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About three years ago we release Tooth & Fang on Vimeo On Demand.  It was our first full length film and it covered the controversial topic of coyote hunting.  We had been coyote hunting for years and knew why we did it but often met those who knew nothing about it and based their ideas off emotion and not real life truths.  Over almost three years we filmed with ranchers and our hunts to put together what would be Tooth & Fang.  This week we released it on our YouTube channel for free.  You can watch the full film below:

The release this week has been hugely successful and many people have been sharing their support for the film.  Please take the time to watch it and if you like it, share it with your friends.

Zack Boughton

REBOUNDING FROM DEFEAT

“He was right there…..” I beat my fist on the ground and looked up at Jordan, embarrassed, upset and elated all at the same time. We had been working an area I’d just found a few days prior and had already passed on two bulls. Our day was going well until a dream archery bull spun and ran out of my life. Lets backtrack a few days though. Two days earlier I’d been just a few ridges over with my girlfriend Maddie. I wanted her to experience the thrill of archery elk hunting and we were lucking out as I had just found a great bull and him and a few others were all bugling. We had bumped him the night before and relocated him the next morning. We slowly tailed the herd as it was too noisy and open to try to move in close and call. As we crept up the ridge I could see him raking the ground about 120 yards up in the timber. He was a dandy and my heart beat increased instantly. We took the boots and backpacks off and started a sneak attack. Soon I saw a cow and she forced us to stay ultra low as she was bedded and facing our direction. As I neared the 90 yard mark the bull swung back around to chase off a spike. He then pushed the cow that had been facing us back towards the rest of the herd. Long story short either another part of the herd saw us or smelled us as we tailed him and they ran out of our lives. We went back to the packs and could hear bulls bugling across a nasty, nasty valley. I figured there was no sense in calling to them as it was almost 10AM and they’d soon bed. Maddie urged me to bugle and so I fired off about 3 bugles in 5 minutes. About 10 minutes later we could see a tree swaying just over the ridge. It was a bull raking a tree. The raking stopped and I patiently waited. Nothing came up the hill so I fired off a bugle and sat waiting with an arrow nocked. Moments later a rack appeared over the crest of the hill. A nice six point bull appeared and was coming towards me and too my left. I was kneeled down and as the bull passed behind a tree I drew and waited. The bull walked into my opening and turned uphill. I cow called and stopped him at 27 yards. He was facing me at a very hard quartering to angle, almost straight on but not quite. There was a good pocket in front of his left shoulder and I took my time to settle my pins on my spot. The bow went off and the bull quickly spun and disappeared. I’d seen my arrow as he turned and it looked like I’d hit him in the front of his shoulder with no penetration. Agghhhhhhh!!! All that practice all summer and I’d somehow screwed up a chip shot. Low right. Dang it.

bowhunting, montana, elk

Settle pin and slow squeeze

I knew sometimes the arrow will pull out when the bull runs and I hoped I was wrong and had got better penetration. We decided to wait 4 hours and then go look for blood and the arrow. As we waited I proceeded to bugle another 6 point into 25 yards. He got the pass for obvious reasons. Four hours later I found my arrow just yards from the point of impact, broke off right at the back of the insert. It was a direct hit on the shoulder blade with zero penetration. The bull should be alright just with a bit of new hardware.

bowhunting, montana, elk

Yaaaaaa, that’s not any penetration.

Fast forward to the next day, it’s 5:30pm and we are on top of a ridge where we thought a bull had bedded in from the morning. We slowly worked down the ridge calling occasionally. Finally I got a response down to my right. I knew the wind would be bad if I called him to me now and we quickly pushed lower. As we dropped about a 1000’ I bugled or chuckled at him about 4 times. Each time he responded allowing me to pinpoint his location and also slowly get him worked up. As soon as I got to his level I fired off a bugle which he quickly responded to. He was close and before i could have Jordan move downwind he had pushed his cows up into eyesight just 80 yards away. We both knelt quickly to stay out of sight. I could just see his horn tips. He looked around and then turned to go back the way he’d come. I slowly turned and ripped a bugle behind me. Instantly his cows ran up on the bench we were on and to our right. I shifted on my knees towards them assuming the bull would follow. Right as I asked Jordan how far the cows were I could see horns moving to my left. The bull was going to parallel our bench just below us. I quickly drew before his eyes crested the hill. He soon walked into full sight but with limbs in the way. I knew I’d have to pan with him as he closed the distance and thought at such a close distance he would key in on the slight movement. He was soon inside 25 yards with only small windows between limbs. I knew if he stopped it would give me the split second to find my gap and then shoot. But he kept coming. I had one last clear window and a cow call in my mouth. Unfortunately my brain had expected the bull to stop and look for his challenger by now and with yesterday’s events in the back of my head I wasn’t going to shoot until he stopped. Before I knew it he’d passed my gap and then hit my wind. Boom he ran off and I cow called and stopped him at 25. Of course there was a tree over his vitals. He then spun and ran off and over the mountain. I hate bowhunting. I’d just had a big, big bull at 15 yards and didn’t even get an arrow in the air. Deep breaths. I was mad, disappointed, and embarrassed since Jordan had just watched me royally mess up what should have been a slam dunk call in. I vented and then told myself it was an awesome experience and I was blessed to just be here. In the back of my head I was upset though.

bowhunting, montana, elk, big bull, archery, public land

Ouch….

