OK so here is the lay of the land
For those of you interested in the setup, the image above is from google maps, I think it is a spring time picture. This is just showing the northern half of the farm where this played out. The white objects on the upper right are the barns and the road/driveway enters at the NE corner of the property. As one can see, accessing this part of the land requires one to walk across a completely open area that is pretty extensive. One can also see that there is a terrific amount of woods and swamp on the northern side of the property, so this is where the den areas are. No-one lives on that property which is why the coyotes are able to set up there. From there, their hunting sorties then come onto neighboring property including this farm.
One can't really recognize the patch of hardwood forest in this picture since the leaves have not yet sprouted, but it is apparent that something is there in front of the evergreen pines.
The red patch is where I have my permanent blind since it is in the spot with the best view. Its location is why I have so many long shots depending on the direction. Given the wind direction, the only coyotes that would show up are the ones coming from the wooded area to the NW. Those living to the NE would have been able to wind me.
Here is how this went down: (written Sat Morning)
Things have gone better the last year on the sheep farm. Just 4 sheep lost the entire year to predation. Like before, the coyotes live on neighboring property and stray onto the property intermittently. I have been after them since fall and until today had not even seen one. I got exactly 1 picture on my trailcams out of many thousands of images in time lapse mode.
I always arrive on-scene before dawn and make my way on foot from the parking spot near the barn to the blind, a distance of about 900 yards which crosses completely open terrain (no cover) which is why I do it in the dark. My blind is a permanent fixture on a high point that is pretty exposed and the wind was blowing 10-20mph with quite a wind chill (temp was in the teens with snow falling). The blind is insulated and heated with double glazed windows that open. 4x8th floor plan so pretty cramped, but given the fact that it takes an average of 20 days in the field to kill a coyote in these parts, the blind makes it a lot less miserable. I'm pretty sure my motivation would evaporate sitting in the wind driven snow at a -6 wind chill after an hour...
This morning it was down in the teens, there was a south westerly wind blowing and light snow falling. Wind direction less than ideal because my scent is blown towards a known concentration of coyotes on the neighboring land. Shortly after 8:30 the smaller male (lower of the 2) showed up right at the edge of the woods to my west, moving into the wind along the tree line, nose to the ground. He was moving with that regular trot that is so typical of coyotes at a range of about 130 yards. He paused just long enough for me to let off the shot, I was using my Savage 12 in 243 Win with 95gr SST bullet.
Right after the first one went down, the second bigger male came flying out the woods in my direction. I had not even seen him previously. I am guessing that the bullet which passed through the first one's chest hit some of the small trees near the male which caused him to come out of the cover. He went about 70 yards then stopped and looked back, he had his back to me, so I took a less than sporting shot through the hindquarters. He went down immediately. Looking at the pattern in the snow, he must have spun around at least 1 time.
I have to say that the 243 Win is doing a fine job, compared to the previous so-so performance out of my 223. The final 75gr loads in my 223 have been deadly too, but for any situation with wind or distance greater than 300 yards, I prefer the 243. The BC of the 95gr bullet is 0.486 so the ballistics are impressive at longer distances.
The owner made a chicken coop for his wife for Xmas and maybe that along with the bit of colder weather was what attracted them.
Edit: initially, I thought the first one was a female, but on checking later on their "equipment" I realized that they were both males, just a smaller and larger male.