Not Wile E. enough

Discussion in 'Varminter & Hunting Forum' started by Toby Bradshaw, Mar 22, 2016.

  1. Toby Bradshaw

    Toby Bradshaw Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2008
    Messages:
    1,273
    On my way back from Austin TX to the Pacific Northwest I drove through some good-looking public land in SE NM. The short, sparse mesquite is quite a contrast to the Great Basin/Columbia Basin sagebrush that I normally hunt. I stopped in at Big 5 and bought a 4-day NM hunting license ($43). I had time to make one stand this evening, starting the FOXPRO just as the sun was setting (63F and calm). The coyotes in NM must be starving, despite a healthy population of black-tailed jackrabbits, because this female pup showed up in less than 3 minutes. She saw me swivel the rifle towards her as she stood facing me, and turned to run just as I touched the Jewell trigger. The 40gr NBT hit her right where the spine meets the pelvis, breaking her back, exploding her kidney (massive blood loss), and dropping her on the spot -- 79 yards from my stand under a mesquite.

    coyote kill 61.JPG

    coyote kill 61 entrance wound.JPG
     
    DHuffman likes this.
  2. Toby Bradshaw

    Toby Bradshaw Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2008
    Messages:
    1,273
    You never know what will show up to "bay bee cottontail". At 75 yards the 40gr NBT from my 22BR is going about 3700 fps, scattering skunk parts across the landscape.

    striped skunk kill 1.JPG
     
  3. Toby Bradshaw

    Toby Bradshaw Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2008
    Messages:
    1,273
    It was foggy this morning in SE NM, but at least the wind was minimal for a change. My boots and pant legs got soaked from the heavy dew on the way to my stand. I set up the Bog-Pod next to a short mesquite bush and put the FOXPRO downhill about 50 yards away at the top of a shallow draw where I expected coyotes to approach. This young adult male got to the caller within a minute -- he must have been very close when I started calling. I could barely see his outline through the fog even though he was only 112 yards away. The 40gr NBT broke his left front leg at the elbow and blew some bullet and bone fragments into his chest cavity, but it took a second shot to put him down for good even though he never moved from the spot where I shot him.

    I'm getting a little spoiled in New Mexico, with such short wait times for the coyotes. :)

    coyote kill 62.JPG
     
  4. Toby Bradshaw

    Toby Bradshaw Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2008
    Messages:
    1,273
    Yesterday it was warm enough in New Mexico to bring out the prairie rattlesnakes (I saw 2 of them), but a few hours of driving north into Utah it was considerably colder -- 14F on Cedar Mesa. Instead of snakes I saw a raghorn bull elk with 3 cows in the skiff of snow left from a recent storm. The steep, narrow, switchbacked drive from the Valley of the Gods to the top of Cedar Mesa at sunrise is an experience not to be missed, with the dawn illuminating the spectacular canyons and cliffs.

    Cedar Mesa is mostly covered with pinyon-juniper ("cedar") forest, but there are some openings vegetated with sagebrush. Occasionally a bunchgrass field will be found within the sagebrush, and this is where I set up my stand.

    Cedar Mesa UT.JPG

    Cedar Mesa is hundreds of miles from any population center. In 2 hours on the mesa I never saw another person or vehicle. The female coyote pup that came running to "bay bee cottontail" had probably never been called before. She stopped broadside 68 yards away when I hit the FOXPRO's "mute" button. The 40gr NBT hit her behind the left shoulder, exiting behind the right shoulder. She spun twice and collapsed.

    coyote kill 63.JPG
    coyote kill 63 shot placement.JPG
    I love the wide open spaces, beautiful scenery, abundant public land, and plentiful coyotes in the American West!
     
    rebel, GSPV and DHuffman like this.
  5. brians356

    brians356 Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2013
    Messages:
    3,574
    What's Utah charge a vagabond for a few days of small game hunting?
    -
     
  6. Toby Bradshaw

    Toby Bradshaw Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2008
    Messages:
    1,273
    No hunting license needed for coyotes in UT, even for nonresidents. NV and WY are the same way.
     
