Thursday, May 21, 2009

Hunting the coyote

Stalking this coyote has been interesting. I'm pretty impressed by this critter.

I've been getting up at 3am and out at the farm at 3:30am sitting on the roof of an outbuilding waiting for the coyote to show up. I've been doing that for a week now. The coyote showed up this morning at 4:34 am. It wasn't very light, and I couldn't really see it well as it trotted up the road in front of my property. Its head was a light brown/tan, and its butt was darker, so at first I thought it was a domestic dog, and before I realized it was a coyote it was gone.

I'm a patient fellow though. I shifted so that I was looking straight downwind, and sure enough, about 45 minutes later, there the coyote was. The critter had made a complete circle around my property to enter at the point farthest from the buildings, and right downwind.

I could see the light colored head but not much else, as it trotted here and there, gradually working its way through the pasture towards where the turkeys are nesting. I was surprised to see it walk within 20' of sleeping pigs without any reaction by either. As it got closer I brought the rifle up slowing and watched it through the scope of the rifle. When it was about 200 yards away though, it raised its nose, sniffed a couple of times, and then turned around and started back the way it came. I'm sure that it scented me.

The coyote was moving away from me at a slight angle, and presented a pretty small target at 300 yards. I took a shot BOOM! and the coyote jumped -- I believe that the bullet went under the belly -- and then paused as the echo of the gunshot reflected off the trees in front of it. It must have seen like there were two shots; one from behind, one from in front. It started running at right angles, from left to right across my field, and I took another shot BOOM!, working the bolt quickly, and then another BOOM! and it was gone. I went and looked for blood or body, but found neither. I think I missed clean.

I don't think that this will deter this particular coyote. I'm going to shift location so that I'm closer to where it appears, so that I'm not upwind of where it usually comes in.


Anonymous said...

I've had a wiley coyote problem in our free-range layer flock. Mine was making daylight raids. I've got a pair of pyrennes pups and am upgrading our fencing.

May I suggest foothold traps? Scent lock up, place/stake a hen or chicken (we use spare roosters) and surround it with a minefield of traps. We also use cedars to funnel in. Just a suggestion.

Beats staying up at night.

Throwback at Trapper Creek said...

Electric fencing from Premier works on coyotes and dogs here. Doesn't keep bobcats and cougars out, but works good on other poultry predators, and ours is powered with a low impedance charger and 12 volt battery.