Convention trip 2019 Write up complete w/pics

Posted by: AWS

Convention trip 2019 Write up complete w/pics - 10/07/19 10:24 AM

For those of you that didn't get to attend you are missing a great time.

This was my seventh convention and am already looking forward to next year. I change of area would be nice, I really do like hunting new ground and the challenge of finding coyotes in places you've never been/known before.

Here is a chronicle of my trip.

I pulled out of the yard Thursday morning, it had been a hectic week, major remodeling in my new home, medical issues that had me in the hospital on Monday and the doctor on Wednesday(told me my pain was from a cyst on my kidney not a kidney stone and that I would live). The trip was actually good for the kidney, lots of sitting and no stress gave the anti-inflammatories a chance to work.

My plan was to travel up the western side of NM to the AZ border at Springerville, cut across AZ to Las Vegas and run up from Vegas to Ely NV hunting along hiway 93 from Vegas to Ely, well thing never go as planned as you will see.

Day one.
South of Silver City, antelope and coyotes were abundant several were sighted along the hiway. The hiway from Silver City to Springerville while a scenic drive through the mountains was pretty devoid of game during the daylight hours. Just out of Springerville there were two large Big Horn rams alongside the highway, it was fun to see them. From Springerville to Winslow is more open rolling country angain little game to be seen during the daylight.

I spent the night at a free campgrounds just south of Winslow, it is a very nice county park on a reservoir, quiet, old bathrooms but not bad, the showers were out of order but it was safe and free.

Winslow campground

Day two Friday

The run from Winslow to Vegas was interstate to Kingman and four lane into Vegas. From Flagstaff to Vegas looks like it might be coyote heaven as a couple were spotted in the fields and there were numerous road kill coyotes on the highway. A quick stop in the Flagstaff Homedepot to stock up on batteries for the caller and off we go.

I thought I would have to make a stop in the Vegas BLM office to pick up maps because I couldn't find my NV BLM book when packing(it was frustrating trying to pack the truck when half my stuff is still in boxes from the move). It only took a day and a half to remember that I had given my NV book to my nephew to use and texted him to bring it when he came to Elko. I got to blow through Vegas without having even to get off the interstate.

Highway 93, Vegas to Ely. I've never been on this road and was really looking forward hunting my way north, as I left the interstate I was surprised by the amount of traffic, it didn't ake long to find out my hunting plans would be dashed. Vans passing me had messages written on them "Area 51 here I come" and "Aliens here I come". I hadn't realized that this was "Crash the gate at Area 51 Weekend" and the whole place was crawling with kooks and cops. I stopped in Ash Creek for fuel and I haven't seen so many cops in one place. There were BLM cops(never knew they existed) but there they were in there full gear, same with the Forest service cops, state troopers and there were even some in unmarked white SUV's that were dressed in all black armed to the teeth with no uniform emblems just badges on chains hung around their necks. The junction of highway 93 and the Extraterrestrial Hwy looked like a NV State Trooped convention with there SUV's lined up in the little picnic area, I've never seen so many cops in such a small area before. So much for hunting there.

I would like to try that area again some day.

So heading up the road to Ely I traveled through some nice lokking country. Just south of Ely there is a BLM camp ground at Hart mountain. It is a very nice campground, very clean restrooms, neat campsites with nice tables and a campground host so things stay that way. I finally hit cool weather here, off with the shorts and dug out a pair of sweats to sleep in and had to turn on the gas to the furnace as there was frost on the truck in the morning, it is nice to get up in the morning and get dressed at my leisure while enjoying a fresh brewed cup of coffee.

Hart mountain camp ground and the RIG

Day Three Saturday

I left Ely early in the morning and headed west on Highway 50, the atlas says it is the "Loneliest Highway" not that day many hunters were parked/camped along the way. Road names were different from on my map and I missed the Ruby Valley road but continued on to Newark Valley and headed north. The first stand I got busted, it happens calling new ground. The second stand nothing, stand three looked promising the cows perked up and rushed the fence staring out in the distance and here comes the deer hunters. They parked right behind me and started yelling back and forth while heading down the hill toward where I was set up, needless to say that stand was a bust. I made two more stands without any success while the first 20 miles of the road were paved the next 50 were dirt and the country really flattened out with tall sage and no elevation to see down into it.

A small sample of the countryside.

