We make a bunch more stands with no luck to speak of. Well, other than spotting four coyotes out on a big flat, with one howling its brains out at us, and the other three completely ignoring us. They wouldn't budge and there was no way to reach them. It's around 3pm now and we try another set. As we approach the long valley, Mitch asks where I want to set up. I say in the bottom as the coyotes usually run right up the bottom. He glances over my shoulder to the hill above me and gives me a look like, "Well, if you say so." He's too polite to say what he's thinking though. Then he says he's going to sit a little higher up and call.
Troy and Mitch with the results of two days of hard hunting. Notice there is an extra-extra spare tire in the back of the truck.
Cory and I set up with Cory sitting higher than me and Mitch higher than both of us. Before Mitch starts calling, Cory suddenly spots a coyote drinking from a stock pond in the bottom of the valley. I sit there smugly thinking: "Ha, told ya they were in the bottom." I'm fully expecting the coyote to come loping right to me once Mitch starts calling. He calls and calls, and calls, and eventually the coyote makes an appearance. Where? Well right on top of the hill that Mitch had looked at before we set up. Cory shoots it and I start looking for something to wipe more egg off my face. Maybe a black cat would make a nice rag.
We have time for a couple more stands. It's been rough. Two coyotes and we've made a bunch of stands. On the third to the last stand Mitch has a coyote coming in, but it too goes into a low valley and never shows again. Really strange to have this happen once, let alone several times on the same hunt. On the second to the last stand I'm doing the calling. I'm laying on my back with Cory to my left and Mitch to my right.
I've been there 20 minutes and my neck is killing me because I've been holding my head up the whole time while scanning the area. I decide to lean my head back and arch my neck and back to stretch my muscles a little. As soon as the back of my head hits the ground I feel something move and hear BIZZZT! I'm instantly air born! I go from horizontal to vertical in a split second, spinning around as I jump up. There on the ground right where my head was is my worst nightmare, a baby FREAKING rattle snake!!! I'd put my head right on him. The only reason I can figure he didn't bite me is I had his head pinned down with mine. I have to say, that little bugger did not get a pass from me and is now fertilizer. I did my best Mexican Hat Dance/Stomp on him for scaring me out of 20 years of my life, which I will never get back! Mitch comments on how fast I went from laying down to standing up. Hey, even a fat old guy like me can move pretty fast when properly motivated.
We make one more stand, though my heart really isn't in it, and I'm as jumpy as can be. Corey is teasing me about looking like a dog spinning around three times before I sit down. However I did note both Mitch and Cory were watching the ground pretty close as well before they sat down. I call the final stand and it's dry. We decide to pack up and head home. On the way out the grass is so deep we can't find the trail and we have to blaze our own.
Suddenly the right side of truck drops about a foot and a half and comes to a halt. We have slipped into a deep cattle trail and we are stuck big time. Both the front and back tires on the passenger side are deep in the trail. The result is the truck is high centered on hard packed dirt. We are also a long friggin ways from any help or cell phone service. In short, we are in a bad situation and it could be very late before we get out. Mitch comments that he wishes there were some big rocks around that we could put under the truck. This is rolling prairie country and there are darn few rocks. However, at about the same time, we all notice a little eroded piece of earth and there are some big rocks exposed. We quickly gather them up and put them in front of the tires. Cory guns his truck, pops up on the rocks, pulls hard left and hops the truck out. Whew, I was very relieved as that could have been one long night. Stupid cat anyway, but it appears we made it out despite his curse. The rest of the night was uneventful, but wow, what a couple days of ups and downs!
So in two days my partners and I managed to only put 4 coyotes in the back of the truck. However, only one coyote truly got away unscathed that gave us any kind of opportunity. So that isnít too bad. These coyotes were very hard earned, but persistence kept us from getting totally skunked. Despite some tough luck, things could have been much worse and Iím awful glad I didnít experience getting bit by a rattle snake. On a positive note the company was great. I always have a good time hunting with Cory and I believe we made a new friend in Mitch. Iíd hunt with either one of them again in a heartbeat. Next time though, you can bet I will listen a little closer when Mitch makes a suggestion.
An avid big game hunter, Troy Adams has been hunting big game for nearly 30 years. Combining hunting and photography has helped him preserve many great memories. When not hunting, photographing, writing, or spending time with his family, Troy is usually found working on his wildlife art drawings.
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