  7. brians356

    brians356 Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2013
    Messages:
    3,574
    Too bad one of those three states (mine :() has been turned blue by the flood of less-sensible emigrants. The stench of "progress" is in the air.
    -
     
  8. Toby Bradshaw

    Toby Bradshaw Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2008
    Messages:
    1,273
    On the upside, I made 4 stands crossing NV yesterday without any success (including some places where I have killed coyotes before), so I didn't cut into your supply. :)

    It was cold, clear, calm, and perfect for calling. Except the coyotes didn't seem to think so.
     
  9. brians356

    brians356 Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2013
    Messages:
    3,574
    Gosh, that's par for the course about 80% of the time for me, but I mostly hunt within 20 miles of significant human habitation, and most the dogs are well educated. FWIW there seems to be a lot of jackrabbits around this year, so the dogs may be well fed, too.
    -
     
  10. Monte F

    Monte F Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2015
    Messages:
    252
    coyote.jpg
    There are plenty of them howling each night behind my house (Rolling Hills/Galena Terrace). Can not shoot them due to being in a congested area. Also plenty out in Spanish Springs behind my last house there. Picture of one getting a drink from our pond there.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. Toby Bradshaw

    Toby Bradshaw Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2008
    Messages:
    1,273
    The forecast was for a stretch of cold, calm, clear weather after 2 days of snow and wind, so I decided to sneak out for a couple of days of coyote calling. Intellicast hit the nail on the head -- it was 8F this morning and not a whisper of wind. On my way to the first stand I could feel the frost forming on my eyebrows as my breath condensed.

    I ran through the usual litany of sounds on the FOXPRO without a nibble, then decided to take Theo for a run to get some warmth back into my fingers and toes.

    Theo in snow.JPG
    I drove about a mile north and set up stand #2 next to a big sagebrush at the edge of a bunchgrass-filled clearing. "Adult cottontail" worked its magic, with a hard-charging coyote coming straight to me from 400+ yards after just a couple of minutes of calling. When she was 200 yards out I muted the call to stop her, but she never even slowed down. She had the sound pinpointed and wanted her hot breakfast. I whooped to stop her before she got to the FOXPRO and caught my scent, but it didn't faze her -- she kept right on coming. As soon as she got my wind she turned 90 degrees without breaking her stride, galloping straight away from me for the safety of the sagebrush. I was tracking her in my scope the whole time, so I held on the tip of her nose and touched off the 22BR. The 40gr NBT hit her between the shoulder blades, breaking her back. I put a finisher into her even though the yearling was anchored by the first shot.

    coyote kill 64.JPG

    Stands #3, #4, and #5 came up empty. I stopped at the local store to get a quick lunch, and by noon I was standing on a gentle slope with sagebrush at my back and a bunchgrass opening spread below me. "Adult cottontail" worked a few hours before, and seemed to be the hot ticket today, since 5 minutes into the stand I spotted a big adult coyote trotting in from my left, then a smaller adult coyote behind it, and 2 coyote pups coming straight at me! The whole family was planning to share that cottontail! While tracking the biggest coyote in my scope, I paused the FOXPRO, and he obligingly stopped 116 yards out, facing me. I was so excited having 4 coyotes within 150 yards that the crosshairs were wavering around on the big dog. I forced myself to calm down (a little bit), the crosshairs settled on his chest, and I could hear the WHUMP of a good hit. The bullet was a little to the left of my center hold, breaking his right shoulder and scrambling his vitals. He went straight down and never moved.

