Spotting and tracking coyotes requires a keen eye and a good understanding of their behavior and habitat. Whether you’re an experienced hunter or a beginner, knowing how to identify signs of coyote presence and follow their trails can significantly improve your chances of a successful hunt. In this guide, we’ll explore the techniques and strategies for spotting and tracking coyotes in the wild.

Master coyote trapping techniques for effective population control. Learn about trap types, baiting methods, and trap placement from experienced trappers or comprehensive trapping guides.

Identifying Signs of Coyote Presence

1. Tracks

Coyote tracks are one of the most common signs of their presence in an area. Look for tracks in soft soil, mud, or snow, as these surfaces retain impressions well. Coyote tracks are typically oval-shaped with four toe pads arranged in a rough diamond pattern. Pay attention to the size and shape of the tracks, as they can vary depending on the age and sex of the coyote.

2. Scat

Coyote scat, or feces, is another telltale sign of their presence. Coyote scat is usually tubular in shape, tapered at the ends, and often contains hair, bones, and undigested food remnants. Fresh scat will be moist and dark in color, while older scat may appear dried out and lighter in color. Take note of the location and composition of the scat to gauge the presence and activity level of coyotes in the area.

3. Vocalizations

Coyotes are highly vocal animals and use a variety of sounds to communicate with each other. Listen for their distinctive howls, yips, barks, and whines, especially during early morning and late evening hours when they are most active. Vocalizations can provide valuable clues about the location and behavior of coyotes in the vicinity.

Following Coyote Trails

1. Track Patterns

When tracking coyotes, pay attention to the patterns and direction of their tracks. Coyotes typically travel in a straight line or follow established trails and pathways. Look for signs of disturbance in the surrounding vegetation or terrain, such as broken branches or trampled vegetation, which can indicate the direction of travel.

2. Scent Marking

Coyotes use scent marking to communicate with other coyotes and establish territory boundaries. Look for signs of scent marking along their trails, such as urine markings on vegetation or rocks, and scent posts where coyotes may rub their scent glands. Scent marking can help you identify key travel routes and territorial boundaries frequented by coyotes.

3. Scouting Ahead

When tracking coyotes, it’s essential to scout ahead and anticipate their movements. Look for natural features such as ridgelines, valleys, and water sources that coyotes are likely to use as travel routes and hunting grounds. Position yourself downwind of the trail and remain concealed to avoid alerting coyotes to your presence.


Spotting and tracking coyotes requires patience, observation, and a good understanding of their behavior and habitat. By learning to identify signs of coyote presence such as tracks, scat, and vocalizations, and following their trails with careful attention to detail, you can increase your chances of encountering these elusive predators in the wild. Remember to practice ethical hunting practices and respect for wildlife while tracking coyotes, and enjoy the experience of connecting with nature in pursuit of these fascinating animals.

Kara Nico