The screaming started off quietly as the weary sun sank behind the evergreen Juniper trees loaded with ripe lavender berries. Keeping my head on a swivel, my eyes scanned the strangling-thick terrain in front of me. My camo-clad hands clutched a Benelli 12 gauge as it rested comfortably across my legs at the ready. I glanced quickly at my AR-15 to be sure I'd remember to open the scope caps. Back to scanning. Then a rustling, panting sound behind me caused me to freeze mid scream. I felt the morbid glare of yellow eyes upon me. Moving closer still, I could smell the carrion on his breath. I quickly swung the barrel to his position as I switched the safety to red. The large hungry coyote turned inside out and made a run for it. Lightning and thunder crashed through the choke tube as the copper-plated lead hit the coyote square. I slid the open reed call back into my mouth and began to kiyi. Fur flashed to my right as I noticed a second coyote for the first time. To my dismay, this coyote wasn't coming, but going. I laid the Benelli down with my right hand while grabbing the AR with my left. I began to "woof" using my voice as I shouldered the rifle and found fur in the glass. My trembling finger caressed the trigger as the coyote stopped. The bullet struck the coyote high in the shoulder dropping him dead right there (DRT).
|Check out Tom's tips on how to set up with both a shotgun and rifle while on stand.|
Predator hunting is the ultimate Chess game. It takes more brains than brawn to strategically place your pieces in order to consistently produce results. The more you practice with your calling equipment, the more you'll learn how to utilize that equipment effectively for the best results. My experience as a predator-hunting guide has taught me a lot about my equipment, especially my firearms. Which is why I carry two guns on every stand. It's not always easy, but it's always worth it. Discipline is key because you never know when you'll be shooting 10 yards, 100 yards, or if you're lucky, both.
Start preparations to carry both guns by putting a sling on each gun. I prefer a rubber sling that prevents slippage for hands free carry to your stand location. I also use a small calling chair with a backrest for comfort and stability. By utilizing shooting sticks on your rifle, it can rest at your side at the ready. Put the rifle on the sticks and set it aside out of your way but within reach. Then sit down in your chair with your legs stretched out in front of you while resting the shotgun in your lap. The barrel should run across your legs while your ankle keeps the muzzle off the ground. I prefer to have the shotgun in my hands with my thumb on the safety switch for hard chargers. When you need a shotgun, you need it NOW. There’s always time to switch to the rifle if you’ve got a curious predator outside shotgun range. Predators are professionals. They’ve had millennia to hone their skills as hunters. Their vision is better than ours, their hearing is better, not to mention their superior sense of smell. They have the advantage. By carrying two guns on every stand, you can begin to level the playing field and gain the edge over your quarry. Check mate!
Tom's Needed Equipment:
|Claw Rifle Slings||Cabela's Gobbler Lounger||Rubber Gun Snubbers|
Tom Austin is a professional predator hunting guide, published outdoor author, and wildlife videographer and photographer. He believes there’s no greater thrill than successfully hunting and harvesting the predator species, which reside at the top of the food chain. For the past 26 years, Tom’s passion has been calling predators and because of that passion, Predator Strikeforce was born. As owner and operator of Predator Strikeforce, Tom has daily opportunities to hone his skills “hunting the hunter.” Predator Strikeforce allows individuals of all ages, both male and female, the opportunity to get up close and personal with the hunters of the animal kingdom. Individuals who embark on a predator hunting adventure with Predator Strikeforce have an opportunity to “get their 15 minutes of fame” through the film.
Tom writes editorials for AR Guns & Hunting and authors a monthly column for Predator Xtreme magazine titled “Caller for Hire.” He literally hunts predators from Canada to Mexico and every hilltop and valley floor in between. For Tom, predator hunting isn’t just an obsession; it’s a way of life.