Friday, September 15, 2006

A hunt with JJack.

I got an e-mail from John a few days ago. Deer season was set to open September 16th and he wanted to get in a varmint hunt before the woods filled with deer hunters. John is a long time photography buddy and a long time coyote hunter. 78 years young, he has been calling coyotes and other critters for 58 of those years. He wanted to hunt the high country over his way, and invited me along. We would be hunting his country and using his dog. Thursday morning we gathered up cameras, tripods, and dog, and went a-huntin’.

It has been a long hot summer, but we had a change in the weather. At around 5,000 feet elevation the morning was decidedly chilly. With the opening of deer season just 2 days away, there were already several hunting camps set up. There was logging activity in a couple of places, and logging trucks running the main roads. We were not alone in the woods!

Instead of posting one long video of the hunt, which would make a very long download for anyone with a slow Internet connection, I have broken it up into 3 video clips.

Video 1: We parked John’s pickup on the side of a logging road and walked down the bank to the edge of a meadow. We settled in backed up against some aspens and John began a series of calls. It didn’t take long! Within minutes we had a double. A pair of coyotes came loping in. We started to roll the cameras, and John was about to put the dog to work, when a pickup passed by on the road above and behind us; blaring his horn for all it was worth. Coyotes exit the scene and end of stand number 1.

Video 2: Self explanatory.

Video 3: This is a 5.8 mb download. So if you have a slow connection it is going to take awhile. We set up the second stand on the edge of another meadow where cattle were grazing in the distance. We separated a little from each other, each backed up against some trees, and John began the stand with an electronic call. For once I was sitting in the right place while John could only wish he was sitting where I was. Another double! Jiff, the Border Collie tolling dog went to work, and I got it on tape.

Stand number 3 was a considerable distance from the first two. This was John’s hunting country, and he knew where the hot spots were. We set up on the edge of a very large meadow this time, and again John did the calling. I called it another double, but John said later that it was a triple! There was a 3rd coyote that I hadn’t seen. It was a ball, but luck was against us this time. We both screamed and squeaked and pleaded, and Jiff did her best, but these coyotes hung up and just wouldn’t come within camera range. It was a great morning, and we walked back to the truck to have lunch right at noon. We called it a day and headed back to John’s home to harvest some goodies from his garden.

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