Ramblings and Such From Hunting Coyote

nealm66

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Jul 6, 2020
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469
Location
washington
My dad used to log in the summer and trap in the winter. I was too young but my oldest brother has a few stories about it. I only remember bits and pieces. Like cooking up beaver to see what it tasted like, a hawk in a cage that my brother caught by accident and got it healed. I remember helping with some small things. I remember winters were way colder and my brother talks about how cold his hand would get setting up beaver and muskrat traps. He tried to raise a coyote pup but they just don’t tame really. It went away when it killed a chicken . Really enjoying the amazing knowledgeable stories
 

DSheetz

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Aug 22, 2015
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1,915
When it comes to traps not all of them are created equal . If you can look at them and handle them before you buy any do so . Some of the things that I look at are . is the frame wide and thick enough that it won't bend easily ? If I put it on my knee and set it does the frame flex if it does it won't stand up to a big western mountain coyote . Are the ends of the jaws extending through the frame far enough that they won't easily pull out of the frame ? Are the spring levers long enough for me to set them with gloves on but not so long that they will have a hard time breaking through some frosty or crusted dirt ? Is the spring U pin long enough that it won't come out of the frame and spring levers but not too long as to catch on things as a coyote is pounding it on the ground and rocks ? What type of chain does it have on it ? I don't like the twin loop dog chain type of chain as it get caught up and filled with grass and roots then binds up not flexing . I also don't like the twisted link chains as they will twist together and bind up as well . For me I use 18 " of #3 straight link chain with a swivel at the stake end and put 3 links of 3/16 " chain that I have shaped so I can put 1/2" rebar stakes through . Then half way to the trap I put another swivel in the chain and when the trap is setting with the dog away from me the chain is fastened to the trap frame through the hole in the frame with a J rivet on the right hand side . That way setting the trap is done the same with the dog to the outside of the trap bed every time and the dog won't hit the animals foot when the trap fires . I like my chain at the end of the frame better then in the middle of the frame . If it's in the middle of the frame it makes it harder to get the trap not to rock when bedding it . Plus if it's in the middle of the frame and one of your springs gets weak the animal can pull out easier . We did a test on this one time we took the same trap that the chain was in a d ring set up on the frame put it on a coyotes front foot and pulled it off of the foot . we then put the chain in the end hole of the frame on the same trap put it back on the coyotes foot and the same guy pulled it off of the coyotes foot . It held better with the chain at the end of the trap frame as when the foot slipped to the side of the jaws with the chain at the end of the frame the spring lever rode up higher on the jaws and caused a wedging action tightening the jaws more . All of my chain is welded link chain so it doesn't open up . The trap bed is dug and the stakes driven and the chain put on the stakes at the end of the bed towards the backing of the set so they won't get caught in the traps jaws keeping it from closing properly then covered with dirt .
 

DSheetz

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Aug 22, 2015
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1,915
Forty years ago I got permission to trap on a ranch up on the mountain . I found some old traps that were #4 Newhouse long spring traps . I ask the rancher about them . He told me that 20 years before his dad had , had a government trapper up there and that the guy had set up his traps worked them awhile and then died of a heart attack leaving all of his traps set . Nobody else had known where they were to go pick them up or to continue trapping there . During the next year I found 12 more of his traps . Strange , no not really he and I had studied the animals that we were after so we had similar thoughts as to where they would be best set up for and caught with traps .
 

