2018 coyote count started today

mcseal2

Veteran member
Mar 1, 2011
1,163
166
midwest
I got a pair of coyotes today. We had a heifer prematurely abort a calf today and I saw a coyote circling trying to get at the calf while feeding. I got a clear angle and dropped it at 220yds with my 25-06 and a 100gr Ballistic tip. It was sitting on it's butt and broadside looking at the heifer.

I got done in time to make 3 sets calling after work. The first came up empty, and I screwed up the second. I got up after 19 minutes thinking the stand was over and wanting to get 2 more sets in before dark, and a coyote immediately started barking. He may have been an educated one that wouldn't commit, or just a late one. I barked back and mimicked him for several minutes until he went silent, and then sat for another 10 minutes in case he snuck in. I ran a real quiet vole squeak for a few seconds, off for a minute, 10 seconds just in case I could make him curious enough to pop out.

I had time for one quick set after that and set up prone on a terrace overlooking a big brome field. I had the call 60yds out from me. I howled right off since time was short, then did 3 minutes of vole squeaks on low volume. I then went to a kiyi and got a female to show up. She was going to circle really wide of me as she showed up while the call was on mute. I got it off mute before she got downwind and she came in at a run. I shot her 21yds from the call when she finally hit the brakes. She was quartering toward me and the 25-06 made a mess on the exit after penetrating that much coyote. I thought shots might be getting long for the AR since I'm hunting spots I've already hunted and coyotes are getting smarter now so I went to the bigger gun. Today had plenty of wind too. I might have to go back to the AR though, the guy I give my coyotes too would appreciate smaller holes than the second one had. I could load up some more 100gr Sirocco II bullets too, those seem to drop coyotes without the big holes but they are a pretty expensive bullet for coyotes and foul the rifle pretty quick.

I ended up with 36 total for 2017, I missed a 180yd shot with the AR a few days before the new year. I had a coyote sneak in from an unexpected angle and spotted him sitting there at last light. I had to make a big move and got spotted. He didn't leave but I didn't know if I could make another move into a more comfortable shooting position. I ended up shooting while leaning backward holding myself with my core muscles, not leaning forward into the bipod like I prefer. I pulled the shot to the right I think. I was due for a miss, I was 10 for 10 with the AR before that. I can shoot but I can't call that streak exactly normal.
 

buckbull

Veteran member
Jun 20, 2011
1,546
483
Always like your yote stories. The calf incident reminds me of a time I was bowhunting near the edge of a pasture and I could see a cow that had a stuck calf. The coyotes were eating the calf while half of it was still in the cow. Most barbaric thing I have ever seen.
 

mcseal2

Veteran member
Mar 1, 2011
1,163
166
midwest
Always like your yote stories. The calf incident reminds me of a time I was bowhunting near the edge of a pasture and I could see a cow that had a stuck calf. The coyotes were eating the calf while half of it was still in the cow. Most barbaric thing I have ever seen.
Thanks, I like telling them once it gets dark and I can't be out shooting them! I think I'm going to head out again about 4, got ranch chores done pretty early today.

When I was just old enough to ride my own horse and not slow Dad down I remember riding with him at daylight one morning checking cows during calving. We spooked a group of coyotes out of a draw as we rode up. Down in the draw a cow had been trying to calve and the calf was really big. She was paralyzed on the back half and couldn't stand up and the coyotes had been eating on her. It was really gruesome, and made me understand why Dad shot coyotes every chance he got. I've seen similar situations a few times over the years but luckily not for a long while. As the cattle genetics have improved and become easier to track calving issues like that have become really uncommon for us.

