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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After three days of much needed rain, it seemed like the perfect time to visit a nearby 640 acre citrus orchard. The manager of this farm allowed me to hunt it years ago, and it was usually a good producer of coyotes. However, in early 2004, he closed it off to hunting. Then in December of 2006, I decided to give him a courtesy call, and the conversation went good. He said "come on back, hunt if you want... and good luck to you". Not wanting to rush in, I waited until this evening to call it again.

The roads were going to be soft from all the water, so I parked only 150 yards off the main highway, and closed the truck door when a car went by, to muffle the sound. There was a breeze flowing up the hill, from my right to left as I walked south between the lemon trees.

After about a 600 yard stroll, I came to a clearing, and two roads divided by a 5 ft.deep drain. I stopped. This corner just felt like a good place to pull up, and try calling toward the east, and gain the benefit of the setting sun over my shoulder. I got set, and just as I was cycling the bolt, a coyote appeared cautiously out of the trees, across the road from me, and 250 yards east. Unaware of me, he walked down into the drain, and popped up on my side, then walked into the oranges trees on my side of the road, while I was reaching into my pocket for the bulb mouser. I got it and gave two sharp squeaks, and in seconds, he popped back out, squinted toward me, and proceeded to trot my way. I got set in the prone with the scope set at 5X.

This would be the first head-on shot opportunity Ive had in a while, and I held right under the chin, in the neck area above the breastplate. It almost seemed like he collapsed dead before the gun went off, it was that quick.



Sometimes in close cover like this, another nearby coyote will get running, and accidentally come out into the danger zone, not knowing exactly where the recent shot came from. This happens more often in the mating season. But did not happen this time.

Light was running out, and the plan was to go west, into the sun, and wind, about 1200 yds and try again. There was a small "intersection" of dirt roads I wanted to try for the second and last set of the day. Here is the view the male coyote had looking west, toward me.



The center of the next intersection is slightly raised, in a mound, and I placed the Foxpro caller near that center, and faced it south, down a path. I backed away from the intersection 40 yds, and sat near a tree. Doing this, I could see right and left a long ways, and the very narrow southern path, about 100 yds. I did not like this, as I would have liked to see further, and felt this is the most likely direction something would approach from, but as we all know, almost every setup has its drawbacks. Few are perfect. To gain more visibility, I would have to give up all cover, and be on open, flat dirt.

With an estimated 15 or 20 minutes of good light left, I turned on the call, and played the bluejay distress sound at low volume for a half minute, then offered 5 minutes of silence. I kept slowly scanning left and right, all the while the gun was pointed straight at that southern lane that I stongly suspected would produce. I repeated the calling pattern, to no avail, so shut it off after three tries. Sometimes silence is best. The air was perfectly still, and I honestly felt something would happen. But darkness was falling fast, and a few minutes later, it was time to throw in the towel.

Even though it was near dark, I still approached the caller with the rifle at the ready, and looked intently down that southern direction. What was this? I knelt immediately. Thought I saw something along the left edge of that road......it was light gray, and looked translucent and only barely visible. I slowly raised the gun, but at 5X, I could not get a good enough look. So I raised the power setting to 9 or 10X ....and what I gained in magnification, I lost in clarity and resolution! It did not help. But I could now make a vague body shape, sitting, with held low, and a grayish body. I tried to center the crosshairs on it, and fired. Nothing. Still there. What happened? Was this a gray burlap bag of sulfer or fertilizer laying there? Or a piece of decomposed granite from the Sierra Nevada mountains? I lowered the rifle, disappointed, and just then the critter jumped up and ran into the trees to his right, and out of sight. He had sat motionless for three or four seconds after the shot.

That was strange, and I honestly do not know for sure......but that seems like bobcat behavior. A coyote that you shoot at, and miss, at 68 yards, is not going to hesitate to run off, when he hears the gun. Usually, they hit the jets instantly. I took these pics of the claw marks he left on the fresh dirt. What do you guys think?



 

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Another dandy writeup, John. I'd be inclined to think cat on the last one. Not because of the claw marks, but what you described is fairly typical cat behavior. Many cats don't seem alarmed when a rifle goes off. They treat it as just another noise. I really like the pic of the coyote's view toward your stand, looking into the setting sun.
 

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Get down John! Glad you got some time in with the recent weather. I'm headed to my place next weekend, you're welcome to come along...shoot me an email and let me know.

Thanks for taking us all on your hunt...go back and get that kitty, you're due!

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The ole 222 was having an off day I guess.

I wonder if it was a dog that was not sure what the noise was all about.

Thanks for sharing,
DB
Hey Terry....when I took aim, it sure looked like a smaller coyote sitting there, but they are more tannish color in this area. And that "delayed" jump, really puzzled me. That is more like an ignorant cat. In fact, most coyotes would have bolted at that distance, when they saw me moving and taking aim.

Ill go back there soon, and try again. :)

Thanks Steve and Jim.

Btw, Jim, this happened about 400 yards north of where you shot that one with your 17 Remington 4 years ago, near that cluster of granite. It was on the very same road.
 

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John,

Be sure to keep an eye out for ol' tripod...he sure is elusive AND lucky!

Steve
 

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We can always depend on John to bust one anytime he goes out. Seems like those Coyotes out West can hear better than the ones here in KY. You might have read the post I made Sunday; I all but Yelled at 3 of them trying to get them to stop, but they didn't hear a thing. About 180 yards and no wind. Fortunately 2 came back later one at a time and I was waiting for them. Sometimes they do strange things; in December I surprised a pair Shot the first one DRT.. the second one ran out into an open field and then headed into the woods right at me. Killed it at about 50 ft.
 

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I drove by that very spot today on a training ride to Squaw Valley and thot of hunting with you there in the past, and I get home n see this, WOW! Weird!!. We saw bobcat, pigs, quail, 4 coyotes today thru the hills. I have seen one in the field to the north of 180 near the old chimney now for 2 of 3 days of riding up there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I drove by that very spot today on a training ride to Squaw Valley and thot of hunting with you there in the past, and I get home n see this, WOW! Weird!!. We saw bobcat, pigs, quail, 4 coyotes today thru the hills. I have seen one in the field to the north of 180 near the old chimney now for 2 of 3 days of riding up there.
Mike that must be early morning when you are going east past the chimney? If so, I have seen one there too, right near that bend in the road. Must be a "regular". :)
Right after the rains, the critters come out in force..

JR....I laughed when you told that hunt story on Sunday, it is funny when they run AT you.....:eek: as smart as they are, they occasionally get confused and run themselves into trouble.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
John,

Be sure to keep an eye out for ol' tripod...he sure is elusive AND lucky!

Steve
OK, for those that dont know this story, here you go............

A few years ago, I took Steve in as a guest to call with me at this same farm. I had told him that a year earlier, I had hit a coyote here, wounding him, and lost him in the nearby hills.

Well, that evening, near dusk, a coyote came out from behind a tree, and we were set up in a drainage. Steve had about a 190 yard shot, and got the heavy barreled Savage 22-250 aimed while I slowly adjusted my binocular to watch this unfold. I had a hard time containing my laughter when I saw this coyote had only THREE-LEGS. Yep! Old "TRI-POD" was in the crosshairs once again!:D This may well have been the one I crippled 12 months ago.

A few seconds went by slowly, and when Steve shot, I was amazed to see that he had missed, and ole Tri-Pod hobbled off into the trees, unscathed. I dont remember it being a particularly tough shot, just maybe Steve was having trouble figuring out what he was seeing thru that 8-32 Burris scope!

Either that, or he was laughing :rolleyes:
 
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