Saturday, February 19, 2011

Hunts from Moon Lights past

Here’s a couple hunts from a couple years ago, just happened to find them in my folders.
I received my new antler open reed call  from a guy called Arky Yoter (Joe Bradshaw),so I had to give it a try. It sounds great. Well the nite before last I missed a coyote that came in to the syco tweety, I miss judged the distance in the fog. Anyway, last nite I decided to go out again in the moonlight, the first stand I made was behind a farm where I've taken quite a few coyotes over the years both calling and trapping. It was about 10:30pm with a light haze across the field but it was high enough that you could see well, it just hung there like a ghostly canopy. Well about 5 min. into my calling the haze dropped and I couldn’t see but 10yds. so I packed it up and went looking for a spot with no fog. The next spot produced zip after calling about 30min.So off to my next spot hoping it wouldn’t be foggy there. Well when I got there it was perfect, no fog, no wind and best of all it was right behind a pheasant farm. This spot had rolling hills and was basically pasture because it was too rocky to till for crops. So I head down the lane on foot after parking my truck.I walked about 200yds from the truck and decided to sit on the west fence line facing N-NE, the wind was from the NW and the moon was to my back causing the tree behind me to cast a nice shadow. I was looking into a bowl shaped 40 acre pasture with a high hill to the N that chopped off into little knowls or berms to the south. I've trapped many coyotes and fox in this pasture over the years but never really called it but once before. Anyway I pull out the new antler call I got from Joe and started in on the rabbit wails doing considerable damage to that little critter, it sounded beautiful. About 20 minutes into the stand I noticed the wind picking up and had one of them inklings telling me I should look to my right to see if anything is trying to sneak in down wind. There was a little hill to my right between me and the south fence line. I seen what looked like the top of a fence post standing out like a sore thumb, but noticed it had 2 points on top of it,so I glassed it and sure enough it was a redfox trying to put the sneak on me. I moved my body so I was facing him, all that I could see was his head to just below his chin, he was facing me straight on. I put the cross hairs just under his chin and squeezed off the shot and sent the 100gr sierra from the .243 his way. I heard the unmistakable thwack of bullet hitting meat and bone and he disappeared when he dropped out of sight because of the hill.I gathered up my gear and went to pick him up, it was 141 paces to him. When I got to him he was stone dead, the bullet exited on his right side in the neck, it was a considerable hole but the rest of him is salvageable for a nice hat, I dont see many fox calling so I use the 100gr because on coyotes the hole is about the size of a dime and drops them right now, and I can use the same bullet for deer. The next stand produced zip,the wind was really picking up, so I called it another night.

 A few nights later the weather changed for the colder. We had wind chill warnings out all weekend,-35 below. But couldn't stand seeing the moonlight go to waste. Called a friend who's just getting into calling, and I guess he's as nuts as me. We went out about 9pm.We made our first stand in an alfalfa field that runs along a nice little cedar swamp. We had a cross wind, and tucked our selves in the fence row shadows, with the swamp straight out in front of us about 450 yards.

I started the stand with a lone howl from my Red Desert mouth piece. Then waited about 5 min.

Then I started the bunny screams on an Arky yoter antler call,I really laid into it because the wind was howlin' pretty loud. I thought I seen a spot out in the field about 3 min later, about 250yds out, but couldn't tell if it was a coyote. My eyes were watering real bad from the wind. So I thought I'd give the pup distress a crack, to see if that spot would move. When I lit up my puppy squeals on the red desert, that spot not only moved, he came smokin' in, at about 50yds I woofed at him so he'd stop, he did no such thing, never skipped a beat, he was on a mission. So I smoked him at about 40 with the .243 ending his life of crime.My partner couldn't get a shot off and glad I took him. A few nites before, I called one in for him, but he missed. I told him it takes practice to keep your nerves calm to shoot, and not to worry about it, he'll get get one sooner or later.

We made a couple more stands, but nothing. One stand got fouled up, just as we were heading across a field, at 12am,a squad pulled up by our truck, that was pulled off the highway. He shined the field, and spotted us, so we headed over by him, and let him know what we were doing. He said no problem, he thought maybe someone was stranded, and on a nite like this, it could be dangerous with the cold. We sat and shot the breeze for awhile, showed him the yote, then parted ways and hit another stand before heading home.
We went out the next night, but only called in a Barred owl, which BTW, hit me in the head. His talons scratched my left eyebrow, and snagged my face mask, and his tail feathers brushed against my face. I caught movement right by my head and threw up my hand, and glad I did, because, I probably would have been missing an eye. I've had owls swoop at me before, but none ever almost connected like this one did. What happened was I usually wear a billed cap with a stocking cap over it, but being so cold I had a face mask and stocking cap on and the billed hat was too much bother. So while I was calling on my last series of a bunny getting the business I had heard a twig snap across the spring hole in the cedars. I figured it might be a critter coming in cautiously so I hit my squeaker and BAM!!! The fury of death on wings was in my face. I figure with my eye watering that it glistened in the moonlight and no bill on my hat to hide it gave him an easy target. My calling partner was like what the **** was that, while the angel of rabbit death hovered over us trying to figure out if he could still take me. It was a good thing we had heavy insulated cover alls on or our soaked pants would have froze to the ground. Now I always have a billed cap on while night hunting making sure my eyes are shielded from above. You just never know who your going to invite for dinner.
 Sneaky little Red, or atleast he thought he was.
Thirty-five below zero moonlight coyote, those puppy kiyi's where just too much for him to bear.

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