Ramblings and Such From Hunting Coyote

Reemty J

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508
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Mondamtana
Since December 12th in a 5 mile long by 3 mile wide area I have killed 15 coyotes and some days it seems I have not dented them, common to see 10-15 in a day, Straightshooter can attest to this as we saw at least a dozen the day we were out
 

Reemty J

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Apr 1, 2020
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508
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Mondamtana
Thursday went out and had a long loop walk with a few stalks, still was almost calm with switching winds, was gone from pickup for 3 hours. Had a silly screw up...when I stalk a coyote I set the set trigger and push safety on ( CZ 527 varmint rifle) well I had a coyote 500+ away I was sneaking on, I was in an irrigation canal 6’ deep, I looked at some white tail does to my right and I could tell they were looking at another coyote that was coming behind me....deer have a certain look when they are watching a predator..so I turned and went prone with a little lip squeaking , minute later the coyote comes into view 100 yards away, put the crosshairs on him pull the trigger and click....forgot to take off safety, rookie move. Obviously the set trigger trips on safety but gun does not go off, didn’t know that..time I cycle bolt that coyote is in high gear and gone....just blew an easy gift. Wind started to come up and was around 10 mph....stopped and visited with land owners then went in the direction some coyotes I had spooked in the morning went....seems-to me when you bump a coyote here, they go 1/2 mile to mile and re-bed...the coyotes I bumped off some long hills went east into some flat stubble and irrigation canals...I spotted 2 laying 200 yards apart, went east of them parked behind a homestead and got into the canal and slowly worked a 1/2 mile back to where they were, finally got one pinpointed. She was nervous and kept standing and then laying back down, she looked to be close to a fence line so l ranged it as I could not get a range on her, 401 yards... waited for her to stand and held low in her chest, proceeded to shoot and miss. She jumped up and ran 10 yards and stopped and looked around as she did not know where it came from . Held a little more to the left as I had 1/2 value wind, shot again ka-Pow, she dropped dead. Walked out there and I hit her in the neck right below the head. Come to see she was not as close to the fence line as I thought..range was 354 not 400 hence the high shot, lucky me. Had an hour of daylight left so went back to spot Straightshooter and I called the one I missed....went a little farther west wind was from northwest and real light....had my back to a canal so was in the shade from the setting sun. Pointed the gun East and could easily move it north as that is assumption to where they “ may “ come from...as I am right handed .....usedhand calls couple female howls and then some catnip rabbit, was on my fourth series 30-45 seconds each with sometime in between and a young female comes running from the north, ranged her in the 350-370 yards she was trotting hard Togo to my right and cut my wind.....had to bark quite a few times to get her to stop, she was on a cut hay field....lined up the 300 yard hash mark and held a little high in her body..ka- Pow, she drops like a rock. Thank GOD for a Harris bipod and a CZ 204.... 356 yards and no exit....2 coyotes for the day
 
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Reemty J

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508
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Mondamtana
So far this is what I have shot with that CZ varmint in 204with 39 grain SBK, 6 coyotes this summer and 30 this fall but 1 was with shotgun...so 35 just with 204. For ME I just love this set up, closest one was 60 yards farthest 401; quite a few between 200-350 and it just hammers them, bang flop, only two runners one broadside at 386 thru the lungs 10 yards he went. Another this spring, female gut shot, spins 4-5 times runs 30-40 yards, every other one just drops on the spot. Put a higher powered 30mm tube Vortex tactical on it, 6-24-50mm and I love it. almost every time the bullet never exits with body shots.
 
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Reemty J

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Mondamtana
I will give you some things I have noticed, these coyotes out here just love to lay in the stubble, on real windy days they are on the leeside of a hill or small rise, usually just a little down from the top, a 1/4 to max 1/3 as they want to keep height for vision to on coming threats down wind, like western deer like to do.. when your glassing look for ears sticking up and when they lift their head they look like Mickey Mouse with pointed ears.. keep panning a large field for 15 to 20 minutes as you will see a head raise. Also if the combines bumps a rock and the stubble is a little higher they like those spots, more cover. With snow they are really easy to see, they like to be 400 to 800 yards off a road but are very attuned to all road traffic. Once you have them spotted plan your route and get as many land marks in your head as possible, so you can relocate as you get closer as things look different from different angles...use your glasses thatpays huge dividends".also when stalking keep anything you can between them and you..I personally think a coyote is harder to stalk than any deer or elk. When you go against a coyote you are going against the best in this area, my opinion YMMV.....that’s what keeps me going back
 
