Well, the Idaho Spud (from Dashers Sage/Stryker litter last August) got introduced to the tougher side of coyote hunting.

We went out for a drive and checked a calving pasture. Lots of cows and calves. Stopped to let the dogs stretch their legs. Heard a coyote howl about a mile away southwest. It was 7:30 Sunday evening, still had about an hour + of daylight.

I grabbed my .243 WBY Accumark Ultra Lightweight and Leupold 4.5-14x50mm combo. It holds 58 grain V-maxes at 3900 FPS.
Worked my way around the shaded east side of a hill and sat where I could watch to the SW. Lots of cactus, so I was careful where I plunked my backside.

Spud and Purdy the Airedale wandered around, Spud has to pee on everything. He's 10 months and 56 pounds, not cut and has a big deep bark. The dogs had a few face offs with momma cows who didn't like dogs around. The dogs were well behaved and didn't chase the calves or cows.

I pulled out a Tally-ho mouth call and let out two spaced lonesome howls. I used my binocular to scan the area and saw a light colored object about 3/4 mile SW on a bench below a ridge. Cranked the Leupold up to 14X and sure enough, there was the howler. He stood and stretched. I sent a short rendition of jackrabbit distress his way and he came running hard, totally committed. I could see him for about a 1/4 mile then he dropped out of sight into several draws.

Spud and Purdy were still investigating the area when suddenly a coyote started sending chopped up barks their way. They both started south toward the barker, then sat down. (this is a conditioned response. We live on 8.5 acres and when our neighbors dogs start barking at them, they used to take off like rockets toward them and leave the property. They since learned that the Sportdog collars bite them if they leave the property. Its going to take some training for them to realize it's okay to head out to meet the coyotes)

While they were watching the barker, I sent out another short blast of JR distress to help the incoming dog locate us. The wind was coming from my right, prevailing West as usual. I knew the coyote should have been here by now and guessed that he had seen the dogs and circled downwind. I slowly swiveled my head to the left and there he stood, downwind of the dogs, having circled through a saddle North of us.

The coyote was intently focused on the sitting dogs who were, in turn, intently focused on the barker across the draws. I eased around and put the crosshairs on the coyote and anchored him with a shot to the hip. At the shot, Purdy was immediately looking for the coyote she knew was down. Not having seen it, she didn't know where to find it. Spud was clueless as this was only his second time out, having seen and chased 3 coyotes and gotten to wool two dead ones a few months back.

I ran toward the coyote, encouraging the dogs to "get a coyote!". Purdy circled to my left running hard to get ahead and downwind, nose held high looking for scent. Spud was running toward me, closing fast. Just as I crested the low rise the coyote was on, Spud passed me on the my right full bore running and looked back over his left shoulder at me as he went by.

He ran full speed into a wounded live coyote.

The collision was pretty spectacular. It was chest-to-chest with Spuds front legs stopping while the rear legs tried to pass. The two were tangled up and scrambling when the coyote reached around and bit Spud between the shoulder blades. The resulting surprised yelp that Spud let out was all Purdy needed to locate her target.

Turning right and streaking in like a Hellfire missile, she closed the gap. Spud and the coyote had started to separate when 62 pounds of Airedale hit the coyote shoulder to shoulder, knocking him flat. As she passed above him, he snapped her on her left hind foot, cut one of the pads and drew blood.

The ol' pig-eyed wooly-dog's eyes showed rage and she curled around and transmogrified into a black-and-tan flash of teeth and snarls.

The coyote couldn't bite her again as she instantly drew a deep hold on his throat and shook him five times. I could hear crunching and he went limp, eyes dilated and fixed. Man, she's quick. There was no interlude of standoff and face barking, no manuevering for position. She flat killed him. While she's great with other dogs, coyotes flip her switch. This whole event lasted about 5 seconds but it sure seemed longer.

Spud recovered and started face barking his dead nemesis. With some encouragement he grabbed hold, pulling hair, then biting the chest behind the front legs and finally working his way to the throat where he started shaking the coyote vigorously.
Purdy grabbed the back of the neck and the two played tug of war with him for a while.

For Spuds second time out and only the fourth coyote he's ever seen, he did pretty good. Those Stryker/Sage pups seem to have a pretty good reputation. Thanks to Dasher, Dave James and Mason Workman for putting to gether some great bloodlines.
We'll head back to clean out the barker and pups.

Purdy and Spud

Had them weighed at the vet Wednesday when I had her foot looked at.

Purdy relaxing after her hard work. She prefers Kentucky to Canadian with her rawhide.

Edited by Airedale56 (06/04/10 05:53 PM)
It ain't lion hunting unless you get stitches - John in WYO