Last week I flew into still snowy Montana and hunted coyotes with my buddies Luke and Reed (second and third from left in picture), and with Jesse (standing) and Lance manning the cameras. We had a blast and shot 3 on film for a special show I’m putting together on the coyote/whitetail dynamic.
How many deer do coyotes kill? Do they eat adult deer as well as fawns? How might the predators affect your deer hunting in the future? Those are things we’ll discuss in the show, with the information weaved around this hunt.
It was fun and invigorating hunting. We drove out onto the plains in the dark, got the wind right, and with the huge full moon hanging in the sky, hiked a mile or more to calling spots. We snuck up onto hill vantages that overlooked huge valleys, set up and called for 30-45 minutes per sit. Reed, a hard-core coyote hunter and expert in this country, did most of the calling. He blew some mouth calls, but mostly used a Foxpro device. A mix of coyote howls, barks and yips and rabbit in distress calls worked best.
The hiking was most fun in the mornings, when the ground was frozen and the temperature was in the teens. As the day wore on and the intense spring sun rose, the snow melted and it got muddy, real muddy. Those long hikes with gumbo mud caked on our boots got tougher and dirtier. But it was darn good cardio!
Long story short, Reed called at least 10 predators that would come in to 500-800 yards and look and listen to the calls, interested. They would circle toward the downwind, and then sit or lie down. The predators are fascinating animals, and we recorded and documented cool behavior.
One dog came in close and unseen, and popped up 30 yards below us as we scanned the plains 500 yards out. We were able to kill him with 2 quick shots before he got away. Reed and Luke made fine 250-yard shots on the other two, and Jesse and Lance laid down some great footage.
Some guy saw this photo and asked: “That’s a lot of people and cameras you’re trying to hide in that open country…how did you kill any coyotes at all?” He’s right, but we pulled it off.