The wind was howling. I got ready to call. First I used a rabbit squeal. The wind sucked that call right out of my lips. Then I let a couple of coyote howls rip and waited. Nothing. Another series of howls, and there it was on the ice, a coyote coming at an angle towards me. I did a couple of pup squeals when the coyote slowed. The coyote was now on the move again. I had already used my rangefinder and knew a certain rock on the ice was at 325 yards. When the coyote got to that rock, I knew it was at the death spot.
Compensating for the wind, I held 8 inches high and 12 inches in front of the coyote’s nose. The gun went off. Due to the wind, it was not your usual loud bang, but a light puff. I was in shock. There was a coyote spinning on the ice. Then the coyote broke through the thin ice and was in the water. I had missed. I could see a coyote running south back to the bulrushes. I looked back at the coyote on the ice, and it was indeed the one I had shot. It had been heart shot and was now motionless. Two coyotes had been coming to the call and I had been concentrating so hard on the first one that I had never noticed the second coyote. Now I will never doubt the ears of a coyote.
In looking at this again, should I have gone to the other side of the lake and called with the wind in my face? I doubt I would have lasted there for more than a couple minutes due to the cold and strength of the wind. Still, would the coyotes have been able to discern the call of the howler? The wind does distort the call and sucks it right out of your lips.
This situation, and many others like it, make me think back to my motto: If you have not seen it happen yet, you need to hunt more.
For the past twenty five years Ted Haynes has been employed as a peace officer with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. And for the last 10 years he has lived and hunted in Southern Alberta, where he has gotten hooked on calling coyotes. Between September 7, 2002 and March 3, 2003, he decided to see how many days in a row he could either go hunting or go to the range. During this nearly six month period he honed his skills as a coyote caller.
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