It’s days like this that we dream of but moments of failure that make them unforgettable for all the wrong reasons. I know from years past these moments can quickly ruin a season. The mental side of it makes you rush from that point onward. You start thinking, “I should have already killed a bull, I need to get another opportunity quick,” “Time is running out,” “There’s only so much of the rut left I need to be aggressive from here on out,” and so forth. Being that close to killing makes you rush to try to get back to that point. That rush though often means you screw up well before you ever got an opportunity to let an arrow fly. You soon quickly add failure to failure and end up wasting days in the field rushing to try to kill your elk. You lose the ability to enjoy the experience and just focus on the kill. After years of hunting I’ve learned to slow down and reset my mind after a failure. Learn from it and count your blessing that it even happened in the first place. It could always be worse and hunting is more about failure than it is about success. How you rebound from those failures will determine the kind of hunter you are and show you more about your character as a human being. I’ve come to respect and appreciate failure when it happens and take the time to scrutinize it and learn from it. Don’t just try to forget about it. Scrutinize every detail of that encounter. What went right? What went wrong? Store that info so that you’re better on the next encounter. And remember, it’s just hunting. We are so blessed to just set foot in the mountains that we should have a smile on our face punched tag or not. Being able to rebound from failure will make the rest of your season more enjoyable and you’ll also have a better chance of filling your tag when the next opportunity presents itself.

Zack Boughton

Montana was in the midst of one of the coldest stretches on record and Saturday was quickly approaching.  With the big game season over it was time to start thinking about trying our hand at some predator management.  Our good friend Matt Piippo had invited us to come coyote hunt and with the temps dipping well into the negatives, we knew the conditions would be ideal to find some hungry coyotes.  As we drove to our first stand the temperature read -18F.

coyote, hunting, montana, wild, snow

The coyotes would definitely be on the prowl today.  As we walked into our first stand the wind just wasn’t right.  After a short set up calls we noticed a coyote sitting down in the bottom of the draw at about 420 yards.  Neither Matt or myself were prone and with the cold temps it was a poor shot to take.  The coyotes slowly drifted off knowing that human scent didn’t mean pleasant things.  As they did another two coyotes came flying into view, chasing the other two off.  A small territory battle was ensuing and we knew the day was only going to get better.  Our next stand happened about 5 miles to the west.  We parked the truck and hiked up to the top of a small plateau.  Matt began coaxing the call and soon two coyotes were coming in on a string.  As they closed the distance they dropped down through the small coulee and Matt quickly switched to the shotgun.  The lead dog came up the hill and stood broadside at 10 yards, still unaware of our presence.  Click.  The shotgun misfired and Matt quickly switched to his rifle.  Click.

montana, coyote, hunting, snow, winter, film, video, predator quest

Some choice words probably went through Matt’s head as the coyote surprisingly still stood there looking for the dying rabbit.  Matt quickly dropped a fresh round in his gun and put the 1st coyote to rest.  As the other coyote spun and began hightailing it a second shot put a quick end to an exciting stand.

coyote, hunting, montana, wild, snow, predator quest, cabelas, vortex

We rounded up the two males and replayed the series of events.  None of us had experienced multiple gun failures only to finish strong with a double.  Apparently -18 does a number on the lubricants in a rifle as the firing pin had only just barely made it to the primer.  We scooped up our gear and headed back to the truck.

coyote, hunting, montana, wild, snow, double, sitka gear

As soon as we reached the truck we discovered that Matt didn’t have his usual rack to load the coyotes onto.  I quickly chimed in that the front grille guard would work equally as well and really add a nice touch to the Predator Quest rig.  Our motto for the day was now to “fill the bumper.”

coyote, hunting, montana, wild, snow, predator quest, ford, excursion, winter, hunting