After a ranch a few miles west of us sold all their sheep the coyotes concentrated there needed a new food source. Some of them showed up at our place during calving I think. Those coyotes had a system to distract the llamas they used for coyote control in the sheep pastures. The smaller female coyote would distract the llama while the bigger male drug the lamb off the other direction. I shot the male coyote out of 2 pairs that spring as they tried to do that with cows and calves. Both times the cow had calved on top of a ridge where dragging the calf a short distance off the back side got it out of sight and headed downhill where it was easier to drag faster. The problem has diminished with time as those coyotes have died out, but it still happens. I'm glad we never had a larger pack figure it out.

I have lots of stories like that. Coyotes are an amazingly intelligent and adaptable animal I can't help but respect. I can't blame coyotes for being coyotes or hate them for doing what they have adapted to do, but they sure need kept in check. I was listening to an old podcast on my phone while waiting for a water tank to fill this morning where they interviewed the coyote calling champion Al Morris. He said that even if 75% of the adult coyotes are removed from an area in a year, the remaining 25% can have enough pups to put the total number of adults the following year back to the same. I read a study years ago that universities in TX, NE, and ND if I remember right did that said the same thing except they came up with 80%. Guess I better keep shooting them!
 

mcseal2

Veteran member
Mar 1, 2011
1,163
166
midwest
Well I'm up to 5 now for 2018.

I called a week ago Saturday with a couple guys on ground they had permission on. I even got to take the whole day, my wife volunteered to run the feed truck out and fed cows in the morning. My daughter is 2.5 and starting to like to go with my wife or I so she can give the cows orders, sing them songs, everything 2yr olds do. It's pretty hilarious at times.

I killed a hard charger with the AR on the 2nd stand of the morning. It hung up on the first sound at a half mile out of sight from me. As soon as I changed sounds the guy who was watching it said it came as hard as it could. I finally got it barked at enough to stop it about 20yds from the call, 80yds from me. I shot it in the chest and dropped it. The wind kept changing on us and a couple stands later it switched at the wrong time and we had a pair sit down and bark at us from the timber, they smelled us and never showed. They barked and I barked back at them trying to get them to go up the hill on the far side and look at least. It didn't work. It seldom does at that point for me. The next stand got a real old male to come in to rabbit distress. The guys I was with aren't nearly as particular about finding cover to call from as I usually am and one of the guys got spotted on an open hillside moving his rifle. He made a great 300yd shot when the coyote stopped and took a look though after spooking. Things slowed down for a while during the middle of the day but mid afternoon we got a group of 4 to come in. One came hard to the call and 3 started circling downwind at 350yds. I wanted to get a shot at one of the far ones while one of the other guys took the close one but it didn't work out. The far ones went out of sight and the hard charger kept coming. One of the other guys and I both shot at the same time, dropped him about 12yds from the call, 40yds from me. We ended up having 8 respond and killing 3. We never missed one, just had the two smell us and the 4 come in together that didn't work out for multiples.

This afternoon I spotted a coyote from my driveway when heading in from doing chores. I grabbed the 204 from the house and got a good rest on my flatbed that was parked out front. I dropped him when he stopped at my bark with the 40gr Superformance load I was shooting the other day. I have had some bad luck with that bullet so I seldom use it on coyotes anymore, but it sure drops them when you miss bone and hit vitals. That's what I happened to have the 204 dialed with right now instead of the usual 45gr SP ammo. I ranged the coyote after at 337yds. There wasn't enough wind to have to hold for that. The little V max at 3900fps gets right out there, I held top of the back with a 2" high at 100yd zero and hit about 3" below the spine.

I put a different scope on my AR last week. I went with a Leupold 3.5-10x40 VX3i with the B&C reticle. My 223 load isn't fast enough to match up with the varmint or predator reticles very well so I went this route. I zeroed it at 1.5" high at 100yds, then put it on a friend's bench and shot his 300yd target and fine tuned my zero so my 300yd crosshair was right last Saturday. Sunday at home I shot it at paper and horizontal water bottles at 80-200yds and made sure I didn't have to much mid-range rise. Then I got out the new bouncing polymer targets I bought and practiced sitting off the Rapid Pivot hitting them. It was darn good practice, trying to keep 2 of them rolling at the same time about 30yds apart is probably not great on AR barrels though. I let it cool after the first 10rd mag, then shot slower on the next couple. Those targets are lots of fun and darn hard to beat for shooting practice.