The roads were badly rutted and my equipment box on the back of the rig suffered a stress fracture so I quit hunting and took it easy to Elko to buy some angle iron and bolts. I headed to the campgrounds and they had closed the part of the park with the showers so driving another 15 miles back toward Ely I pulled into a nice little BLM camp grounds, by then the equip. box was really flopping around. It was nice, pit toilet and campground host, my camping gear would be safe while I was out hunting and the price was right, a buck a night with my "Golden Age Pass". I decided a good nights sleep would be a good idea and I could tackle the truck repairs in the morning.

Zunio/Jiggs reservoir campgrounds views from the campsite

SW view

NE view

Day Four Sunday

Woke up and went to work on the truck, it took me most of the morning as I only had a hand crank drill and hacksaw but it got done and I loaded the shooting bench in the truck and headed to a gravel pit to sight in the drilling, it turned out to be still on and headed back to camp to organize the rig for hunting and get to bed early as tomorrow I start hunting.

Day Five Monday

Today Elko hunting begins. I brought four guns to Elko, my CZ 22 Mag Burris 1.5-6x40mm, a Marlin 1894CL in 218 Bee Leupold 1-4x20mm, My 1926 German Drilling in 16ga/16ga/6.5x58R Sauer again a Leupold 1-4x20mm and a Savage 22-250 with a B&L Balvar 8 for the egg shoot. Today was 22 Magnum day.

The first two stands were a bust, not a rabbit to be seen, no fresh rabbit sign and not one sign of coyotes, other than cattle you'd have thought every living thing had been wiped from the earth. Time to start looking at different kind of habitat. Grass was the key if there was grass and cover at least there was some sign. The first stand in the new grounds produced a nice coyote. It was a text book stand with the coyote coming down the valley focused on the caller and decoy. at about 60 yards a good shot presented itself and I took it, the coyote went down, got up and ran. I jumpmped up and ran up the valley hoping to get a glimpse of the coyote and maybe another shot, nothing. I searched the valley looking for some blood but nothing, dejected and cursing myself for experimenting with such a light round for coyote and cussing the 22 Mag I returned to pick up my gear and low and behold there lay the coyote in a cow path about 10 yards from where I shot it. Faith restored in myself and the 22 Mag I drug her out to the truck for pics.

CZ and a nice coyote. Ths is the prettiest of the week and I wish I would have packed my skinning gear.

With success under my belt I decided to call it a day and wait for my nephew to get there and get him in on the fun.

Jon arrived around 2 PM and we got his tent set up and headed out and tried a couple stands that were very successful last year and again we were greeted with nothing, no rabbits and no coyote sign.

We headed back to camp for dinner and a strategy session over a small scotch we planned the next morning.

Day Six Tuesday

We headed out and made a couple unproductive stands and headed to the same valley I killed one the day before and called in another for Jon. I was a flopper and I finished it with the 218 Bee which was not really needed as jons 243 had done a number on it. Jon was shooting his Kimber Hunter in 243 with a 1.5-5x20mm Leupold V-3 with a German #1 reticle. I turned him on to low power scopes a couple years ago and he loves them.

No pic of this one

We headed down the road and hit another little valley, we had a nice coyote coming in an then felt the wind on the back of our necks, the coyote swapped ends and headed back up the hill at about 200 yards he couldn't resist one quick look at the call and decoy, Jon dropped him on the spot.

By then it was getting a little warm and we decided that we'd have an early dinner and try some stands near camp in the evening, again no sign and no responses. One stand we walked in and saw a Badger sticking his head up out of a hole just where we wanted to make a stand so we set up on eitherside of his hole and he just stuck his head up every once in a while to check on us.

Day Seven Wednesday

We hit some ridges with junipers and grass and we had a coyote come in [beeep] bent for elections which was perfect as I had switched to the drilling and dropped it at about 10 yards with the 16ga barrel an once of NP BB's is a deadly combo when they are close

A coydog, coyote/Chihuahua cross

We moved a couple ridges down and set up again, in comes a hard charger, we both though he'd put on the brakes when he got to the caller and waited for the shot. He never broke stride and launched himself from about 10 feet out and sailed over the bush grabbing the woodpecker decoy as he flew past. We both let fly as he headed out never missing a beat. he must have caught a little lead as about 200 yards out he slowed to a walk and Jon dropped him. He didn't have the decoy and it took quite awhile to find it, it was about 30 yards from where he grabbed it. Needless to say it was an exciting stand.

I couldn't load this pic for some reason.

We headed into the casino for the get together meeting. It was good to see old friends and meet new ones.

