From The Readers: That Sneaking Feeling

California hunter overcomes chaotic surprise, bags largest coyote he's ever taken.
From The Readers: That Sneaking Feeling

Sam Meredith | California

PX LOGOOn a foggy February morning, my brother and I set out on a new territory adventure to do our part to lure in the elusive canis latrans [North American coyote]. The area was 1,000+ acres parcel very heavily wooded and nestled up to a river. On the first stand, the conditions were perfect — no wind, fog with 200-yard visibility, and plenty of cover for us to blend with the habitat. We set up at right angles from each other with a drainage basin at our backs, which gave us a perfect 270-degree field of view. We set up the FOXPRO Spitfire and Fox Jack decoy 20 yards to our right.

The calling sequence started with the soft volume of bunny blues, and I increased the volume incrementally with time. After 10 minutes of pure solitude, no highway noise, no birds, just dead silence, we heard a twig snap behind us and we both looked at each other with a “WTF?" expression. I turned my head slowly and discovered the largest coyote I had ever laid eyes on!!! The hair on the back of my neck raised and my heart-rate and adrenaline jumped from relaxed to uncontrolled chaos!

That furry creature was 20 yards away, crouching down with his eyes locked on to the Fox Jack decoy.  I slowly grabbed my Benelli Nova 12-guage shotgun and contorted my body to get the bead on him. By the time I had a twisted-body shot, I stared in disbelief that he was deviously stretched, sniffing at the Fox Jack decoy.  I immediately took the shot high 20 yards away to avoid destroying my e-caller, yet my Carlson Coyote choke pattern did not connect. After the shot, he rolled down the basin and quickly got up at the bottom. Meanwhile, I racked another shell into the chamber and dispatched a load of four buck at the huge wiley as he bolted up the opposite side of the basin.  He dropped like a lead balloon.

Later that day we connected with another coyote at 67 yards using a similar setup, but the large male was the biggest I’ve ever taken.

The summary on this hunt was an expectation of success with the familiar surprise of never knowing exactly how it will turn out.

Embrace that "sneaking feeling" in every hunt!

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