|My first, but not last, coyote.|
A few weeks ago as I walked to my stand I could hear coyotes howling from every hilltop. Walking along the trail my flashlight beam caught eight shiny spots in the field. Living in bear country my first thought was “bears”, but when I turned the light beam up a notch I could see four coyotes looking at me. Walking further I noticed a hump on the side of the trail and as I got closer the hump turned out to be a dead deer. The carcass was still steaming in the frosty air. That deer had not been dead for longer than a half hour and by closer examination I could see bite marks to the deer’s neck and hindquarters. I got mad for two reasons. First because that dead deer, obviously killed by the coyotes I’ve seen earlier in the field, spoiled one of my most productive stand sites for days if not weeks to come and second because the coyotes killed the deer.
I am, aware that coyotes are part of a healthy ecosystem but in my hunting area, as most of North America, coyotes live in such large numbers that they become a detriment to other wildlife populations. Alone this year I’ve seen more coyotes and coyote sign on the ranch I hunt than any other wildlife.
It’s time to do my part to lower the coyote population.
Because my deer hunting was spoiled for the day and the coyotes where howling from every direction I thought; “What the heck lets try if I can get a coyote instead.” There was a place where I knew the coyotes frequent regularly and that is where I was heading. I sat down behind a row of tall grass and started calling suing the only call I had with me, a fawn-in-distress-call. I barely put the call down when I caught movement across the alfalfa filed just inside the tree line. The movement turns out to be a coyote that is now running across the field directly toward my position. Quickly I raise the gun and put it on my homemade cross-sticks for more stability. The coyote stops about 100 yards out looking around for the fawn he heard. I aimed, the Weatherby Vanguard .270 barked into the still of the morning sending a 140-grain Nosler Accubond through the vitals of the coyotes. The song-dog collapsed where he stood. Yes you’re right, of course a .270 is overkill for coyotes, but I had been out hunt deer that day.
After the shot I looked up just in time to see another coyote vanish behind some bushes half way up the hill. This means that several coyotes must have come to my call, at least the one that was now laying out there in the field and the one I saw running away. It’s possible that there were others that I haven’t seen or that were smart enough not to show themselves after they heard the shot. Whatever the case may be I am now officially hooked on coyote hunting. My Christmas wish list has been modified accordingly. The new deer gun has been cancelled in favour of a Remington 700™ VTR™ in .223 calibre plus an assortment of coyote calls or a electronic call. Watch out coyotes here I come!
|This habitat supports whitetail, mule deer and lots of coyotes.|
|My hunting equipment for the day.|
|Good camouflage, like ASAT, to blend into any landscape is essential.|
Equipment used on this hunt:
ASAT Camouflage My camouflage pattern of researched choice for all my hunting needs.
Weatherby Vanuguard Rifle. The most accurate out-of-the-box rifles manufactured.
Federal PremiumAmmunition. Is all I use on all my deer, turkey, waterfowl and upland game hunts.
Irish Setter Boots. These boots go wherever it is I go.
If you’re interested in Coyote hunting and gear information I highly recommend to visit the “Coyote School” blog written by, veteran coyote hunter Al Voth.
Another coyote hunting information source that I recently found is a blog named “Foremost Coyote Hunting”