I recently got access to a few deer leases and visited them the first time a couple weeks ago. This particular morning I visited a very large hay meadow. It runs close to 1000 yards north and south and just slightly less than that east and west. There are very few trees in the field and the grass is still short from the last hay cutting so it seems as if I can see forever.
At about 9am I park in the southeast corner and started walking to a spot I had picked out on a prior scouting visit in the southwest corner approximately 900 yards to the west. About 30 yards from the truck I look to the north across the field and see a couple of crows feeding. Then I noticed one of the crows was moving with a rhythmic bounce. I throw up the scope to take a better look and there is a coyote about 300 yards out heading this way.
I hurry and get into position for an ambush and start calming my breathing. As I watch the coyote it looks back several times indicating another coyote may be following it.
The coyote gets on top of a small knoll in the meadow and stops broad side. I line up the cross hairs and send a round it’s way. I know as soon as I feel the recoil that I pulled the shot but I get a nice TWACK report back as the bullet finds it’s mark and the coyote jumps up and spins a few times biting at its shoulder.
Then it start running at a decent pace back north a bit and then turns west at a little over 200 yards. With the entire open field I think I am going to get to watch the coyote run out of gas.
As it starts to get past me it starts to turn to the south. Now it is closing in on the wooded fence row I am sitting against. I try to line up another shot when I realize it isn’t running short of gas, but it makes it to the tree line before I have a shot. I visually mark the spot it disappeared and decide to run out and try to find blood before I go hunting in the trees, and maybe catch sight of the other coyote it was looking back at.
Well about 60 yards out in the middle of the meadow I spot the other coyote and it is heading my way quick. I drop down prone behind one of the small knolls and get set up. At about 130 yards the coyote is drifting to the east and close to my scent cone so I bark at it. It stops and poses for another perfect broad side shot. I centre the cross hairs, exhale and release the shot.
I don’t see the coyote after the recoil but while I am working the action to chamber another round I see a fur rocket (coyote leaving the scene in a BIG hurry) heading northwest. What the?
Then I think “maybe there was another coyote I didn’t see and I dropped the one I did see”. So I once again head out to the kill zone and about another 30 yards I spot not 1, not 2, but 3 coyotes about 700 yards to the north. They are looking this way but don’t appear to be spooked. I “squat run” to take cover, in some trees on one of the knolls; about 70 yards away and set up on the shaded side.
I then proceed to squeal, squall, whine, screech, scream, howl and KI-YI at these coyotes. A KI-YI is a term used to describe a coyote distress sound. Pretty much the sound your dog would make if you shut its tail in the door.
They will look my way but they stay on their leisurely path southwest toward the west wood line. I decide to head to my original spot to set up and try to call them in. As I get there two doe walk out of the tree line. I watch them in my scope and take a couple of pictures with my cell phone before I disturb the peaceful scene and start calling.
So I start calling and at about the 6 minute mark I glance over my shoulder at the tree lined fence row behind me. As I turn back to the northwest there is a coyote standing out in the field 200 yards from any trees. Just like it, appeared from, nowhere.
Well the wind is blowing right at it. So assuming it is going to catch my wind, I start easing my rifle into position for a shot. As I do it starts heading my way.
I had my new Mossberg 930 shotgun by my side that has yet to taste blood so I got excited.
It slowly makes its way to about 30 yards from me and almost due west of me. I quickly shoulder the shotgun and pull the trigger and…
As I quietly eased the bolt forward at the truck I did not allow it to go into battery… I quickly jack another round in it and….
I drop the shotgun and pull the rifle up and as the now spooked coyote starts to trot away I put a shot through its shoulder. I watch the far side front leg flap in the wind as it runs flat out to the tree line.
I skin it’s backbone with another shot as it makes the woods. Now a little, after 10am, I gather my stuff and go to gather my trophy.
As I approach the spot it disappeared I find two tracks, on the trail running into the woods. Super. This should be easy. I walk around a corner expecting to see a pile of fur. Nothing.
So I go back to the beginning of the trail and start searching again. I start scanning for blood or tracks. I find a single drop of blood?
Okay, that is something and it is on the two tracks. I slowly ease forward scanning the ground and I find another single drop about 20 yards further down the trail. This is ridiculous.
I continue on for about another 100 yards. 1 drop here, and then, one here. Then I find a small puddle. It must have stopped to “lick its wounds” so to speak.
From this point I never found a track, a spot of blood, or a turned leaf that made me believe I was on its trail. About 100 yards further down the trail was a low water crossing with plenty of mud so any tracks would have been obvious.
I go back to the puddle and fan out in every direction looking for the slightest sign nothing.
I searched a lot longer than most would have but after this morning I wanted something to show for my hunt. At about 1:30 I gave up and made my way past the other kill zones on the way back to the truck to try to find any sort of reward with no luck…
So to sum it up;
Coyotes seen -5 maybe 6 (the last one could have been one of the tree in the field.)
Coyotes shot – 3
Coyotes found – ZERO
Coyotes eliminated- very likely three
So I was successful, but it was also very frustrating.
Many people would not tell this story but I feel it is a big part of hunting.
It isn’t always a nice success story.
But all in all, it was still better than a good day at work…