Let's go Coyote Calling
We hunt two basic types of country in Eastern Arizona. Rolling hills dotted with cedar trees and sage or rimrock of malapais
or limestone with juniper, cedar and pinion trees. Both are very productive.
When I leave the house I know where I'm going to call and already have 3 or 4 stands mentally picked out before the truck
clears the driveway. The stands will all have 3 things in common; 1- High density of coyotes. 2- A good place to sit and see
the area. 3- A natural barrier between the road and the call site to hide the outfit from sight and minimize the noise. Load
up and we'll hit a couple of spots I really like.
First stop is a mile wide flat with high grass and stunted cedars. Rimrocks surround the opening, covered with thick,
bushy cedars. Rabbits abound, rats and mice are thick and coyotes compete for them. The seldom traveled road is a faint outline
in week old snow and I'm worried about the noise of tires on crusty snow as we work slowly up to the flat. Stopping in a wash,
the open is just over a little ridge.
Opening the door brings a rush of sub-zero morning air and coyotes verbally assalting each other and screaming out threats
that made me blush. One pack was off to the East where the sun's rays were shooting through the black night. The other group
was further off and to the West. Let's slip inbetween them and give a little woodpecker and see what happens.
It's useless to attempt total silence but sneaking the best way anyone could on frozen snow we creep into position. Plenty
of things to go wrong on this stand. Wind is calm but trailing scent across the flat and the sun might come up and blind the
eyes, concealing the incoming pack to the East. Fire it up amigo, well hope for the best.
The wounded bird does it's job and 2 minutes later a pair is coming in from the East. They seem cautious and don't sell
out like so many have over the past few months. At 75 yards they hang up and the scope is almost steady when they spook.
Crap......what's up with them, scent is fine and I've moved slow... here they come back into view. Now they are over
300 yards and looking mighty small. This shot is makable though settle down and ......wait, they are looking back behind me....what's
up with that?.........Slowly now take a look....Crap again, here come 3 big dogs and they are selling out.
Turn quick and get the gun up, Don't let the lead dog hit your scent trail.....bark....louder.....BARK NOW......TOO LATE,
he's done a 180 and his buddies are in his pocket......4" tall and 10' long screaming across the opening. Boom pops the
trusty fowling piece but no fur will fly this day. Five dogs came and five dogs left......educated.
Site Two- The sacaton and grama grass did well this summer, knee high across the rolling hills we're going to be calling.
Get the hiking shoes on, it's 3/4 of a mile to the stand. We leave the truck with the call box and arrive appreciating it's
light weight, this ain't no Johnny Stewart box.
The cover is sparse, call box will sit right out in the open, you go hunker under that small cedar and I'll sit in front
of this stump. We are looking at scattered cedars but down below is a cedar thicket. We'll call them out to us. Wind is perfect
and still calm.
This stand starts off with a little woodpecker action. Quiet at first, keep the sound level down. The woodpecker cries
fade into silence just as the coyote appears. It is coming on in and when the sound stopps it puts another gear on covering
the 300 yards quickly.
I'm in the open, just camo between me and the dog but it doesn't notice. The sound didn't come from the burl on that
stump, it was over there a ways. Afraid to move my eyes pegg in the corners trying to see if pard has seen the incoming.........there
he is and his 22/250 is sittin' on ready.
Mr. Coyote is now 15 yards in front of me, closer to me than the call or pard. He stops and looks past the call to the
hunk of camo and walnut........Boom goes the Winchester and we notch the stock. Another coyote called, life is good.