Tips on calling our indigenous exotic.
As we started down the winding road that lead into the box canyon, we all said to each other ” this is some foxy looking country ” It had been a wetter then usual season and everything was looking healthy. Our first stand boardered a creek with a good looking little opening up wind from us, Neither of us could belive it was a dry stand. We continued down the canyon with every turn it looked better and better. As we rounded the next bend we noticed somethings out in a little opening, then it clicked; those are coatimundi. We Slid out of the truck and made our way to the edge of the creek where we could set up and start calling. not 30 seconds into it we had a grey fox on a dead run from our right ready to get it on. needless to say he didnt last to long aginst 50 grains of lead. After the shot, Coati’s were running everywhere, So we got back on the call and about 30 seconds later we had a couple of them making there way back to us. That was my first encounter with them and I had no idea they could be called in just like other predators. Ever since, we have been making a few trips a year to target them. It is a lot of fun mixing up our calling trips with something as exotics as they are. Plus calling in Coati country you never know what you might call in, they share the came habbitat as Fox, Coyote, Bobcat, Lion, Bear and Raccoons.
Many people have neither heard of nor seen a Coatimundi (pronounced koʊˌɑːtɨˈmʌndi). Also known as the Brazilian aardvark, hog nosed koon and on the other side of the boarder “Chulo”. The species we have here in AZ are known as White-nosed Coati.
Coatimundi are related to the racoon, but differ in many ways. They are diurnal animals, meaning they are active during the daytime. Which is one of the reasons I enjoy calling them. Coati, like many other predators we hunt are omnivorous, meaning they eat both animals and plants. It is said that they are insatiable, constantly in searching for food. Their tails are long and slender, used for balance and to communicate temperament. Coatimundi have sharp teeth and large claws, with Males being quite a bit larger than the female. Coati typically travel and feed in groups from 3 – 25 and make a ruckus while doing so; a kind of chirping sound. I have seen them in larger groups of over 35. Coatimundi are also regarded as an intelligent animal and are growing in popularity as pets. Being native to South America and southern portions of North America make them a interesting target for southwestern predator hunters. First reports of them in the states came from boarder area ranchers, with scientific reports popping up in the 1920’s. It is believed that they are slowly expanding their range further north of the boarder. Not all states that hold populations allow the hunting of them, so I recommend checking with you local and state laws prior to hunting them, as with any hunting. Here in Arizona they have a season and a bag limit of one per calendar year. I have noticed that when you find a good population of them you can typically locate them in the same areas year after year.
Where to find them,
Here in the states you’re going to want to look for them in the far south western states, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. They range from hot and dry areas to moist rain forests. Try looking for them around permanent water sources with rocky cliffs, dense brushy areas with trees. I have had my best luck around riparian areas and box canyons. Their habitat is going to be very similar to Raccoon and Grey Fox. I have found them nesting under rock overhangs at ground level, up in trees and up on cliffs in rocky niches, they prefer to nest in elevated places safe from other predators. When you do locate Coati habitat, rememder the location, more than likely they will continue to utalize the same area. Also, being as they will generally be found near the Mexico boarder, it is always good to be aware of your surroundings and if you see something that doesn’t look right get out of there and notify the local authorities. Drug running and illegal smuggling is a serious and dangerous problem in most areas near the boarder. Keep your possessions secure in you vehicle while away from it and make sure there is nothing of value that can be seen, even water!
I like to setup as I would for fox, they both seem to like the same habitat, fox are a natural predator of the coati. Look for areas with water and shelter, like the areas mentioned above. When setting up for your stand try and make sure you have a semi open area to call them into, they like to feed and sun in the open. I belive they feel more secure with some visability. When ever possible play the wind and sun to your advantage, i dont belive they are as sensitive as other predators to scent but you never know what you will call in; wind in the face or cross wind and sun at your back whenever possible.
Coati are omnivorous but a little shy to the call sometimes. I belive a lot of the time they respond out of curiosity rather then hunger or a lot of both??. So I like to use sounds that arnt as intense as I might use on other animals. Cottontail rabit is a good one but make sure not to over do it if you are using a mouth call, try and keep the emotion down a a little. If you are using a electronic caller, use a mild sounding rabit. Bird distress is also a good sounds to use, again i wouldnt recomend anything to crazy sounding, you could risk just scaring them off. A great sound to use if the wind is down or are in a canyon where the sound will travel would be a rodent distress, It isnt to agressive and it is a sound they have experience with. Coati are meat eaters but you arent going to hear of one running down a jack rabbit, or fawn. So keep the sounds to smaller distressed animals that are there normal prey. Like Birds, rodents and baby rabbits.With mild volume. I haven’t yet, but I am going to do some experimenting with Raccoon sounds, being in the same family and making some similar sounds I figured it couldn’t hurt.
Most southern AZ mountain ranges contain coati and I have heard reports of them being sighted into northern AZ. But biologists arnt sure if they are expanding there breading ranges or if they are released animals. A few mountain ranges and general areas to start your hunt would be;
Santa Rita mountains, Patagonia mountains, Huachuca mountains, Dragoon mountains, Chiricahua mountains and Peloncillo mountains. Most of the southern AZ mountain ranges have good accsess and a lot of them are national forest land. Start by looking for perennial creeks and lush areas along with medium to large drainage’s as they provide great habitat for them and great sceanery while hunting them.