As I mentioned my hunting partner and I entered a coyote hunting contest this weekend. It was a peculiar day in a way since we went to an area that there is a large population of coyotes to be hunted. However they were not interested in what we had to offer. We thought we could pull at least 3 dogs out of this area. The weather was good and as we got out of the truck we could hear the coyotes just howling away at the daybreak.
I was looking forward to getting the cobwebs out and see how I would handle the first competition. But as it happens sometime not one coyote came into the call in this area. So we drove down the road to the next area and the ranch hand said the coyotes had be few and far between on this part of the ranch this year. He told us to go try this area about 10 miles away so we said out good buys and headed down the road. We had not gone 200 yards and here are 2 coyotes strolling across the field towards the cows. If we had not stopped to talk with the rancher they would have been right on the side of the road with time to get the draw on them. But now they saw us and headed for the sage brush. So we decided to let them go.
As we worked out way down this large valley we found some fields with some willows which is a great hide out for coyotes. We called in 4 separate dogs and found that our shooting skills were a little rusty. My partner hit one that ran off on one call. Then on the next stand a coyote came running from about a thousand yards out across this field. It came up to with in 100 yards and stopped. He shot and it ran off into the obis while we threw bullets at it. Talk about out of practice.
Then comes the next coyote calling extavaganza and a coyote comes in to my left in heavy cover. I pull up with my 12 gauge all ready to bag him and the sling of my shotgun is all bunched up on my barrel and I can’t see the bead at the end of the barrel to make a clean shot. There goes that easy shot!
The rest of the day kind of went the same. I did knock down a large coyote the next call when my buddy dropped me off for a one man stand. I had this old dog come in at about 10 minutes looping across a large yellow grass covered field. He was trying to wind me but I let him come up to around 125 yards when I stopped him with a squeaker. There he was facing me when I dropped the hammer and there was no sound of impact. I had pulled instead of squeezed the trigger and her toke off like crazy. He was headed out of dodge when he bolted to the right and I let him have it at about 250 yards on the dead run. So that dog was our first one of the hunt.
Then at the day moved on we made us our specialized good luck hunting bagel with cream cheese, Velveeta and ham. That in itself was great until I let my partner talk me into eating while making the next call. Yes you guessed it. It wasn’t 30 seconds into the call when this big old coyote came a busting over this ridge right behind my partner headed to eat me for lunch. He spun around for a one knee shot while dropping his bagel in the dirt. Bang goes the 223 and off runs the coyote over hill and dale. I got one shot off as it went up the second ridge just barely missing the mark. He was gone and so was a peaceful lunch. Should have eaten in the truck as we usually do. We just we set on making all the rooky mistakes. You would have thought that we were out for the first time.
The next call the coyote came busting around the corner in less than 10 seconds from when I blew the call. It must have been sleeping behind this rock out cropping just 80 yards away. I squeaked to get it to stop 39 yards below me and touched one off. It ran about 30 yards and on the way my partner dropped another round in it for good measure. So now we have 2 coyotes tagged for the contest. I failed to mention one other road dog we missed but some where along the way we figured we should have had 8 coyotes in the back of the truck.
Then as the day drew to a close we hauled butt to check in. We were a couple hours drive to get back to the fairgrounds where check in was. We were running short on time but we only had a few miles to go with about 20 minutes to spare. Then the truck started to vibrate like a tire out off balance and we heard a large boom and the truck went all squirrelly. We had a blow out on the left rear of the truck with 5 miles to go and very little time.
We ripped the back of the truck apart in the dark to find all the tools to get back on the road. Yes we we got it changed and to check in on time but to find that we were in 4th place just out of the money with 2 coyotes. Second and third were tied with 3 coyotes and 1st place team had a total of 5 coyote. What a bite that was to the ego when we should have had 8. Even if we would have missed 2 we still would have taken 1st place so this goes to show that even some of very experienced coyote callers can have a bad day. But my partner did win a nice new hand held coyote call on the raffle prizes.
I hope you can pick out a couple of coyote hunting tips in this story. I like people to read between the lines to get the tips. I hope you don’t mind.
Good luck coyote hunting.