Eric and I decided not to put our names in for the draw. We will spend two more weeks hunting together when ever we can.
We set up a meet for Monday morning between 9:30 and 10:00 because Eric wanted to go in to the main office and make sure no one needed any thing.
We Met at 9:45 loaded his things in my truck and off we went north east toward Caro. Before you get there you pass thru Mayville and there is a lot of small hobby farms from 10 to 100 acres many still have horses, the normal barn yard animals chickens and water fowl.
We went to one we like to hit about every 3 months as they have a large over grown wood lot having it logged off about 8 years ago and we seem to always manage to collect a few coyotes there.
We get there and it is 30F but a real strong wind was driving a skin shredding wind chill as we walk across the field to a row of round hay bales left from the summer.
Walk the callers out about 75 yards from the woods and set the decoys out about 10 more yards closer.
Because the wind is coming from the woods into our faces strong we bumped the volume of the callers up a bit and let loose with a pair of challenge calls.
Almost instantly we got a few barks back in reply. Let loose with a single challenge call getting a pair in return again we believed to be closer.
Eric changed to the female looking for a mate sound and got a reply defiantly closer.
Sounded like was straight out from us and of course we know the wind was carrying the sound some.
Then there was a coyote just off to my left a easy swing of the Swift on the shooting sticks, yet I waited a bit longer.
Then a second one popped out to the right of the first one almost right in front of me.
I signed to take the second one triggered the finger and fired.
Two coyotes laid in the field 20 yards from the edge.
That was a quick 15 minutes so we waited and played the sounds off and on for another 15 minutes but nothing showed. Gather the gear and go look at the coyotes a pair of youngish males possible brothers.
Back at the truck and on the road again the temp read out says 31F DJ on 103 radio out of Lapeer says wind chill is 18F. Make it to M46 turn right toward Kingston make a left about 5 miles down the road to a sheep farm.
Don Anderson used to be a dairy farmer for 40 some years but by 2012 he saw the writing on the wall and sold off all his cattle and came up with a new farm plan. Did two years just doing cash crops leasing other farm land of farmers throwing in the towel. Don attended a farm expo in East Lansing in 2014 and liked what he heard about the sheep farming business.
We started hunting coyotes there in 2015 when he had a pair of coyotes raid his rearing pen one night. Lucky he saw them go thru the fence and sent his dogs to chase them off.
We walk back across the field to a stone pile where we could set up with a wind not right in our faces but close.
Set the callers out at 100 yards and the decoys at 150 yards. This weather has us thinking the coyotes are going to be mating.
So that is the sound we are going with till we do not get any results using them.
Isn’t but 10 minutes when we get a answering bark. Sounded like it was not moving but inviting the caller to come to it. I let Eric play the sounds as he seems really good at talking dirty to a coyote getting them to come meet the female in heat. And there he was just sneaking along the brush line off to Eric’s right a bit. I see Eric do a slight shift with the cross stick and seen the flame jump from the barrel of his 22-250., then the fist pump.
The whole thing took about 25 minutes, wait 30 minutes and gather the gear and look at the coyote another male an older one by its teeth and foot pads.
Decided to head Back for Caro for lunch. We decided to go to the dairy queen there. They have good grilled chicken sandwiches and onion rings.
After a chicken sandwich and a double order of onion rings we head west out of town about 5 miles we turn off to the south and just before the river we hit another hobby farm. Just the normal farm yard animals the rest is planting cash crops on as much property as they can rent and plant while working jobs in town.
Walk back to a hill side dug out for gravel to set up over looking a small sloth about 3 acres were I to guess.
Called for 30 minutes here did get answers to the challenge call but sounded like farther out than the sloth.
We decided to wait a bit longer and see if they would come closer but didn’t sound like they did.
Went back out to a gravel road that runs easterly and westerly about the farthest south to the river you can get.
About 10 miles down the road we turn into the drive way of a small dairy operation. I suspect they will also soon stop milking cows as when we were last there in Oct said they were told the tank truck didn’t want to come down there for the few hundred pounds they produced.
At that time they were looking at options for mid 50 year old small farmers.
We didn’t see Rex or Joan today.
We went back about 100 yards from the barn and about 80 to the wood line along the river to set up. Clipped feathers on the weasel balls to make them look a lot bigger since we didn’t have a deep area to draw from just long and narrow.
We got one answer to the bark almost at once and it kept barking after every challenge was sent. But it again didn’t seem to make much difference.
After 30 minutes we packed and on the road we found the temp on the truck read out was saying only 31F now and the radio station 96.1 out of Saginaw was saying he wind chill was down to 15F.
Will try one more place and if it doesn’t work out possibly give it a rest for the day.
The next place was one we don’t hunt often as is past the normal limit of what most of the guys like to go. Eric, Dean Mike and I are about the only ones who will go a hour to a hour and a half from home. We get serious about shooting coyotes any place we can.
This is a cash crop operation, tough year for them with so much water in the fields at planting time and when they could get in they had a bad rain storm once the plants were up about 6 inches.
They have tiled fields that drain into big deep drain ditches that drains into a big sloth on their place. About a 2 acre pond in the middle. The ditches are still full of water and ice covered but ya best not set foot on them as they will not support a man.
We get set up near the sloth again going with a challenge call. Had several answer barks back right away. Gave them the very sexy female in heat sound and got several howls back with a hang tight babe I’m on my way.
Eric give me this weird look I later learned was WOW sounds like we are going to get over run.
About 10 Minutes a coyote pokes its head out of the cat tails then emerges. My zone so I check the area good for more coyotes and seeing none take the shot. I had no sooner recovered from the shot when another shot rang out. Eric had a coyote come out right in front of him and when I shot it looked that way and Eric shot.
Gave another challenge and got another reply so sat longer but the coyote never came closer.
We gather the callers, decoys go look at the coyotes and both males. Get them back to the truck and Tim comes out of the shop and said he didn’t even know we were there till he heard the shots.
Told us to come into the shop for coffee and some chit chat.
Said that it was a crappy year for crops last year and would have lost their shorts but for the full drains the Sloth and duck hunters.
Said they were full up leased for the full waterfowl season. Still had some soy beans left in the field.
By the time we finished our coffee it was getting late so we decided to high tail it for home . A very productive day with 3 coyotes for me and 4 for Eric. He said we should get them to Tom as he was going to the auction next week.
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