What would you do?

Posted by: BrianID

What would you do? - 01/05/20 03:28 PM


Yesterday I walked into this stand an set up where the purple circle is. Before calling I decided to do a quick scan with my binoculars. I spotted a coyote sunny itself and ranged it at 542 years. 1-3 mph breeze is in my face and blowing slightly to my right. The coyote did not appear to see me and after a minute of watching it, it puts it's head down and appears to be taking a nape at 9am. In the last 12 months I've called in 5 coyotes within a mile of this spot that got away so this could be an educated coyote.


What would you do?

#1 Take the shot at 542 yards. I can get prone with a dead solid rest across my pack. My gun will shoot 5 shots in less than 1/2" at 100 yards when I can get prone with a good rest. The downside is today I have my 223 with only a 40 grain nosler ballistic tip at 3800 fps. With minimal wind I think I could hit him with a 223 at that distance but the 40 gr bullet would be going less than 1500 fps. I passed on the shot. If I had a larger rifle with me I may have laid out prone and taken the shot.

#2 Try to stalk closer for a shot without calling. I could sneak around to the right and could probably get less than 300 yards. Even though the wind is good, I would worry that the coyote might hear or see me while trying to get closer. The ground has a lot of loose gravel and it isn't easy to be completely quite. I was actually a little surprised this coyote hadn't busted me while I was setting up 542 yards away.

#3 Start immediately calling as I was planning to before I saw this coyote.

#4 Wait 5-10 minutes for things to quite down before starting to call just incase this coyote did hear or see me approaching the stand and it just isn't looking at me because I'm far enough away that it doesn't feel threatened. Coyotes in Southern NM Creosote country tend to not be as skittish at 300-500 yards like coyotes I've hunted in more open spaces like Idaho and Wyoming. Would you start calling with an aggressive rabbit in distress sound as planned or would you do a softer sound and not as aggressive? Or would you try howling?

#5 Move stand locations before starting to call. The sun is in my face and I could circle about 500 yards to my right and still have a wind in my favor. In the below picture, the coyote is where the red circle is and the purple arrow shows the wind direction.



I've been in this situation multiple times. I really like spotting coyotes before I start calling so I can see their reactions to my calls.

I'll post up the results of what I did and what the coyote did in a few days.
Posted by: crapshoot

Re: What would you do? - 01/05/20 03:42 PM

#3 softly. maybe start with lip squeaks.
Posted by: Terry Lightle

Re: What would you do? - 01/05/20 03:56 PM

Yep#3 for me
Posted by: ctm

Re: What would you do? - 01/05/20 05:06 PM

I know that area!,
Posted by: tripod3

Re: What would you do? - 01/05/20 05:25 PM

Shoot and if you miss reload and start calling!
Posted by: hm1996

Re: What would you do? - 01/05/20 06:08 PM

Hard to judge range from picture, but 540 yards not a % shot IMO, especially for that load.

If my guestimate is right, looks like you could follow that sandy wash to the left of the dirt bank that points toward your coyote. Where it turns to the left, you could approach in defilade behind that low ridge, thus cutting about 1/3 off the range. 350 is still a longer poke than I'd like, but soft calls might get him a bit closer and you could make that decision once you make the move.

Regards,
hm
Posted by: Vance

Re: What would you do? - 01/05/20 06:25 PM

Start calling right there and dump him with the shotgun at 35 yards as he is hard charging my position.
Posted by: BrianID

Re: What would you do? - 01/05/20 06:26 PM

ctm,

Compared to other areas in Southern NM it doesn't have really high numbers of coyotes but there are a few and it isn't too far of a drive from El Paso. If you recognize the exact spot, I would be impressed. Feel free to send me a PM if you think you know the exact spot and I could confirm it for you.
Posted by: Pa. Mick

Re: What would you do? - 01/05/20 06:54 PM

#5 In my area which is much different than yours, many times I have wished I had repositioned myself after getting burnt. Once you start calling it’s not to easy to change positions.
Posted by: AWS

Re: What would you do? - 01/05/20 07:08 PM

I'd call it just like you never saw him, he isn't sleeping he is napping with ears and nose on full alert. All you have to do is bump a bird or rabbit, step on a dry bunch of grass or crunch some stone. Who knows there might be a coyote between you and him you didn't see.