Day Eight Thursday

This one was looking to be a bust, a number of stands and all we did is bust one getting to a stand. We headed quite a ways down the road to a spring in the middle of a pasture that produced a quad and a single in two days of hunting last year. This year it was only a single that came in but it saved the day. It was really looking like a "Scouting Day" (thank you Snowman for a useful term). With the day save and it being the first dinner of the convention we headed into the camp for baths and clean clothes and headed for town.

Snowman put on a great discussion on Greyfox and Bobcats with a smattering of coyotes, I learned a lot being new to the SW.

Day nine Friday

Jon switched to his 22-250 Win Model 70 Featherweight with a Leupold 2.5-8 on it and proceeded to miss a long shot on the first one we called and then wing one on the second that we couldn't recover even after along search. We headed to the gravel pit and ended up having to make a minor adjustment to the scope.

We headed to the ridge that I killed the small on and moved down the ridge about a half mile and called another hard charger and Jon was able to redeem himself with a shot that was just about in self defense as the coyote was charging strait at him he dropped it at about 20 feet.

Being the day before the egg shoot we headed for camp and loaded up my shooting bench and head to the pit to check our Egg Shoot guns, Jon a Ruger 77 Varmint and me a 22-250.

Then it was into town for the second convention dinner. We stopped at the bar in the casino for a quick one. Jon being a rather handsome YOUNG dude and the only man at the bar that wasn't and ancient lecherous old fart the pretty Young barmaid spotted us a couple drinks, nice way to start the evening.

Tom Austin put on a nice discussion of night and thermal vision.

Day Nine Saturday, Egg Shoot day

We slept in today and headed to the Egg Soot in pouring rain. Just before the shoot started the skies cleared and while quite a bit colder than the day before was pretty pleasant. We had high expectation Jon made it to the second round and I made it to the third round in the Masters but there were better shooters there. Congratulations Reb and Twigg that was a display of fine shooting.

After the shoot we decided to take the egg shoot guns out for coyotes. The first stand was a hard charger again but wuite a ways out 80 yards and Jon barked at it four time before it decided to stop behind a bush and our last chance to get a shot at him. I rried to thread one through the bush but I was about as successful as I was with the last egg. Stand two was a bust but stand three with just a small opening in the sage produced a coyote I could see him coming in but only glimpses through the brush. Finally he worked his way all the way to the caller and decoy and when he broke into the open he squatted down, hair al standing up and his teeth bare ready to do battle with the decoy, this time the decoy defender was successful with a 20 yard shot.

Time to clean up and head for town and the last night of the convention. The last night is fun with awards for the egg shoot and for the person that the board feels has made the biggest contribution to predator hunting. Congratulations SnowmanMo . The raffles didn't go my way, I placed all my tickets on the Christianson 700 Chassis stock. I did win a Mojo Decoy and carry bag and a few other items that I donated back for the PM Youth Hunt Jon won I FP decoy.

Thank you to all the PM staff and volunteers that that made this all possible and to the sponsors that gave so generously for the convention.

It was time to say good bye and head back to camp.

Day Ten, Sunday

We woke up to a whole new season, a little sleet coming down wind blowing across the landscape and so cold my dishes were frozen to the picnic table and the puddles in the camp chairs frozen. Jon was doing poorly, he'd been battling a broken tooth all week and woke with a sever sore throat. We usually do a couple of stands while leaving but we needed to get him back to SLC so he could get to the Urgent care. So we packed up his stuff and got him on the road. By the time I got pack it had turned to snow. I decided to make some stands on the way out. The first stand was fun I called one in and he didn't like the set up and backed out, I changed sounds and brought him back but still couldn't get a shot. He decided to circle around and caught me changing position and proceeded to let me know I was no longer welcome in HIS valley. I did one more stand, nothing to show for it but being soaked to the skin so I called it a trip and headed to Elko for a hot coffee and some breakfast before heading to SLC to see how Jon was doing and pick up a box of traps I left there during the move to NM.

Another great convention and a chance to spend some to spend with my nephew, you couldn't ask for a better hunting companion.

I'm looking forward to 2020 already.

See you there.
Posted by: SVB

Re: Convention trip 2019 - 10/07/19 10:36 AM


Posted by: hm1996

Re: Convention trip 2019 - 10/07/19 11:01 AM

I've never seen so many cops in such a small area before. So much for hunting there.

Bet you couldn't buy a donut anywhere in the state! lol

Thanks for sharing! Looking forward to "the rest of the story".

