunting pack. Some hunters join with other hunters and dogs and work their dogs together instead of maintaining a pack of their own. Dogs are fitted with tracking collars, and hunters stay in contact with each other using handheld radios during hunts. Hunters may use ATVs or snowmobiles while dogs chase coyotes, to keep up with the dogs. Coyotes may be baited, or located by sight or smell. Dogs then bait coyotes, acting as decoys to distract coyotes, or chase the coyote, often many miles over rugged terrain. When the coyote turns to fight, this is called baying up. Hunters need to get to the bay site as soon as possible, to shoot the coyote before a fight escalates and dogs become injured.
Before dogs are ready to hunt coyotes, they need to be exposed to hunting smaller animals and have excellent advanced obedience training. Getting a dog used to the sights and sounds of hunting, guns, transport, ATVs and snowmobiles, and other dogs will be useful. Dogs should also be used to navigating various terrain and be in peak physical form to have the stamina and strength required for hunting. Training a hunting dog not to chase porcupines, skunks, and snakes is also advised, as dogs can easily be distracted and waylaid by these animals and injured. Dogs used for hunting coyotes may wear protective equipment such as neck guards and vests to protect them from bites, however, because agility and mobility is required, appropriate fitting, lightweight equipment is required.