Every summer since I was little our family has gone camping for several days in the Cache National Forest of Northern Utah. I have many a great memory of these camping trips. Now that I have my own family we have continued the tradition with our own children and my parents who are now Grandpa and Grandma.
The area that we go camping in always had a lot of coyotes but a couple of years back some pretty extensive reduction of their numbers happened. I believe this came by the hands and helicopters of government employees in which I was happy to see because the deer numbers were getting pretty low at the time. Since then I have seen little sign and usually only when there is a sheep herd within a couple miles. I still always throw in a rifle and caller just in case I happen to find some coyotes but knowing most likely there may not be any in the area.
The first three days of camping this year I was unable to find any coyote tracks or scat within the general area we were camped. On Sunday night about a mile away across the canyon a male coyote surprised me and started doing series after series of challenge yelps, howls and barks for well over an hour straight. It appeared that he was very upset with either another coyote or my wife's little yapper dog that we had with us. Whatever the case, it was Sunday and I have a personal belief that I should not snuff the life out of furry woodland creatures on Sunday. Oh, how I was ever so tempted to sneak past my wife, go across the canyon and silence that song dog... That night I strategized over and over how I was going to out smart him in the morning.
Early the next morning I grabbed my 243 WSSM Winchester Model 1885 single shot rifle, some optics and my homemade DIY electronic predator caller and snuck out of camp before anyone else was up. I slipped into a sagebrush draw that looked across the main canyon directly across from where I had heard the coyote the night before. I figured that at best I could get the coyote to come out of the pines and quaking aspens on the other side of the canyon and look across from some cliffs that formed a gorge like canyon. This would offer a 300 yard shot and if I was lucky I would be able to get him to cross the gorge and offer a closer shot on my side of the canyon, that is, if I could see him in the sagebrush before he winded me.
My Winchester Model 1885, 243 WSSM, a homemade electronic coyote caller and the two coyotes I just took. I'm wearing the New Mossy Oak Break-Up Infinity camo pattern which is not too bad of a pattern. Treestand and Duck Blind are my two favorite camo patterns right now.
Once in place, I set my DIY Homemade Electronic Coyote Predator Caller to repeat a series of challenge barks in much the same manner the coyote had been doing the night before. I figured this coyote was obviously upset with someone in his turf and a little challenge might be just the trick to tick him off and let down his guard. I started the caller up and it wasn't 30 seconds and to my right on the same side of the canyon that I was on two coyotes were coming in full throttle through the sagebrush. As they crossed through a small draw and were out of sight I repositioned myself and set up on my shooting sticks. They both stopped at about 100 yards across the draw I was in and I could only see the one so I dropped the hammer on him and down he went.
The sound of the exploding bullet on the coyote and the electronic caller still playing, I think confused the second coyote and she started running parallel to me at about a 100 yards crossing down into the draw I was in. Just before she made it to the thick sage in the bottom of the draw she stopped to look back up at the challenge barking coming from my caller. I was ready and dropped the hammer on her for a double, with a single shot rifle, in less than two minutes of calling.
At first, I figured that the coyotes had to be young uneducated coyotes to come in so fast however they were an adult male and female pair. This makes sense because the challenge barks I was making probably would scare off the younger coyotes.
I was using Winchester factory loaded 243 WSSM 55g Ballistic Tip bullets that chronograph at 4240 fps from this rifle. The coyotes were 95 and 97 yards away according to my Bushnell Elite 1500 range finder.