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Kansas Close Range Coyotes

Kansas Close Range Coyotes

By Kirk Miller

My eyes popped open at the sound of the beeping alarm. I rolled over hastily and tapped the off switch to keep from waking my wife. When I flipped on my front porch light and saw the soft maple in my yard standing completely still a smile whisked the sleep from a stuffy head . It was four-thirty in the morning in early January, my first coyote hunt of the new millennium.

I eased my pickup to a halt just up the road from a fenceline that separated two pastures. The air was crisp and it felt good to see my breath rise strait into the predawn darkness. the pre hunt adrenaline rush began flushing me as I pulled my Johnny Stewart caller over my shoulder and grabbed my ole "rusty trusty," Savage bolt action .223. The gun is a hunterís gun, not a shooterís gun. It is used for hunting specifically with a light barrel and a low cost 4x32 scope. The gun is great to throw in the truck and go, rain or shine. Most of the shooting here in east-central Kansas is close range. The area of Kansas that is home for me is definitely not rolling prairies or flat wheat fields. Most of my hunting takes place around field edges and woodlots. One needs a gun that swings well and the short range scope is ideal for shooting running coyotes at distances of 150 yards and less.

I trudged to the end of the fencerow. It is one of my favorite calling locals. The row runs to a dead end about 250 yards from the county road. At the end of the row is a large rock pile created by my father and I long ago. Each year we picked up rocks on our farm and piled them , why I am not sure, but today I am glad we did as it makes an ideal blind. I sat down against the rock pile and readied myself. The sun was just starting to crack the horizon at my back, I always try to face away from the sun on a morning stand. Iíd rather the coyotes squint into the sun than me. A gentle south breeze bit my left cheek. It was cold, really cold, but what a beautiful morning.

From where I was located I had a view of almost one quarter of a mile in a 180 degree area. Straight ahead of me was a picked cornfield, with pasture to my right and left. across the cornfield was a large brushy draw that trickles for nearly half a mile to the north west. The plan, to call up any critters that failed to fill their bellies on the previous night. When shooting light gave me a view of the full field I got a pleasant surprise! Approximately 300 yards to my right were three dark figures trotting across the cornfield. I instantly flipped on my caller and the baby rabbits began squealing. All three coyotes raised their heads and looked in my direction. The lead dog began a quartering maneuver to try to wind me, but the back dog dropped his head and made a bee-line for breakfast. I put my gun to my shoulder and zeroed in on Mr. Coyote. I watched through the crosshairs as he gaited toward me from across the corn field. To my surprise this dog just kept coming. I finally raised my gun eye above the scope to get a better judge of his distance. He was about thirty yards and still charging. I lowered on him and found him in my crosshairs in an instant. When I could bare to hold off no longer I softly said, "hello coyote," He froze and I touched the trigger, causing a back flipped dead coyote. When I lowered my gun and walked to him, I counted twelve steps!

Over the past ten years, the lands that I stomped as a kid have changed dramatically. The city is moving south at a steady clip. The large, open pastures are being urbanized and chopped into smaller tracts of land, with houses dotting the countryside everywhere. With low fur prices and all the new farmers popping up, the coyote population has flourished in my neck of the woods. It seems like each new family that settles and builds also owns a flock of sheep and a bunch of chickens. The coyotes are flourishing with this smorgasbord of goodies and best of all, people that donít know how to curtail ole wilyís appetite and cunning. So, as with all things, there needs to be someone who can take care of the "coyote problems" for these urban farmers. When I ask to hunt these coyotes the urban farmers applaud me.

"I heard what must have been twenty or thirty coyotes howling just behind the house. There are coyotes everywhere!"

I simply smile and assure them that I can solve their problems. It is funny to see these folks ewww and ahhhhh over a recently killed coyote. In this new age we predator chasers must adapt just as the predators have. One doesnít need to trek clear across the country for some great action, just pack up your gear and take a little venture into the backyard. Who knows, you may meet up with a close range coyote!


By Mike Hilts

well, we headed out around 8 at night .pretty decent conditions over all....around 40 degrees and calm.pretty dark out but thats where the million candle power light comes in real handy!! first spot we set up right in the middle of a field playing the wind to our advantage.the two of us layed right down in the snow facing the hedgerow and wood lot.about 3 minutes into the calling those bright red eyes caught our attention as they came bouncing into the field. He would not stop for a shot as he ran to get down wind of the "screaming rabbit"(and us,unfortunitely!) needless to say, he winded us and never did stop! oh we then went down the road and set up looking into two fields split by a narrow hedgerow.first few minutes of calling provided no action but those "red eyes" became visible across the field as our tape came to the there we were with the fox held up in the hedgerow about 80 yards out (and out of eyesite i might add!) and we had no more sounds to offer him as our mouthcalls were home(naturally!!)and as the tape player laid 30 yards out in front of us in the i quickly "puckered" my lips and made that kissing sound which seemed to work as it brought the fox out into the crosshairs of jeffs 22 mag.success!!! a nice lung shot !!he took us across a couple small fields before we finally found him.what a blood trail in the snow i might add!!!


By Robert Ellis

This is me and a good hunting buddy...His name is Barry vannoy. We are from

North Texas where varmit hunting is becomeing very popular. Around our town

the Varmits are hunted a lot by new hunters who basically hunt right after

dark. So because me and my buddy found out that the yotes where getting

really call shy during those hours right after sunset until about midnight,

we tried another tactic. We got up one morning about 2:30am and called until

about 0900am. It worked. The first yote we called up was about 0300am and we

used a handheld hydels cottontail destress. He came in about 5 minnutes

after teh first scream. He was taken down by my buddies 220 swift at 100

yards. We actually didn't see him. A Killdee gave away his position by

making its warning whistle. We swung the red lensed light around and there

he was. The rest is history. We called the rest of the night. Calling up 2

bobcats and 1 other yote. All those varmits where saw and we let all 3

outsmart us. Well 2 did and the one bobcat was in the right spot in some

high brush and we couldn't coax him out, so we didn't want to wound him. We

will call him up next time. The second yote in the pic was called up about

0730am. We walked about 1\2 mile from the main road to a secluded creek

botom. The yote came running in from behind me at full speed. He startled me

because he was there so quick and came from the direction that we came from.

I guess she had a den in the open field behind us. I dropped her at 20 yards

with my 222/20g savage combo rifle/shotgun. I used the 20g 3" mag buckshot.

We where tired and called it a day. I guess the next round is still to come.

Thanks and gotta run

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