I don’t see well at night. Coyotes do. If Maine coyote night hunting season was easy, everyone would do it. But it’s not. So they don’t.
Maine’s night coyote season is great. You get the woods all to yourself. You get to hunt hours that are generally left to night-stalking predators. That’s the great part. However, it certainly provides a unique set of challenges
And, as light fades into darkness, so do the lines between predator and prey. Right along with your vision. And therein lies the challenge.
Maine Coyote Night Hunting
Let’s face it, one of the toughest parts about coyote hunting in Maine during the night season is that it’s hard to see at night. I do love hunting by moonlight. There is something surreal about watching a top predator work his way across a snow covered landscape illuminated by silver moonlight.
Unfortunately, the moon isn’t as reliable as the sun. It waxes and wanes and gets obscured altogether by even minor cloud cover.
Simply put, if you’re counting on a bright moon to provide the light you need to hunt at night, you’re missing a lot of good hunting opportunity.
Maine Coyote Night Hunting with Artificial Light
Fortunately, Maine allows coyote hunters to use artificial light during the night season. So be sure to pack a light. Actually, pack several. Here’s what I suggest:
- A head light – for hands-free lighting. Get one with a one-touch on/off toggle that you can operate with gloves on.
- A handheld flashlight – the kind that take AA batteries are relatively small and lightweight. Again, make sure you can operate it with gloves on.
- A gun-mounted light – because when you’re bearing down on a ‘yote, you won’t have hands free to operate a light.
- A search light – something to light the place up like Yankee stadium after the shot. Or to call in air support if it comes to that.
By the way we offer coyote night hunting at our lodge with bait and heated shacks:
Night Hunting’s Best Light Color
Do not use plain old white lights in anything but your search light. Today’s flashlights seem to all be using LED bulbs anymore which is great for battery life, but that super bright white light is not good for anything you don’t want the neighbors in the next county to see.
Those lights will ruin your night vision (what little we have), and you’ll cast reflections on everything around you that isn’t painted with whatever stuff they paint Stealth Bomber jets with. All that shining and reflecting won’t do you any favors when it comes to calling in a coyote.
I prefer red lights. Some hunters prefer green. They say blue light makes it easier to see blood. But I figure I need to draw blood first.
I like red because it’s easy on the eyes and doesn’t destroy my night vision. I figure if it worked for processing film in darkrooms (insert “back in my day…” here), it should suffice in the woods.
The one big drawback to red light (or probably any color for that matter) is that you can’t get much distance out of it. Even a pretty high powered red light seems to diffuse over less distance than white light, making it harder to see things at a distance.
I’m sure some science types out there could explain why. But I never was very good at physics in college.
Night Vision for Coyote Hunting
Despite my poor grades in physics, I do understand that there are spectrums of light and wavelengths that we cannot see. I also understand that though we can’t see it, we have somehow managed to put it into our technology. Think trail cameras and night vision.
I’m all for gadgets and technology, as long as I don’t have to rely on them. If someone gave me a night vision device for Christmas, yeah, I’d use it. But I certainly wouldn’t put a night vision scope on my gun. About the time I need to put a ‘yote in my crosshairs is exactly the time the gadget would fail.
Then there’s this thing. Seriously cool. I can plug a thermal imaging camera right into my iPhone and see things, such as coyotes, in pitch darkness? I’d consider adding such a thing to my arsenal.
Talk about blurring the lines between predator, prey…and Predator (from the movie). And for only a couple hundred bucks, someone might just be willing to buy me one as a gift.
What’s your take on night vision or thermal imaging technology for coyote hunting? Let us know in comments below.
Camp Katahdin is a luxury hunting retreat in Northern Maine. Our 15 person Hunting Lodge is set in the most beautiful hunting grounds in the Katahdin area. Step out the door and walk, ATV, or snowmobile to prime hunting locations.
Night hunting for coyotes in Maine is a thrilling adventure at Camp Katahdin. We set up bait and a nice, heated shack.
After your hunt, come back and rest easy in our new hunting lodge. We offer independent and guided hunts for all seasons, whitetail Maine deer hunting season is one of our favorites. We are also commercially zoned for Pheasant hunting – that means, no license needed, 7 days a week hunts.
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