not Wiley enough

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

  1. Toby Bradshaw

    Toby Bradshaw Gold $$ Contributor

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    My Wildfire remote doesn't have letter codes, just numbers. Calls that have brought in coyotes to my stands, in roughly descending order of success:

    006 coy pup dist 3
    029 nutty nuthatch
    017 lightning jack
    021 adult cottontail
    020 bay bee cottntl
    022 vole squeaks
    003 fem coy deep hwls

    Really, a low volume sound (vole squeaks), a medium volume (nutty nuthatch, bay bee cottntl), and a loud (lightning jack, adult cottontail, coy pup dist 3) will get the job done most of the time, IF the coyotes are going to come at all. I've gotten a few coyotes, which were barking at me, to show themselves by playing fem coy chall, but usually if they are barking or howling at you, you're done.
     
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  2. Toby Bradshaw

    Toby Bradshaw Gold $$ Contributor

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    We've been having a minor heat wave the past couple of weeks, so no time to fly the hawks and call coyotes before it gets too hot.

    Blitzen and Xenon on her second jack.JPG

    But this morning I gave the hawks the day off after they gorged on jackrabbit yesterday, so I packed up the new Kelbly Atlas Tactical 22BR and went looking for coyotes.

    It was nice and cool (48F), with no wind, when I set up my first stand 30 minutes before sunrise in the sagebrush/rabbitbrush/greasewood adjacent to an alfalfa pivot where I have seen quite a few coyotes lately. Within a few minutes of calling (FoxPro "nutty nuthatch") I had a coyote barking at me from 100-150 yards away. I turned the scope up to 10X and scanned for the coyote, but couldn't locate it in the thick greasewood. The coyote was on the move to the west, and clearly didn't intend to stop or come to the call.

    I packed up and drove 3 miles to another spot where I have been running my dogs, and where there was a reasonable quantity of fresh coyote scat and tracks. Pulling into my parking spot I saw a coyote run out of the alfalfa pivot, across the 2-track, and into the sage. I set up my "stand-up-stand" in a patch of tall sage at the edge of a more open area of short, sparse greasewood.

    Atlas tactical coyote rifle in situ.JPG

    I started softly with nutty nuthatch in case there was a coyote close by. Nothing showed up in the first couple of minutes, so I cranked up the volume. No go. I tried lightning jack (the loudest prey sound I have), but nobody was interested. Of course, no stand is complete without pup distress, and on the second cycle a coyote appeared at the edge of the opening about 275 yards out. Often coyotes will charge the call when playing pup distress, but this coyote was in no hurry. He kept small greasewood bushes between him and me, sticking his head around each bush to locate the source of the sound. When he stopped, facing me, 199 yards out, with just his head, neck, and top of chest showing, I decided not to wait any longer. I heard the 40gr NBT impact, and down he went. The bullet entered just to the right of center on his chest, breaking his left front leg and making a mess of his thoracic cavity. An adult male in his prime.

    coyote kill 39.JPG
     
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  3. Toby Bradshaw

    Toby Bradshaw Gold $$ Contributor

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    When my hawks caught a jackrabbit a couple of days ago, a coyote pup was attracted by the screaming and kept stalking me and my hawks for about 30 minutes afterwards. Time to thin the coyote herd a bit ...

    I was hunting a juniper-sagebrush savanna with some rock outcrops. Not as much coyote sign as in the valley below, but enough to indicate that I might be able to call one in. My first stand was on the side of a basalt scree slope looking over the savanna. FoxPro adult cottontail, lightning jack, pup distress -- zip. I played some yip-howls and got responses from 2 packs of coyotes, so they were around.

    I walked about 3/4 mile to another rock outcrop. Nutty nuthatch, lightning jack, pup distress. Skunked again.

    By now the sun was well up, about 55F, but still no wind. I hiked another 3/4 mile to a fenceline at the edge of the savanna, with a gentle slope to the valley below. I set up my 22BR on my tall Bog-Pod in the shade of a juniper to provide some concealment. After about 5 minutes, I caught a movement to my left. A small-ish coyote was trotting towards the call, stopping every few yards. When she was 125 yards out, she paused, quartering towards me, downhill. The 40gr Nosler Ballistic Tip was going about 3500 ft/sec when it impacted just above her right elbow, then continued down and back, blowing out the bottom of her thoracic cavity and ripping the diaphragm open.

    coyote kill 40 with Atlas.JPG

    coyote kill 40.JPG
     
  4. Greg Taylor

    Greg Taylor Site $$ Sponsor

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    This thread is wonderful!
     