This evening my daughter and I watched an old Les Johnson video I bought on Ebay. Every time a coyote would come in she would holler "there comes one" and when they shot it she'd say "got him Daddy". It was fun. She got out her toy AR and shot my coyote decoy when we got done while blowing on one of my old closed reed calls. We have to much fun when mom goes on a work trip.
 

mcseal2

Veteran member
Mar 1, 2011
1,163
166
midwest
Shot 4 today, partners killed 3. Hunted a contest and one guy got 3 singles early in the day, I got a triple on one stand. They came in together and I killed one at 60yds when they came in hard, rolled the 2nd at 120yds and the third at 170 as it bailed out. The 2nd two were running wide open and I was lucky and my lead was right. I was stoked to say the least. I used my 243 with 85gr bullets after we lost one hit with the AR. It wasn't the AR's fault but I stuck with what was working. I got another later in the day at 90yds at a dead run also. Best day of calling I'd ever had. It's so much fun when things go right. We had 10 respond and crippled and lost one, despite hitting him with a 243 and AR, and missed one. It got to the mid 60's today and it got slow once it warmed up.

My AR is still my gun of choice but the 243 is the killer once the wind picks up. The bullets I use have been backordered for months so I started the week with 12, had 9 left for the hunt after checking the zero. I sure hope they come back soon.
 
Last edited:

mcseal2

Veteran member
Mar 1, 2011
1,163
166
midwest
I have gotten, 32 on the trapline this year. Snares and footholds. Pulling the last of the sets tonight
That's doing darn good. I haven't trapped much in recent years since I love calling them so much but used to with my Grandpa. Trapping is definitely the best way currently available to drop coyote numbers. Trapping teaches you valuable lessons that carry over to all methods of control, but I can't touch the results the trappers around here can reach.
 
Last edited:

hunttrap

Active Member
Jan 22, 2016
208
74
Eastern Nebraska
Nailed another one in a Snare when I pulled them the other night. Had a person contact me about setting in the grove, where they are harassing their horses. Id suspect I'll have a few more as the week progresses.
 

Triple BB

Active Member
Jun 22, 2013
290
15
Wyoming
A friend of mine is a licensed aerial gunner here in Wyoming. Him and his brother have shot over 200 digs in the last month and a half. That includes several 20 dog days. There are three wolves roaming the Muddy Mtn area and they've been specifically trying to find them without success. Last year I spent several days picking up dead dogs on my snow machine. Haven't had time this year.
 

mcseal2

Veteran member
Mar 1, 2011
1,163
166
midwest
A friend of mine is a licensed aerial gunner here in Wyoming. Him and his brother have shot over 200 digs in the last month and a half. That includes several 20 dog days. There are three wolves roaming the Muddy Mtn area and they've been specifically trying to find them without success. Last year I spent several days picking up dead dogs on my snow machine. Haven't had time this year.
Your friend has my dream job! I first read about the aerial gunners when I was in high school and did a paper on them. I love ranching but that always looked like the greatest job ever. I started keeping track of my coyotes several years back, and estimating my count from the earlier years I think I'd be somewhere around 480 coyotes in my life. Hunting them from the air might not be considered sporting by many, but it sure looks like fun to me. Knowing how fast coyotes can re-populate controlling them isn't all about being sporting anyway. I love calling them around here but I will usually get 30-40 a year and I know trappers that get well over 100. Other methods are needed to control the population, they get smart to calling before you can get them thinned down to far in any one area.

