The Best Coyote Hunting Light: 5 Features You Must Have
The best coyote light is going to play to the few disadvantages nature's premier predator has. Coyotes have great eye sight, hearing, smell, and agility which makes it very difficult for coyote hunters to see them long enough to pull a shot off. Many times coyotes will come and go while the night hunter is not aware of their presence. It is important that your coyote hunting lights are designed to light up dogs before they're senses tell them you're in the area. Hunting lights for coyotes are few and far between, but some of the best coyote hunting lights can be the difference in getting busted or having a successful set while calling coyotes.
Coyote Hunting Light Discussion Topics
- Coyote Weaknesses
- 5 Features Every Coyote Light Should Have
- The Best Color Light for Coyote Hunting
- Adjustable Hunting Light Intensity
- Long Range Spot and Flood Combination
- Mounting Versatility for all Hunting Vehicles
- Strong & Non-Reflective Light Housing
- Recommendation for the Best Coyote Hunting Light
Before we ask ourselves what the 5 must have features are of coyote hunting lights, let's dive into a coyotes weak points. If you don't want to read the background information on a coyotes weak points (to better understand the 5 features we choose), scroll down to the bottom to see the 5 Features Your Coyote Hunting Light Must Have.
While it is true that coyotes have good vision, they have a hard time seeing higher wavelength colors. The approximate high end of the wavelength spectrum they can see is near 540 nm, which is very close to green in color. Red is near 660 nm wavelength, which is why coyotes have a very hard time seeing it.
Separate from colorations, coyotes do have better night vision and sensitivity to movement compared to humans. We humans are able to level the playing field by utilizing our gadgets and accessories.
To compare coyotes vision to human vision, SC Psychological LTD. has done a great job at putting together a color spectrum graph:
As shown in the graph above, a coyote can see two primary colors: yellow and blue. This is common vision for deer, hogs, and other dichromate vision mammals as well, so it doesn't just apply to coyote hunting lights. This is also one reason why it is best to not wear blue jeans when going deer hunting or coyote hunting as they tend to stick out like a sore thumb. If they are covered by a high rack or deer blind, of course then they are an ok option.
While coyotes don't have the greatest color vision, another weakness is that they are not able to see as far as most humans can. Humans (some cases require glasses or contacts) can see 20/20 vision. Coyotes vision is closer to 20/70 vision and some may have even worse vision. This basically means a coyote can see at 20 feet what a human can see at 70 feet.
The one vision strength coyotes have over humans is their peripheral vision. This is what can make it very hard to sneak up on a coyote. A human has 180 degree peripheral vision while coyotes have 260 degree peripheral vision. This is due to the shape of their head and location of their eyes. This is ultimately why coyote hunters should stay as still as possible, because any small bit of movement can be detected fairly easily if a coyote is in range. Here's more information about the science behind a coyote's vision and how to determine what color coyote hunting light works best for night hunting.
THEY LET EVERYONE KNOW WHERE THEY ARE
If you've ever been in coyote territory at night, you've most likely heard their high pitched yipping and howling they make prior to going on their nightly hunt. If you're calling in a dominant male coyote's territory - you may hear the dominant male howling or even barking at you from a distance.
These yips and howl have a variety of behavioral purposes, all of them are related to communicating to other coyotes in the surrounding area. One purpose is to call the pack back together after a period of individual hunting, which is behavior you may hear in the early hours of the morning.
Another purpose, which is commonly heard as the sun goes down, is to warn other coyotes in the surrounding area of their presence and to not trespass on their territorial boundaries. These coyote packs may sound like there are 10-20 coyotes howling together, but in most cases it is one male, one female, and their offspring. Most packs are sized in the range of 3-5 coyotes.
The howling can make your skin crawl if it's the first time you've been exposed to it, but the best coyote hunters are able to use this to their advantage. The coyotes are telling you exactly where they are, leaving it up to you to move in close and find them. A Utah State Professor conducted a study which sought out to understand the behavioral attributes of coyotes and ultimately determine the meaning behind different types of barks and howls. You can learn more about this in our article Callin' all Coyotes: Proven Tips for a Successful Coyote Hunt Across the United States.
THEY LOOK BACK WHEN THEY RETREAT
If you're a quick, sharp shooter - this can play to your advantage. They have a habit of always looking back when they retreat, which gives a coyote hunter eye shine to go off of in attempting to take a shot. Using your coyote hunting light to quickly scan your surroundings can give you the best opportunity at picking up a retreating coyote.
If the coyote located you and you are the reason it was spooked, then it may be time to move on to a different hunting spot. However, if the coyote was uncomfortable or unknowingly spooked, you may be able to save your stand by changing spots (even if it's only 50 ft away) and calling again using a different call. It's important to be aware that spooked coyotes and pressured coyotes are both very difficult to bring in. If you know the coyotes around you are spooked or pressured, it's best to keep your coyote hunting light on a dim setting to minimize the opportunity for them to pick up any small changes in their surroundings.
Another common scenario we've seen is if you call in a double or a triple but you are only able to take one coyote down - don't give up. After the first shot, say you are running on a rabbit distress, switch to a pup distress-like high pitch sound and sometimes a coyote who hasn't been heavily pressured will turn around and come back. We've had success with this tactic on coyotes that haven't been heavily pressured. If a coyote is heavily pressured, they may not return for a long time.
Coyotes are very heavy sleepers, which is why it's not always a complete shock for someone to stumble upon a sleeping coyote in a field or pasture. The flip side is that they typically sleep during the day as they are more active at night.
