I thought I would approach Len’s request for a coyote article a little differently this time. Rather than talk about what works and why, I thought I would dig deep in the mass of mush to come up with my first and biggest fail in the coyote fields.
Here’s how it all began. The calls had arrived! I opened the little plastic box to find 3 fresh smelling wooden calls in the box, shipped from the Gander Mountain Catalog. I donned my musty smelling woodland coveralls, grabbed the only rifle I owned, a Marlin bolt action 22 magnum, and headed out the door…
This quest had started the previous winter while I was ice fishing in the Okee Bay near Lodi Wisconsin. It was 1984 and I was as smart as any 14 year old, maybe even smarter, I thought. As I trolled the ice holes and eavesdropped on the old timers, I can distinctly remember the two old farts arguing about the dog that had been eating the undersized fish left on the ice the previous afternoon. Old Bill was very adamant that it was a coyote, while the other was insistent that it was a local farm dog. I walked over to Bill and asked him if he had ever seen a coyote before. I don’t remember his response, but do recall him giving me an education on the then mysterious canine.
I had seen plenty of red fox growing up, even shot one before. But a coyote? Never in my life had I seen a wild dog the size of my dad’s recliner, with teeth longer than my pinky fingers, and an appetite for warm flesh that would rival Rosie O’Donnell’s. Bill’s last words held with me to this day, “I haven’t seen a coyote in these parts for over 20 years, but I will guarantee one thing Jimmy. If there is one here now, there is more to come.”
“Holy crap! The hills are going to be overrun with them! Sheep are going to be slaughtered! My sister’s cat will be kibbles! I had to do something. I had to… to… to be a COYOTE HUNTER!”
The chill was in full force that first December day when I vowed to kill my first coyote. I trudged across the snow covered fields to an overgrown cow pasture that connected to a series of wooded bluffs, the perfect spot, I thought, for a rabbit marauding coyote the size of my dad’s Oldsmobile.