Wade Chandler | Texas
I was growing increasingly excited while walking to our spot. Dew-soaked shoes, sweat starting to fall, wind was good, sun was better — I knew it would be a good stand.
With each passing second, the excitement level grew. Then across the green field our second customer for the day appeared! Like a shark to its prey, he charged in directly. Kelly Jackson commanded the dogs to go after it, and both sprung into action at the same time. As the angered predator worked his way down wind of the caller I knew it would be mine at the command of Kelly. He worked his way in close and the dogs gave chase as he fled down wind. As he turned, Kelly said if he stops, take him, so I was absolutely ready as the dogs returned to us. And just as I settled in to my stock the coyote let out a couple of barks!!
Kelly and I have become friends through other ventures I am currently pursuing. We decided through phone calls and texts that he would come see us and bring his dogs. Excited was an understatement of the century. There are two names I recall hearing when I started predator hunting: FOXPRO’s Kelly Jackson and Clay Reid. They’re two living Texas legends, whom reputation precedes. I’ve never been hunting with decoy dogs and the opportunity to hunt with someone you consider a hero is a opportunity of a lifetime in my eyes. I don’t get nervous about much, but for this I was. Friday afternoon came too fast and work duties took me home about a hour later than anticipated. I arrived home to find Kelly waiting under a small shade tree in my yard with his dogs. I quickly ran inside, changed shirts and off we went to sneak in two stands before dark. Through all the preparation for Mr. Jackson, some amateur forgot one important detail: wind direction. First stand was a bit of a bust due to my poor planning, but Kelly was very patient. We made another stand that also produced nothing, but my nearby sites are generally hit or miss this time of year.
The next day, however, was our good day. I contacted good friend and hunting buddy Chad Walton and we had about five pretty decent stands nearby.
We saw coyotes, and Kelly smoked the first one of the morning. Chad and I unfortunately both missed some easy shots. My personal claim was a dragon fly landed on my shoulder and threw the shot.
Hunting with Kelly and his two dogs was an absolute blast. I’m not sure if our coyotes were very good for decoy dogging, but I really enjoyed it. We tried to gain as much knowledge from Mr. Jackson as possible as well as share some of our own experiences and joys of predator hunting. If there’s one thing predator hunters can do it’s share their favorite stories. I feel very honored to have spent a weekend with such an outstanding member of the predator-hunting community. My only hope is the cigars we got for him were good enough to make up for my rookie-like mistakes.