Calling in Wolves with Coyote Howlers

Wolves absolutely hate coyotes. Wolves are extremely territorial and are highly aggressive to any coyotes that set foot in their territory. When used correctly the barks, yips, and howls of a coyote can bring an entire of pack of wolves into your lap almost immediately. If distress calls aren’t working well in the regions you hunt, you should try using a coyote howler to call in wolves.

What's a Coyote Howler and How do I use one to Call in a Wolf?

A coyote howler is a special type of call that creates all the vocalizations of a coyote including yips, barks, whines, and of course, howls. To call in a wolf with a coyote howler you will want to use a combination of all these sounds. The following are sounds you want to be able to make before you attempt to call in wolves with a coyote howler.

Location Howl

Coyotes begin their howls with what is known as a “Ki-Yi”. Unlike wolves which generally communicate with long howls, coyotes communicate with a series of short yips, barks, and howls. A coyote howl is generally preceded by a few short yips and goes something like: “Yip-Yip-Howl… Yip…yip-yip-Hooooowl.”

Coyote Locator Howl

Challenge Howl

A second type of call coyotes make is a challenge howl. A challenge howl is a lower pitched howl generally preceded by a bark and is made by male coyotes to challenge intruders in their territory. A challenge howl goes something like “Bark-DEEP SHORT HOWL”.

Coyote Challenge Howl

Distressed Canine

A third type of sound you want to simulate is the sound of a coyote in distress. A distressed coyote call sounds much like the sound your dog would make if hurt or injured; high pitched yips and whines like:“Yip-YIIIP-YIIIP”.

Distressed Canine

Throwing it all Together

Once you have a good grip on how to make all of these sounds, you will be ready to put together a full calling sequence with a coyote howler. To call wolves in with a coyote howler, a typical calling sequence should go like this:

At this point two things are likely to happen if wolves are in the area:

  1. They will begin howling back
  2. They will quickly and silently come running to kill the intruding coyote

If the wolves have responded to your location or challenge howls by howling back, continue to challenge them with more challenge howls and aggressive barks. Each time the wolf or wolves howl, wait 5-10 seconds and respond back. This howling match may be short or it may go on for several minutes. Each time the wolves respond, listen carefully to see if they are getting closer and in what direction they are traveling. If the wolves are getting closer simply continue the cadence of challenge howls and barks until they are within distance and you have a shot.

If the wolves are simply howling back and not coming closer or if they never responded to your original challenge howls and still haven’t showed up, it may be time to change the tempo.

At this point it is recommended to break into a wild sequence of yips, whines, and barks of a distressed canine. Imagine the sound of two dogs fighting or a mother dog correcting her pup. You want to make it sound like a battle is going on. Do this in 20-30 second bursts with a minute or so break in between. If wolves are in the area this should bring the whole pack running.

When to use a Coyote Howler to Call in a Wolf

Anytime of the year is a good time to try calling wolves in with a coyote howler. Even when wolves have an abundant food source, a coyote howler can work well because wolves don't come to a coyote howler for the same reason they come to distress call. They are not coming in for a meal, they are coming to defend their territory. This makes the use of the coyote howler especially effective during the spring and summer when wolves have young pups to defend.

Coyote howlers can be extremely useful even when you are not using them exclusively to call in wolves.

Great opportunities a coyote howler can be used are:

Recommended Coyote Howlers for Calling Wolves

Because coyote howlers can be so useful for calling in wolves, you may want to pack one with you each time you go wolf hunting. Heck, even if you don't call a wolf in, there's always a chance you'll call in a coyote. If you don't have a coyote howler yet here are a few of our favorites:


Have you ever called a wolf in with a coyote howler? Share your story in the comment section below.