While our sport is called "foxhunting", today the majority of hunts in North America hunt coyote. The coyote also gives great sport if and when he becomes territorial. His range is far greater but he will run a pattern like a red fox if he has established a territory. The coyote is not as territorial as a fox. Some are nomads and seldom establish a territory. These coyotes, when chased, will run straight lines and take packs of hounds out of their assigned hunting areas sometimes losing the field of riders. Coyote hunting is much more popular in Western and Southern America where large open spaces prevail.
The coyote scent is stronger than that of a fox and he can be chased more successfully than a fox in a drier climate like the high deserts of Colorado, California, Wyoming and Nevada. He can sometimes be chased when fox cannot be chased because of poor scenting conditions. He is a beautiful swift and clever animal. Coyotes have often been known to run in relays with one animal deliberately replacing the original hunted coyote. They also frequently are found in groups which sometimes results in hounds going in several directions at the same time.
When this happens whippers-in must stop the split and get hounds onto one coyote. Coyotes are masters at running at various speeds depending on their moods and conditions. Some hunters say that coyotes run only fast enough to stay ahead of the hounds. When they want the hunt to end, they often easily accelerate away from the hounds. When the coyote gets tired of the game, he sometimes will enter a den of sorts which could be a hole under a tree or in a dried up creek bed. In some cases a coyote will stop and turn on hounds. In those rare cases hounds that are not accustomed to coyotes will be put off by the size and aggressive nature of the coyote and can be called away.