By Tim E. Hovey | California
My 11 ½-year-old daughter Jessica, has been a licensed California hunter since May of 2013. Despite taking her out on a few hunts since then, she had yet to take her first animal.
During Christmas break, the two of us decided that we'd head out for a father/daughter, overnight hunting trip, just the two of us. She is an excellent shot and I knew if I could put a coyote in front of her, she would take care of the rest.
On day two of our trip, I found a great looking spot to start off our day of calling. Two hills created a shallow canyon that emptied out to a flat area that stretched for over a mile. The wind was perfect and sitting half way up one of the hills would put the sun at our backs.
We quietly hiked to the shady portion of the hill and got ready. I set Jessica up with my Ruger .204 and her shooting sticks. I was shooting my Remington .22-250 as back up. The caller was about 50 yards in front us and anything coming in would be looking straight into the sun. I glanced over to Jessica and she gave me a thumbs up. I nodded and told her to stay alert.
The Foxpro call filled the canyon with high-pitched, rodent death. We both scanned the area carefully looking for movement. After about two minutes, I spotted a fluffy white object bouncing in quickly out at 600 yards. My heart jumped. I slowly turned to Jessica and told her we had one coming in. I could see she was excited. I had her slowly move her set up a bit left to intercept the approaching coyote.
The coyote was bounding in as fast as the animal could run. Jessica finally spotted him coming quickly at about 300 yards out. I knew for her to have a chance this animal needed to slow way down.
At around 150-yards, I dropped the volume on the call. The coyote kept coming, but slowed to a quick trot. At 120-yards, I muted the sound from the caller. The instant silence only added to the tension. I quietly asked Jessica is she was on him. She answered, "Yes!" At 90-yards I let out a bark and the coyote slammed on the brakes. He stopped and looked up at us on the hill, right into the sun.
I was watching him through the scope of my rifle. "If you have the shot, take it," I whispered. Jessica squeezed the trigger and hit the coyote just left of center chest and he fell over dead at 90 yards.
We tried to keep calling, but Jessica was way too excited. We hiked down and picked up her prize. We were supposed to hunt our way home, but we had photos to take and a hide to take care of. It doesn't get any better than making memories with your daughter. Congratulations, Jessica!
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