It was only 9:20 and we had a lot more country to cover.  After talking to some locals and a few landowners we finally made it back out to an area Matt has called in many coyotes over the years.  Right off the bat a coyote came flying out of the trees only to stop and sit at 300 yards.  A few series of calls failed to bring him closer and Matt knew it was time to let one rip.  Boom!  Snow flew behind the coyote as his round missed just high and the coyote went Mach 10 back into the timber.  A simple miscalculation of his bullet drop in the cold temperature left this coyote very alive for another day.  We laughed it off and headed off to some new country.  Over the next 45 minutes we saw 4 coyotes off the road.  Unfortunately, they also saw us and plans to call these areas quickly vanished.  As we were moving locations Matt pulled over to glass a common coyote hangout.  Sure enough he spotted a nice coyote mousing a mile and half up in a cut field.  Matt turned to me and said “We’re going to kill that coyote.”  We parked the truck and made our way up to the center of a nearby pivot and got ready.  A few minutes into calling and a coyote trotted over the ridge and closed to 240 yards before stopping to try to locate the sound.  I was ready and one shot left us with a 3rd dead coyote for the day.  I was all smiles as it’s been some time since I’ve had to chance to get a crack at a wily coyote.

Coyote hunting

We quickly made our way through the field to collect #3.  A long drag and we were back in the rig and ready for a new stand.

coyote, hunting, montana, wild, snow, hunting, sitka, vortex

Light was fading quickly and we decided to call a big basin with no cover.  We split up and made ourselves comfortable on the open hillside.  At first I didn’t think a coyote was going to commit.  The country was very open and it had been a good 8-10 minutes and nothing had appeared.  As quickly as I thought that, I heard Travis lip squeak to my right.  A coyote had just come running over the far hill and was closing the distance quickly.  I shifted my aim and watched as this pretty coyote continued to get closer and closer.  At 325 the yote stopped.  Apparently she didn’t see anything resembling a rabbit.  As she stood there I felt she wasn’t coming any closer and with my gun resting on my pack I slowly squeezed the trigger.  Thwack!  The shot dropped her in her tracks and number four for the day was in the bag.

coyote, hunting, montana, wild, snow

Light was fading quickly and with it the temperature was also plummeting.  With coyotes blocking our headlights we decided to call it a day and loaded up the last coyote into the grill of the Excursion.

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It had been an epic day.  We had seen 16 coyotes and went 4 for 5 on called in dogs.  We were able to get a little bit of footage and will be making a short video to share with you guys in the next few months.  Soon we will be off to Idaho to late season mule deer hunt and then it will be Christmas.  Good luck to anyone still getting out into the field and we can’t wait to get back out ourselves.

And for more content not seen here please follow us on Facebook and on Instagram @montanawild.

-Zack

Here is the latest of our hunting edits.  Zack did an amazing job filming and editing the footage. Check it out! More awesome hunting edits in the near future!

-Travis

We started up the truck and finished grabbing our gear.  Camo on, calls ready, and a full clip of bullets.  It was day one of a three day trip to Central Montana to become the hunted.  We would be calling coyotes in open coulee country in hopes of capturing some sweet winter hunting.

coyote hunting, Montana, Montana Wild, predator hunting, MT, calling, howling, distress calls, Primos, Nikon, Remington, Sitka

Silver and Gold

That first morning we got to our second stand only to spook a coyote just as we were pulling up to park adjacent to a deep coulee.  We called that stand but drew a blank.  Over the course of the next few stands we had one hang up at 700 yards that didn’t come in and another that we spooked walking into a promising stand.  A little discouraged with the conditions we headed to a spot that has produced in the past.  Sure enough after about 4 minutes of calling we saw a coyote charging to our left at about 400 yards.  Before we could swing the camera and shooters into position we lost sight off him.

coyote hunting, Montana, Montana Wild, predator hunting, MT, calling, howling, distress calls, Primos, Nikon, Remington, Sitka

Waiting for a shot

I knew as he would get closer he would catch our wind before popping back up into sight of Tyler and Travis.  Sure enough about 2 minutes later we saw him running in the other direction.  Running away over numerous finger shaped ridges left us no chances at a shot.  We finished that evening with no luck and looked forward to the next day.

coyote hunting, Montana, Montana Wild, predator hunting, MT, calling, howling, distress calls, Primos, Nikon, Remington, Sitka

End of Day 1

Well all I can say about day 2 is WIND.  All caps because it was so damned windy we couldn’t even think about calling.  Wind speeds were around 30mph and gusts of 50mph were common.  Combine that with a windchill of 15-20 below and let’s just say we bought a case of beer and watched some football to pass the time.  Forecasts for the following day were ideal.  They were calling for no wind and a daytime temperature of 4 degrees.

coyote hunting, Montana, Montana Wild, predator hunting, MT, calling, howling, distress calls, Primos, Nikon, Remington, Sitka

