Friday, September 05, 2008

Hunting Coyotes

For some reason, this remembrance came bubbling up from the cesspool that is my mind.

A couple of years ago I had some free time, and decided to try to call in some coyotes. I had just gotten several calls, and had been working on my techniques. There is some fairly rough (for this area) country not too far east of my half section, and the draw running through it is a wildlife roadway. Past expeditions have shown coyote signs, and there is plenty of other denizens of the prairie there as well.

There is a spot where the draw follows a sort of "S" shape, and there is a little ridge at the bottom of the tiny valley. This was my destination. I parked my pickup about a mile away to the north, and walked in. I was suitably attired in camo, and had my calls and my Savage Model 10 in .243. I've got a long bipod on it, and can shoot with the rifle supported in the seated position. I found an area that had several clumps of weeds and a bunch or two of yucca. I pulled up some tumbleweeds to build up the little area so that I could mask my silhouette a bit as well. I had a pretty good view of the valley floor as it opened up from the south, which is where I thought I could draw any coyotes in the area. Since I'd walked in from the north, I figured that direction was probably a lost cause.

So, I'm equipped not stripped, and wounded rabbit calls were being sent in a timely fashion. I had my binoculars with me as well, and there just wasn't anything happening. But, it was a fairly nice day, if a bit windy. I was enjoying just sitting in that little area, whether anything happened or not.

But then, I heard several thumps from behind me. For the life of me, it sounded like car doors being slammed some distance away. My first thought was someone was trying to rip off my pickup.

But, when I turned around, it was nothing of the sort. A mule deer buck and two does were contemplating just what I might be from about twenty yards away. Muleys don't walk, they spring from spot to spot, and the thumps were what I heard when their hoofs hit the ground. They looked me over, and I marveled at the sight. After a bit, they decided they'd had enough, and started to move away. It took a couple minutes before they disappeared from view to the south.

Muleys are a curious lot, and the buck with his little harem just had to see what was making that racket. I don't know if I really did sound like a wounded rabbit, but I'd hidden myself well enough that they didn't know what I was until they about stepped on me. Of course, it wasn't deer season, and I've never gotten a muley tag anyways. Whitetails are what I always draw, and they are a lot more skittish.

But, none of that mattered that day. I didn't fire a single round, but the day was a success.


Earl said...

That's what I like about hunting when you don't need the food, the stuff you run into that you weren't looking for - nothing like nature without man for amazing.

threecollie said...

Too bad you didn't have a camera with you

ptg said...

Good story. Reminds me of a day I fell asleep fishing on the bank of the Little Sioux River and woke up to find a fox sniffing my face.