DSheetz

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Aug 22, 2015
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1,915
Over the years I have taken some old coyote , some of which I truly have no idea of their age . I've called and snared some that didn't have any teeth left . They weren't chewing any meat or eating anything very big . Some of them I'm sure were living on bugs and mice and some of them I think were living on cow droppings as coyote pups will if you kill their parents . The coyote that I have encountered were survivors and when they had pups were willing to give their own lives to protect and insure that the pups lived . I have over the years used the fact that they will give their lives for the pups to my advantage many times to get coyote that were killing livestock to support their pups . A vast majority of the time that I had to take care of coyote killing live stock in the spring was because they had pups to feed or were old and taking small livestock because they were the easy way to live . In the fall of the year the coyote that were killing live stock were pups of the year that had moved into the area and were learning to hunt and kill for themselves still running with their siblings enjoying the chase getting into trouble , like kids do . Often when I had bobcats or other cats killing they were adult cats and were just killing for themselves not feeding kittens . The lions that I've had problems with were either young out on their own for the first time and not real experienced hunters or very old and getting stove up with arthritis making it hard to take on deer or antelope for them . When I had bear problems they all had ear tags and were transplanted from an area that they had been causing problems in before . By far the biggest killer of lambs when they are small is the red fox with kits . Not very often have I found that the male fox was around to help the vixen raise the kits so she was killing the easy killing animals to feed them . Fox dens are most of the time pretty dirty and smell of rotting animal parts as well as puppy crap with a lot of grass mashed down from them playing . As the lambs get older and can run faster if you have a fox problem you will see several lambs with part of their tail missing . The fox will give chase to the lamb and as the lamb is faster now they get hold of the tail and it gets bitten then broken off . Coyote dens are for the most part pretty clean they smell of the puppies and their crap but don't have a lot of dead animals around them like fox dens do . They also have large areas of grass mashed down from the pups playing after they get old enough to be out of the den . Bob cat dens smell of cats and the kits manure but don't have a lot of animal parts around them when I've been around them . For the most part the animals that have caused problems in the spring were raising young . When I had problems with stock killing all year long it was most times bobcats or old coyote that couldn't kill deer or antelope any longer .
 

DSheetz

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Aug 22, 2015
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A few of us are old enough to remember people like S. Stanly Hawbecker , Vern Dorn , James Lucero , Gregerson , Slim Pederson and many others that have written about trapping and snaring , using lures and baits . There were people that made good calls , Murry Burnham , Major Boddicker , Johnny Stewart and many others . They all at one time or other wrote books and made VHS tapes on their arts to teach others how they did what they did . Some of them are still around and doing it still . You can still find Hawbecker lures and baits , get Gregerson snares and O'Gorman still gives instruction as well as sells lure and baits , as far as I know . I don't know if he and his wife still sell instructional videos . I haven't talked with any of them at O'Gorman's in several years . People like Bill Austin , Vern Dorn, Dan Thomson have passed on now and so has the chance for us to learn in person from them but there is still written material of theirs around as well as some videos with some good info of theirs on them . The best advice I can think of to offer any one starting out or wanting to learn more about anything is be a sponge find the best you can , ask questions listen to what they have to say , don't think you already know enough or more then them if what they say differs from what you think then study some more don't argue with them about it say why you think the way you do and discuss it to see why they think that way you may both learn something that way .
 

DSheetz

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Aug 22, 2015
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Each of us has had different experiences with doing the same things and so we formed our opinions and ways that we do things . Because we had those different experiences we formed subtle differences in the way we accomplish the same thing . That is the biggest reason for studying more then one persons ways of doing things . We also don't want to just read one book or study of things we should read a lot of materials study from several persons and then try our best to sort out the truth of things as best we can all the while having an open mind not already having formed an opinion of the way we think things should be . In this manner I have learned much about the coyote, fox and bob cats as well as the other animals . That is how I could go out on a call and figure out what it was that actually did the stock killing not just take it for granted that it was coyote . More then once I got a call for coyote killing and found it to be fox, bob cat , bear or even lion killing . Had I not had an open mind , and knew in my mind it was coyote , I wouldn't have had as much luck getting the real culprit taken care of . Try to keep an open mind as well as eyes , ears and other senses to figure out the truth of things not the truths as we want them to be . Your calling , hunting , trapping and snaring as well as the rest of your outdoor experiences will be the better for it IN MY OPINION . See I've already made my mind up so it's not open to change or another truth LOL .
 

