I was the guest of the Newcastle coyote hunting boys over this past weekend and I had a great time. Seth Hunter, Justin Stevenson and Zane Goodsell showed me some beautiful terrain and we called some coyotes.
We started off Friday evening with pineapple pizza at the local Pizza Hut. It was surprisingly good.
I got a new camera just before the trip -- Nikon D7000. Couldn't wait to try it out in low light conditions. Saturday morning we used Justin's GPS based BLM map to navigate in the dark. I had not seen the chips displayed on a Garmin Nuvi before. That is really cool. To drive down the road in the truck watching the public land pop up on the screen.
At "Oh-dark-thirty" the foggy scenery was stunning with hoary frost and clingy snow on the sage brush. There was just enough snow on the ground for spotting dogs and tracks. All 3 of us happened to have the same Cabela's Open Country winter camo on.
This is Justin.
I had just one shot over the one and a half days. I missed it -- a hurried shot from a sitting position at 536 yards. In this cold weather you have to keep your range finder under your coat until the last minute or the electronics fail. The coyote came in to Justin's calls but snuck around and winded us. So he was scurrying away to warn his buddies when I saw him but he stopped long enough to taunt me.
This was my setup. An Ultrec Shooting Sticks Tripod with a Stoney Point Tag-along for rear support. I need to practice this position more. It can be quite stable for the longer shots where you can't shoot prone. The sling is the double shoulder sling (at LRH Gear Shop)
This is Justin and Seth.
Later in the day the sun came out. This is Seth's pet coyote that he has trained since it was a pup to act as a decoy.
All weekend Justin and Zane just kept begging me to take their pictures.
Notice Zane's special coyote viewing lenses. He told me these make it much easier to spot the dogs -- and they look cool.
On Saturday Justin shot a coyote that we caught crossing the road -- with a rabbit in its mouth. On Sunday Justin and Zane busted out of the truck while I jumped out to get s shot of them taking a shot -- at a different coyote that got away before shots were fired.
This rancher was so friendly. He stopped and chatted for about 15 minutes giving us suggestions on neighbors who would be pleased if we called their land. He also told us the county trapper had shot or trapped a gazillion coyotes in the neighborhood down the road.
On the last set of the trip, Zane and Justin had had it with me and they tried to ditch me. But I saw them sneaking toward the truck and I ran down the road, catching them within a mile. I think they were shocked that I could catch them.
The guys were great to be around. We all had a great time. I left early to beat a snow storm coming later that night. Justin called me early that evening to say that after I left Seth called in a bobcat and Justin shot 2 more coyotes.
Those guys know what they're dong. We called in or heard replies from coyotes on most of our sets. They'll be competing again in the Newcastle Coyote Contest in 2 weeks. Good luck, guys. I'll be back next year.