I've found that when you go into a new area make the first stand that looks reasonable, after the stand look the area over and see if there would have been a better stand and log that for the future.
Posted by: Brad Phillips

Re: What would you do? - 01/05/20 07:41 PM

Well, first I would crap if I had a view like that ! And then when my pulse and brain were “normal” start out low and slow. Especially, if I could view reactions. I envy you.
Posted by: spotstalkshoot

Re: What would you do? - 01/05/20 08:12 PM

Three options for the coyote,1. Stay bedded(see it all the time during the day in farm country) 2. Comes to call 3. Moves away. I don't think any of your options would change or improve you odds of a shot. Staying put gives you a visible target and gives you confidence that you have not moved coyote out during the approach to stand.
Posted by: Hellgate

Re: What would you do? - 01/05/20 08:18 PM

I’d move to that little dark rockpile on the left out in front staying as hunkered down as possible and get set up to where you can see him approach and the start with a low call like rodent or irate bird. That puts you closer and with a better view of his approach.
Posted by: flintrock

Re: What would you do? - 01/05/20 10:20 PM

If it were exhibiting typical coyote behavior it would have curled up with its back to the wind and facing your direction. With the sun in your face any movement by you would be easy for it to see. Therefore hope it hadn't seen you yet and start calling, would be my way of thinking. Sometimes my thinking and actions don't coincide though!
Posted by: DesertRam

Re: What would you do? - 01/05/20 11:03 PM

#3 for me.
Posted by: tawnoper

Re: What would you do? - 01/06/20 11:05 AM

#3. If the coyote continued with it's nap it had no idea you were there. I would have started calling and been watching for others as well.
Posted by: DiRTY DOG

Re: What would you do? - 01/06/20 06:05 PM

#3. It's called predator calling not target shooting. I'd rather call them in, that's most of the fun.
Posted by: derbyacresbob

Re: What would you do? - 01/06/20 09:01 PM

Originally Posted By: DiRTY DOG
#3. It's called predator calling not target shooting. I'd rather call them in, that's most of the fun.


I agree, call that coyote in!

I have never taken binoculars out on a coyote calling stand with me. I like looking for movement. I don't want binoculars keeping me from seeing the big picture.

I would rather use the time making more calling stands than glassing for coyotes before or after the stand.

Instead of carrying binoculars I have a camera hanging around my neck on most stands that I make.

If I did spot a coyote out there while setting up my caller I would probable try Voles Squeaks or Adult Rat in distress at about half volume. If no reaction raise the volume up, if still no reaction I would play Pup Distress 3 on full volume.
Posted by: Lazerus

Re: What would you do? - 01/07/20 01:22 AM

I hunt with a 300 blk so #1 is out. BUT, if I did have the proper rifle on the given day I would take that shot. Only because where I hunt we never get that kind of opportunity.
Posted by: BrianID

Re: What would you do? - 01/07/20 11:23 AM

Originally Posted By: DiRTY DOG
#3. It's called predator calling not target shooting. I'd rather call them in, that's most of the fun.


I totally agree. I really enjoy calling coyotes and watching them come in. I would rather have one start running off when I start calling than to miss a Hail Mary shot at long range on one. If I had a bigger gun with me that was capable of cleaning killing a coyote at 500+ yards I would have still tried calling this dog in.
Posted by: BrianID

Re: What would you do? - 01/07/20 11:54 AM

I decided to go with option #4 with soft sounds. I think several other things could have worked on this coyote. It ended up being only a pup instead of one of the older coyotes I've educated in this area.

I normally set up my stands in a sitting position because it allows to me swing for a shot when a coyote comes from a directing I don't expect. I laid prone since I could predict the direction this coyote was going to come in. If it decide to hang up at 300 yards, that would be a dead coyote almost every time if I am prone. While sitting, a 300 yard shot for me might be 75% confidence in a dead coyote.

I probably started calling about 8 minutes after I first arrived at the stand. The coyote was still napping with his head down and I was laid out prone watching him through my scope. I started with baby cotton tail sound on my fox pro at a volume of only 14. I could barely hear the sound from my foxppro and it was only 10 yards away. After about 10 seconds of calling the coyote picked its head up and looked my direction. After 30 seconds of calling the coyote got up and started trotting my directions. After the coyote moved 50 yards in my direction it disappeared in the creosote and I couldn't see it any longer. I decided to mute my fox pro then but I think this was a mistake. After not seeing the coyote for 2-3 minutes I started to get worried it wasn't coming in and stared the baby cottontail again at low volume. About a minute later I spotted the coyote trotting in toward me at about 300 yards. I killed the sound again but the coyote continued to come in. It stopped a couple times when it was about 200 yards out but I decided to let it come closer before taking the shot.
The red circle shows the dead coyote. Dropped right where I shot it.