DSheetz

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Aug 22, 2015
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1,915
I was up on the mountain visiting my wife's sister and brother in law . His dad stopped by to tell me that he had a coyote attack his dog day before yesterday and that his dog even ran under his horse but the coyote kept charging it . I guess from what he said there was a rodeo that took place as his horse didn't like things like the dog and coyote under it's feet . I listened to his description of were it took place and told him I would have a look at it later that day . It all depends on what time of the year it is as to what is taking place . This took place in late May at an elevation of over 8000 feet near a rock out cropping so I suspected there were pups involved . Had it been in say March or late summer then I wouldn't have even went looking for that coyote and figured it to be sick because of it's actions . Being May I figured that it would still be in the area and had pups hidden in a hole under rocks near by . I went in to the area from behind where it had taken place parked my truck out of site and walked about half mile to a place close but not too close to where it was . I found me a good setup and sat down just watching the area for several minutes . As I didn't see any movement I got my call out and let out one lone long howl . I hadn't even finished my howl when I saw a coyote jump up and stand on a large rock out in front and to my left . It then jumped off of the rock and came on a dead run straight at my location . I got it in my scope watched it coming and waited for it to get closer and stop . It was about 50 yards out when it stopped standing facing me front on I made my shot . Then got on my howler and did a series of hurt coyote screams and saw another coyote running my way from out of the prairie to my right . I got it in my scope as it ran my way as it got near where the first coyote lay it to stopped standing facing front on to me . I made the shot then just sat and watched for several minutes before I let out one long howl . No more coyote moved but I sat there for awhile then did what I normally do let out a few howls and barks like I was taught called interrogation howls . No more coyote moved or answered . This all took place in the afternoon after 2:00 P.M. but earlier then 4:00 P.M. . The female was closer to the den hole and the male was out laying in the grass in a small low spot . She was still nursing and showed 5 pups when I checked her . I went over to where she had jumped up on the rock and within a few feet was the den hole under a rock ledge . I piled my jacket and rifle at the opening , so every one stayed in the hole , it's a habit for when the pups are older , then went back got my truck and came back wired the pups out picked up the adults and took them back to the land owner . Another good day out and about with the critters fresh air and sun shine . That time of the year and at that altitude it can still be cool and often will be in the 60's late in the day nearly freezing in the mornings .
 

DSheetz

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Aug 22, 2015
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I learned not to go after coyote during holidays as there were too many other people out at theses times . I was up calling on Memorial Day had a coyote coming in . it was out around 400 yards when I heard a shot it dropped a dirt bike fired up ran out gathered up the dead coyote and left . Another time , on the 3rd of July , I had my truck hidden by an old cabin in some choke cherry bushes . I was set up by a large rock maybe 1/4 mile from there . there was a county road behind me around 1/2 mile . I was calling toward some rocky ridges that had pine and aspen trees growing on them . I had just about wrapped up at this stand when a blue dodge truck came screaming down the county road slammed on it's brakes and opened fire at a coyote coming in from behind me . It wasn't the first time bullets had been sent my direction but I still don't like it . They didn't hit the coyote scared the heck out of it and me . I did my best to not do coyote calling even the day before or after holidays after that . Hunting season was another time that I didn't like to call coyote even when I had my hunter orange on . I found that so many people were out looking to kill deer , antelope or elk that had never called coyote so didn't know any thing about it but didn't hesitate to shoot at one or try to investigate those strange sounds coming from over there a mile away or that coyote talking on that private land they weren't supposed to be hunting on . So during those times of the year I tended to stick with traps and snares instead . I found that a dead trouble maker was a dead trouble maker no matter how it got dead maybe just not as exciting to get it there .
 
