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#3065367 - 04/19/17 09:28 PM The Siren Song
hm1996 Offline
PM Junkie

Registered: 07/23/06
Posts: 15312
Loc: S. Texas
For the past 14 years, a retired state trapper, my hunting partner and I have taken care of the ADC chores on three ranches, consisting of more than 22,000 acres in south Texas. It is unfortunate that all three of us, due to age and health issues, are finding it increasingly difficult to make it to the ranch. I have had to give up overnight trips altogether, but spoke with the rancher a few weeks ago and he told me depredation has increased considerably, so I made a special effort to work in a day trip to the nearest ranch.

This trip would be an opportunity to not only help out the landowner a bit but to also initiate a new (to me) .308 Savage Scout and a 125 gr. NBT load. I was a bit concerned that they might not perform well on coyotes, however.

My hunting partner and I left @ 0530, arriving at camp just before daylight. By the time we loaded our gear in the jeep and reached our first stand the sun was just peeking over the horizon.

It was a beautiful morning, very gentle southeasterly breeze with the temperature in the low 50’s. We set up in the shadows of a brush line about 30 yards east of the northwest corner of a freshly roller chopped field, facing south. I put the Foxpro and decoy out in the field about 30 yards SE of our position with the decoy softly playing bird distress and began with a short sequence of female invitational howls, followed by female coyote whimpers after a few minutes of silence. Another short pause followed by nutty nuthatch. More silence then hit pup distress.

At the 30 minute mark, as we sat in silence, I was beginning to think about the next stand when I heard my partner whisper, COYOTE! It took a moment to catch the movement out of the corner of my eye. He was walking fast or trotting slowly, you know, that “coyote road gear”, from the tree line to our right, heading straight toward the decoy. When he reached a point within 25 yards of us, he saw, or sensed something he didn’t like and turned sharply, continued at the same pace, all the while watching the decoy intently, then quickly disappeared in some bushes to the right of a large tree (his path indicated by yellow line in picture below. Call location indicated by star).



As soon as he turned away from us, I switched my rifle & sticks. His course looked like I might get one last chance for a shot through a single, small triangular opening as he passed behind the tree, so I quickly lined up on that opening (see arrow above). I caught glimpses of him heading toward the opening and a second before he got there, I barked, hoping to stop him in the opening. No such luck, he totally ignored me and as soon as he appeared in the opening, I had only a split second to make the shot. The shot felt good, but he was only 70 yards away so I didn’t hear the bullet connect. The recoil of the little 308 is sufficient that I lost sight picture and didn’t see the results. It’s a shame that the scout muzzle brake was so loud I had to take it off, otherwise it might have tamed the recoil enough to maintain the sight picture.

Quickly hit the kiyi in case he had a compadre and waited as long as I could stand to sit still before walking around the tree to check it out.

It was hard to find the exact spot where the coyote had been with that tree in between us. Due to the many short bushes and roller chop furrows, which are deep enough that if he fell in one you would have to be very close to see him, I was starting to think that my bullet might have been deflected by an unseen twig or maybe I just plain missed........but finally, there he was!

He had a light case of mange on one side, and the other side was uhh.........mostly missing! Fact is, it took quite a bit of rearranging in order to get a presentable picture. Due to the angle of my shot, the bullet entered high, near the last rib, was deflected by the spine, and exited on same side just behind his front shoulder.

My bullet performance fears had been totally unfounded. Far from fur friendly, but that’s not an issue in S. TX, as fur is never good down here. The pressure is off, the Scout's finally broken in.



He turned out to be a very old male.



We were on the way to our next stand when a coyote started to cross the two-track about 400 yards in front of the jeep. I stopped, hoping he would go ahead into the huge mowed field across the road from the brush line. We had a staring contest for a minute or so before he vanished back into the brush. I moved ahead slowly and when I was about 250 yards away, he stepped out again. He really wanted to go out into that mowed pasture, but while I was trying to get into a shooting position he decided to get back into the safety of the brush. Good move on his part.

Next two stands produced nothing but at 1115, again, almost exactly thirty minutes into the fourth stand of the day, I spotted a coyote across the dry lake bed about 150 yards out. I was between sounds again, but he was definitely coming to investigate the Foxpro serenade. I left the call on mute but the bird distress was still barely audible from the decoy and served as an efficient coaxer.

The coyote slowly made his way between and around the bushes, pausing occasionally, then finally stepped into the clear just to the right of a large bush (Indicated by star below) to stare at the decoy. I had previously ranged that bush @110 yards.



My partner and I both got on him and my partner said, “take him”. I shot, heard the impact this time, but again recoil destroyed my line of sight. My buddy said he did a full backflip at the shot.

This one was a young male which had lost a front foot to a trap. The wound was completely healed and I had not noticed any sign of a limp during his approach.

[img]

We made one more dry stand before putting the jeep to bed and heading for the house. The medical situation was still stable at home, thanks to the Lord, which gives me hope that I may be able to get out for another one day trip again before too long.



