I knew I was going to have to hustle. The sun was dipping quickly below the horizon and I had a ways to go if I were going to make it to one of my favorite stand locations. I was very confident that if I could get there in time I’d be able to call in a coyote.
I was headed for one of my favorite spots. I’d nicknamed it Jr’s Hill because my nephew, Mark Petrik Jr., had killed his first coyote there during an antelope hunt several months before. He’d traveled all the way from Pennsylvania to kill an antelope, but seemed more excited with his coyote than the beautiful buck antelope he ended up tagging that week.
It was about a 30-minute run, but I arrived at Jr’s Hill with a few minutes of daylight left. I parked my truck in a draw and then hiked about a half mile up on top of the plateau. I placed my Foxpro in a sage bush about 50 yards away and then moved away from the call so a responsive dog could come in downwind of the call without catching my scent.
I started with the Lightning Jack call, increasing the volume as time passed and no dog appeared. After a few minutes I changed the call to Jack Rabbit in Distress. In the waning light I thought I could make out the shape of a head and two ears of a coyote right on the edge of the mesa from which I called. I turned the volume down and then took a look through my scope.
About 300 yards away I could make out a coyote peaking over the top of the mesa. It slowly started closing the distance, quartering across the plateau to get straight downwind of the call. I tracked the dog in my scope until it suddenly stopped and sat down on its haunches. The dog was still about 175 yards away and I kept hoping it would come closer. I turned the volume of the call down even more and changed the sequence, but no matter what I tried the dog wouldn’t budge.
Light was fading fast, so I got comfortable with my Ruger .223 Rem on the shooting sticks. I held the cross hairs of my Simons scope right in the center of the dog’s chest and sent a 55-grain Sierra Gameking boat tail hollow point on its way. At the shot the dog crumple on the spot. I’ve had great success with this bullet. It produces very little fur damage and knocks the dogs down.
The dog was a big male with a beautiful winter coat. Judging by the wear on his teeth he was an older dog. The setting sun in the western skies of Wyoming provided the perfect backdrop for photos of the dog I’d taken on the last stand of the day.
Mark Petrik Jr. with his first coyote.
Want to see your article in Predator Xtreme? Send us your predator hunting story or hunting tip (350 words) and one to two high-resolution digital images to email@example.com.