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I headed back "home" to South Dakota over the weekend. Met JBH Saturday morning and we headed out to knock the smell off the skunk that has plagued us. We've hunted together many times the last few years and have enjoyed some success... but Jim hasn't killed a called coyote yet... a couple years ago, one lined up in front of my rifle and I had to take the shot - those are the rules of coyote hunting... if YOU have the shot, you TAKE the shot.



Saturday was a gawd awful day. my parent's thought I was nuts to even pull out of the driveway, but I had already come 6 hours in a snow storm, I didn't figure another 20 minutes on the road would get me in harms way..

Jim's a smart varmint hunter, he knew better than to call me and call the day's hunt off - I would have gone anyway... I killed this one a couple years ago when I was alone - weather was not suitable to be out in... in my peanut of a brain - bad weather makes for good coyote hunting...



we headed out and made a different approach into a target rich section of land. I parked the truck near the the middle of the pasture and we circled the edges, calling into draws and valleys that ring some high ground. Our first set of stands didn't yield any called coyotes, but we did bump a couple between stands... conditions were tough, healthy wind and steady snow. It wasn't very cold and the snow was only 8 inches deep so travel wasn't too bad... optics got wet often and binocs / scopes were hard to keep clean.

after getting back to the truck and getting lost (disoriented due to poor visibility) we relocated to an area where I had some success in the past and started hunting again near the spot where Jim got his first shot (and miss) at a called coyote a couple years ago. this pasture is straight east of my great grandfather's home place, Jim and I parked in the high ground and approached the valleys to call...

as we approached the first draw, we split up - Jim headed to the buck brush and I found a snowbank to hide in... just as I was settling in, I noticed a coyote approaching from below - crossing to Jim's left about 120 yards out... I sat down and stayed motionless (or as best I could) since the coyote hadn't seen either of us... When Jim looked back at me to start the set, I motioned for him to look to the south - the coyote had paused a bit but was hidden from Jim's view...

not really knowing what to do - I was in plain sight but well hidden in my Cabela's snow camo coveralls - I squeeked a few times with my Dan Thompson mouth call - the FoxPro was still in my backpack (on my back) next to my slung rifle on my shoulder... the coyote turned our way and angled towards us, but Jim still hadn't seen him... Finally, the coyote popped into view and came into Jim's line of sight and he shouldered his rifle to seal the deal...

what happened next can only be described as perhaps the longest 5 or 10 seconds I've experienced... I kept watching and waiting - wondering why I hadn't heard a bang... at one time, I even thought maybe my eyes were playing tricks on me and what I was looking at was actually a deer - but deer don't have tails I thought... turns out Jim's gun had a failure to fire and he had to cycle in a fresh round (and then he took time to inspect the primer). eventually, thankfully, his .243 Win Savage spoke and I heard that WHHAP of a good solid hit... the coyote disappeared and I watched for an escaping runner but nothing happened...

in reality, we should have probably called some and tried for a double, but both of us were WAY too happy to have contained the joy. we took the short walk over to the fallen yote, it was a bang flop for sure, down DRT with a center of chest shot - pretty good shooting from a standing free hand firing position...



the photo doesn't show it, but coyote was a young of the season female that was going to die a slow death over the next couple weeks. tail was near nekkid from mange, plenty of bare skin. he shot it just a couple hundred yards from a cow carcass - I'm sure the yote was snacking on it...

we tried a few more sets, but had no more luck... due to the weather we cut the day a bit short and headed back to Jim to feed his money makers...



a great day in my book! thank goodness the skunk streak has been broken!

-niv
 

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Great write up joe

you covered all the bases so all I can say is thanks for a great hunt. The only thing that would have made it better was if we'd have called in one or two more. There just ain't nothin' better than spending a day hunting with a good friend,thanks again for helping me get my first called in coyote. See ya next time around.
 

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That first one is a pretty dog. The others are a little harder to see, but I bet they'll clean up well.
 

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Question for you?

What part of the state were you hunting in? Mange is bad in the southwest part.
Thanks EricT
 

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Great day in the snow. Its always fun when you get one just wandering nearby. Thanks for the post & pics:)
 

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Nice story and pics, Joe. Thanks for sharing. Oh, and please send a little of that snow our way. It's drab and brown around here and not nearly as much fun varminting w/o snowcover.

Vardoc
 

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Great hunt report, niv..

.. Sounds like a great time with a good friend.. What more could a fella ask for.? Congrats to Jim on breaking that streak.!! d:^) Jake
 

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We were hunting in the central part of the state,Eric. The mange isn't real bad here but we do see it occasionally. Last year I went out to start chores one cold(about 12 degrees) morning and scared one out of the barn. Went back and got the rifle and me and the dog tracked him through the shelter belt and I shot him about 175 yrds. south of the trees. He was mange practically all the way from his legs up to his shoulders, all of his belly and all of his tail.
 

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Sounds like a gret day and a lot of fun. Wish we had some of that white stuff on the ground so I could try to figure out what the yotes are doing around here. It has been extremely warm and the Coyotes are well fed and not hungry; the only reason they would come to a Call is just for curiosity to see what is making that funny noise. Lots of Cow Farms and that means discarded dead animals for the taking; I have done some baiting with Deer Carcass waste and they are not even hungry enough to eat that.
 
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