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Songdog Fever -- Coyote Hunting

Songdog Fever -- Coyote Hunting

By Allen Jones

I grew up in south Alabama, and hunted and fished there through all my teen years and never saw a coyote. There just were not any coyotes (or armadillos) in the South at that time. The first coyote I ever saw was while I was on an elk hunting trip in 1974. He was mousing in a field near Hartsel, Colorado, and we were just passing through on our way to the hunting area. I found myself more interested in hunting that coyote than I was in the elk hunt.

Songdog Fever -- Coyote Hunting

I have always had a love of accurate, flat-shooting rifles, and this went hand in hand with coyote hunting. This started back in the 60's when I would go crow hunting with my older brother and a buddy of his who had a Remington 700 ADL in a 222 caliber. It only had a 4X scope on it, but for a kid who had previously only shot an open sighted .22 this gun was a dream come true. You could kill a crow about as far away as you could see it.

I saved my pennies until I had enough to get my own rifle. Since I did some deer hunting also, my brother suggested something a little bigger than the triple deuce would be better, so I bought a Rem 700 BDL in 25-06. With a 9 power scope and 87gr hollow points, this gun was a tack driver. A crow wasn’t safe unless he was past the quarter mile mark, and using the 117 gr Nosler, this was a whitetail’s worst nightmare.

My love affair with coyote hunting started after moving to Colorado in the summer of '75. Deer and elk hunting were always fun, but you are limited to a few days each and one animal each. With coyotes, you could hunt year round AND actually make a little money doing it.

The first coyote I ever killed was a big beautiful male that I shot at an altitude of about 10,000 feet in November that first year. I had spotted him from the highway, and made a stalk to get to within about 250 yards to make the shot. He had a beautiful prime hide, with long black tipped guard hairs and a snow white belly, so I skinned him and salted the hide, thinking this was the right way to do it.

I had heard that the hides were worth money so I started asking around. I was pointed in the direction of a local trapper who ran a corner gas station. When I proudly showed him my coyote that was skinned by splitting him right up the belly, I thought he would cry! He told me that coyote would have been worth $100 if I had skinned him right. Now I was the one crying!!! He took me around back to his fur shed and showed me a few coyotes that were properly taken care of, and graciously offered to show me how on my next one.

This took a little while, but finally I killed another one. This one was a smallish female that I shot with the above mentioned 25-06 at about 150 yards with an 87gr hollow point. There was a hole through the middle that you could run your fist through. When I took her down to my trapper friend, he said she was not even worth skinning.

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