Perfect Predator Hunting Setups for Two Hunters

Want to increase your chances when predator hunting? Then bring a friend on your next hunt.

I cut my teeth predator hunting alone, learning how to strategically pick my calling locations to maximize success for a single shooter. In other words, I had to try and set up where coyote, bobcat or fox couldn't spot or wind me before I could get a shot off. Trying to avoid being winded or spotted by a predator is a tough but important proposition when you're selling furs to help pay the rent.

Fact is, there's rarely a perfect spot where one shooter can cover everything. No matter how good my setup, it seemed predators would still occasionally circle downwind or run in from behind or the side, sending the stand south in a hurry. I still tried to shoot these predators even though they were aware of my position and getting the heck out of Dodge. Even though this was not ideal, I'd take a shot, because every critter that got away would be educated, making it that much harder to get that animal the next time around.

To increase my odds, I started taking friends with me whenever possible. I found that the increased fur harvest by tandem predator hunting was well worth it. Also, more predators than I could have imagined were slipping in and out of sets without ever being spotted when I was hunting alone. To learn what you're missing, just try calling on a fresh snow sometime. It will break your heart to spot tracks of a fox, bob or coyote that crept in downwind and you were never the wiser.


Twenty years later, after predator hunting for all types of predators in multiple states over all types of terrain, I still believe the double team is the most effective way to put more fur down. The key is to double team the predators by covering the front and back door so to speak.


It's natural to want to sit close to your buddy, or even in sight of him. And in some cases that may be your best bet. However, depending on the situation based on wind direction, cover, terrain and where you think the animals may come from, I occasionally am 100 yards or more from my partner.


When I hunt tandem, I like a "call hunter" and a "downwind" or "concealed approach" hunter. The first is pretty obvious. The "call hunter" sets up with the wind in his favor and a good field of fire that is ready to shoot any predator coming into the call from their predicted route.

The "downwind" or "concealed approach" hunter's job is to cover basically everything else. To do this efficiently, you have to be able to identify travel routes that animals will likely utilize. For example, almost all predators will use available cover in their approach. A brushy fence line, draw, creek bottom, tree line etc. Bobcats and fox will usually take a more direct route, often holding up if cover runs out. Coyotes are more apt to circle a large area to come in downwind, especially if they have been educated.

The electronic call should be placed between the hunter looking north and the hunter looking south. This scenario is best for crosswinds.


Tandem Predator Hunting: Scenario 1

While in a 24-hour coyote contest in Texas where we wanted as many dogs down as possible, my buddy Jeff and I paired up. Setting up on the old two tracks was the right way to go because of the heavy cover. Our setup was an obvious one in the thick south Texas brush, but also a winning combination for a sharp coyote that showed up and came in downwind. Had I been predator hunting alone, I would have never known that coyote was there. He would have winded me before crossing the east two-track.

This setup was around midnight and it was a dark, dark night. Jeff and I were armed with ATN night vision scopes and they allowed us to hunt predators all evening. Safety is a big concern anytime when you're hunting anything, but at night, where it's easy for people to become disoriented, it is even more important to not only be safe but to discuss safety with your partner.


One thing I do for safety when predator hunting at night is to set up so that neither shooter has to move at all. I prefer having shooters sit close together and shooting down narrow open areas. Shooters should agree not to move and to only cover their agreed upon area.

The electronic call should be placed upwind of the north facing hunter. This will help the sound carry into the timber between the hunters.

Scenario 2

Sometimes it is best for the downwind hunter to be a long way from the e-call or mouth caller depending on the terrain. This next scenario took place in Colorado with another friend, Larry. He was set up watching my e-call and the upwind direction we were hoping a coyote would approach from.

I went downwind about 100 yards from Larry and covered two open areas a coyote would have to cross to circle downwind of the call. I was covering the back door, when I caught a sneaky coyote trying to confirm that this easy meal was legit. It wasn't, and a .223 Hornady ended his skeptical search. We had been predator hunting in this area a lot in the past and the dogs were educated. Had Larry been hunting by himself, he would have assumed it was a slow day and that he just had not called anything in. Without me covering the downwind side, it is doubtful Larry would have ever seen the coyote.

Predator hunting in pairs also gives you the advantage of having multiple weapons for different scenarios. For example, in areas where the cover is thick and shots may be close I will often have one shooter use a shotgun. In these situations, I usually set up side-by-side or back-to-back, so if it's a long shot the rifle shooter takes a crack. If it's close and fast the shotgun hunter takes over. I try and set up where both shooters may have an opportunity or can cover each other's side.

