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Might be a lesson in this.

Over Christmas I was back in North Dakota to see my family but I also made time to do some coyote hunting with my nephew. The part of North Dakota where I am from has always been top-notch fox country and I have called and trapped big numbers of them. There hadn’t been coyotes there since my dad was young. Like a lot of places the coyotes have moved in over the last 5 to 10 years and now there are hunt able numbers. Not thick but enough to make for some good hunts. My nephew and I have been making it a point to make the switch from fox to coyotes
Any way this is what happened. We spent a couple mornings and evenings making some stands with no takers, some distant howls but we were just never in the right place at the right time. We had the usual birds and deer respond but no coyotes. There is a local group of three coyotes that live on a 1 1/2 mile square area most of it covered with a large horseshoe shaped lake surrounded by cattails. On the east side of the lake is a quarter section of CRP and on the other 3 sides flat farm land right to the lake bank, about 12’ high. These 3 coyotes or some other 3 have been hanging out there for about 3 years but no one ever sees them, except my nephew and I. The farmers just hear them at night.
Well, I’ll get on with the actual story. For the last 3 years we have tried get to those coyotes on the lake. We tried the sneak, the push and of course calling many times. Why should this year be any different? So first thing when I arrive home for Christmas I beeline for the north end of the lake. The wind is right and there is a nice little clump of chokecherry about a 1/4 mile off the lake that has accounted for many fox in years past.
Just as it gets light enough to shoot I let out a howl, wait, howl, and then fall into my best deer in distress. They got to be eating deer; the deer are thick as fleas. About 15 min into the mixed routine and no action I can now see all the way across the lake. There they are, at least 2 of them. Setting on the ice looking at me from a 1/2 mile away. (Probably looking at each other saying it must be Christmas, that noisy guy is back in the country) I know they can’t see me or smell me but nothing I can do will make them budge. Then the third one shows up, peeking over the bank about 400 yards straight out in front not showing more than his head, briefly. I try softer I try louder I emptied my bag of tricks. I swear he just laughed and walked back got his buddies and went over and layed down on the far bank. I went home again, no luck, we all know that feeling.
The next day my nephew makes it back anticipating the long awaited hunt. We go out for one quick stand before dark but no takers. Back to the house for an evening of visiting and just enjoying the family gathering. The plan was to hit it hard the next morning and get a coyote or two. Morning comes and we are up well before light. I head out to warm up the Bronco and oh crap the wind is whopping it up something fierce. This is no good; we sit around drink coffee and rethink the situation. We opt to try a few spots with heavy cover where we might get in close but they don’t pan out and the wind just gets worse So home again till evening, maybe the wind will go away. About 4:00 pm the wind has gone down to about 15 mph and there is time for one stand if we don’t waste too much time getting there. Only place that we can think of is out to the lake with the 3 coyotes.
The wind is right for the little slough on the west bank. We will sneak up to the slough, I will call from the far end of the slough just in the cattails and my nephew will sit on the down wind side of the slough. It’s a plan; it’s all we got. To make a long story shorter, no luck just got cold.
The following morning was our last chance to hunt. My nephew had A 200 mile drive back to be at work that evening. Again we are up before dark and ready for some action and again the weather was bad. We had received a lot of snow during the night and it was still snowing hard. Heavy wet snow and it was really adding up. Again we wait for it to get light enough to travel. There had been snow earlier but it all melted except for the drifts which had iced over, now covered with nearly a foot of fresh snow it made travel on the back roads risky if you didn’t want to get real stuck.
What to do, we go for a drive on the main roads, all the time trying to come up with an idea for one last stand. Driving down the road, just by chance we find our selves driving by the south end of the lake with the three coyotes. I f you can remember that far back the lake is horseshoe shaped but right where the bend in the horseshoe would start on the west side there is a narrow area about 150 yards long and 75 yards wide choked with cattails. It is really a channel in the dryer years. It is snowing so hard you can just see the cattails about a 1/2 mile out. Well, like sometimes happens, I look at my nephew while still driving down the road and say what do you think, he says “yup”. We have a plan. If the coyotes wont leave the ice, (they don’t have to, they have lots of food, cover and feel safe) We will set up right in their front room. We park the bronco, pack up and quietly walk out to the cattail channel. There is a trail through the cattails and a long rise going up to the west, the down wind side. We decide I will set up the Fox pro on our trail about 50yrds out from the cattails and I will setup on the down wind side of the trail at the front of the cattails. I can cover anything coming around the bend on the ice from the east or if they come over the bank to the west. But the real bet is they will feel safe coming along the lake shore from the north west just under the bank and come up through the cattails to get down wind of the commotion. My nephew gets that place, right along the cattails midway on the channel about 50 yards behind me and to the west. From that location he can see up the rise for about 300 yards, and cover the down wind side of the cattails.
I give him plenty of time to get situated and everything settled down. Its time, Take a breath and let fly with my best flat howl. It comes out without a hitch, alls good. I punch the fox pro full-bore woodpecker and just let it play and, play and, play.
About ten minutes in i am starting to worry. Did we hike all the way out here in the snow for nothing? I was just getting ready to let out one last ditch howl when I here the muffled whoop of a 223. With much excitement but no hesitation I start the hurt dog routine. In the heavy snow the sounds were very muffled but shortly there after another whoop. Man I’m missing out. I couldn’t take it any more. I pack up; march over and around and up the snowdrift in the cattails and the first thing I spot is a mound in the snow. It is amazing how well a basically brown dog can blend in to white snow. Anyway there is another mound about 15 yards back from the first and neither one is more than 10 -15 yards out from the cattails. But where is my nephew. I stop and look around, he was prone right along the edge of the cattails almost invisible in his whites and the black savage, not more than 20 yards from either coyote. He had found the exact right spot to setup. The first coyotes had come out right where the channel narrowed down and he started down along the downwind side of the cattails to get down wind of the call. The second one came out much closer to where my nephew was lying, both walked right in to the gun. When they stopped to take a look around, whoop. I don’t even know if it was the hurt dog that did it but it was about a couple of minutes after the first that the second one came out a even closer than the first. It just doesn’t get any better.
Or does it. After much jubilation, we were feeling pretty good. We had done it; we had finally tricked the three coyotes on the lake. But what about number 3?
We had tied the 2 dogs to drag out, and put our packs on, I was picking up my shooting stick when I look up and there is number 3. Not 75 yards away on the other side of the cattails he busts out, stops and looks at us. My gun gets hung up in my pack straps; my nephew’s gun is empty. It’s an easy shot; by the time we regroup he is gone. I had quit to soon. Oh well, I wouldn’t have it any other way. He will be there next Christmas.

My Nephew with the prize. (Both males and real fat)
 

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Now that's a cool hunt! Thanks for sharing, I really enjoyed that one.

Steve
 

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Great story JAT

that may have been a long read but I read that baby as fast as I could. Way to go,never give up on those yotes!
Also when those yotes hang up a decoy might help.
 

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What a great read!

It would take me a week to type that much, but I sure appreciate it when some one else can!
Great story and show persistance in an area where you get to know the lay of the land and apply stategies to match.
Thanks for sharing!
 

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That was a fun read!

And the ending could not have worked out any better! Thanks a lot for taking the time to share with us.
 
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