I listened to a podcast recently where Al Morris was interviewed. He said that in one study 80% of the fawns killed by coyotes were buck fawns. They concluded that the doe fawns pee behind their beds while the male fawns pee in their bed and lie in it. When coyotes jumped the fawns they almost always followed the male instead of the female due to that scent. One more reason to shoot more coyotes.
 

mcseal2

Veteran member
Mar 1, 2011
1,163
166
midwest
I got a little more detail on last weekend's hunt here, took this from my coyote journal entry I made on the day. I was to tired to write it all Saturday night.

I was asked to enter a little local contest by a friend so we got a 3 man team together for it. We ended up winning with 7 coyotes and called in 10 total. For this area this late in the year that's a pretty darn good day. The best day a group I was with had ever had before was a 5 coyote day following an ice storm so it was my personal best day.

We kinda ignored the wisdom of finding stands close together to decrease driving time and just hunted each of our best spots we hadn't already hunted to hard. We spend 40 minutes between 8:30 and 9:10 driving across the county but got 3 coyotes on the ground in those 2 areas. All those coyotes came as singles and circled in checking the wind pretty hard on the way in. After that we had a bit of a pattern found for what they liked that day and made more shorter stands as we hunted toward the check-in town. Our next stand we got busted and had a coyote bolt back out, but he stopped at 200yds to bark at us. One of my partners hit him with his 243 just as I squeezed the trigger on my AR, and he flipped over we thought dead. We really thought we had both connected, I saw my partner's bullet hit through my scope. Going down there we found he had dropped off a bank and found just a few blood spots but no coyote. We spent a while checking the draw to make sure we couldn't recover him but found nothing else. I got lucky in the next spot and killed a triple. It was my first triple ever, I've got doubles and a quad but never a triple. I shot one coyote as he stopped 60yds from me and 20yds from my call/decoy. The others bolted across the ditch instead of back down it, and I rolled the 2nd at 120yds and the 3rd at 170yds. I'd switched to my custom 243 built off a Ruger M77 with 85gr bullets as the wind was picking up. I shoot a lot but won't deny there was a lot of luck involved there. Things slowed down after that. We called and missed one coyote about 4pm and got another about 45 minutes later. It came bombing in hard from an unexpected direction and my buddy missed it at 30yds. I also missed as it smoked by me, I was prone at the time and trying to lead it wasn't working well, but I rolled him at 90yds after I got to my knees. I was set up lying over a pond dam to shoot a grassy ditch far below me.

We had a great time and got better at hunting together. I did all the calling and really didn't plan to shoot much. I'd planned to take hard chargers while another guy took the downwind, and the 3rd guy watched our backs for anything coming behind us. I almost never have 2 other guys, seldom have 1 other hunter with me. I almost always hunt solo. Some of the places we hunted I'd left alone because they are so hard to hit solo. The downwind guy got the first 3 coyotes of the day and hit the one we lost, I got the next 4. Only one tried to come in behind us and it was the one that we missed.
 

Chase0621

Member
Nov 27, 2016
55
0
Hawaii
mcseal you got me interested in coyote hunting after reading your stories. I just bought a FoxPro inferno and a decoy and have went out a few times. already I have not seen any yet but I'm pretty sure my buddy and I have called one in but we set up in a really brushy/ thick area and could not see it visually, but we did hear something come in really close then circle us.

Anyways I been trying to hunt public land in North Carolina but have not had any luck there I'm going to keep trying and start knocking on peoples doors that have farm/cattle land and hopefully get some luck.
 

mcseal2

Veteran member
Mar 1, 2011
1,163
166
midwest
Good luck and keep after it, it takes time to get it figured out and sure doesn't work every time. This is a tough time of year to as mating season is in full swing here. I'm having much less success since my last post. Using howls and mating sounds coyotes often seem to come in slower so I have to make longer sets too. It makes sense that most coyotes would more cautiously approach another coyote where they might have to fight than approach a screaming rabbit to eat. I'd approach a Big Mac more aggressively than I would a Big Dude who might try to kick my you know what!

