I love this time of year, the pups are out of the den and about 5 to 10 pound and the females are very aggressive, dry, and out hunting with the pups.
This was a short last minute hunt, but I had to get out and shoot the gun, smell the sage, and get some dirt in my hair. The coyotewhacker decided to join me, so I had time to work out some bugs on the camera.
Pulled in late afternoon, cleaned out the blazer, and got the gear ready. I google earth a new section of road about 10 miles long in some new country so I decided to give it a test. And what better way, to give the coyote whacker first kill on a new set.
First set was ľ mile walk down into a huge basin with several small hills and allot of heavy sage, perfect place for a dog to be bedded down and just waiting for a easy meal, no luck. Loaded up and headed to the next set nice small ridge to set up on, water tank close by heavy brush and sage, lots of cover and nice ridge to get out of the sun and wind ľ mile out in front of us. I had been here last month for the first time and new it just had to have some coyotes close by. Set the decoy up got the camera ready, coyotewhacker is below me about 10 feet up against a big rock, we both have on my new m2d hat /mask for a trial run before production. I start out with Tyís close reed distress give it 3 loud blasts and some small whimpers, wait for 2 or 3 min. go to the small howler let out a series of female barks with some pup chatter, wait a few min. back to the distress and wait again, (the camera is running) all of a sudden I hear coyotewhacker give me the squeaker to let me know he has one in sight, I look up there comes a coyote dead run straight for us, I check the view finder I got him in the camera, coyotewhacker stops the coyote 50 yds. out, I give him the shoot, the coyote drops in its tracks, I let out some pup yelps we wait, I know there has to be more out there, not to be this time, one kill will be great , we high five jump up and down and go check out the kill, nice job whacker. Now I check the film, OH NO GREAT BALLS OF FIRE THE AUTO SHUT FOR THE POWER JUST TURNED THE CAMERA OFF RIGH BEFORE THE KILL SHOT, nothing on film, Iím bummed out, but the set was a good one and we had a dog in the bag. Was getting dark so we headed in, tomorrow we would knock em dead.
Up early, full of pi_s and vinegar, and ready to go. Clear skies, no wind and some what chilly for July, first set wind kicked up we got busted, and so the day was set for a big fat 0, a bust, 10 sets with nothing but barking dogs all around us nothing came close, wind blew hard all day. As we headed in I was done and ready to sleep in and head home.
Wait a minute, not so fast buckaroo. Itís amazing what a good nights sleep will do for your spirits, coyotewhacker had already made his plan for heading home, I was going to sleep in and go shoot some new loads I had worked up, and head home.Well when I got up it was late the day was calm, the moon was in a new phase and in sync with the sun rise and set. I felt great; I was going to head out and hit new ground.
First stop was this hill I had drove by many times and always wondered what was on the other side, so I headed out, it was a rough walk, but I had coyotes howling all around me as I headed in, found a nice little rock cliff sat down right on top of a rock with the sun in my face, (remember I have my new m2d camo hat/mask I am invisible haha) I set for a few minutes, the dogs are howling around I get a chill up my back, this is a good set up, I donít care if the sun is in my face. I let out a loud distress with tyís close reed call, wait a few min. let out a female howl with short whimper and some pup chatter (this is not pup distress) one more soft rabbit distress, out of the deep sage comes a coyote running right up to me, right behind her is 6 pups, holly cow I hit the mother load, she stops 50 feet in front of me, the pups are going nuts running all around looking for a rabbit, she looks to her left, she looks to her right, then she looks at me , I canít believe it Iím invisible she canít see me, she turns and looks at the pups I release the safety, she hears the click, and looks at me again, and I let her have it , the pups scatter in all directions, I let out a short female howl and bark, holly cow one of the pups turns stops 100 yds out and looks at me, sorry little guy , your just not good breeding stock,(hahaha) down it drops. HOLY MOLLY I HIT THE MOTHER LOAD, I sit for a few min. and tried to wrap my brain around what just happened, got the lanyard out strapped em up and headed for the rig, life is good life is grand.
Hey Iím on a role I jump in the truck, I know where there are several sand dunes IĎve wanted to call for 2 years, Iím racing down the road at 70 to get there before the heat.
I pull off the road load up and head out, itís at least ľ mile the sage is 3 feet tall and flat as board, I get to the dune Itís not as high as it looks from the road, oh well Iím here, Iím calling, same sequence, no sooner than I put down the call there it is, right in front of me, a large white face 50 out front of me, I move the rifle up it runs, but wait here comes another one, Iím already set as I drop the Nikon coyote special circle on the chest and let it fly, down goes the dog, I think Iíve died and gone to heaven, I run down the dune almost fall over in the sand and sure enough there lays the coyote.
2 sets 3 dogs, lets quite while your 100%, right? Oh no I have one more set that has produced dogs 90% of the time, itís a 30 mile drive and Iím going for it, I fly down the road like a crazy high school kid with his new car going to pick up his sweetheart for a Fri. night date. The temp is still not to bad I head down the small gully for the rock cliff at the end, I know there is a den close by and I have called in coyotes almost every time, they come up the draw the same way every time, I have the ground wore flat where I sit Iím there, I get down in the rocks, same sequence, nothing, do it again, nothing, no howl, no barks , silence, I turn to my right look at the top of the next ridge 200 yds. away and there they are 2 little heads looking over the top right at me, BUSTED, should of left when I was ahead.
This was a great example of why you never quit, ya keep going back out, and when things look bad you just suck it up and do one more set up. Sorry coyotewhacker I owe ya one. Ha ha ha I think this hunt was right up there with the top 3. I always try to learn something new each trip, and this time I was reminded just how keen the coyote sense and instincts keep them alive and well. I think I will go back and read coyote 101 by Charles Shawley again. Welcome to Predators_west lake oswego, OR
Until next time good hunting be safe and take someone with you when you head outdoors.