Saturday, December 18, 2021

Coyote Hunting

I'm not sure what it is, but it seems like we all go through phases where we get super obsessed with one thing and that's all we want to do. Right now, Jeff's got the predator hunting bug again so I decided to take a day and go with him. Last time we went we took our boys and despite all the extra movement & noise we still called in a coyote. Unfortunately, I was trying to film the hunt and Jeff didn't see it. So this time we tried to improve our odds by only having adults and not trying to film the hunt. 

Coyote hunting to this point has always been an exercise in futility. We go out, make a few setups, and then spend the rest of the day driving around. This time would be different because we were going to keep making 'stands' all day (or at least until we called it quits). The first two set-ups seemed very familiar, with what we thought would be great when we first sat down, but they were pathetically bad by the time we decided to move and stood back up. Kinda crazy how the landscape can change like that. We did see a nice mule deer buck chasing does around and a small herd of elk, so that was pretty cool. 

The third stand seemed pretty promising as we walked into position. We decided to sit a little ways apart from each other to cover all the angles. My mind was just started to wander when suddenly there was a coyote running right towards us. My initial thought was to hurry and get a shot off before Jeff could, but my better senses kicked in and I waited. If a shot presented itself I would take it, but if Jeff got a shot first that would be great too. It's crazy how greed can rear its ugly head in moments like this. I continued watching the dog covering ground on its approach until it just disappeared. I don't mean like it ran off, but it was there one moment and gone the next. I stayed focused trying to look with a wide lens for few seconds (that felt a lot longer) and just as suddenly as it had disappeared the dog reappeared slightly to my right and really close. Just when I was hoping that it would stop it did, and I took the shot at 49 yards. My Ruger 243 doesn't have that much knockdown power, so when the dog disappeared I thought I had missed it. I quickly re-loaded and waited a few moments for a chance at a follow-up shot. When the coyote didn't reappear I stood up to get a better look at the situation. I may have gotten a little excited when I saw the coyote laying almost exactly where it was when I pulled the trigger. My second ever coyote!

Jeff was just as excited as I was about the success and this made it easy to stick with it a little longer and we quickly moved to another spot to make another stand. Even though the next stand looked very similar to others that we've made over the years, coming straight off a success makes having confidence easy and we were sure that we'd be seeing another coyote soon enough. Too bad we were wrong! The next few stands produced no action other than seeing a few bucks chasing does around and a huge group of turkeys. 

The day was getting late as we made our way back to my truck, but I couldn't help but feel pretty happy with a successful trip. It probably won't be too long before we try it again. 

Hope you're as lucky,


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