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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.