How Well Can A Coyote See?
The basics of hunting coyote are relatively simple. When you head out to the hunting grounds where coyotes are known to roam, all you need to do is set yourself up in a way which makes yourself hard to see, stay still, keep the wind blowing towards you, use some calling tactics to attract the coyotes to your location and wait patiently with your scope.
What many people neglect to remember, though, is that coyotes are formidable animals which have very heightened senses. Although setting up your hunting area properly and being meticulous with your approach is important, if you don’t do everything you can to prevent yourself being seen by the coyote, an animal with excellent eyesight, then your efforts are going to be wasted.
The Coyote Has Heightened Senses
And their senses are even better than many domesticated dogs. Although they have a very keen sense of smell and can sniff out food from miles away and use their noses to follow trails which were left by animals days ago, it is their vision which truly sets them apart from most other animals.
The humble coyote has excellent vision at night and it far outstrips our own. Because coyotes have more rods and cones in their retinas (the cells which enable us to see and process light) they have excellent vision which enables them to see things from further afield, especially at night.
Their excellent night vision comes at a price to them, however, because they can only see in two colors – blue and yellow – and the picture that they see is a lot blurrier. That doesn’t matter, though; the coyote does not need to see a crystal-clear image of you holding a rifle in-order to scarper… if they can see a large blurry object moving around, then they are probably going to run.
You Are More Likely to Be Heard or Sniffed Out than Seen
Because they don’t have the clearest vision, the coyote relies more on its excellent sense of smell and hearing to figure out when danger is nearby. This is why it is so very important to minimize movement and noise when coyote hunting and not wear anything which is overly pungent.
This, of course, does not apply to using coyote calls in-order to lure them in, that is fine, but talking to your co-hunter(s), especially loudly, is a big mistake because a coyote which can hear humans talking is likely not to approach. They can hear from quite a distance too, so if you need to communicate only do it when necessary and as quietly as possible.
Daytime Can Be A Great Option
Coyotes are best hunted at ground-level during the day when their vision isn’t as great. During the day the tables are turned – the coyote cannot see you as easily, but you can see them.
By heading out during the day and using a proper predator caller to try and imitate some coyote noises, you stand the best chance of a successful hunt. So long as you follow common sense hunting tactics and rules, stay low, keep quiet and are patient in your approach, you will find it much easier to hunt down what is a very timid, wise and wary animal which will run at the first sight of danger.
Remember that a coyote will always hear or smell you before he or she sees you, so by ridding yourself of any unnatural scents and blend into the background, you will make it much harder to be discovered by a wary coyote. Even when the coyote is hunting they are wary, and your predator call, whilst useful, can only do so much… a coyote is not going to go bounding up to the source of the call, they will carefully scope it out first.
Nighttime Also Has Its Advantages
Because these predators can only see certain colors, this opens up a massive opportunity to use this to your advantage and use a color that's less likely to spook them. Providing that it's legal to use a light at night for coyote hunting in your state, then you should look to use a good night light for spotting and killing them.
Typically most hunters will use either a white, green, red or even a combination of these beams for hunting predators in darkness. Depending on your style of hunting, we would typically recommend a decent red light for hunting coyotes at night, with a list of well-reviewed models that you can check out here. Red is a popular color choice amongst experienced hunters, as it has been proven that coyotes cannot see this color even when directly shinned in their eyes.
Overall a coyote's eyesight is both an advantage and disadvantage to it. It has the advantage of being able to pick up objects at long distances even at night, though it has the disavantage of only being able to see in certain colors with somewhat blurred vision. However, what these predators lack in eyesight is made up for with their other superior senses such as smell and sound.