Sitting in my treestand last week was peaceful and quite relaxing. I was hanging out waiting for pigs and enjoying the sunshine. An hour into my sit I noticed movement out of the corner of my eye. I focused and saw a large, shiny object that hadn't been there before. That's when the coyote lifted her head to look around. Her route would take her directly behind my stand and also directly downwind. She was going to bust me if I wasn't careful. I slowly removed my bow from the hanger, turned and saw her cautiously walking the trail. She stopped behind a tree, giving me time to get ready.
A few weeks ago, Chris and I had discussed thinning out the coyotes in this area. We both wanted to, but they were also helping drive the pigs in the afternoon. It was a dilemma we hadn't yet faced and that day we opted not to shoot any song dogs. Today was different.
As I prepared to draw, she hit the gap and kept moving. I know that with all of the foliage in my way, I would not have a clean shot where she stood, but I wasn't giving up. I also wanted to see what she would do when she got downwind. A few seconds later and I found out. She stopped and glanced around, all while sniffing the air. By this time I had shifted around to the other side of the tree and was ready to draw. She glanced in my direction, smelled the air again, and acted confused. Then she put her nose down and walked a few more steps. Upon stopping and smelling the air, a razor sharp missile was headed in her direction. She took off running through the dense brush, but she stopped about 50 yards behind my stand. All was quiet. I knew she was dead and I was stoked.
Here's why I was so stoked. Not only was she my first coyote, it was done with a bow. No, that's not the part where I am stoked. As hunters, we are always trying to cover our scent or find out what cover scents work. I hadn't washed my camo in a month. You heard me, a month. Sweat, funk, and who knows what else was lingering in them. I used my LOG6 ozone machine to kill the bacteria and then I sprayed down with Dead Down Wind. That combination has worked for me on pigs and now coyotes. I am pretty stoked about that.
Unfortunately, shooting the coyote was the downfall for hunting pigs. We heard them grunting and squealing behind our stand, but they must have locked on to the coyote. They lingered for what I estimate to be about 50-100 yards behind and around her for an hour and then took the long way around. It was dusk now and we ran out of shooting light. We stayed in the stands to see if we could glass them up. They walked around our stands and into a slightly open meadow. Sure enough, my MINOX binoculars did not disappoint as we saw a large group of them amble out and begin feeding. It was great to see pigs, but I know that the reason they didn't stick to their normal route was due to my shooting that song dog. Live and learn!
We recovered the coyote at dark and I took out the backstraps to eat later. Yes, I ate one and Chris ate the other. Most people (even other hunters I've communicated with) think I am disgusting and crazy. Let me just say that 9 times out of 10, if I shoot it, I want to try it. Don't knock it until you've tried it. Come to find out, coyote tastes an awful lot like very lean beef or, as a coworker put it, beef heart. I thoroughly enjoyed it!
Now that most of the deer seasons are over, pigs and coyotes can be focused on more. This year will hopefully be a great year for thinning out both!