Friday The 13th

One of our amazing customers and owner of an Argus 740 and more recently, a high spec unfilmed Marauder 750, sent us an amazing story about his experience hunting coyotes on his property on Friday, May 13th 2016! Read below, really good stuff!

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Friday the 13th
By: One Happy Veteran

No, this is not a horror story, that is, unless you are a fawn eating coyote!

It’s the middle of May and whitetail does will start dropping their fawns at any time here in Leon County. Once the fawns hit the ground, coyotes will be hunting the fawns for their breakfast, lunch and dinner. I know, because I have killed coyotes that were hunting fawns in the morning, at noon and night.

Before this week, I had killed 9 coyotes this year and thursday night at 11:05 pm I killed number ten, an unusually large bitch coyote. I spotted her near the T-post that I tie feral hog carcasses to. She gave me an easy 180 yard broadside shot and the shot was executed. Buzzards feed on the carcasses in the daytime and coyotes are attracted to the carcasses at night. My feral hog kills serve two purposes, they feed the 150 plus buzzard dependents I have and when coyotes come by, I can reduce the coyote numbers.

Now it’s friday night, 10:30 pm, the 13th of May and I am walking the 1/4 mile to my hunting stand. The moon is at the first quarter (a half moon to me) and the sky is overcast, mostly to the north. It is early in the moon cycle, the moon rise was 1:13 this afternoon, moon transit (directly overhead) was at 7:52 pm, so now the moon is farther west and quickly going away. The wind is zero to 1 mph and is not a factor. Animals don’t think I am here because I hooked up to co-op electrical power two weeks ago and my generator has not been running tonight! And it’s friday the 13th!

I enter my west side stand at 10:40 pm, arrange my hunting equipment and start scanning the north/south right-of-way that runs through wooded terrain. The r.o.w. where I hunt is 100 yards wide, 300 yards north to the summit of the mountain (my term :)), 400 yards south to my boundary fence. Across the r.o.w. I have five bulldozed openings in the woods from 180 to 230 yards deep, like spokes on a wheel. That’s a lot of area to cover and spotting the animals is the only way I get a shot.

001 number one 170 yards NorthI start scanning the area with my night vision monocular at 10:45 and immediately I spot an unidentified animal 200 yards to my left but behind the legs of one of the electrical highline towers on the r.o.w.. It moves quickly then stops, coming closer to me. Moving quicker than a deer normally does, changing direction often like a deer normally does not do. I open my north window flap and extend the barrel of my rifle towards the animal while turning on my night scope. Then the animal comes into full view from behind the tower legs, turns sideways and exposes it coyote tail! The glowing cross hair settles behind the shoulder and pow, whack, the coyote is down and out. Tonight’s hunt is now a success!

I add a replacement round to the clip of my custom AR-15 and settle back for additional action. It has been raining some lately and hog activity has picked up because of the rain. I have stopped four hogs for good in the last two weeks. Like coyotes, I never know when a hog or hogs might appear.

002 number two 225 yards NorthI scan, scan, scan, while time passes. It’s now midnight and has become darker as the moon goes lower in the western sky. Shadows from the trees have extended all the way across the r.o.w.. A few deer are feeding across the r.o.w., a coon has come across and disappeared into the woods, a Whippoorwill starts blaring out its monotonous call, over and over and over. Please stop! At 12:25 a.m. I scan north and spot movement near the summit. Once again quick movements from a gray shape moving left and right while coming towards me….coyote! My rifle goes out the window and looking through the night scope a second coyote appears behind the first. Now they stop, probably getting the scent of the dead coyote between them and me. Now one coyote turns west and walks up onto a berm that crosses the r.o.w.. The coyote stops broadside at 225 yards, the invitation is accepted and my bullet is launched. Down goes the coyote and its friend is a blur heading north over the summit from which they came.

The plan was for me to call it a night around 1 am like I had the night before. But now I have two coyotes and I have never taken three coyotes in a single hunt. I have taken three in a weekend maybe a half dozen times. Now I agree with myself to stay at least until 2 am. Once again the incessant scanning proceeds.

With night vision, when there is a big moon and night is almost like day, scanning with the monocular is fast and easy. When dark, scanning is slowed way down in order to identify questionable objects. Dark scanning is tiring and hard on the eyes.

004 number three uncoveredEventually it is 2 am and I have to fight myself to retain the focus on my quest. Scanning, resting, scanning, nodding into sleep, scanning…and then, a dark shape coming out of the woods….coyote, across the r.o.w. to my right, southeast from me, heading north towards the pig post. I open the south window flap and turn my scope on and push the rifle barrel out the window, picking up the dark shape of the coyote as he moves along the far brush line. The coyote stops, nose to the ground, probably chewing on a hog bone. The fine, amber colored cross hair is behind the shoulder. I hold on the upper half of the body knowing that bullet drop at 200 yards is 3 inches. I squeeze off the shot, hear the bullet hit and see the coyote move about six feet towards the brush. The coyote appears to go down and get up in the same instant and disappears into the brush.

I have done it, three coyotes in one hunt! I gather my equipment and head for camp. Retreiving my camera, I head out to the hunt area in my ranch truck. First I go to my last kill site and search for 15 minutes to no avail. The coyote made it into the brush which is too thick to scour in the dark with a flashlight. I then drive to the area where the other two coyotes are and search the shin high grass for an hour! I found one coyote but could not find the other so I called off the search until daylight the next morning.

After a couple hours of sleep, I headed out to search for the coyotes on my tractor with mower on the three point hitch. First I go to where the last coyote hit the brush. I waded in, the lopping shears helping with access. Then a blow fly buzzes by my head. I stop, listening intently. I hear the faint buzz of blow flys. I cut the brush towards the sound of the flys and find the coyote, completely hidden. Next I head to the deep grass and after a short search find the other missing coyote.

Three coyotes in one hunt. First time in nine years of night vision hunting. One coyote in a nights hunt, from the same stand, not using a call, is great, three is once a decade!

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