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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Tim and I were able to get out yesterday for a day of calling and filming. We headed out early for some ground neither one of us had ever hunted before. Right now there is a blanket of fresh snow out there, not too deep to keep us from getting around in the Jeep, but deep enough and fresh enough to show fresh tracks. We wanted to hit some new ground while there is snow to quickly show us exactly where the bunnies and coyotes are, and how many.

We got to our jumping off point sooner than expected, leaving pavement 45 minutes before light. So we just began navigating our chosen route along desert two tracks for the day, looking at animal tracks in headlights. With a layer of cloud hanging low in the sky, daylight was slow in coming, but come it did, finding us 15 miles in, and seeing good sign, but not much in the way of good looking stand locations. When we finally found a spot to hide the Jeep, we walked 400 yards to settle in on a little hillside that would afford us a bit of elevation and a view.

As we were walking around the bulge of the hill towards our stand, I saw a band of about a dozen broomtails about 500 yards away. The stallion saw us walking and came running straight towards us. I considered it extremely unlikely that he'd actually get close enough to do any harm. But, on the other hand, I HAVE had those ornery SOB's get uncomfortably close before, and have seen them get incredibly violent a time or two as well. No worries though. He stopped a good 50 yards from us to prance around stomping and blowing. We just kept walking towards him and he just kept backing up and trying to scare us. Finally, just before we got to our sit down, he turned and ran back to his band, which was now only about 200 yards away. Where he continued to stomp and blow.

I figured it likely that any coyotes within calling distance had heard the stallion fussing. But, I also figured that was not anything that they would consider unusual in the context of a coyote catching a rabbit near the broomtails. So I started the usual Utah Jack on the Foxpro, and added in a few howls with my Higgins howler to complete the scenario. If nothing else, that was enough to finally get the dang mustangs to move out of my draw...

Things were quiet for about 7 minutes after that. Then I spotted a flash of fur in the brush downhill and a few hundred yards out. Coming our way. The coyote went out of sight under the slight shoulder of the small hill beneath us, but the wind was favoring us and he had been coming hard so I was confident that he'd be popping back into view soon, much closer, on our small finger ridge. A minute or two later, that is exactly what happened. I tracked him in my scope as he came bobbing and bounding uphill through the brush towards the caller. When he stopped facing the caller to reconnoiter at about 45 yards, I squeezed the mouse squeeker on my shooting sticks to turn him slightly and square him up facing me. Knowing that Tim was behind me rolling the camera, I took a couple of seconds extra to admire how gorgeous he looked in the scope, then I shot him, hitting him exactly where I was aiming, where his neck joins his chest. The 45 gr. Hornady did not exit. An average sized 2 or 3 year old male.



Turns out, that the camera had a hiccup. So Tim was able to get some footage of the mustangs before the stand, and good footage of me jabbering about what a wonderful morning it was after the stand, but no footage of the coyote coming in or getting shot. Bummer...

Tim's turn on the rifle after that. We called in a coyote on the next stand, and three on a stand a bit later, but Tim was never able to get a shot at any of them.

By 11:00 or so, the wind had come up to about 25 MPH, and then it started to spit snow. Not fluffy flakes, but those nasty little snow grains that sting on the face when driven by a 25 MPH breeze. The snow kept up till about an hour before dark, the wind never did let up. So we spent the rest of the day, and a couple hours into the night just cruising the new-to-us desert in my Jeep, looking at the sign in the snow and taking mental notes for future trips. Ended up driving 125 miles of snow covered two-track before finally getting back to pavement. Mentally "crossed out" some great big chunks of land where the spoor and terrain were such that we'll never go back to call. But, we also filed away a few great looking spots where the sign was good and the terrain was favorable to our style of calling. We'll be back to those spots, someday.

All in all, a GREAT way to spend a day!

- DAA
 

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to borrow a phrase I once heard

"nicely done" - give Tim a slug in the shoulder for his camera work!

does a wild pony have any enemies out on there? Seems like they would be almost the top of the food chain - even though they are grass munchers. I guess a mountain lion or coyote would snack on a colt, but a full grown mare / stallion would have little to fear - in my mind.

-niv
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Joe, I suppose a lion might get lucky and kill a mustang once in awhile, but I doubt it happens very often. I found a lion that had been stomped flatter than a pancake by broomtails once.

Eric, my rifle is a .20-250. It is launching the 45's at 4050 fps. That's the first coyote I've killed with the 45 Hornady. So far so good, but I'll withold judgement until after I've killed a few more with it. I'm pretty sure it will kill coyotes just fine. It isn't quite the combination of velocity and B.C. that I was looking for when I had the big .20 built though.

