Teaching An Old Dog New Coyote Hunting TricksBy Justin Shireman
I have always been an avid outdoorsman. It was instilled me as I was growing up. Deer season was always much anticipated, sitting next to Dad on a frost covered hill somewhere in western Oklahoma. We all know the drill, getting up well before dawn, sleeping in the passenger seat all the way there, and then following Dad to wherever he thought the deer would be.
Things changed as I became a little older into my mid teens. I wanted to hunt with my buddies and we all thought we were smarter and could get around better without the help of our “old men”. It took us a while to learn the ropes!
Fast forward to my college years. Hunting was still a priority but so were a lot of other things. Right before my senior year of college, I was dating my future wife, so I wasn’t getting into quite as much trouble. I seemed to have a little more time to hunt. I became interested in coyote hunting. Dad had done it years ago in the back of a truck with a tape recorder, but never took it very seriously. So I had to learn.
I ordered a couple videos, and rented some books from the library to start my studies. Mom and Dad told me that for graduating college they would buy me any rifle I wanted (within some limitations). So I ordered a heavy barreled 22-250 with a 6.5 X 20 on top, and started shooting. I got a pack of calls for Christmas and was ready, or so I thought!
Dad was right along with me as I was learning the ropes. I tried to tell him what all I had read and watched on my videos. Of course he listened to some of them and thought some of the other pointers were crazy, and he could do them better. And so we were off to call some critters, so we thought! Take in mind, that all of these instances were when we were hunting together. When he couldn’t go, I would go by myself and learn different things on my own. I would tell him about them and then we would go together again.
The very first stand we made, after about 20 minutes of calling, nothing showed. As we stood up and decided to leave, there was a nice young coyote sitting on his haunches about 40 yards behind us trying to figure us out. He ran off over the hill before we even knew what hit us. As we were walking to the pickup we could hear him about 300 yards away barking to all his buddies. Lesson # 1: Watch the downwind side, always!
One of the big pointers that Dad thought I was wrong on was carrying binoculars. He insisted on it, and I am totally against it. It is just more movement for them to catch. But it took Dad one instance to realize I was right. After me calling for about 15 minutes and nothing had showed, he was glassing across a canyon when a young pup popped up right in front of him at about 40 yards. Dad’s gun was lying across his lap and his binoculars up to his face. Even a pup knows something is up at a time like this and he was gone. Lesson #2: Never take binoculars with you. If you see something that may be a critter, keep watching and if it moves, it is alive. Dad never takes binoculars calling anymore!
What about the time I was in the local gun shop to pick up some reloading supplies when I stumbled upon a top of the line 22-250 with a beautiful wood stock, a 4.5 X 14 on top, and a perfect 26 inch fluted sporter barrel out of it? The rifle was on consignment for what I considered a “steal”. I didn’t need it, but knew Dad would jump all over it, and he did. He is sort of like me, meaning when a new toy comes home to the collection, you cannot wait to draw blood with it. Well, the timing wasn’t the greatest as we were all very busy. He wanted to go calling with it before he shot it thinking that it would be sighted in. After all, who has a rifle lying around that isn’t ready to go?
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