Off to a good start.
Hunted my way to the home turf in rainy conditions. Made a couple sets. It was squish. Rainy and windy puts unpleasant face on.
Arrival at coyote cabin is always celebratory.
Day 1 - Eight miles on foot.
Walking in to the first set we kick up a pair of dogs. They were right next to the road... made no sense! I was able to get the pack to the ground and rifle pulled out in time. It was overcast and pissing rain so we blended in pretty good in the darker conditions. Got the bipod extended and dropped one at 380yds.
Couple blanks later and we find ourselves walking toward the next set. I spot a coyote at 900'ish yards out. We sneak up into good position and start in calling. This dog was quite alert. Took a remarkable amount of convincing and took FOREVER to come in. Stopping frequently, always scanning around, real hesitant like. Yet my ways are too advanced for him. Eventually he makes his way to 130yds where @brittel punches his ticket with his .223AI. Dead as disco. This makes @brittel happy! We call a minute or so more and I spot something in the fence line 1050yds out. Another coyote! So, I start in on this one. Finally I play the right tune and it starts charging toward us. Yet this too is no ordinary yote. It stops every 40yds or so and gives us the business. I'm talking "Ruhh! RUUHHEHEHEHEHEHE! RUHRUHURHRRHH!" just barks and yips us down. It does this the entire way in. Then stops at 320yds and carries on like that for a solid ten minutes. That is no exaggeration either. While it was barking and yipping about... two more coyotes show up at about 800yds. They don't close the distance, but sit and watch as this other one goes batshit. I tried everything to get it to come closer, but it wouldn't... so I sent her 80gr of shut-the-hell-up at 3525fps and dropped it where it stood. The other two dogs turned and hit the afterburners until they were out of sight.
Rolled out to a different set and sat down in one of those areas that make a guy feel about the size of an ant. An expanse of view that went on forever.
Sat and called for about 30-35 minutes and finally had a coyote materialize. ... and that's what it seemed like it did too. We could see for a thousand yards in front of us, yet this coyote ambushed us in the flat wide prairie down below at 200yds. First time either of us saw him right there in front of us 200yds out. I got @brittel locked onto him and he swung over in position. I was feeding @brittel ranges as he approached. He stopped at about 140yds for a second, then kept moving toward our left. Closed into 100yds, then 75yds or so... but didn't stop moving once. I'm whistling, barking, howling, etc... this dog doesn't even hesitate. @brittel is unprepared for this and rather than just plugging him on the trot, he is waiting for him to stop. ... but he doesn't stop. Just trots right up around the top side of us not 50yds away behind a hill we're sitting on. I go to kill mode and start trying to get position. The dog hits our scent on the trail we walked in, turns, and runs out the bottom to our left. I jump down off the tripod and toss @brittel the binos so he can feed me range. I'm expecting a running shot at distance. Coyote stops, "282" he says. psssKEEEEEeeeeeeeeeww as the bullet covers the distance echoing through the valley and smacks the yote in the shoulder. ... and the 22 Creedmoor claims another.
@brittel is again saddened that he missed an opportunity. I tried to let him kill it. I really did! lol On that note, day 1 is closed out.
Day 2 - Eight more miles on the boots.
Not much to talk about from day 2. Skunked. Didn't see a dog the entire day. Just lots of walking.
Day 3 - Ten miles on the boots.
Ugh... it is hot. Temp crested 75... and that's just too much when you're camo'd up and hauling a 30lb pack. Yet, we were quite determined to score after a day of failure. After pulling a bunch of blanks, we were about 3 miles deep and found a couple of trees. Perfect spot for a break.
We knew there were coyotes in the area. Sign was everywhere. ... the heat was keeping them holed up though. We just had to get close enough to the right dog and it was going to happen.
We are always extremely quiet when we're moving across the land. You never know where these little beasts are going to turn up. So always scanning and always careful. We found a nice spot next to a wash where various cuts ran down in. I set @brittel up on the down wind side ensuring a shot inside 200yds which is perfect for his .223AI. I watched up wind and had shots out to 900yds if I wanted them. There was a cut right in front of me that ran left to right which was behind a ridge about 100yds in front of me. Started in calling and it wasn't 3 minutes and a yote pounds up over the ridge directly in front of me and instantly locks onto us. I whisper don't move to @brittel as I slowly get into my rifle. I loosen the lock lever on the RRS BH-40, center the crosshairs on the coyotes chest and send it. WHOP! OOOooooh! Ouch. The 22 creed beats up on dogs pretty good, but when you center one frontal chest like that... there is no exit. They take all of it. It's a brutal sound. Unquestionably dead. I get back on the call and keep after it. I'm thinking to myself "whew, that was unexpected" and about that time I spot movement off behind me to my left. Here's a big badger stomping out of the brush headed toward us. YES! Badger's are tough to call in... but when they do come in... they come stomping in with the confidence of knowing there's nothing out here who's ass they can't kick. There's no hesitation at all. So when they decide to take a meal from a coyote, you can bet your last dollar they are going to take that meal. They are viciously ill tempered little monsters of the prairie. I immediately tell @brittel to spin around behind me, as he's off to my right and needs to get pointed to my left. Badgers aren't terribly good in the eyesight department, so I am confident @brittel will be able to get on him. The badger was a couple hundred yards out when I first spotted him. By the time @brittel was in position and had the rifle leveled, he was 144yds. He was hunting around for the sound, so I lip squeaked a bit and he came to a stop and perked his head up. @brittel put a perfect hit on him off the RRS tripod while kneeling... on a cactus. Ouch! Good man. I don't hunt with pussies. Closed escrow while being attacked by our most sneaky and devious of plants. :)
Badgers are not to be fucked with. Claws, teeth, and the attitude of a 350lb body builder on steroids boosted by the bitchiest woman you've ever met. Shoot on sight, or its your ass.
On we went... roughly 5 miles deep now and we heard several coyotes light up roughly a mile away from us. So, we headed over there and found a nice little spot to call. Brought one in to 200yds and tried to get him to cooperate for @brittel but he was cagey and it was over and done with before much thought could be put into it. Biggest dog of the trip and the 22CM made a mess of him. Evening closed in. We're wasted... but the truck is a long ways off yet. The walk back in the dark was uneventful. There was just enough moonlight to see. :)
26+ miles on the feet across three days... and that's not flat road miles. That's 26 miles of the roughest terrain we can find. Blisters and sore shoulders from the heavy packs... but it was just what I needed.
@orkan looks like a great trip.
Great trip! You keeping the pelts or just collecting bounties?
They aren't furred up yet. Still pretty warm.
You ever consider going all Grizzly Adams and getting a coat made out of those rascals. Heck you already got the beard😀
Yeah yeah yeah😎
Thanks for the great hunting story.
Excellent photography considering the overcast on some shots.
The distance to the horizon always makes me stare in wonderment.
Definately envious of you big country residents.
Usually I shoot coyotes with a camera, which is always rolling and getting them. It was certainly a change of mindset being on the set with a rifle. Lots of miles put on, but through beautiful country I'm ready for more.