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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 wasnít safe unless he was past the quarter mile mark, and using the 117 gr Nosler, this was a whitetailís 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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