    The 2 pups went back the way they came. The adult female was loping away to my left. I resisted the urge to try a running shot at her, and unmuted the FOXPRO, which was now playing "coyote pup distress 3". As soon as she heard those crying e-pups she circled around in front of me about 300 yards out, working her way back towards the caller. I thought that she might come all the way in, but she veered off. I was just about to try to stop her with a whoop when she skidded to a halt, like a pointer on a covey of quail. She bent her head down to sniff ... her dead mate. I didn't hesitate. The photo below shows the pair of adults just as they lay where I shot them.

    coyote kills 65-66 double in situ.JPG
    This one is a little more carefully composed:

    coyote kills 65-66 double.JPG

    Even though it was below freezing I had to strip down to my T-shirt to keep from sweating as I hauled this pair of coyotes back to the truck. Once they were loaded into the Tacoma, I drove a mile down the road to call a little draw with a row of junipers in the bottom where the extra moisture allows them to grow. You guessed it -- "adult cottontail". In less than 2 minutes an adult coyote came over the hill to my left (instead of the up the draw, as I was expecting). He had his back arched and every hair standing on end. He must have thought it was the Killer Rabbit from Monty Python's Holy Grail. :rolleyes: As soon as he cut my track he spun on his back foot and went straight back up the hill. Rather than take a running shot in heavy cover I just kept the FOXPRO going. Sure enough, 5 minutes later a female pup came down the same trail that the big male had used. When she cut my track she knew something wasn't right, but rather than run, she paused, and that was her undoing.

    coyote kill 67.JPG
     
    rebel and WyleWD like this.
  12. Toby Bradshaw

    Toby Bradshaw Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2008
    Messages:
    1,273
    The coyotes were much less cooperative today. Of the 6 stands I made, I had coyotes come in to just 2 of them, but both coyotes hung up in the heavy sage, denying me a shot.

    I didn't come home emptyhanded, though. ;)

    bobcat.JPG
     
    WyleWD likes this.
  13. brians356

    brians356 Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2013
    Messages:
    3,574
    "Furbearer".
    -
     
  14. Toby Bradshaw

    Toby Bradshaw Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2008
    Messages:
    1,273
    The jackrabbit population has crashed in my little corner of the Great Basin, so the hawking is poor. I'm also seeing fewer coyotes than last year, no doubt a direct result of the jackrabbit decline. Still, it was a pleasant 36F this morning, clear and calm, so I decided to leave the hawks at home and try my luck with the FOXPRO.

    My first stand came up empty -- not even a howl or a bark to acknowledge my efforts. The second stand was almost as bad, with one lonesome howl in response to the caller. Leaving my second stand on a rocky, juniper-clad hillside, I turned up my Leupold to 10x to glass the adjacent alfalfa pivot whose nearest edge was perhaps 1/4 mile from me. The alfalfa was around a foot tall, ready for the second cutting of the year.

    My eye caught a dark shape moving slowly in the field. I thought it was a badger, because it looked low and flat. I walked down the hill towards the pivot to get a better look. When I was 200 yards from the edge of the pivot I looked again, and saw that it was a coyote. Only its back was visible because it was walking with its head down in the wheel track of the pivot. The depth of the wheel rut combined with the height of the alfalfa hid the coyote almost completely.

    Since his head was down I walked quickly to the edge of the pivot and set up my Bog-Pod. Presently he lifted his head (probably gulping a sage rat) and began to walk towards me, completely oblivious. He would disappear and reappear as he traversed the hollows and rises within the pivot. Eventually he turned parallel to me, and so wasn't going to get any closer. I tracked him in my scope (still at 10x) until he stopped, quartering towards me with his right side visible.

    I judged that he was at least 250 yards away, and perhaps a good bit farther than that, so I held on his back hairline. My 22BR (40gr NBT @ 4100fps) is zeroed at 240 yards (maximum midrange trajectory = 1.5"), and is down 2.8" at 300 yards, and only 6" low at 340 yards, so it's possible to hold on hair to well over 300 yards on a full-grown coyote.

    I didn't hear the bullet impact, but the coyote sprang straight up in the air with all 4 feet clearing the tops of the alfalfa, and then hit the ground running. The recoil of a 22BR with 40gr bullets is minimal, so I was able to follow him in the scope after the shot. After about 30 yards at full throttle he stumbled, went another 10 yards, and collapsed.