If you hunt with a buddy try to put him downwind. I often have a 2nd guy or 3rd guy a couple hundred yards or more downwind to catch ones that circle in out of sight. I think it's more important than ever this time of year.
 

mcseal2

Veteran member
Mar 1, 2011
1,163
166
midwest
Well #12 did die tonight but no great story. He made the mistake of stopping within range of the vehicle between stands, he thought he was far enough away from me to be safe stopping to look back but I didn't! It's more fun to call them in but we will be calving in 2 weeks and I'll take them how I can. I actually saw one there at 3pm this afternoon while hauling hay but he took off instantly and the calling stand I tried there when I got done at 4:30 didn't work. I think maybe the coyotes 400yds from my house that are still living are educated on calling? I spotted and shot him there after my first 2 stands calling while heading to a new area.

I bought a Sako L579 243 a couple years ago that I carry in my overhead rack in that vehicle because the 22" barrel doesn't try to rub holes in my headliner like a 24" barreled gun will. I think this rifle could tell some stories if I knew the history, one side of the stock is faded out and the metal of the muzzle (not quite into the crown) on one side is worn off at an angle from riding on a truck seat with the barrel against the floorboard. Maybe it was never in a window rack and just rode the seat, when I met the guy to buy it he pulled it off his truck seat to show it to me. It was a truck gun long before I owned it. I removed the classic K4 Weaver that was just to blurry to use anymore and stuck a VXIII Leupold 4.5-14x40 on it and it showed it could still shoot. I had the trigger worked over, the stock bedded and barrel floated after it proved it was worth sinking a little money into with it's initial accuracy. My gunsmith kind of laughed at me for sinking money into a rifle that looked like that but he knew if I was spending money it shot. It shoots most anything I feed it under 1" but really likes 90gr Accubonds. They exit all coyotes but make a pretty small exit no matter the angle. I had my 204 in my Eberlestock pack I carry use to carry my giant FoxPro Prairie Blaster 3 in the back seat but the Sako was quicker to get on target when I spotted him. The 204 does a great job on coyotes unless I have to shoot through heavy grass, so when I use it calling I always have a bigger rifle in the truck for targets of opportunity that I might have to shoot through big grass to kill. I get a kick out of using a truck gun with history and am kinda glad I'm not the only one who would treat a Sako quality rifle like it was meant to be used. Since it was already beat up when I got it I don't have to worry about beating it up I guess.

Even though that rifle doesn't have a long history with my family, I think when I pass it down to a nephew in a few years it will become an heirloom. In our area where coyotes and whitetail are the biggest game a tackdriving 243 with a premium bullet is a tough package to top. Shoot it a lot and learn to shoot it well and the rifle will never be the weak link. I will miss that rifle when that day comes, but I will get a kick out of it being a truck gun for a youngster and continuing it's legacy. I will make sure he knows that if he ever decides to sell it I get first chance!
 

mcseal2

Veteran member
Mar 1, 2011
1,163
166
midwest
I got busy and didn't keep up on the stories, but I shot #28 for the year while baling prairie hay today. He wanted to hunt mice in the windrows and I happened to have a 223 in the truck. If the fall is good it might be a record year. It's really dry here, worst drought I remember so the grass is short and the coyotes don't have as many hiding spots. I just as well get some good out of the drought.
 

mcseal2

Veteran member
Mar 1, 2011
1,163
166
midwest
Come on out. It's not that I see coyotes every day though, just that I spend every day working where coyotes live and then call a lot after work.

#29 died Tuesday on my way back from helping a neighbor ship his yearling steers. Apparently this young coyote was to enthralled with the mouse he was digging for to run when my truck stopped, horse stomped around in the trailer, and I got my Mossberg MVP 223 on him. He ignored me for probably 45 seconds and dug facing straight away from me before turning to enough of a quartering away angle I felt safe shooting. The 55gr V max stomped him.