[img]
I think it was a good choice to stop the sounds intermittently because I think it helped the coyote not come in too fast. When they come in slow and stop naturally on their own multiple times, I find it much easier to get a good shot opportunity. I prolly should have waited until it was closer before muting the sound on this occasion. I was just worried if I “over called” it may decide to not come in.

I tried calling for about 15 more minutes after dropping this coyote but I didn't see anything else come in.
Posted by: BrianID

Re: What would you do? - 01/07/20 12:15 PM

Here are my thoughts on the different options.

#1 Take the shot at 542 yards. Even though I think I could have hit him I didn't every really consider this option for two reasons. Most importantly the gun/bullet combination wasn't a good choice to be shooting at a coyote at this distance. Second and almost as important, I really like calling them in more than shooting them.

#2 Try to stalk closer for a shot without calling. I think this could have worked but I would rather call in a coyote than stalk a coyote.

#3 Start immediately calling as I was planning to before I saw this coyote. This would have likely worked but I was concerned the coyote saw/heard me moving into my stand. I was skylined temporarily moving into the stand and the gravel I was walking on was noisy.I was hoping if it did, it would forget about it after napping for a few minutes before I started to call.


#5 Move stand locations before starting to call. I think this could have worked too but it would have been risky. Besides having the sun in my face, I was really happy about everything else with my stand location. Moving forward or to the right would result in a lot of noise because of the steep gravel hillside I was on. It would have also left me wide open exposed with the sun glaring on me. Moving forward would have given me a better view of the Creosote brush that the coyote was likely to disappear in when I started calling and put me in reasonable rifle range if the coyote decided to not come in but I thought the risk of spooking the coyote while moving forward wasn't worth the benefit.

Backing up and circling to the right would have been less noisy but there is still a chance the coyote would spot or hear me. I was actually surprised that it didn't seem aware of me already.

Overall I'm happy with the decision I made on this stand. I've been in this scenario a couple other times where the coyotes decided to run the other way when I started calling. I think I could have called this one into less than 20 yards but after missing a couple in this area and having a few others get away without getting a shot, I wasn't going to pass on non moving broadside coyote at 54 yards.

Posted by: hm1996

Re: What would you do? - 01/07/20 03:28 PM

Obviously you made the right choice.....dead coyote.

Is that dark spot the coyote on top of the ridge in middle of circle? If so, I figured that would have been about 180 yards away based on picture; a fifty some yard advance would definitely have not been a good choice.

Would love to hunt that type terrain some time and be able to observe their reactions from afar. Only time we can see them that far away in the brush country is if they are trotting down (or across) a pipeline or sendero.

Congrats! Gotta love it when a plan comes together. thumbup

Regards,
hm
Posted by: BrianID

Re: What would you do? - 01/07/20 05:01 PM

Originally Posted By: hm1996
Obviously you made the right choice.....dead coyote.
Is that dark spot the coyote on top of the ridge in middle of circle? If so, I figured that would have been about 180 yards away based on picture; a fifty some yard advance would definitely have not been a good choice.


I often make the wrong choice and end up having the coyote get away. I have a lot of respect for the coyotes intelligence and ability to thrive in multiple types of habitats. They are one of the few animals that we as humans have tried to eliminate but have been unsuccessful. They are true survivors.

I hope everyone found this scenario interesting. I have some other interesting situations I'll post when I have time. I always enjoy learning from others here.

This picture shows the dead coyote a little better. I didn't range it until after I shot but it was only 54 yards. I also had a good shot opportunity when it was only 100 yards out but I wanted to see him come in closer. When he was standing on the hill and started to act nervous, I decide I better shoot before it was too late. I've made the mistake of watching and calling coyotes for several minutes when I could have easily shot them multiple times only to end up never getting another good shot opportunity before they decide to leave.
Posted by: hm1996

Re: What would you do? - 01/07/20 05:49 PM

That's the spot I was considering moving to in # 5 thinking it was about 180 yards forward of the spot from which picture was taken. Sure wouldn't have been worth the effort to try the stalk to gain only 50 yards.

Thanks, Brian, interesting post.

Regards,
hm
Posted by: Infidel 762

Re: What would you do? - 01/07/20 06:27 PM

You did the right thing
Posted by: Runnin'Hard

Re: What would you do? - 01/08/20 04:35 PM

I always sit for 5-10 minutes before I ever start calling to give time for things to settle down, also for me to get my breathing right as I have usually walked in quite a bit and am breathing harder than normal. Hard for me to look thru my scope when I am taking big deep breaths. My father always did that when I was a kid 50 years ago, so I have continued doing so. I would have done what you did, not saying it is right for all, just part of my pre game routine..