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Coyote vs. Wolf Hunting: Differences and Similarities

huntingPredators such as wolves and coyotes are very popular game for hunting.

They are not easy to hunt as they are very smart animals and tend to be very cautious but that is what hunters like – a challenge.

Instantly distinguishing between both animals isn’t always that easy, especially at a distance or in poor lighting.
This is due to the many similarities but few differences between the appearance and hunting of a coyote and a wolf. Take a look at some of these here:


Grey WolfIt is not always easy to see the difference between a coyote and a wolf, when they are far away. However, there are some small differences between the two animals that can help you distinguish them when hunting:

  • Wolves are generally larger than coyotes
  • Wolves have larger paws which leave larger footprints than those of coyotes
  • A coyote’s snout is pointy and smaller
  • A coyote’s ears are pointy and large; Wolves’ ears are round and smaller
  • Coyotes have bushy tails they keep close to the ground



Western Coyote Wolves and coyotes have extremely good eye sight and sense of smell. It is important to be downwind from the animals when they approach you but still have a clear line of sight to spot them right away. The hunting location you choose should also be elevated. Coyotes and especially wolves, can hear calls from very far away so the farther you can see, the easier it will be to see one coming and prepare your shot.

Time and Effort

When wolf or coyote hunting, one must be very patient as they are very smart animals and sometimes do not tend to react to a call right away. They are very cautious and generally do not approach quickly. Use your mouth call every 3 to 5 minutes to try to attract one into your line of sight. Do not give up too soon as you might be close to seeing a coyote or wolf but if you stand up and leave, the animal will get spooked.

Using Coyote Calls to Hunt Wolves

Grey Wolf Using a call to attract a wolf is much like using one to call a coyote. Predators prefer to chase a prey that is already weak or dying as opposed to a healthy one they must chase. Due to this, distress calls and death calls are extremely effective as they evoke the sounds of hurt or dying prey.

The most popular game calls for this are the ones made to imitate the sounds of a jack rabbit or cottontail. Unlike coyotes, wolves often target larger animals such as elk so you can also use an elk call to attract them to your location.

You can use a coyote call to hunt a wolf due to the natural territorial behavior of the latter. Wolves defend their territory at all costs and coyotes tend to invade it. Due to this, wolves greatly dislike coyotes. Coyote calls are effective for hunting wolves as they will quickly come running to try and defend their land. This is specially the case when wolves have young ones to protect. They do not do this for the purpose of killing the coyote to have as a meal, it is mainly about defending what they consider to be theirs.


Wolves are extremely social and like to form packs for hunting and protection. Coyotes can sometimes be loners, although some do form packs for the sole purpose of increasing their chances at a successful hunt. Wolves are exclusively carnivores. They must be in dire conditions with no animal around to hunt in order for them to turn to other food sources. Coyotes on the other hand will eat berries and fruit but are mainly carnivorous. Using raw meat to bait either animal will help you get the perfect shot or shots.

Use these differences and similarities to help you instantly distinguishing between a wolf and a coyote and successfully hunt them. Enjoy the challenge and remember to always be patient.

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Dan Thompson Game Calls.

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