Monday, February 23, 2009

The First Stand and Our First Dog

The day began with a walk to our first stand. Before we got too far, we heard several groups of coyotes howl on the opposite side of the road from where we were hunting. We decided to go to that side instead. We got set up, and I began calling. After 20 minutes, nothing came. I was just getting ready to begin another series when a vehicle drove up and started driving around the field. They came fairly close to us. This ruined that stand, so we left the area and headed back to where we originally intended to hunt.

I split with my team and sent them around a canyon to set up to intercept coyotes that hang up from my calling site - staying just beyond rifle reach from my position. I would go to my calling spot and begin calling. Well, just after they got out of sight, a group of 4 coyotes jogging over the hill in front of me. One of the coyotes was an obviously dominant male. It tried to breed a female that was probably just coming into heat. That female resisted initially but one swipe from his paw submitted her to his will. The other two coyotes spent their time scent marking the area. One of the coyotes remained back from the other three. It looked injured, but I could not tell for sure. It did not move as quickly as the other though. The coyotes kept coming toward me and then finally went out of my sight as I was laying in the middle of a side-hill road and the embankment was higher than I could see over. After the coyotes were out of view, I climbed up over the embankment and began to go after the coyotes. After a few yards of walking, I found a coyote staring straight away from me. It was only 25 yards away. I aimed carefully from an off-hand position and shot the coyote in the back of the head for an instant kill. The other coyotes were several hundred yards away and ran off before I could get set up for another shot. Irritated that I did not get off another shot, I collected my coyote.


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