It is a sure sign that spring is near when the Spanish Daggers start to bloom in south Texas. A time in which the siren song calls out, “it is time for just one more hunt”. That irresistible sound always reminds this old hunter that while spring is, indeed, just around the corner, the winter of life is fast approaching, so I must make the most of each fleeting opportunity as it presents itself.

Regards,
hm


_________________________
If what's ahead scares you and what's behind hurts you, look up; He never fails you.

If My people will humble themselves, pray, seek My face & turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven & will forgive their sin & heal their land.




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#3065372 - 04/19/17 09:38 PM Re: The Siren Song [Re: hm1996]
SnowmanMo Offline
Director/Moderator

Registered: 09/23/08
Posts: 3294
Loc: Phoenix, Az
What a great sounding trip. Glad that you were able to get out.
_________________________


Mama always said, coyotes are like a box of chocolates...



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#3065384 - 04/19/17 10:10 PM Re: The Siren Song [Re: hm1996]
DakotaBoy Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 07/19/12
Posts: 595
Loc: Minnesota
Very nice write up, hope you and your partner can have more hunts together .

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#3065389 - 04/19/17 10:37 PM Re: The Siren Song [Re: hm1996]
Bob_Atl Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 01/09/15
Posts: 2083
Loc: in the field, or not..
Thanks for the great write-up & nice pics.
Hope you guys have plenty more trips & lots of fur down..
_________________________
.... rule #9 ....

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#3065406 - 04/19/17 11:41 PM Re: The Siren Song [Re: hm1996]
AdamT Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 01/04/15
Posts: 2476
Loc: Southwest Virginia, USA
Nice write up of a great hunt. I hope health and wellness finds you and all those around you so you can make many more trips to the field.
_________________________
Rich man rolls the dice, Poor man pays the price!

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#3065417 - 04/20/17 01:24 AM Re: The Siren Song [Re: hm1996]
Infidel 762 Online
Moderator

Registered: 04/04/14
Posts: 6821
Loc: Okie
Clarence, it is so good to see you getting back out after them. I'm sure Margaret is glad to see you getting out too. Is this the ranch the owner don't want AR platforms?

You are right, we could all use a reminder to make the most out of opportunity, they are all fleeting. There are no guarantees of tomorrow, at least not in this world.

Siren Song;

"This is the one song everyone
would like to learn: the song
that is irresistible:

the song that forces men
to leap overboard in squadrons
even though they see the beached skulls

the song nobody knows
because anyone who has heard it
is dead, and the others can't remember.

Shall I tell you the secret
and if I do, will you get me
out of this bird suit?

I don't enjoy it here
squatting on this island
looking picturesque and mythical

with these two feathery maniacs,
I don't enjoy singing
this trio, fatal and valuable.

I will tell the secret to you,
to you, only to you.
Come closer. This song

is a cry for help: Help me!
Only you, only you can,
you are unique

at last. Alas
it is a boring song
but it works every time."

By Margaret Atwood

^^^^ It's kinda a bizarre poem. Your post reminded me of a band my girlfriend in college was really into. They wrote a song to the siren;


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#3065425 - 04/20/17 06:11 AM Re: The Siren Song [Re: hm1996]
Pa. Mick Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 1741
Loc: Southern shores of Lake Erie ,...
Great story & pics ! Every day is truly a gift, best of health to you, family & friends ! Thanks for sharing.

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#3065441 - 04/20/17 09:13 AM Re: The Siren Song [Re: hm1996]
flintrock Online
Die Hard Member

Registered: 10/17/13
Posts: 887
Loc: flinthills ks
That's the way to break in a new rifle. Great write up and good shootin'.
_________________________
If I had known grandkids were this much fun I would have had them first!!!!

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#3065468 - 04/20/17 11:23 AM Re: The Siren Song [Re: hm1996]
hm1996 Offline
PM Junkie

Registered: 07/23/06
Posts: 15312
Loc: S. Texas
Thanks to all for the well wishes for health issues. Really do appreciate it! Sure feels good to get out, even for a half day.

My hunting partner and I go back a ways. We were friends in high school, and that's been over 60 years. Hunted and fished and shot competition together ever since. We kinda lean on each other nowadays. lol

Yes, Jeremy, it does do Margaret and I both a lot of good. She doesn't want me to quit hunting and pushes me to get out of the house, but it's tough when her health is at risk. She knows how to manage her meds now (Dr. has given me a lot of leeway on dosages depending upon the conditions.). She hates her cell phone, but I get a lot of comfort in the fact that she has learned to text me her pressures each time a medication comes due and if not sure on dosage can ask me real time. I can hunt the nearest ranch and be home in an hour or less. Since it takes at least an hour for the meds to take effect, I feel somewhat in control of the situation.

