With the shotgun deer season over here in central Illinois, I was finally ready to get out and do some coyote hunting. The place I chose to go this December morning is where I bow hunt deer in October. It’s fairly thick cover consisting of brushy fencerows, an occasional hedgerow around the edge of farm fields, and patches of timber scattered about.
The conditions were perfect—a light south breeze, 22 degrees, clear and quiet. I parked the truck about a half-mile away to the north from where I planned to call. I walked to a place along the edge of a patch of timber and set up. I was expecting any coyotes to come from another patch of timber from the south, a quarter mile away. That’s where most of the howling was heard while bow hunting deer. But the coyotes could have come from just about anywhere.
With a couple scent wicks hung on branches, I sat down at the base of a tree. My Remington 11-87 was loaded with HEVI-Shot DEAD COYOTE and was lying across my lap. I picked it up and aimed out across the field to make sure it was light enough to see my bead. The quiet morning was pierced by the sound of my Dan Thompson Wind River call. A few pup howls with a couple barks between each howl greeted anything that might be listening. A few minutes later, I proceeded with a series of rabbit distress on a Sniper call. Immediately, a coyote ran across the corn stalks in front of me. I raised the gun and shot him running only 22 yards out. He came from the direction I expected. I quickly got on the Wind River call and blew a long series of ki-yi calls. There had to be another coyote out there. After about five minutes of ki-yi on and off, I went back to some rabbit in distress, first with the Sniper call and then with the Primos High Pitch Catnip. Again, I thought, there has to be another coyote out there. About fifteen minutes after the first coyote was killed, a second coyote was walking along a brushy fencerow upwind about 200 yards and looking my way. This coyote was a smart one. It didn’t take me long to realize what he was doing. He was going to circle from directly south of me, all the way around 300 yards out in the field, to get directly north of me downwind. I lip squeaked several times and he would stop and look, but he was very determined to get downwind. I lost sight of him because the edge of the timber was blocking my view, particularly an almost out of place bushy cedar tree at the edge among the lifeless hardwoods. I raised the gun and waited for what I was sure would happen. The coyote had indeed circled around to get downwind and walked along the edge of the timber towards my position, as I would see very soon. I waited patiently, and then it happened. The coyote walked past the bushy cedar and stopped. I shot him at 12 yards. The scent wicks had done their job. He never knew I was there.
The sun was just getting ready to rise. I sat there a moment and thanked the Lord for a beautiful morning and a great hunt. Then I walked out and dragged the first coyote near the second one. I was sure that one of them would be a female, but they were both males. It was a pretty good morning!
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