- DAA
 

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Great work Dave

Thanks for the read Dave. Looks like a nice baumly day there Dave. Good to see you just keep Bang Flopping those critters with those sub calibers. You know they all tell us you can't do that.

Have you gotten any of those custom bullets for the 20-250 yet? Some information if you have please.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Have you gotten any of those custom bullets for the 20-250 yet? Some information if you have please.
I do have a few different kinds from the great guys over on Jim Saubier's board. Have not had time to do much with them yet though. I've got accurate loads worked up for the custom 38 gr. bullets BCB sent me, and the 40 gr. No Name bullets that JoeZ sent, but have not had a chance to shoot coyotes with them.

The custom 38 gr. boat tails on .224 jackets I ordered from Don Umussig have not showed up yet. He said they would be about three weeks, but that was about five weeks ago. I probably ought to call him soon and check up on them.

With the snow really starting to wind up, and fur season getting ready to start winding down, I'm short on time to get all my testing done. But I do still hope to get at least a coyote or two with a few different bullets before I'm done with coyote hunting for the year.

Once coyote hunting is done for the year, I'll unscrew the .20-250 barrel and put on the 6-284 barrel to work up some loads for launching chucks this summer :D.

- DAA
 

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Nice report Dave...

ANOTHER coyote NOT on film:eek:
We need to get you a scope mounted camera that will work! Still, sounds like a good day at the end of the day.
 

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Dave, that sounds like a hunt that you are not likely to forget..

those low pressure fronts get them running for sure!

Tell Tim that he has to be able to shoot the rifle or the camera! Hee Hee!

Thanks for sharing!
 

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Miles in the desert

Those are good miles :) Dave.

Glad you got the one, and saw some great country. Thanks for the post. I firmly believe ole Tim is about to get lucky. (he damn well better, :D :D )

john
 

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I enjoy your 'quick hunt' reports, as always,,,,

you can tell it as tho we were there, which makes it fun, except we're still WARM.
 

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But my question is..

..When are ya gonna finally get 'ol Tim online.?? I'd about wager ya could take up a collection and get him a PC of some sort if he's just bein' a tightwad.. :D d:^) Jake
 

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Nice shooting

Glad to see you made it out and had good results with the 45 grain Hornady. If I ever shoot any coyotes with my 20BR I think they would be the way to go.

I have had "Too Much Fun" shooting them with my 17 Rem and 257AI to switch now though.

Good story and thanks for sharing.

Mike.
 

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Nice post, Dave...

Always a good read and a good pic, too. Question: Why is the fur season "winding down"? Isn't it prime time now?

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
No mange at all Jim. Actually have not seen any on a coyote for quite a few years now, and the last one was in Wyoming a long way from my usual haunts.

Vardoc, fur is nice and prime now, but it won't be for long (and actually, not quite as nice now as it was last month - more broken guard hairs and more bleached out now). I expect it won't be more than a few more weeks before we start to see the first rubbing. It's all downhill from there. We usually hang it up by mid Feb. or so, end of Feb. at the latest. Even if the fur is still good at that time, they are paired up and busy with the reproductive cycle. I'm just a recreational caller, not doing any ADC work or anything like that. It's my personal preference to leave coyotes alone through the denning season. I usually give jack rabbits and prairie dogs passes during their (shorter) birthing seasons as well.

- DAA
 

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Very nice post! I could almost smell the sage and feel the crisp air, Dave! Gawd how I miss the west...

How are you and that Jeep getting along? Looks like you might be enjoying that too. (I saw a 4-door Wrangler?) yesterday...THAT was interesting!!

Looking forward to Tim breaking the "curse" LOL!

P.
 

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Dave, What is your real mileage with the Jeep on the Hwy or whatever driving you do before you go off road two tracking with it? Checked it??
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Milage... You mean as in MPG? On a Wrangler :D! Not very good :).

Fully loaded with hunting and recovery gear, doing 80 MPH on the freeway, it gets about 13 on average (sometimes worse, sometimes better, depending...). Then offroad, as long as I don't have to use low range much, it doesn't do much worse - usually about 12 MPG. If I baby it and try to conserve fuel, it will get almost 15 MPG on the highway, but that's the best it's ever done on a tank. The heavy armor I've loaded it up with and the 4.11's really put the hurting on fuel economy! Only going to get worse, too, when I lift it and put bigger tires on it next year.

- DAA
 

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Thanks Dave great read and I can't tell you how much I enjoyed Sarfari3 you done dog gone good, thanks so much for the plug. Don
 
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