Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Reward of Trying Something New

With all of the coyote hunting contests going on right now I thought I would share another tale of coyote hunting today.  I really appreciate my friend Devin McLemore of Escalante for sharing this with us!  It seems like I always talk to guys that want to learn how to call coyotes, or figure out how to call them better.  Devin wrote this piece himself, and in reading in myself I found it very interesting as I also want to learn more on calling in the dogs. 

You know, calling really isn't that hard to pick up, you just need to take the initiative to do so.  It will probably take you a few botched attempts to get the dogs within shooting range, but once you learn from those mistakes and have the dog coming at you on a dead run, the thrill you will experience is one of a kind!  In fact, our group suffered failure on our first set up this past weekend, but we learned a lot from what we did wrong and I'm sure our success will increase next time.  If you have ever been interested in this thrilling sport that is becoming more and more popular, follow Devin's lead hear and go out to give it a try yourself!  Now enough of my pep talk, let's hear this great story from Devin.

I have always enjoyed going out with people calling dogs but I have always relied on them doing the calling.  I decided this year that it was time for me to learn how to do the calling instead of just shooting.  I was walking around Cal-Ranch one day and I noticed that they had the Primos Hot Dog and Lil' Dog on a clearance sale.  A few of my friends have these and they seem to see pretty good success with them so I decided these are what I was going to learn with.  After a week of calling around my apartment I decided that it was time to go out and give it a try.  

I called up a friend and we decided that we would go on a Saturday so that we could go all day.  We had a few snow squalls pass through the area that week so we were pretty optimistic.  When we were heading out we couldn't have asked for better weather.  We made our first set and about 10 minutes into it we had a truck drive right through the middle of it.  A little annoyed we got up and decided to drive even further from town. 

As the day progressed it became fairly warm and extremely windy.  It wasn't lookin good for us but we kept going anyways.  We found a pretty good valley that was somewhat sheltered from the wind and decided that we would  try a set there.  After we had made the set my friend asked me if I saw it.  I told him no and asked where it was and how close.  He said it was about 1000 yards out and didn't show any interest in coming in any closer.  It stuck around for a few minutes before it turned around and took off.  This got us a little excited knowing that we had at least seen a dog.  Well, after a few more sets of nothing and the wind dying at all we decided that we would drive to a different spot and try it just before dark. 

As we were driving we were discussing whether or not we should try my rookie calling or if we would try use his Fox Pro.  At that point in the day I was ready for the Fox Pro because I had been calling all day and didn't have any success but we decided that I would be the one calling.  When we got to the spot we were going to call the wind finally died down to a slight breeze with a few gusts every now and again.  This made me feel a little better but I was still a little unsure if we had made the right decision with having me call. 

Well, we got into position and I started calling.  I started out with the Hot Dog and I muffed it bad.  I don't know if I was blowing a little to hard to get the sound out or what but it was awful.  So I hurried and switched and did a few barks and howls.  I then switched to a distress call and just as I finished I saw him.  He was coming in on a dead run.  He was trying to get down wind from us and in doing so ran down into a wash.  My first thought was that he was gone but it also allowed me to get positioned for a shot.  After what seemed like a few minutes he popped out of the wash and was staring right at me.  I put the cross hairs on his chest and pulled the trigger.  I heard the "whop" and knew he was done.  When my friend and I got to him we figured it was anywhere from 150 to a 200 yard shot.  My Browning X-Bolt .270 wssm did the trick just fine and thankfully because my friend was not in position for a back up shot.  We were pretty happy and I was especially happy!  It was a great way to end the day and it gave me a little confidence boost in my calling.  I know I have a long way to become an "expert" or a great caller but I'll take what I can get.  Hopefully there will be more to come.