Posted by: elalto

Re: Convention trip 2019 - 10/07/19 02:05 PM


Once again I get to experience the convention vicariously through your excellent recounts. September is a very big month in our family and I have been unable to attend one of the conventions so, I've had to rely on you and a few others who share their experience with us.

Thanks again,
Marcos (elalto)
Posted by: AWS

Re: Convention trip 2019 - 10/07/19 10:17 PM

This was another great year

Thank you Everyone.
Posted by: crazyyote

Re: Convention trip 2019 - 10/07/19 10:33 PM

Thank you for taking us on the trip!!! It always sounds like a slice of heaven on Earth. I'm curious, how well does the Winchester model 70 shoot with factory ammo? I picked up a gorgeous one but it looks a heck of a lot better than it shoots so far. Only used factory ammo.
Posted by: Coyotejunki

Re: Convention trip 2019 - 10/07/19 10:34 PM

Nice writeup, I enjoyed meeting you and Jon.
Posted by: AWS

Re: Convention trip 2019 - 10/08/19 12:53 AM

I'm not sure exactly what he is shooting but I think it is 50gr NBT hand loads. I have a Win Mod 70 in 222 Rem and it likes 52gr Speer FB HP's. For factory loads I've had good luck in most 22-250s with 45gr Win White Box.
Posted by: SVB

Re: Convention trip 2019 - 10/08/19 04:41 AM

Wow!!!!! What a great trip Thanks for sharing with Us-Great Pics --------svb
Posted by: Burnsome...

Re: Convention trip 2019 - 10/08/19 11:49 AM

Originally Posted By: SVB
Wow!!!!! What a great trip Thanks for sharing with Us-Great Pics --------svb

^^^^^^^ This. Thank for posting sir. Makes me want to make the drive from Georgia next year to partake.
Posted by: 545445454

Re: Convention trip 2019 - 10/08/19 01:08 PM

I've never shot factory ammo out of it. I run 50 gr nosler ballistic tips with imr 4895. It shoots slightly over an inch. I usually do well with this rifle but my excuse this year is I swapped scopes and didn't do a great job getting it sighted in for the hunt. I'm running a vari x III 1.75-6 .on it now. I do really love this rifle and it is my favorite firearm
Posted by: hm1996

Re: Convention trip 2019 - 10/08/19 01:12 PM

Enjoyed the hunt and some great pictures; thanks again for sharing.

Posted by: DAA

Re: Convention trip 2019 - 10/10/19 06:59 AM

Nicely done and well told AWS.

Posted by: derbyacresbob

Re: Convention trip 2019 - 10/10/19 03:38 PM

Great story and pictures!

Thanks for posting them!
Posted by: lowholer1

Re: Convention trip 2019 - 10/11/19 11:34 AM

Mr AWS that was a great write up.You are an inspiration for me thank you for sharing your adventure.I miss being able to hunt anymore but reads like this brings on memorys of the old days.How are you liking new mexico it is one of the places I am considering a move to.Thank You for sharing!Good hunting to you and allways appreciate your response.
Posted by: AWS

Re: Convention trip 2019 - 10/11/19 01:17 PM

I'm loving NM, little need for wellies and gortex. Even the high temps feel good after hunting in the rain for eight months in WA. We have large trees in our yard so even in 100+ we can sit outside and enjoy it. I have jackrabbit, coyotes, bobcat, fox and javalina running around just beyond my back wall. I set up an archery range in my back yard between the RV garage and the wall no rain so I can shoot most everyday if I shoot early or late during the summer.
Posted by: lowholer1

Re: Convention trip 2019 - 10/12/19 08:27 AM

pretty awesome home site set up you have going ! Does you get any snow there?
Posted by: AWS

Re: Convention trip 2019 - 10/12/19 09:26 AM

Very little here but I can drive 80 miles north and be in snow if I want. The northern half of the state has a very thriving ski industry.

Re: Convention trip 2019 - 10/13/19 10:13 PM

"An ancient lecherous old fart" Hey I resemble that remark WTH? Outstanding blow by blow thanks! That reminds me, anyone visit any of Nevada's finer establishments to consort with them high dollar sporting Ladies? lol Grizz
Posted by: AWS

Re: Convention trip 2019 - 10/19/19 10:29 PM

No stops but the west end of Ely has a massage parlor with more neon lights than a small town carnival.
Posted by: Ochocobull

Re: Convention trip 2019 - 10/31/19 08:10 PM

What a great write up. I truly appreciate you taking the time to get that done. I do love a good road trip story.