The electronic call should be placed north of the two hunters. This scenario is perfect for a rifle and shotgun combo.

Scenario 3

The hunt this last sketch depicts took place in Florida when I was predator hunting with my buddy, Al. The cover was thick but we found one small open meadow where we could see 100 yards. I set the call up in front of us and figured if a coyote held up in the meadow, I would shoot it with my rifle. If one came in close and fast, Al would have a better chance with the shotgun. We had a swamp to our back, so we had a natural block behind us — an animal sneaking around downwind was not an option.

I turned on the FoxPro and not one but two coyotes barreled out of the thick palmettos and ran toward the call. Al made a great snap shot and rolled one coyote and the other disappeared in the thick brush as quick as he appeared.

In this scenario, had I been by myself with the rifle or had we both had rifles, I am sure we would have been coyote-less on the walk back to the truck.

Tandem calling is a great way to enjoy predator hunting with a friend or family member. The shooter covering the downwind side usually gets almost as much shooting as the one covering the call and the upwind side of the setup. It seems that no matter how much I hunt, sometimes the predators are going to come in where you least expect them. That's why tandem hunting works out so well.

Anything we can do to keep from letting those animals get away and get educated, especially if we can shoot the smart ones!

Recommended for You

Our picks for stuffable protection against any weather. Clothing

Field Tested: Lightweight Raingear

David Draper - May 30, 2019

Our picks for stuffable protection against any weather.

These are the must-apply units for trophy elk, mule deer, and antelope in the West. North America

The Best Units for Hunting Elk, Mule Deer & Antelope

Chuck Smock

These are the must-apply units for trophy elk, mule deer, and antelope in the West.

A record crowd of more than 67,000 people fell upon the halls of the Sands Expo & Convention SHOT Show

HUNTING's Booth Babes of SHOT Show 2014

David Draper - January 21, 2014

A record crowd of more than 67,000 people fell upon the halls of the Sands Expo & Convention

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

2018 Petersen

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 16: Cedar Break Bucks

Kevin Steele treks to the cedar breaks and coulees of north-central Nebraska for a shot at a big prairie whitetail.

2018 Petersen

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 8: Midnight Sun Grizzlies

Kevin Steele and CZ-USA's Jason Morton return to Alaska's arctic tundra for Kevin's second and Jason's third attempt on the legendary species. Things are looking up on day one but time will tell if the boys will get a shot a the king of the tundra.

Cheeseburger Poppers

Cheeseburger Poppers

David Draper shares his recipe for making delicious cheeseburger poppers with wild game in this edition of "Fare Game."

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Over the years, Remington has introduced a continuously expanded variety of Model 1100 shotguns. Guns

Remington Timeline: 1963 - Remington Model 1100 Autoloading Shotguns

Hunting Online Staff

Over the years, Remington has introduced a continuously expanded variety of Model 1100...

I have never felt that camping trailers at least the Hunting

The Ultimate Hunting Trailers

WA Staff

I have never felt that camping trailers at least the "house on wheels" variety that most...

A new wave of allergies threatens to turn hunters into vegetarians. News

The Ticks Making Hunters Allergic to Meat

David Hart

A new wave of allergies threatens to turn hunters into vegetarians.

See More Stories

More Predator

Not all lion hunts are grueling marches through the snow. I have lion hunted dry ground in Arizona off horses and have also had clients walk less than 300 yards to a treed cat in Colorado. But most are very physically and mentally exhausting if you have not prepared for it, or at least know what to expect. Predator

Are You Tough Enough For a Mountain Lion Hunt?

Fred Eichler - March 06, 2015

Not all lion hunts are grueling marches through the snow. I have lion hunted dry ground in...

With abundant huntable coyote populations across the country and electronic calls within the budget Predator

Proven Tactics to Kill More Coyotes

Keith Wood - March 22, 2016

With abundant huntable coyote populations across the country and electronic calls within the...


Dawn came quickly, frost hanging on the sagebrush and growing in my beard. At the first traces of Predator

Keep it Simple: Tips for Calling Coyotes More Effectively

Joseph von Benedikt - February 01, 2016

Dawn came quickly, frost hanging on the sagebrush and growing in my beard. At the first...

See More Predator

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save.

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.