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DSheetz

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Aug 22, 2015
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Den hunting is a whole bunch like stalking coyote . The biggest difference is that you just have an idea of where the coyote is and the general area that the den is in . You are reading the sign that the coyote leaves for you to find and interpret . I liked walking best as I could get close and not disturb them and then call for the adults .It depends on the time of the day and the age of the pups who will be at the den . Till the pups are around 5 or 6 weeks old you will nearly always find at least one adult close to the den , unless one of them has been killed but then the other adult will often take on another coyote to help with the pups. In the early morning say before 7:00 I have found it to most often be the female , then till about 2:00 or so it will be the male while the mom feeds and drinks . Early in the morning and latter in the day both adults and maybe a helper will be near the den , from 2:00 or maybe 3:00 till nearly dark . When the pups are first born till around 4 weeks old if you just set in a known denning area you will hear the old male telling the female he is coming back to the den early in the morning . He howls , she answers . He has a lower voice then her is the first thing that tells you who is who but then as he gets closer he will howl and she will answer , he moved she stayed in the same place . When they get back together they will do a greeting yipping and yapping with each other like domestic dogs do when they haven't seen each other for a while but are normally around each other . After a while and listening to coyote you can figure out how far away they are and have an idea as to where the den is . She will often get to a higher place before she answers him but at this time you are just wanting to get the general area they have their den in so that you can go to that area and call the adults in . You don't want to be right on top of the den when you call the adults and I like to wait for one to be at the den by themselves so then I can get them both at different times one at a time and can some what control how they come to the call . I will most often not use the puppy sounds at this time but coyote vocalizations one howl just to get the adult to get to a high place and look for the intruder . If they are in a good shooting position then they get shot but if I messed up and didn't get close enough then the puppy sounds come into play but they react too fast with those sounds and I'm not in control of the situation with that calling and risk not getting a good shot . I will use the puppy sounds if I don't know there is a den or am just hunting in the general area of where coyote will lay up for the day but not at a denning site . So then I've killed one adult by my choosing and will then find the den take the pups and wait till the female comes back in the afternoon around 2:00 or so and call to her with a long lone howl . If I don't see or hear her then I will do some interrogation howls , if that fails as it sometimes does then I will go to the puppy sounds . I tend to want a coyote to react slowly , just come to a place and look for the intruder , or missing mate , while standing so I have a good shot and have found that with the puppy sounds they tend to react fast and in a panic or mad and not want to stop but just charge in . That is why I don't us them very often and in certain areas being selective in their use it's for me to be more in control of the situation then them being in a mad dash wanting a fight and risking not getting them . Again it's my thoughts and the way I do things for my situation .
 

204_ruger

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May 7, 2020
Messages
186
Location
Arkansas
I read every trapping book i can come across. Watch dvd's still learning. I will never learn to much. I trap alot of public land. I run Duke 2 and #3 4 coilspring offset on public land. Private land i run mb 550's mb 650's . Bridger 4 coil offset in 2's, 3's and dogless ones also. I bought a wire welder lasr winter. I build my own drags. Rebar stakes drowning rods. Trap modification bubble the trap jaw and base plate. Where i live i have to use mostly drags. I got a order of trapping bait and lures in the summer. I pick up brass at the rifle ranges. Free brass i traded brass for 300.00 baits and lures . I would like to goto Nebraska or South Dakota snaring. Here i do some snaring . I do nuisance control trapping for game and fish. Been trapping since i was 4. My wife bought me a henry golden boy to trap with. But not carrying it. I went a week later bought a henry carbine 22 rifle too use. I carried a single action 22 pistol for yrs. The mange is so bad here. Here is a few pictures of how bad it is. First was snared in December . One froze in the trap. Its bad here.
 

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DSheetz

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Aug 22, 2015
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1,915
You did those coyote a favor . I don't care how you feel about coyote to me they don't deserve to suffer like that with mange . The DNR did some study of treating wildlife for rabies and things like that , mange and distemper ect. with drop baits treated with vaccines . They found it to not be cost effective . We were out flying hunting coyote in the chopper one Sunday morning when we shot a coyote that looked like it had been burned . It had very little fur left and it's skin was cracked open and bleeding . The pilot asked me what the h233 is wrong with that coyote I've never seen one like it . I told him mange . We came around and landed so he could look at it . Even he said they don't deserve to suffer like that .
 

DSheetz

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Aug 22, 2015
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1,915
Years ago there was a guy from Missouri that would trap fox and coyote keep them caged treat them with some ivamec for mange , fleas and ticks and antibiotics to get their foot healed up then take them back east and sell them live to people that ran them in large inclosures with their dogs .
 

Bucklowery

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Jul 1, 2013
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794
Location
northwest florida
Yes sir they would have a smaller enclosure to train puppies and larger ones for grown dogs and they would be mostly coyotes as a few July’s or walker dogs would catch a fox pretty quick. Most of these are closed down now. They were popular with the field trial crowd

Thanks

Buck
 
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