Coyote hunting: A blast that saves fawns, makes $$

By Tom Claycomb February 07, 2014 08:40 am

Varmints are a blast to hunt, plus this year their furs are worth a bit. If there are two shooters one of you ought to carry a shotgun loaded with HEVI-Shot Dead Coyote loads. (Tom Claycomb photo)
Varmints are a blast to hunt, plus this year their furs are worth a bit. If there are two shooters one of you ought to carry a shotgun loaded with HEVI-Shot Dead Coyote loads. (Tom Claycomb photo)

There is a whole subculture out there in the outdoor world: varmint hunters. There’s a reason: It’s a blast. 

They have at least two or three magazines that I can name right fast dedicated just to varmint hunting. If you’ve never tried to call in a predator you’re missing a thrill. Plus, coyotes are death on fawns so it is good to thin them out. 

One week I was coyote hunting in Kansas and the next in Texas. Today let’s talk about the Texas hunt. We started at daylight and set up along a fence line between two coastal Bermuda hay pastures. To the east was a thick post oak forest.

 We set our call and decoy out 30 to 40 yards in the pasture, sprayed some Tink’s Predator Mist on the grass around our decoy and on the brush by the fence row. We ducked back into the brush the best that we could, waited a few minutes and then turned on the howler. After less than a minute we switched to a wounded rabbit. My buddy had an AR .308 and I had a shotgun loaded up with HEVI-Shot Dead Coyote loads.

The call hadn’t been going five minutes and my compadre hit his squeaker. To my left a coyote came in hitting Mach I. He ran within 10 yards of the decoy, got nervous and ducked tail and zipped back the other way.

I’m always nervous to hog shots even though I had the shotgun. Buddy crawls over. “Why didn’t you shoot?” Me: “I didn’t want to hog the first shot.” Him: “That’s why you have the shotgun. He was going 20 mph.” Me: “No, actually he was going about 30-40 mph.” Him: “There’s another dog.”

Another coyote ran out of the brush 50 yards from where the other one had entered. He ran out along the fence line, doubled back and then made a fatal mistake and stopped for a brief moment about 125 yards out.  

We went over and looked at him. Wow, what a big yote. I hesitate to throw out weights but he was big. We took pics and then moved back in the woods to an opening and set up again.

No coyotes came in so we then started up the call with a bunch of busy bird-calling trying to lure in a bobcat. Cats take at least 30 minutes to come in as the norm so you have to be patient and really watch the brush. No one came in. Time to jump. 

We then moved to another pasture. There was a fence line on the west side of the pasture that had a line of cedar trees in the fence line that we were going to hide behind. As we were setting up our decoys we looked up and a coyote was working the north fence line 

We slapped up the shooting sticks and I told him to hit the call right fast but before he could I spotted the coyote 50 yards farther down the fence line on our side of the fence. He skipped along for 50 feet and then stopped. 

After a 150-200-yard shot and we ran over to look at him. My gosh. The other coyote was as big as I’ve ever seen but this one was at least 8 pounds heavier. The cameraman had to snap a quick pic because I couldn’t hold him up for more than three seconds.   

We went back up to the truck to grab the camera and there was another coyote. He slipped away. Wow, this was rough hunting. First set-up, five minutes. Third one, 2-3 seconds. Doesn’t get much better than that.