Ramblings and Such From Hunting Coyote


Well-Known Member
Aug 22, 2015
I , like most on here enjoy hunting coyote , according to my wife too much . When I first started hunting and trapping coyote the first year I had an old dog coyote with out toes on his right front foot . I tried all winter to get him without success . In the spring the county trapper ask me if I wanted to den hunt with him as he had a call , from the neighbor of the ranch I had been trapping on , to get some coyote that were killing lambs . We went out in the morning and started tracking them , sure enough one of them had a square right front foot . We tracked them most of the day finding them in yet another ranchers pasture to the west of where they were killing . They were making a six mile round trip to kill lambs and feed their pups . Merlyn laid down facing the main draw and had me lay down facing a smaller side draw facing east . When Merlyn let out a few puppy squeals , using a med critter call the old dog ran out of the draw in front of me stopping about 20 feet in front of me , I swear you could see anger in his big yellow eyes . I was at that time shooting a new chambering the 17 Remington with the only ammo offerings a 25 gr hp running 4200 fpmv . I got excited and pushed the trigger thus hitting him in the left shoulder as he was spinning I got one in his rib cage and he dropped . I found that I had my square footed challenge and a new addiction We took 8 pups from that den the killing stopped and I learned a lot .
That's a great story and I'm sure the education was priceless. Years ago while deer hunting I was perched atop a near vertical dirt bank sitting on the ground in full blaze orange when I seen a pair briefly through some brush. lost site of them and the next thing I know this one popped up literally within 6'. I think we both were just as surprised by each other but the stare down was on. Finally it slowly turned to leave and I had enough for a snap shot with my 12ga slug. That's got to be one of the most unnerving feelings I've ever had in the wild.
In 1987 I was out working on some lamb killers on Memorial Day . I will often just set and listen in the mornings and let the coyote tell me where they are . Around 7:30 in the morning the pups sounded off a little over a mile and behind me . I set out on foot and slipped in close to where I had heard them , fount a good rock out cropping about 5 feet tall and got settled in . I waited a few minutes and started a puppy squealing call on my Critter call medium . In less then 5 min the female landed beside me on my left at maybe 3 foot and the male ran around the corner to my right at maybe 5 foot . We all nearly messed ourselves , I hit the female at 50 feet and never saw the male again . I had set up one draw over from where they actually were and the den was behind me by about 100 yards . I took 9 pups out of the den the lamb killing stopped , the ranchers were happy I was happy and had an experience that when I'm old with alzhimmers in an old folks home I will probably still remember .
been in Mondamtana calling coyotes and hunting them for 36 years and even the slow kid catches on after a while. :rolleyes: anyone who has called coyotes very long knows if you kill 1/2 what you call in on any day, you are doing great. Best days I have been in on is 6 coyotes, done that a couple times, most days are 1 to 3 dead. I backed grounded you so you know what we see here normally and what a good day is. Well about 5 to 6 years ago, two buddies I used to hunt with were out on a day at -20 and it had been cold for a couple weeks and they were doing sets every mile or less on the north side of lake Elwell......on any given set they would have 2 to 3 coyotes come in, and when they had one at 200 and one a 1/2 mile back, on the ice, they would shoot the close one and the back one would stop, they would keep calling and in it would come and they would take that one out also. normally our coyotes are sharper than that, but they were so dam hungry they still came. At the end of the day they killed 12 (super day here) so you can imagine how many they had come. Both are seasoned callers and good shots. They said the conditions were miserable, especially blowing the call and shooting as we all do both bare handed.............:eek: but they had an awesome day.
Sitting here remembering another day on the Marias, a buddy (this guy is a big quiet fellow, great rifle shot) and I made a set next to a boulder the size of a desk, he was on one side I was on the other, all down hill, great view, wind in our face, real lite. I was doing the calling and about 3/4 a mile away we could see a real light colored one coming. Did just enough lip squeaking to keep her running in and being a gentleman friend I was going to let him shoot her but there was no verbal communication. Well the wind was in our face and she was a yearling, long story short she just kept coming. This was back in the days before I ALWAYS carried a shotgun on my lap. I kept watching her wondering when the heck he was going to shoot, 100 yard, 75, 30 all of a sudden at about 10 yards he shoots her, dead. This big fellow looks at me and says "you ever let one come that close again and I will shoot you!" Seems he was sitting there wondering why I didn't shoot and I was wondering the same and he is not real fond of them getting under 30 yards or closer.
Another time, with one of those buddies that was in on the 12 kill day. We were sitting on a large flat draw and you could see for 2 to 3 miles, slightly rolling with creases that can hide a coyote. this was 30 years ago, still no shotgun, both carrying 22-250's. The grass is short, harris bi-pods prone position. Did 10 -15 minutes on the rabbit hand call, nothing, nothing. Wayne is laying to my left, close side by side and all of a sudden I get this feeling something is watching us. Turn my head real slow to my left and there is a yearling female, 20 yards behind us sitting down, wind was left to right, she is just sitting there looking at us. I looked at my buddy and darted me eyes back, so he knew what was going on......and slow as molasses I turn my body back, rifle still in my hands and that coyote sits there and looks at me, cocked her head like "what the heck is that" all the while I can see my buddy trying to go real slow with his fingers to his ears as I am leaning my rifle over his back to shoot that coyote. once the cross hairs are on her I let go and killed her dead, split second later my buddy is chewing my butt as I just rang the heck out of his ears, he lamented "just about had my fingers to my ears and I knew you wouldn't wait".
coyotes are one of the things that get my heart beating fast, every time, you learn to be calm and close the deal, but dam, they are a lot of fun and great challenge, the excitement is always there...........
Yes the excitement stays there but you learn to control yourself . After a long cold spell they are hungry and will a lot of times throw caution to the wind to get some food in their belly . We had one of those years as did you and the Dakotas in 1998 . I saw some coyote that had traveled so much trying to get food that their pads on their feet were worn raw . I killed 216 that winter . We got a deep snow in early April that year that killed a lot of livestock as well as deer and antelope the scavengers ate well after that .
In 1987 a rancher named Don called me in early May to see if I could do some coyote work before he started lambing . I met him and he showed me around his place . The next day I was out and had a pair out there doing the decoy thing barking and trying to get the strange coyote away from their den . They were out 500 to 550 yards I was just getting ready to start up my Johnny Stewart MS512 with the 101 puppy tape when this truck came up on top of the hill about 100 yards from the coyote . They took off over a hill and the truck came down the hill I got up and walked to the road . Don pulled up to me and asked if I had seen those two coyote that ran off and was I having any luck finding the den . I said yes I saw them and yes I had found the den we could just walk to it . Don said I don't walk much any more I'll wait here for you to get your truck and we'll drive down to the den . I put my stuff down in the road and went for my truck coming back in half an hour . picked my stuff up and drove 30 feet to the den beside the road . Don said do you really think that's the den . I said yes shoveled some dirt in a hole and went to the front of the den to start wiring the pups out . I was running the wire down the hole when Don said somethings trying to get out of this hole you filled in . So I told him clean it out and hit the coyote pup in the head with the shovel when it comes out . A few minutes later I heard the ring of the shovel as he hit something as I was pulling a pup out of the hole on my barbed wire . I looked over and he had the biggest smile you had ever seen . We took five pups out of that hole . I never did get the adults from that den . Don told me nobody else had let him help take a den before .