Yes this is the ranch where AR's are banned. That was another problem. I'm having to change back from the AR platform to a bolt gun so hard to concentrate on my shooting. I have only had the Scout out once prior to this trip and we had a pair of hard chargers bust out of the brush 25 yards away, running left to right toward the decoy. Barking only caused them to shift down a gear. I thought I was on the 2nd one but missed. The 308 bucks enough to lose sight picture so not sure where I hit. Got back on it just as it reached the other brush line and nearly bent the trigger to no avail. Dumb***, ya gotta work the bolt on this thing! frown Sure hard to teach an old dog new tricks. lol

Thanks for your Siren Song poem & video.

Welcome to PM, Elijah.

Regards,
hm



_________________________
If what's ahead scares you and what's behind hurts you, look up; He never fails you.

If My people will humble themselves, pray, seek My face & turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven & will forgive their sin & heal their land.




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#3065605 - 04/20/17 11:09 PM Re: The Siren Song [Re: hm1996]
Infidel 762 Online
Moderator

Registered: 04/04/14
Posts: 6821
Loc: Okie
Yeah, I see you got that Les Johnson Burris. If I remember correctly it was not all that long ago he was singing praise to Simmons. That 308 kicks but it is a lot more mellow than a 30-06. I hunted whitetails a long time with the ought six then went to three oh eight when my daughter started out. she handled the 3o8 well and now even I have retired my ought sixes.

I am thinking about switching to TSS outta my shotty next year for deer, that way I can drop those runners at 100 yards. Drop them dead in their tracks.

tongue_smilie

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#3065617 - 04/21/17 12:39 AM Re: The Siren Song [Re: Infidel 762]
hm1996 Offline
PM Junkie

Registered: 07/23/06
Posts: 15312
Loc: S. Texas
Guess I got spoiled w/my AR's on coyotes. The 223 has no recoil and had Mike put a muzzle brake on my 243 WSSM so that I can see impact on the coyotes. The factory brake on the scout was so loud I had to take it off so lose sight of target at the shot.

Anyway, the 308 recoil isn't bad at all, but enough so that I don't see impact. Wish I had a nickel for every 30-06 round I've put downrange. Used to shoot at least 100 rds./wk when practicing for competition w/the '06; more than that on many match weekends.

I really like Burris scopes & ballistic plex reticles. Had FFII's on AR's but chose the PQ with the (bolder) F1 reticle for the Scout as my old eyes prefer the bold hash marks. Also like the side parallax knob on the PQ as opposed to on objective lens on the FFII's.

Regards,
hm

_________________________
If what's ahead scares you and what's behind hurts you, look up; He never fails you.

If My people will humble themselves, pray, seek My face & turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven & will forgive their sin & heal their land.




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#3072323 - 05/23/17 12:50 PM Re: The Siren Song [Re: hm1996]
hm1996 Offline
PM Junkie

Registered: 07/23/06
Posts: 15312
Loc: S. Texas
Amazing the difference between one hunt and the next. Couple of weeks ago, I realized the trailer plates expire at end of May and since trailer is at the ranch, I'd have to get up there and get it inspected in order to buy plates.

Well, since I had to go to the ranch anyway, why not make a couple of stands, take trailer to nearby town and get it inspected all in the same trip?

We got to the ranch in time to be on stand at first light. Weather conditions couldn't have been better. The strong southerly winds of the past four days subsided and turned to a gentle northerly breeze, signaling the arrival of a very mild cool front right after sunrise. Temperatures dropped to the mid 80's. Everything was moving except the coyotes! frown

Three dry stands later, we broke for lunch, hooked up the trailer and headed for town, 10 miles to the south. Had called one of the two inspection stations the day before to make arrangements, but were told the state computer system was down so no inspections until?????

As we left town, I was grumbling to my partner about the fact that this was a wasted trip; no coyotes, no inspection....bummer.

About that time we passed one of the worst accidents I've seen in the southbound lane at a point we had just passed 20 minutes earlier. One pickup had been travelling north in southbound lane (four land divided highway)and hit a southbound SUV head on.

Suddenly became aware that the terrible day we had been having, thank the Lord, was in reality a great day for us. One never knows.

Regards,
hm
_________________________
If what's ahead scares you and what's behind hurts you, look up; He never fails you.

If My people will humble themselves, pray, seek My face & turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven & will forgive their sin & heal their land.




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#3072488 - 05/24/17 09:26 AM Re: The Siren Song [Re: hm1996]
weekender Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 01/01/13
Posts: 3447
Loc: NC
Well played, great read and pics.

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#3072830 - 05/25/17 08:54 PM Re: The Siren Song [Re: hm1996]
sandy hicks Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 03/19/15
Posts: 3173
Loc: southeast texas
CD, you have to get a hook up on those inspections. Good to hear you getting out and even better that the wife is doing better. Continued prayers for both of you.
_________________________
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood , but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness on this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

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#3072975 - 05/26/17 03:31 PM Re: The Siren Song [Re: hm1996]
Infidel 762 Online
Moderator

Registered: 04/04/14
Posts: 6821
Loc: Okie
Yep, one never knows. Tomorrow is never guaranteed. Our space in time or time in this space is but a blip in all that is...

We can take so much for granted...

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