Yes, you read the headline correctly. Social media helped save the life of a coyote this past weekend. No, the wily animal didn't put out a call for help on Twitter. No, something else happened and it makes for a slightly entertaining story!
With the rains on Thursday and Friday, I knew I had to get out after feral pigs on Saturday morning. Soft ground makes for easier rooting and pigs love to eat. After spending 5 hours in the stand without seeing any pigs, I decided it was time to do something different. While I hadn't seen any pigs, I did have a great morning in the stand. I watched three rabbits (all within 5 yards of the stand) forage and sit. Fortunately for them, rabbit season doesn't open until July 1, so they had a pass. The beautiful birds chirping, hopping around, and chasing one another made for great entertainment. The best part was watching the hummingbirds. Actually, there was one who was very curious about me. Hummingbirds are like that and it's so cool to watch. First, they do a fly-by or two. Then they come in close and buzz you. After a while, they hover in front of your face and usually that's it. I have had them come in before and land on my arrows, but this time was different. This guy came buzzing around again and landed on my right shoulder! He only stayed a second (hunter halitosis can be quite aggressive) and took off, but it was a wonderful encounter.
Entering a particular grove of trees, my spirits lifted. I feel a particular connecting to this piece of property. It is quiet, offers shooting lanes every which way, and is an incredible spot for pigs and coyotes. My buddy Chris knows the spot well and I was just texting him my location when I caught movement off to my left. Sure enough, a coyote was zig-zagging through the trees and was headed straight for me. With my bow in my left hand and phone in my right, I was stuck and had to make a decision! Crap! I slowly lowered my right hand and slipped the phone into my pocket. I was going to shoot this coyote! As the phone slid into my pocket it hit my car keys. *Jingle* - that's about the sound of it I guess. It was enough to stop that coyote dead in his tracks less than 30 feet in front of me. I was locked down and there was nothing I could do but smile. In a matter of seconds, she bolted 90 degrees left and trotted off back into the trees. She was upwind of me and couldn't figure out what I was, but she was having none of whatever had jingle bells in his pocket. It was a great encounter. In fact, a very similar thing happened a month or so ago in the very same spot. Two lucky dogs! I know exactly where I am going to go when I want to thin some yotes.
On my way back to my vehicle, I was able to find fresh pig tracks. I shook my head as they were heading away from where I was and into the thicket where I hunted that morning. In fact, they crossed my tracks from that morning. Hahahaha! Funny stuff, right? I just smiled and hiked out, happy to have been in the woods.
Many would look at this as a failure. I see it as a wonderful day in the woods doing what I love. Bowhunting. I didn't kill anything, but it was a successful day! I was alive, breathing, and able to hunt. I had encounters with wildlife, nature, and earned some peace and quiet. Yes, it was a great day and I cannot wait to do it again.