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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
After gaining permission to call a new farm, I parked behind the feedlot and realized I needed a plan. Hunting open fields is not a new thing to me, but I wondered if I should mosey toward the nearby turkey farm at dusk, or the cattle ranch. It seemed like the cattle ranch would be the better idea, and since it was a good 2.5 miles away, and 3pm, this would allow a couple of stands along the way.

Sign was everywhere on the edge of wheatfields. Seems wherever there is fresh sand or tilled dirt, a coyote will just have to walk. They cannot resist fresh dirt for whatever reason! But right now, I better pay closer attention to what is out on the horizon, as I see a tan speck in the sea of green. I hit the deck. Laying low a minute, I slowly lift my head out of the hay and see that indeed we not only have a curious coyote about 800 yds away, but two. By now it is 4pm. I cannot imagine them running toward a call out here, having seen me first, so I decide to just wait and watch, and not stir up or educate the area. I really had my sights set on the cattle pasture beyond them at dusk anyway, and making noise here would clear the entire area. Maybe these two would wander out there, and I would get a better setup later....and one not looking into the setting sun. I sure wish I had seen them first, as they would have been good canditates. This pic was shot at 12X zoom.


Sure enough, they soon calmly left the area, turning away, and walking thru a fence, and into a low spot of terrain, never to be seen again. I got up, after a few moments, and moved ahead.

Reaching the pasture a half hour before dark, I saw several 6 and 8 foot deep cuts carrying water in an abstract pattern thruout , yet from a mile away, it appeared flat as a pool table. This made me wonder if I would be actually calling as big an area I had earlier hoped for.
The hope of a coyote splashing or swimming to my call seemed far fetched, and unrealistic. But while glassing, I spotted a piece of land that was fairly large, had some trees, and structure within it, and felt possibly a coyote could be nearby. It looked like if a coyote was in this field, he should be in this particular area.. This would be the last chance of the evening

I wanted to give the Foxpro I bought from CGSteve a try, and I set it about 40 yards away from me, atop a dirt mound about 10" high. Then retreated and got set next to a dead oak tree. I used about 40% volume and clicked the remote on, to play the squirrel distress for about 10-12 seconds. While waiting, the light suddenly got real dim fast, I had not planned on this, and now even the cows were difficult to make out 500 yds away. It was ground fog! The dewpoint had been reached, and we had moisture in the air now. Lots of it. But with the help of the binocular, I could make out a tan colored ghost weaving his way thru the pasture of cows to get to the caller. It happened fast, within one minute he was stopped, and standing within 170 yards. Maybe he wanted more sound, to confirm what he had come to dine on. But the only sound he got was a tiny piece of copper jacketed lead leaving a 222 Lilja barrel. I had a snug hold and the crosshairs were right behind the shoulder when the orange muzzle flash lit up the heavy winter air. No doubt it was a hit. It sounded great.

As I cycled the bolt, I watched him try to run, but he looked more like a D.U.I. candidate than a healthy coyote! Finally, after about 40 yards of un-coordinated scrambling, he did something I wished I had on film, as I have never seen it before. He lunged ...and jumped with his last bit of energy........picture a man running off of a diving board.....springing up in the air, with his feet going over the top slowly and gracefully......then landing on his back, and laying there motionless, with his head facing the direction from which he came. It was amazing! That "death~jump" was like nothing Ive ever seen. An involuntary muscle reflex, just before dying.



Good sized young male, heavy for this region at 31 lbs 4 oz. The nearly full moon lit the path back to the pickup.......and along the way it soaked in how fortunate I was to fool yet another coyote, out on the flat, open ground.
 

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nicely done John...

when we hunted together last weekend - JBH and I commented to each other - we wished you were with us to help solve our puzzle of terrain and approach paths... we need some of your mojo...

snow helps - they are easier to spot on a snowy pasture than on an alfalfa field...



I like the way you get-er done!

-niv
 

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Nicely done and well told as always John!

I always enjoy reading about your open country hunts.

Years ago, I totally disdained the open ground and would drive right by it, or through it, looking for some cover. It's kind of interesting, but over the years, I've gravitated more and more towards open country for calling. To where now I prefer open country for calling over tight cover by a wide margin. I still don't like trying to call terrain that is both open and flat (although that is still better than flat and brushy, LOL!), but I've come to really appreciate open. The more open, the better. The stuff Joe posts pictures of looks just about perfect to suit my tastes these days. Also that country in the pics that BAM posts occasionally.

- DAA
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks Eric...

Joe, I appreciate the thought. That is sure a beautiful looking shallow valley you posted!! Not knowing anything about it, wind direction, or where the truck is, etc....I would slide over and down into whatever is creating that shadow on the right, sit at the base of that hill... and hope to get a critter to use that clump of trees for cover on his approach.

Dave, I've heard from Jim (and others) that the desert flatland often holds good numbers of Coyotes. Have also noticed in your films that many a dog is taken while responding to the call.... across an expansive open area ,in broad daylight. More common in winter maybe, when they have to eat more, and the travel is easier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
possible he "saw" something?

Nice going, John. That is a great writeup and pics. A pretty strange "death jump" wasn't it? I've never seen that myself.
It was something to see Jim :eek: Almost as though his brain sent the signal to jump over a log or rock or whatever, and jump high. But as soon as the hind legs performed their task, the computer went kaput, and the old body had no control.

Something I'll never forget.

Hope your extended bout with flu is about over and you can get hunting again soon.

In winter I'll type a bit more into these hunts for you Shut-In's.:D
 

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Absolutely great hunt, John!!!......

when living in Az, there were areas that I hunted that were very open and flat...hard to hunt. I found that if I hunted these areas on horse back, the coyotes did not pay me one bit of attention...all they saw were the horses.

I would ride to a place that had a little cover, hobble the horses, call in the coyotes...easy as pie.

I always wanted to buy a black and white dried cow hide and drape it over my neck and shoulders and try walking out to the coyotes slowly. I believe that the cow hide trick would work, hands down.

Go kill some more! Love your hunts!
 
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