A great sunset

Day 3 found us up early and chomping at the bit.  Conditions were ideal and we quickly got set up on our first stand.  We called a long coulee full of dead cottonwoods and sage but never had any takers.  Over the course of the next 6 stands we sat some beautiful spots but never saw a dog.  We new something was up.  Either the area had been hit hard by hunters on ATV’s or planes or the coyotes had moved down into the valley were the livestock and game was herded up.  Sure enough our first stand back down in the valley was a winner.  We set up to call at the end of a couple coulees that dumped into a prairie dog town.  After 10 minutes and just as Tyler was about to shoot a rock, Travis made a good spot on a dog standing on a ridge at 260 yards.  Travis was in search of his first coyote but couldn’t get repositioned quick enough.  Tyler made a quick shot with his AR-15 and dropped our first coyote of the day.

coyote hunting, Montana, Montana Wild, predator hunting, MT, calling, howling, distress calls, Primos, Nikon, Remington, Sitka

1st yote down

The next stand we switched up the call after about 7 minutes.  A few minutes later we stood up after not seeing anything and sure enough right behind us was a coyote.  He quickly spotted us and took off.  I turned the Nikon back on, switched to live view, and got focused.  This took place over the course of literally a few seconds, and just as I said I was on him Travis lit off a round.  The coyote dropped and Travis had his first coyote out of the way.  He made a quick shot on a running coyote at around 150 yards to top it off.

coyote hunting, Montana, Montana Wild, predator hunting, MT, calling, howling, distress calls, Primos, Nikon, Remington, Sitka

Trav’s 1st yote….ever

After checking out the second unlucky coyote of the day we walked another 800 yards and set up again.  Again, after about 7-8 minutes of calling I spotted a coyote walking up the bottom of a draw.  By the time I got the guys on him he disappeared into the sage.  We looked and glassed for 5 minutes but couldn’t see him.  We figured he had a den there and had went into it.  We had Travis stand up to see if he was still down there and would spook.  We saw nothing and of course as we all stood I spotted him begin to walk off in the same spot we thought he had disappeared in.  Within seconds I was on him with the camera and Travis made another great moving shot at 300 yards.

coyote hunting, Montana, Montana Wild, predator hunting, MT, calling, howling, distress calls, Primos, Nikon, Remington, Sitka

3 in 3 stands all within a half mile

We followed this up with another stand just another 700 yards away.  We had a coyote coming in at about 600 yards but he was spooked by a small herd of mule deer.  We had spooked these deer on the way in and our chances at 4 in a row were gone.  We headed back to the truck to relocate to a new location.

coyote hunting, Montana, Montana Wild, predator hunting, MT, calling, howling, distress calls, Primos, Nikon, Remington, Sitka

Off to a new area

We gassed up the Ford, filled up our bellies with a hearty gas station meal, and left to finish our day off strong.  After pulling off the highway we drove a half mile down into a vast open drainage spotted with sagebrush.  We quickly got setup and started wailing on the distress call.  Soon Travis had 3 coyotes spotted coming in from our right.  As the coyotes neared us I had 2 of them in the frame on the Nikon, and I tried to communicate to both shooters which coyote to take.  The coyotes wouldn’t stop running in and disappeared behind a small ridge.  Soon one popped up at 150 yards and stopped.  I was on him and Tyler squeezed off a round.  A burst of dust and the coyote was charging away.  Tyler narrowly missed him as he dodged and weaved his way out through the bottom.  We all were amped up even though we were leaving empty handed.

Lets just say we were definitely heating up after a rough morning.  To make a long story short, on our next stand we convinced a territorial female to come within range after 20+ minutes of calling.  We used 2 distress calls, howls, barks, and pup distress.  She even ate a field mouse seconds before Travis dropped her.

coyote hunting, Montana, Montana Wild, predator hunting, MT, calling, howling, distress calls, Primos, Nikon, Remington, Sitka

A 4th yote

coyote hunting, Montana, Montana Wild, predator hunting, MT, calling, howling, distress calls, Primos, Nikon, Remington, Sitka

With 4 coyotes on the day we decided to wrap it up with one last stand.  We were able to spot 2 coyotes out at 800 yards, but they just wouldn’t cooperate.  We think they had spotted us walking in.  We were able to coerce one into starting to circle downwind, but with light fading we couldn’t bring him in close enough.  We had an awesome day though.  Overall we saw 15 coyotes that day.  We called 7 into range and killed 4.  At the end of it all it turned into a very worthwhile trip.  I was able to capture Tyler and Travis over the course of those 3 days and get all 4 kills on film so throw on the headphones, make sure it’s in HD and enjoy!!!

I hope you guys enjoyed the video and we look forward to creating more soon.

coyote hunting, Montana, Montana Wild, predator hunting, MT, calling, howling, distress calls, Primos, Nikon, Remington, Sitka

Sunset on the last stand

Peace!

-Zack