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  5. Toby Bradshaw

    Toby Bradshaw Gold $$ Contributor

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    A couple of days ago I missed a coyote at a little more than 50 yards. It was moving, but not much. Thinking that maybe I had knocked the scope somehow, I drove to the local "rifle range", went out to the 100-yard position and put up a paper plate that someone had left (conveniently marked with a black dot!), walked back to the "bench", and put my 22BR over my backpack padded with a rolled-up towel. Three shots later:

    Atlas tactical 22BR verifying zero -- 100yd over a rolled-up towel.JPG

    Hmmm. I guess I'll have to chalk up that missed coyote to operator error. :(

    I had time for one quick stand this morning. The place is much more open than usual for around here, so I shortened the legs on my Bog-Pod and sat down for a change. "Bay bee cottontail" didn't do the trick, but isn't very loud, so I ramped it up to "adult cottontail". That got the attention of 3 pronghorns bedded down in the alfalfa pivot below. They stood up, making that wheezing/coughing sound that indicates they are alarmed. About the same time they pranced out of the pivot, still huffing and puffing, I saw a coyote leaving the sagebrush about 400 yards out, headed my way along the fenceline. She wasn't running but was definitely intent on the call. When she got abeam of the caller, she turned towards me from the fenceline at 125 yards. She was quartering slightly to my right, walking slowly. I meant to hit her in the chest inside her right front leg, but her movement (or my bad shooting) put the 40gr Nosler BT a little far back on her right side, 3 ribs forward of her diaphragm. The bullet clipped the back of her right lung, made pateĀ“ of her liver, and exited her flank, hosing the inside of her left rear leg with blood. She spun a couple of times and was wobbling in place, but I put a finisher in her just to be on the safe side. Looks like this year's pup, or possibly a yearling.

    coyote kill 41 with Atlas tactical.JPG

    coyote kill 41.JPG
    The hawks had a good day, too, catching 3 jackrabbits.

    Blitzen on jack 4.JPG
     
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  6. Toby Bradshaw

    Toby Bradshaw Gold $$ Contributor

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    I was driving home from my morning hawking excursion, and spotted what I thought was the back of coyote poking out of the alfalfa. I backed down the road, pulled off into the sagebrush, got my 22BR and Bog-Pod, and sneaked up on the alfalfa field. It turned out that what I saw wasn't a short coyote in tall alfalfa, but a boar badger shuffling along looking for gopher holes to mine. The damage that a badger's digging can do to the pivot irrigator wheels is serious, so the local farmers treat badgers like the SEALs treated Osama Bin Laden. The 40gr Nosler Ballistic Tip was whistling along at about 3600 ft/sec when it whomped into the badger at 100 yards. The sound of the impact was impressive, and when I picked him up there was considerable sloshing in the chest cavity, with no exit wound.

    badger on Tacoma tailgate.JPG
    badger with Atlas Tactical.JPG
    badger head closeup.JPG
     
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  7. JLT

    JLT Gold $$ Contributor

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    Nice looking badger! Looks like he's half way across your tailgate - pretty good-sized, too. Nice shot.
     
  8. brians356

    brians356 Gold $$ Contributor

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    Wow, deja vu all over again. Long ago I did some varminting on my way from Reno to N. Idaho. Stopping in Jordan Valley, OR, I asked a guy in one of the two gas stations for some leads. He gave me the phone number for a rancher about 20 miles NW of town, out in some pothole scablands. I called him and he invited me to shoot ground squirrels and rock chucks. It was already late in the day, so I slept in the back of my pickup a mile from his house, and drove in at dawn. While perched above a field, popping a few squirrels, I saw a strange fat creature carousing around in the grass. I wasn't quite sure what it was, but it sure wasn't livestock or a domestic pet, so I shot it from about 80 yards with a 40-gr Ballistic Tip from my 223 Rem. It thwacked and the creature slumped motionless. Upon inspection, it was (surprise!) a badger, the only one I've ever laid eyes on. The 40 BT entered just behind the shoulder joint and never exited.

    PS I see tanned badger pelts sell for $80 to $350. Wish I'd known that, I left it where I shot it. Of course properly dressing, preserving, and tanning a pelt constitutes considerable value add.
    -
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2017
  9. Andy W

    Andy W

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    Great thread. Thanks for sharing!
     
