Wednesday, January 12, 2011

First Coyote of 2011

I love it when a plan comes together! This 35 pound male coyote was taken Saturday at 9:00 AM. I was hunting an area I had scouted extensively a month previous containing a large amount of coyote sign. A large granite rockfall of boulders boasted numerous well used dens and I was very confident that the morning was going to be productive. The edge of a small pond allowed me to quietly sneak into position and place my electronic call 100 yards to the NW. A gentle 3-5 mile per hour breeze blew directly in my face as I positioned myself behind a small spruce tree. I played a total of 6 repetitions of screaming snowshoe hare with a minute pause between each and an increasing volume level after every 2 sequences, ending at the max volume for the device. Suddenly I caught movement out of my left eye as two coyotes moved quickly through the underbrush and popped onto the frozen surface of the lake 15 yards from where I was sitting and downwind of the electronic call at about 85 yards.

Knowing that they were unable to catch my scent, I took my time raising the rifle and centered the cross hairs on the larger of the two dogs. I whispered "got ya" and pulled the trigger dropping the dog with a lethal round of 125 grain .30-06 Springfield from my Marlin XL7. As if shocked that it had been deceived, the other coyote stopped dead in its tracks and looked around wildly, trying to determine the shot location. Working the bolt action with heavily gloved hands containing bulky heater packs, I made the mistake of not pulling the bolt back with enough force to eject the spent cartridge. As I turned the rifle over, to drop the spent round from the receiver, a VERY luck coyote sped through the forest like it was on fire. I let out a silent chuckle at my mistake but knew that ultimately that coyote and I would meet again! Thus ends yet another wild predator hunting tale made possible because of my new best friend, the Fox Pro Spitfire.

Below are a few coyote hunting resources that I have found helpful. Even if you pursue these critters all the time the exciting thing about calling and hunting predators is that there always seems to be something new and exciting to learn. If you have any questions be sure to drop a comment and I will try my best to answer!



  1. Been waiting for the story, I look forward to my first opportunity this weekend. Just so you know, mine will be 58 pounds...

  2. DDH, Not much of a story when they just run in and commit suicide . . . kidding . . . I know you understand how much I have studied up on predator hunting over the last year to "create" that experience for myself. It was truly awesome. Can't wait to "guide" you this weekend to harvesting that 58 pound yote. Take care bud.

  3. This sounds like so much fun to me! My Dad just got a new game call for Christmas and I have been wanting to try it out on the local yote population!!

    I find it interesting that you shoot a .30-06 for this type of varmit hunting. I love a .30-06 and think it is the best overall rifle, but for this type of hunting I would have thought a smaller, faster, more flat shooting caliber would be a better fit. Something along the lines of a .22-250. Is there a specific reason that you choose to shoot the .30-06, besides the obivious reason that you can guarantee that your critter will not travel far once hit? :) I'm just interested in getting into this type of hunting and value your opinion.


  4. Great questions Trey, worthy of a future blog post but before that post officially circulates let me provide a brief explanation.

    For me the caliber selection has come down to not having the absolutely correct tool for the intended job. While it is nice to measure game recovery (blood trailing) in millimeters, it is also a challenge when you take a piece of hamburger to the taxidermist and have to hope for a miracle. My Marlin XL7 30-06 Springfield is a laser beam producing Sub MOA groups at 100 yards my two .243 single shots are currently able to produce 2 inch groups at 100 yards. Good for deer less so for coyotes at the extended range you encounter on frozen lakes and farm fields. Plus, a quick follow-up shot is more difficult with the single shot and easier with my bolt Marlin.

    Keep watching the blog, I guarantee that in the next few month a .243 TC Venture with be joining the arsenal. Why? Well, it can be effectively used for deer using the 100 grain loads and yotes with the 55 and 75 grain selections thereby increasing its effective use. Plus it will match the two guns I have for the kids incase you have to swap ammo between firearms during the apocalypse. Take care and thanks for commenting!

    BTW the .22-250 is a heck of a yote gun. If you are not planning to also use it for deer i say go for it!

  5. I can certainly understand the value of a tight group and the confidence that you have in your gun. That explains a lot. Thanks for the response.

  6. I've often questioned the 30-06 choice also...not anymore. I'm guessing you have a heavy barrel and a hard cold bore DOPE.

    ... sorry about being anonymous... once I figure out this log in system thing I won't be a stranger.

  7. Anon,

    I just purchased the Federal 110 grain Polymer tipped .30-06 Springfield rounds. Looking forward to trying them out at the range this Sunday. Lighter, faster and a higher performance round then the Remington 125 grain cores they should prove fun to shoot and be rough on the predators.

    The Marlin XL7 is one heck of a shooter right out of the box! I am currently shooting SUB MOA groups with it using the cheapest shells you can buy. No heavy barrel or other enhancements.

    My next critter to pursue is a fox. So, pulling out the single shot .243 and retiring the .30-06 for a time.

    Yes, please don't be a stranger!


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