    I carefully marked a point on the opposite side of the pivot to give me a line to walk, knowing that he would be hard to find in the tall alfalfa. My boots and pant legs got soaked from the dew on the alfalfa, but the dew turned out to be a blessing because when I got close to the coyote -- 319 long paces from my Bog-Pod -- I could see his "track" in the wet foliage. He was lying at the end of the track, fur soaked and looking bedraggled.

    I hauled him back to the 2-track to check out the damage. The bullet had entered a little far back and a few inches below the spine, breaking the third rib in front of the diaphragm, taking out the back half of the right lung and angling rearward through part of the liver to produce a 2" exit wound.

    A young male with questionable summer fur, but at least he won't be eating any more of my jackrabbits!

    coyote kill 68.JPG
     
    rebel likes this.
  15. helmut in the bush

    helmut in the bush

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2016
    Messages:
    91
    Great thread and pics
     
  16. Toby Bradshaw

    Toby Bradshaw Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2008
    Messages:
    1,273
    The unseasonable heat hasn't left me any time to call coyotes for the past several weeks, since the hawks get priority for the early morning coolness. They caught my 3000th jackrabbit a few days ago.

    Blitzen and Comet on my 3000th jack.JPG

    This morning, though, the clouds and haze (from distant wildfires) kept the temperature below 60F even after the hawks had been flown and the dog had been run. Since I keep my coyote calling gear in the truck all the time, I decided to make a quick stand or two.

    There was a light breeze from the northwest on my first stand. I was less than 5 minutes into "nutty nuthatch" when I spotted a coyote in an opening about 300 yards away. It was curious but not really intent on the call, and trotted off before I could pick it up in the scope. I played another 10 minutes worth of various sounds without getting another nibble.

    I drove down the 2-track for a mile and a half, where a long sage-covered "berm" abuts a sagebrush/rabbitbrush/cheatgrass flat. I set up at the base of the berm with the FOXPRO out in the flat. Unfortunately the wind had picked up and was now coming straight from the north, putting the FOXPRO almost directly downwind from me. I was muttering under my breath that this stand was a total waste of time, but I hit the button for "kitten distress" anyway. Within a couple of minutes a coyote came sneaking in from the west, nose to the ground, definitely keen on eating a kitten for brunch. I tracked him in the scope, knowing that he would catch my wind any second.

    Sure enough, his head came up and he looked in my direction, on full alert, standing broadside. I didn't have a perfect hold but I knew he was about to bolt, so I pressed the Jewell trigger. I could see the bullet impact through the scope. The coyote took off running, but he only went 15 yards before tumbling in a cloud of dust, flipping his tail. The 40gr NBT had clipped the front of his left shoulder blade, expanding explosively as it tore out his breastbone and dug a deep, wide channel through the front of his chest, taking out the aorta and other major vessels. There was a very impressive blood trail from the site of the impact to his final resting place, 144 paces from my BogPod.

    A young male, probably a yearling.

    coyote kill 69.JPG
     
    rebel, hogpatrol, JimT and 1 other person like this.
  17. thekriebles

    thekriebles Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2011
    Messages:
    801
    Always enjoy your detailed hunting adventures and photos... thanks for sharing!!
     
  18. Toby Bradshaw

    Toby Bradshaw Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2008
    Messages:
    1,273
    Oh, it's my pleasure. :)

    Thanks for reading!
     
    thekriebles and WyleWD like this.
  19. BRGUY

    BRGUY

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2018
    Messages:
    129
    I can't tell you guys how much I have enjoyed reading this thread, with all of those coyote and bobcat kills. It really just made my day!
     
  20. Jesse Gietzen

    Jesse Gietzen

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2016
    Messages:
    58
    also love the write ups. thank you, toby!
     

Share This Page