  10. Toby Bradshaw

    Toby Bradshaw Gold $$ Contributor

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    The alfalfa pivots are now swathed, raked, and baled in anticipation of cold weather -- it was 22F this morning. The coyotes have been mousing/gophering the clean pivots, and it's pretty common to see 2-6 coyotes in each field.

    coyote in pivot.JPG

    I haven't been having a lot of luck calling lately, so this evening I took my 22BR with me while running my Brittany. Sure enough, there was a coyote out in the pivot adjacent to the sagebrush we were walking. I estimated the range at 400 yards, since I was at the edge of the pivot and the coyote appeared to be almost at the center of the field (440 yards). He was standing broadside, so I held about 6 inches over his back and touched one off. The coyote never flinched, or even looked my way, so I assumed that I had shot over his back. I racked the bolt and fed in another round (that Kelbly Atlas Tactical is smooooth!). This time I decided to trust the flat trajectory of the 22BR/40gr NBT at 4100fps, and held right on the top of his back. I heard the satisfying WHUMP of a chest hit. The bullet broke the near leg, took out the bottom of the chest cavity (including the heart), and broke the far leg. This year's male pup, 272 long paces from where I shot. I dragged him into the sagebrush for the photo.

    coyote kill 42.JPG
     
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  11. Toby Bradshaw

    Toby Bradshaw Gold $$ Contributor

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    I've been seeing at least a dozen coyotes in the alfalfa pivots every morning, but calling has been relatively unproductive -- roughly 1 response for every 4 stands made, even though 90% of the time I will have coyotes howling or barking at me by the end of the calling sequence. I did some scouting yesterday evening while running my Brittany (the photo is from last year's quail opener when Theo was a pup).

    Theo 5mo valley quail opener.JPG

    I found a nice open spot among some scattered junipers with lots of coyote sign. I planned to be there at first light this morning. It was just below freezing with a thin fog layer at head height. After walking for half a mile I was about 5 minutes away from the stand when I heard 3 rifle shots up in the hills 1/4-1/2 mile away. While coyotes aren't necessarily spooked by distant gunfire, I didn't feel like wasting 30 minutes of my life calling in the vicinity of other hunters/shooters, so I hot-footed it back to the truck and drove a couple of miles south to a spot where I've often seen coyotes but never been able to get one to come to the call.

    I wasn't 5 minutes in to "nutty nuthatch" on the FoxPro when this adult female came trotting in. I muted the call and she stopped behind a rabbitbrush. I gave another 2 seconds of calling and she moved towards the caller. I muted the call when she was in the open, and she stopped again at 60 yards. She never even looked my way. The 40gr Ballistic Tip hit her in the chest just inside her left front leg and blew a golf-ball-sized exit wound behind her right shoulder. She collapsed on the spot. I am really liking my new Kelbly Atlas Tactical 22BR!

    coyote kill 43.JPG

    coyote kill 43 with Atlas Tactical 22BR.JPG
     
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  12. Toby Bradshaw

    Toby Bradshaw Gold $$ Contributor

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    It was well below freezing 30 minutes before dawn, so plenty of time to make a coyote stand before turning the hawks loose on jackrabbits. In the 1 mile drive to the stand I saw 3 coyotes in alfalfa pivots -- always a good sign. I set up my Bog-Pod next to a pile of junk (why do people feel entitled to dump their $hit out in the beautiful high desert?) and put the FoxPro in a nice open spot about 50 yards away. There were clouds on the eastern horizon, so no glare at sunrise.

    I started with "nutty nuthatch." After 5-10 minutes I was about to switch to some louder prey sounds when I spotted a coyote in the thick sage about 300 yards out. I tracked it with my scope but it disappeared and never reappeared. I ran through the litany of sounds, concluding with coyote pup distress, but no takers. Oh, well.

    After my hawking adventure, a long run for the dogs, and a little lunch, the outside temperature was still below 40F with occasional snow pellets, and (unusually for this time of day) there was hardly any wind. Might as well get back out there and see what the coyotes are up to.

    My noontime stand was an alkali flat with a little greasewood in the bottom and enough terrain relief to let me sit down and still have a decent view of the flat. The wind is normally out of the west but was swirling a bit today, so I was glad to have some protection from the low ridge surrounding the alkali bowl. The FoxPro was only 60 yards away but I could barely hear it because it was pointed away from me down/crosswind.