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DSheetz

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Aug 22, 2015
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1,232
Reemty you have been busy . All good descriptions of some fine hunts . I have never had that many coyote to work on , in my area if I had 3 or 4 in an area of say 5x3 miles I thought that I had a bunch except if there were a group of pups with a pair that had moved in to train the pups to hunt . Not having cut stubble were I 'm at they lay on the lea side of a hill , small rise or in a small low spot and in draws out of the wind but as you have said you will spot their heads and ears unless they are standing . Here if you bump one it's running flat out till it finds a rough draw or some sage brush then it just disappears into the surroundings . they will lay up at the base of a sage brush curling around it with their head down low and ears laid back in a low spot or even a cow trail . I've been ground crewing and watched them hear the plane before I could , take off on a run hit a cow trail and lay down in it letting the plane do it's hunting then wait till it had been gone for up to half an hour before they would get up . I have watched them hit some sage brush or some tall grass and they just seem to melt into the ground . They may stay there laid up for hours then . I got good at seeing a laid up coyote not moving by picking up on their face and ears as you do . I spotted several while in the gunners seat of the chopper that didn't move that the pilot didn't seem to be able to see till I shot them . Most of the pilots and gunners are used to seeing a running coyote or fox and don't see them standing or laying if they don't move . After you call for awhile you learn to see them not moving . A lot of newer callers say they aren't having any luck at calling when they really are they just don't see the coyote that are laid down watching them in a low spot . When your out there to kill ,killers you spend time with them in their environment studying them and learning what it is that they do . You call and then watch the country you called into often to see a coyote just watching you . Coyote hunting has been so much a part of my life for so many years .
 

Straight Shooter

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Feb 19, 2012
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Billings, MT
I went today where no man has gone before. Been tough calling lately. Not a lot of coyotes around and they are not responding very well. The farmer who I am staying with put a dead cow up on the hill behind the house last night and nothing touched it. Usually it will be completely consumed in a couple of days. Tonight I went where I don't think any coyote hunter has gone before. I went back in the property as far as I could go. It was some rough country and it was a tough walk in and I set up on a rim rock overlooking a wide badlands flat and I was up high where I could cover I a lot of ground. Kind of windy but turned on the rabbit and at the 13 minute mark had a beautiful silver coyote come in. Was aiming just about straight down and shot it at 107 yards. And then. . . I couldn't find a way down off the rim rock and it was getting dark. I will have to go back tomorrow and find a way in from a different direction . My wife keeps telling me I am getting too old for this. Sometimes I think she makes sense. I don't think I will calling that spot again.
 

DSheetz

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Aug 22, 2015
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Wives have a way of knowing things about us that we don't want to admit . Mine asked me to stop going out so far by myself after my heart attach but I still did till it took me over an hour to change a flat tire because of my COPD . I gave it up and still miss it 4 years back . This is my connection to it for the most part now . As long as your not running out of breath or have heart problems and watch what your stepping on as well as someone else knowing where your going to be and when to expect you back you should be ok for now Straight Shooter . The grandson and I went out this afternoon ( I was letting him drive my old truck he's 12 now ) we went over 25 miles on a friends ranch and cut the tracks of 1 coyote , 2 fox and one bobcat maybe 200 antelope and a dozen mule deer . The mange air plane and a gov trapper have kept the predator numbers low . We bumped an old mule deer buck that had pomaded antlers on both sides one main beam on each side and nothing till they got to the top then 4 points coming out of the top on each side . We also found the tracks of a mule deer that was staggering and stumbling all over the place . It had chronic wasting disease how sad to see one with that shaking stumbling around . It's still against the law to put such an animal down your supposed to call the game warden .
 

