Stalking #26

One Happy Veteran is back with another fascinating tale of hunter versus hunted. In this installment, he finds himself tracking coyote #26. #26 has stayed one step ahead until now. Read on to find out how J.C. used his Night Optics Marauder 750 4x night vision riflescope to hunt and kill the elusive #26!

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Wednesday night crossed over into the a.m. having seen only deer and one possum. DARK, no moon, no wind, and cool for the last day of August.

At 1:45 a.m. I spied a long dark body moving quickly through medium high grass at 230 yards, to the Southeast. Its top line was flat from top of head to end of long tail. Coyote! He came out of the South gully near the middle of the r.o.w. and was heading northeast, right to left, towards the pig post. In rapid order I was following him with my glowing cross hair, waiting for him to stop. Distance was 190 yards as he slowed and began stop and go from hog bone to hog bone, searching for one he liked. Subtle stops and short moves and then he turned either towards or away from me. I waited until he was broadside again. Still slowly making short moves, then appeared to be still for a moment as I squeezed while holding high and behind his left shoulder….POW! He goes down, flops once, and is hidden in the grass. He is done!

Out 100 yards and below the line of fire stands a doe. She and two fawns had been bedded down before the shot. She got to her feet, the fawns did not. She had no idea the coyote was near and now she is frozen in her tracks, watching and listening for signs. Knowing the shot meant a coyote was near. She knew that hogs were not near because she would easily have heard them. Still uneasy, she and the fawns moved off towards the west woods.

I made my way to the coyote and found #26 to be a big, long male, the equivalent of a six foot, seven inch human. This guy was not a move in. He knew where the pig post was and was heading there quickly to hit and run.

Last week, a couple of nights before I killed #24 and #25, I had hunted until 3:30 a.m. and decided against staying until four. I was in the bunkhouse and ready to turn in and a coyote barked at me several times, not howling but three or four deep loud defensive barks. It was 4:00 a.m. and the coyote had heard me walking back to camp. He heard me enter the bunkhouse and rustle around in it. He knows me! The bunkhouse is 100 yards west of the r.o.w., the coyote barking at me was near the edge of the woods on the east side of the r.o.w., near the pig post. He sounded very close that silent night. He was saying: “I know you’re there, and to hide my fear of you I will give you warning barks….I don’t like you, you stay away from me!”

#26 was dangerous to have around. He knew my habits and could operate within them. Last night offered NO wind. I’m sure he took lots of time to make up his mind to hit the pig post. The south gully he came out of goes right through camp. He had circled camp and all the signs pointed to me not being active. I think this coyote is the one who barked at me last week. This was a high value kill.

Last night, his senses were not enough. He underestimated me!

J.C.

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