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Teaching An Old Dog New Coyote Hunting Tricks
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Dad pleaded with me to go with him, but I insisted, “NO! Not if you’re using that gun. All it will do is make us angry in the end because we screwed up!”

He went off without me and I believe my exact words were, “Call me when you get back without any fur because you missed.”

When I picked up the phone that evening, all I heard was, “Well, you were right.”

Need I say more? We both knew what would happen; it is Murphy’s Law. He got caught up in the moment, and with the time restraints of not being able to go hunting the next couple of weeks, he gave in to temptation and the coyotes won. I don’t think I ever told him that I couldn’t have gone anyway because of a family commitment. I just wanted to be able to say, “I told you so!”

Have you ever taken someone that has never been calling before and try to convince them that they have to be ready with gun up at all times? Try teaching a grown man that has taught you everything about hunting and shooting to do this. You will be surprised. It will go something like this:

You will set up and call for about 10 minutes when a coyote will come circling from behind to your partner’s side. The coyote will peg your presence but cannot wind you. He will trot around trying to figure out what he needs to do while you are lip squeaking to keep him interested. It will be at this time that your partner, (Dad) will try to ease his gun up to his shoulder and get a shot. The young coyote will start trotting off in a path so as not to expose himself to a running shot. The partner will unload his weapon and never scratch a hair on the young coyote, who is now a whole lot smarter to a call. Yes, you guessed it, Dad now has a couple bipods of different nature and always, always has his rifle shouldered and prepared for a shot.

Not only are we talking about learning from the hunting side of the spectrum, but of course these coyotes are also taking all of this in. When we first started, there were not near as many callers as are out there today. The sport has exploded! You did not used to be able to find more than maybe one or two calls in your favorite sporting goods catalog. The more people that are introduced to hunting, the better, but it does indeed make it tougher. This will probably weed some of the weaker minded out of the equation, but we “die-harders” have to get better, or there will be some long winters ahead.

Now, this may sound like I am just pointing out all of the times that Dad has screwed up while we were calling. That is not the case whatsoever. I still to this day have a couple screw-ups each season while I am out calling. That is the beauty of calling predators, the unknown. We can learn something from our mistakes every year. The moral of the story is that no matter how much you have hunted different species, or have shot numerous animals, there is always something to learn.

In this case, I hope that I have been a student of the game, in order to teach someone something new and say thanks for all of the things that Dad has taught me. I may be the better predator caller, but I’ll never match the archery deer kills that he has notched in his belt! It is always possible to teach an old dog a new trick; for you know the coyotes are learning.
Justin Shireman was raised in western Oklahoma near the town of Elk City. He graduated college with a Biology degree and is now employed in the oil and gas industry. He is a devoted outdoorsman, enjoys hunting any kind of game, whether it be archery, shotgun, or rifle. Justin is also an avid shooter and reloader. When he is not out hunting, shooting, or fishing, he enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter where they now reside, just south of Oklahoma City.

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