2:30 AM and we start the 3 ½ hour drive. The wind here was just howling and the temperature was +25*, not a good way to start a coyote trip. Two months ago we had to pick a date and go with it. I kept a good watch on the forecast but up here a two forecast is only a 50/50 thing and even that is giving a benefit of a dought.
6:00 AM we pull over to check the wind and get our stuff on and ready to “Get to callin”. The wind had shifted from the southwest to a slight breeze out of the northeast but the temperature had fallen to around 0* and there was 5 inches of very light fluffy snow. Perfect for “Callin”.
We had coyotes howling at us at most every set and many of them we had dog come in to 500 yards but they were very spooky and noncommittal. One of the sets early we had a set of coyotes working in from a LONG coulee and looked like they would end up in our laps, but… A coyote popped his head up in front of my boy at under a hundred yards were it came from, who knows. He took a shot, nothing, and then all hell broke out just 80 yards to my left. A coyote was scolding me at the top of its lungs, startling the heck out of me; I took a shot, well let’s just say there is two very luck coyotes still running around. We cranked out some more sets as the day went own. The sun up north here never gets very high and is always in the south so the light northeast wind worked very well for us. Around noon we’re doing a set in the “Brakes” mixed pine, juniper, sage brush, and long grass. We decided in the beginning to use all coyote vocals and pup in distress calls. There was a coyote contest going on in the area and it had a bunch of teams out calling and we wanted to use something they probably wouldn’t be doing. With this in mind it cuts out any chance of fox or cats but we were intent on coyotes. After a long calling set we just about gave up when a Very nice Female coyote poked her head up over a ridge. I caught the movement and took a look. YUP, I radioed the boy and goosed the scope up to 12. Resting the crosshairs on here shoulder and gently squeezed the 22/250’s trigger. We could see the snow fly just behind her and she did a flip, first fur in the box.
A 312 yards and a clean kill, and I missed an 80 yarder shortly before.WTH? We cranked out set after set without any committed dogs, lots of coyotes; they just wouldn’t come within 500 yards. After dark we went in to a small town and got a room for the night A LONG day and a shower sounded real good. A quick dinner, a hot shower a hand full of “Aleve” and sleep came fast.
The alarm went off at 5:30 and we started again.
This time we stayed up on the flats more, calling BIG draws and short prairie grass flats. About the same results, lots of responders and lookers but few committed coyotes. We did manage to miss a few, “should have had” shots and a few “Oh my God shots”. Toward the end of the day my boy managed to connect on one that slipped in under me.
His shot was a little over 200 yards but if I had seen it, it would have been under 50 from me. All in all a great hunt and we will defiantly do it again but next time I’ll try to find out when the tournament is and plan a different time. All the extra shooters out made for tuff killing. 599 miles round trip and 24 set’s that a big hunting trip for this old fart. The boy is out as we speak. Man to be young again.
A golden eagle sleeping.
A rabit being shot with a 204