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Bark At The Moon Coyote Club

Predator Hunting Mistakes

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LEARN FROM THESE MISTAKES!


LOAD UP EARLY

Just when I thought I had my predator hunting mistakes minimized, I pulled a blunder that was quite unbelievable...

I was making an October stand to call in some early season coyotes. As I approached my set up location in the early morning darkness, I was greeted by an eerry growl of a large coyote standing merely 30 feet away. All I could do was stand and watch, however, as I had not yet put any rounds into my Remington 700 in .223! The coyote stood broadside for a few seconds and trotted off. Instantly, a second coyote filled his void and also stood broadside offering another golden opportunity. He too bounded off into the distance as I stood helpless.

LESSON LEARNED: ALWAYS LOAD YOUR RIFLE AS SOON AS YOU EXIT YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE YOU HAVE A CLOSE ENCOUNTER OF THE COYOTE KIND!


SHOOT! ALREADY

Winter 2004-05 was no different than the rest... I'd called in far more red fox than coyotes. So when the wily 'yote does show, the opportunity must not be wasted. However, on lat night last winter I successfully called in a coyote to shooting rnge and let him walk. I'd first spotlighted the coyote at approxiametely 300 yards on top of a hill. He made his way down to me and stopped at 200 yards. At this point I could have shot, but waited to see if he would approach further. He did, in fact, and came straight in to well inside 100 yards. Again, I could have shot, but the eyes kept coming and then disappeared in the rolling landscape at approxiametly 40 yards. I never saw him again and was left to sit in the still of the night to ponder how happy I would have been if I would have taken the earlier shot.

LESSON LEARNED: WHEN THE OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS, ALWAYS TAKE THE SHOT. OTHERWISE,IF SOMETHING GOES WRONG, YOU'LL BE SECOND GUESSING YOURSELF.

WHERE'D HE GO?

My 2003 predator calling season had started with a bang. We were calling in lots of fox and the coyotes were responding as well. On Saturday, January 4, I called into the wind while looking up to a ridge from the middle of a cut corn field. Suddenly I picked up the red eyes of a coyote looking my way from the top of the ridge. He made his way down to the bottom of the ridge and was now within 200 yards of me. I thought about taking the shot as I could clearly see him through the scope. No need to shoot, however, as he moved again and closed the distance to 80-90 yards. I couldn't really take a quality shot because he was really charging in at this point! Suddenly, I lost his eyes in the darkness as he approached behind a slight knoll in the field approxiametly 40 yards in front of me. That was last I saw of him! I do not know what happened to him but I can tell you that a slighly different set up location would have made for a much happier hunt.

LESSON LEARNED: WHEN HUNTING AT NIGHT, ALWAYS MAKE SURE THAT YOU HAVE AN UNOBSTRUCTED LINE OF SIGHT SO THAT YOU CAN TAKE CRITTER AT ANY POINT OF HIS APPROACH!


HERE'S LOOKING AT YOU


On December 22, 2001, I geared up for my first night time predator calling outing of the season. The conditions were favorable and I travelled over an hour to one of my favorite spots. The FoxPro digital caller had only emitted it's cottontail distress for a few seconds when a pair of eyes glowed red in my spotlight. What a way to start the season! The critter skittered towards me as I prepared for the shot. The eyes were now within 60 yards and I had a very difficult time finding them in my scope (I was using a Rem 700 in .223). To tell the truth, all I could see was some vibrating red glow. The situation was not good. Nonetheless, I took what appeared to be my best shot and the animal escaped into the night unharmed. What went wrong? Why could I not see the critter better? I noticed that my scope settings were not set appropriate for night hunting. The distance focus was off and the magnification was set at 12X versus the 6X that I prefer.

LESSON LEARNED: ALWAYS CHECK YOUR SCOPE SETTINGS BEFORE EACH HUNT!


HOW'D I MISS?


My trusty Remington 700 in .222 never lets me down. After shooting numerous prairie dogs and wood chucks during the summer I knew it would be ready for some winter predator calling.

One morning last winter (2000)I put together a fantastic "christmas eve" hunt for my first calling set up of the NYS season. My foxpro caller had been sounding off for about two minutes when I spotted two coyotes charging across the frozen field. The stopped approximetely 200 yards out and stood broadside. I has in seventh heaven as I knew that my christmas was about to come early. Having a Harris bipod to steady my Rem. .222, I squeezed off a round. To my amazement, both song dogs turned on their heels and bolted from the scene. If that wasn't enough, a red fox also fled as he was coming in to investigate. "How'd I miss?" was the question I kept repeating to myself and to any relatives that would listen to my story on Christmas eve. A trip to the range indicated that, indeed, the gun was "off" and needed to be sighted in correctly. What a costly mistake!

LESSON LEARNED: ALWAYS SIGHT IN YOUR RIFLE BEFORE EACH SEASON


COYOTES WITHOUT DRIVER'S LICENSES

During the Summer of 1990, My father and I were calling coyotes in Grand Junction, Colorado. We parked our van and headed to a likely looking set up where We could see for great distances in all directions.From our vantage point our van was out of sight behind a small hill. After a few moments of calling, a mature coyote charged in towards the sound of the rabbit distress. He quickly froze about 300 yds. out and did an about face! Knowing that he didn't see us as we nestled behind some sage, we pondered the blown set up. it didn't take long to figure out that the coyote had approached so that he was on a crash course with the van!

LESSON LEARNED: ALWAYS HIDE THE VEHICLE!!!

SHOULD I STAY, OR SHOULD I GO?

Back in the early '90's, I learned a valuable lesson.

While calling in South Dakota, had a nice pair running in from approxiamately 500 yards away. They approached and made their usual circle to wind me. While doing so, they disappeared into the landscape. After a few long minutes, I snuck over a nearby ridge to examine what had happened to my perfect hunt. As luck would have it, the coyote was still approaching and would have presented a opportune shot... Had I not moved!

LESSON LEARNED: Never move your position on an animal that is coming in! Be sure to set up correctly so you can get the shot off comfortabley the first time

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