If you're night hunting, you have pretty slim chances to come across a sleeping coyote. Coyotes are nocturnal animals and they will easily travel 5 miles in one night searching for food. On the flip side, if you happen to locate a sleeping coyote, that lets you know they are spending time on your property and are comfortable enough with it to stay there during the day time. This is one indicator that you should break out your coyote hunting light at night to see if you can call in the entire pack.
5 Features Every Coyote Light Should Have
We've managed to compile some of the coyote's weak points, now how can we take advantage of these weak points when looking for a quality predator hunting light for coyotes?
The Best Color Lights for Coyote Hunting
Coyotes are color blind by nature and because of this, the best color light for coyote hunting is red. They have a hard time seeing green as well, but red is a better color because it is a higher wavelength and gives you some "buffer" from the cut off of what wavelength light their eyes are able to see. Put this to your advantage by utilizing red coyote hunting lights in your arsenal.
It is important to realize that red is a very difficult color for many manufacturers to perfect. Due to the nature of the color, the company you choose must be one capable of engineering a beam that can truly throw the high wavelength color down range. There are very few predator hunting lights we have seen that are capable of doing this, with the Predator Cannon Hunting Light being one of the best we have ever seen. It is very rare to have a coyote hunting light that can literally light up an entire field in red.
Adjustable Hunting Light Intensity
Take advantage of coyotes telling us where they are. You can sneak into their territory with your light dimmed down until you locate them, then turn up the heat!
Coyotes have great peripheral vision and they are able to pick up on the smallest movements and even shadows coming from light beams. The best way to locate and keep tabs on a shy coyote is to be capable of adjusting the intensity of the coyote light prior to illuminating the coyote without spooking it. It's always good practice to increase intensity of your coyote hunting light to full intensity right before you take the shot. This gives the coyote hunter the best opportunity at an accurate shot.
If you have a hard time getting a coyote to stop for an accurate shot, we've found making a loud kissing sound with your lips will often cause them to halt in their place. This is referred to by some coyote hunters as the "kiss of death". It is also commonly used if a coyote appears to be disinterested, because it can spark their attention and sometimes cause them to start coming towards you. If they are fast approaching, you can increase the intensity of your coyote hunting light and get ready to take a shot.
Long Range Spot and Flood Combination
Next time the coyote looks back after a missed shot, get redemption with a coyote hunting light that is still lighting them up while you're reloading!
A study once found that coyotes will circle their prey within a large area, in attempt to validate what is going on with all of their senses prior to committing to the prey. Predator hunters lure them in with calls, pretending to be the coyote's prey. Thus, coyotes will do the same to predator hunters. When choosing hunting lights for coyotes, it is important to have a wide flood light capable of lighting up coyote eyes across a large area. It is equally important that your lights for coyote hunting have the ability to reach out long range to spotlight coyotes before they commit. There are very few lights capable of doing both of these features, and the Predator Cannon Hunting Light is one of the best coyote huntings lights there are at lighting up an entire field.
Mounting Versatility for all Hunting Vehicles
You may be tracking through fields on foot, riding your side by side through the woods, or hunting from the high rack on back of your truck. Regardless of where you are chasing coyotes, your light needs to be versatile for all of these scenarios.
A quality light for coyote hunting must be capable of lighting up large areas, spotlighting down range, and have versatile mounting capabilities. These features are hard to find but essential. We've managed to design a coyote hunting light fully compatible with these qualities. The Predator Cannon Hunting Light comes with a variety of mounting choices. The standard option is the side-mounted brackets which are great for mounting the light to your side by side, high rack, car or truck. An added option is the bottom-mounted brackets which give you more flexibility to get creative with the hunting light and even mount it to your own tripod or hand grip.
Over 200 watts of red coyote light illuminating an entire field in the grips of your hands is second to none.
Strong & Non-Reflective Light Housing
You've found a piece of land to hunt, located the coyote, made it to the right spot, set up your hunting rig, and the last thing you need to ruin your night of calling is moonlight reflecting off the housing of your scan light while hunting those pesky animals. Another common one I've heard of is dropping the light from a high rack which many times can end up breaking. Now you've got a gun that works but no way to see the coyotes.
I would recommend going with a flat black, strong aluminum housing such as what is on the Predator Cannon Hunting Light. A predator hunting light designed for these instances will not only give you more confidence in a successful trip, but it will hold up to the out of the ordinary accidents that seem to always happen at the most inconvenient times.
Recommendation for the Best Coyote Hunting Light
The Predator Cannon Hunting Light is one of the best lights for coyote hunting available on the market today. It easily mounts to high racks, ATVs, trucks, and more while discretely lighting up more area.
What makes it the best light for coyote hunting?
The high intensity, dimmable LEDs are engineered to maintain your night vision while also staying at the optimal wavelength for color blindness in coyotes. Unlike any other long range light, this coyote hunting light is capable of broadcasting a flood to illuminate an entire field while also providing a long range spot beam for locating coyotes in the distance. The more area you can see, the better your chances at seeing more coyotes.
Outrigger Outdoors is your trusted source for coyote hunting lights. To setup your hunting rig with lights made for coyote hunting, contact us today!
Hi Kathy – generally speaking, the higher you mount it the better because it will get more coverage without the potential for any obstructions down range. That being said, most people mount them at least 4 ft off the ground. Others will mount them on high racks which can be as much as 10 ft off the ground.
How high would I need the red light?