Reemty J

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Mondamtana
Well the wind is blowing 30 mph, hour after daylight we took a cruise to glass a couple pivots where coyotes like to lay up for the day. A month ago I stalked a pair a 1/2 mile west of the pivots in some 2’ tall alfalfa and got close enough to kill the male at 200 and the female at 300 yards. A third one ran off that I was not aware it was there, thought I was working with only two. Anyway this 3 rd coyote, I have stalked it twice and missed it twice, so when we spotted it this morning for a brief 5 seconds as it stood up changed positions and laid back down, I figured I had a chance as it was within 200 to 300 yards of a thick fence line. 😳 long story short she was a mile away and I came at her straight, wind was left to right and if I got a shot it was going to be full value....I was within 500 yards and just about had full cover when “ she” jumped up and looked around, I hit my knees and had my binocs on my triggerstick watching her. She looked everywhere but never directly at me after a couple minutes she sat and yawned and then kept looking everywhere. I don’t carry a watch but after 10-15 minutes she crouched low and took off to the west in the pivot tire track, I believe she sensed me even though she couldn’t locate me she sensed I was there at 500 yards.... I havehad fox and lions do this but always at 15-30 yards not 500... I cannot otherwise explain it. I am pretty sure she is a yearling female just by her size and how she acts, any time I go there I can usually spot her laying upon this pivot, so that also makes me think she is a yearling and she was with that old pair I killed. I notice also she likes to walk and lay up in the pivot tire tracks, for those who are not familiar with them they usually are 6-12” deeper than the land around them. Ground is wet when using them and the weight of the pivot sinks the tires in the wet ground. Anyone else ever have a coyote sense you 500 yards away, I cannot figure out why else she did what she did.....also from now on I am making sure I have my 30 power Doctor- optics binoculars along as I always use them on big game and it will give me the ability to spot coyotes 2-3 miles away as long as heat waves are not too bad.....
 

DSheetz

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Aug 22, 2015
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Reemty were you excited ? We put off an odor and an electrical field that changes as we get more excited with anticipation . You say you had a full force wind from left to right of around 30mph so that covered your sound well and carried your sent away from her . You may have been looking right at her also instead of to the side of her even we can feel that . You can experiment with that one by just looking at someone you know they will notice you looking so you want it to be someone you know . If you were in the service and had to hunt people one of the things that you will be taught is to not look directly at a person especially their eyes as they will sense it and coyote are more attuned to to it then humans . Yes I have had coyote sense me at a long distance when I know for sure they didn't hear see or smell me and that is the best explanation I can give for it . When you get home after getting excited or scared pay attention to how you smell you will have stronger body odor as a result of the dump of hormones that give us the fight or flight defensive mode .
 

TRnCO

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Aug 15, 2020
Messages
48
Location
Elizabeth, CO
Managed to kill 5 more in the last 3 days. Killed 3 Fri.. that all came hard to the call including one with 3 legs. This area has a lot of small properties, and the coyotes just don't get the pressure that they do out in the bigger ranch lands. SO, if you can get in on them and get set up without getting busted, good chance that they'll come to the call. Also did 3 more stands local this a.m. and managed to get one more that came good, but we didn't have much of any cover and he came in hard to my left and picked me out and just didn't want to stop to look back no matter how much I barked and howled, BUT he finally put it in park and I managed to connect at 286 yards. Funny part about this a.m. and Fri., I got all the shooting. Funny because it just works that way, and I give my partner first choice of where to sit, and he can't win for losing. Thankfully I haven't missed lately, or I'd have to live with him barking in my ear about that as well.
Then Sat. I went out alone and walked my butt off. Couple of properties that just don't have access to the "back" of the property without walking. I like those places because usually I can put in the effort and get rewarded for my effort. Not yesterday. Managed to stir up one hard charging female at about 10:30 a.m. and I didn't stir up another coyote all day.
Good news for the weekend for me is all 5 had fur, at least enough to sell. Couple of them will probably bring $5, but dangit, a buck is a buck. I just shootem and let the fur buyer sort em.

Looking forward to mating season. Love it when vocals work well.
 

DSheetz

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Aug 22, 2015
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TRnCO , how has your wind been the last couple of weeks , we've had some pretty strong winds and got maybe 4 " of snow . Yes they should be rubbing on their hips by now and the fox especially . But the cats should be real good now . There is some good to smaller places like you say they normally don't get the pressure that the bigger places do . Here the bigger places will usually have their own trappers . and a lot of them here try to do their own control work .
 

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