    I was getting ready to try something louder than "nutty nuthatch" when I spotted a coyote head poking above the greasewood about 100 yards away. How he got into the bowl without my seeing him is a mystery -- those old dogs are sneaky. I reached for the FoxPro remote to reduce the volume, but the coyote was already coming to the call. When he got within 15 or 20 yards of the call he stopped, looking nervous. He probably winded something that he didn't like (me). At 75 yards I put the 40gr NBT inside his right front leg and it exited behind his left shoulder. He spun and ran 40 yards or so before piling up, leaving an impressive blood trail. He was a giant male -- the heaviest coyote I've ever killed. It was a j-o-b to carry/drag him the half mile back to the truck without damaging his pelt. Chalk up another victory for the 22BR. :)

    coyote kill 44 with Atlas Tactical 22BR.JPG
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2017
  13. AckleymanII

    AckleymanII Gold $$ Contributor

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    Love your pics and re count of the action!
     
  14. Toby Bradshaw

    Toby Bradshaw Gold $$ Contributor

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    Well, as you know it's much more fun to hunt coyotes than to write about it or read about it, but I do like to keep notes and don't mind sharing them. When I'm too old and decrepit to hunt I can always look back and forget all the easy shots I missed. I still get the shakes from the adrenaline flow when I see a coyote coming to the call. I'll probably quit hunting if my knees aren't knocking after the shot. :)
     
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  15. Toby Bradshaw

    Toby Bradshaw Gold $$ Contributor

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    I gave yesterday's coyote to a trapper friend of mine. I dropped by when he was skinning it -- check out the size of that dog (not the Jack Russell)!

    Merle, Tater, and coyote 44.JPG
     
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  16. brians356

    brians356 Gold $$ Contributor

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    What do good coyotes pelts fetch these days from a fur buyer?
    -
     
  17. Toby Bradshaw

    Toby Bradshaw Gold $$ Contributor

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    This is my favorite time of year. We had a little snow flurry yesterday, with a double rainbow grand finale.

    snowstorm in early Oct.JPG

    snowstorm rainbow in early Oct.JPG

    It was 17F this morning, but calm and sunny, so it didn't really feel cold. I left the house about a half hour before sunup and drove a mile to a patch of sagebrush adjacent to an alfalfa pivot where I saw 2 coyotes mousing yesterday evening. I parked a half mile from the pivot and eased through the chest-high sagebrush on the wide game trails crisscrossing the cover, making my approach nice and quiet. When I got to the 2-track along the edge of the pivot I could see 2 coyotes. Luckily both were in the near half of the pivot -- i.e., less than 440 yards out. They were busy sniffing the ground, occasionally springing up in the air to pounce on a mouse or gopher.

    One of the coyotes must have spotted my head above the sagebrush, and trotted away looking over its shoulder suspiciously. The other coyote was intent on her quarry and never looked in my direction. I used an old pumphouse at the edge of the field for cover, stalking the last 50 yards to the border of the pivot. I slipped around the edge of the pumphouse and set up my Bog-Pod. I estimated the coyote's range at roughly 300 yards. I set my scope on 10x -- I don't get to do that often when calling coyotes! I didn't want to overshoot this coyote like I did the other day on a coyote in a pivot, so I held right on her back hairline and touched off the 22BR. She was far enough away that I got a good impact sound, and the recoil of the 22BR with 40gr bullets is so minimal that I could see the coyote drop at the shot. I hit the female pup a little higher and farther back than I wished, but the bullet broke her spine 3/4 of the way back on her ribcage, and she never moved. I stepped off 286 long paces to find her in the field just as the sun came up.

    coyote kill 45.JPG

    By now it had warmed up to the mid-20s, so I went hawking. My young female Harris's hawk, Blitzen, is really on her game now. You can see her holding her jackrabbit with one foot, jammed in the sagebrush -- a pretty impressive display of strength considering that the jackrabbit is 3 times her weight. Luckily, her dad (Xenon) came in and secured the jack's head. You can still see a little snow on the ground left over from yesterday.

    Blitzen hanging onto a jack with one foot.JPG
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2017
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  18. Toby Bradshaw

    Toby Bradshaw Gold $$ Contributor

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    $75 for a decent pelt, up to $125 for a well-prepared big prime pelt with a white belly and a long mane. Or so I'm told -- I'm just in it for the hunting. :)
     
  19. Huntschool

    Huntschool

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    Your stuff is great.......

    I would like to know more about your 22 BR loads if you wouldn't mind sharing.

    Thanks

    Bruce A. Hering
    Program Coordinator/Lead Instructor (retired)
    Shotgun Team Coach
    Southeastern Illinois College
    SCTP Collegiate Coaches Chairman
    NSCA Level III
     
  20. Toby Bradshaw

    Toby Bradshaw Gold $$ Contributor

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