The 2004 Predator Master hunt in Globe:

This was my third opportunity to attend a Predator Masters hunt. Every one has been great fun, this one was the very best to date. That doesn’t take away from the first two years in anyway. This year stands out because of the shear number of hunters that participated and the quality of hunt seen on the San Carlos Reservation. I don’t know if it was the time of year or the switchy weather in Arizona. We had cool weather but not cold, hot midday’s, some wind but not much and even fairly heavy nighttime and morning rains.

The hunt:
THURSDAY was typical in that we generally all gathered at the Country Kitchen and the Comfort Inn. The usual chore of placing names with faces went smoothly. I was scheduled to guide Trophyhunter on Friday but was glad to add Donovan and Carl Matz to the group. What can be said about these guys? Well:

Trophyhunter – Alan is a fairly serious, vary focused, and has more predator hunting experience than I have. We clearly hunted a worked ground in a very serious manner.

Donovan – Well after shooting at a coyote at a range of well over 600 yards he said it best. “God gave me (him) a trigger finger and it would be a shame not to use it.” And use it he did! Don’t get the wrong impression, he was safe and only used his huge trigger pulling skills after it was obvious that a coyote was not coming in or was spooked. I must admit though, the absolute longest shot was attempted by Trophyhunter with a 1200 yard+ attempt. I could do nothing but smile at this because these guys had driven over 1,000 miles to attend the hunt and fun was where they found it.

Curt Matz – Curt was the rooky in the bunch, he was quiet and respectful, adding an occasional joke and comment at the appropriate times. I’d be glad tro hunt with him at any time.

We not only had some serious fun but we did kill some stuff.

On the first stand of the day. As dawn was breaking we setup on the prairie in a small hill surrounded by several larger hills. As I set the stand Curt and Trophyhunter spotted the coyotes that I did not see. I set up with Donovan basically next to me and started the stand with a howl. This broke two coyotes into my eyesight high on a hill and at better than 300 yards away. These two coyotes milled around up on the hill and made it obvious that they were not coming in so I took the decision to take the shot. I settled my Ruger #3, turned the scope up to 9x, placed the bottom of the duplex cross hair on the coyote and took the shot. I guess everybody had their rifles trained on the coyote because they all saw the fur fly and the coyote go down. I broke her down but she was trying to get up so I tried to finish her as she moved around, I missed, Donovan asked if he could shoot too. We shot and shot until Donovan connected and anchored the coyote.

We saw a coyote on the next stand but it was to far away for even Donovan to shoot.
We saw a coyote on the way back to the truck on the next stand. Donovan opened up on it but there was no hitting that animal. This is when Trophyhunter took his epic 1200+ yard shot. This is when we glassed around and saw hunters, antelope and some at more than a mile coyotes running away from the hunters. Still smiling and laughing we got back into the Bronco.

A few stands later Trophyhunter called in a coyote that tried to back door him but he was way too experienced to let that happen.

A few stands later I called and killed a nice little gray fox at about 10 feet. Donovan was desperate for the hide so we skinned it out and he took it home. This fox had a death wish. Curt said that at my very first squall the fox started in at a high speed run passing him before he could turn on it, Donovan said that the fox shot by him at an amazing speed, but when it popped out next to me his time was up. The gray fox is a beautiful little animal.

We called another coyote but a couple of passing vehicles pushed the animal off, but not far enough for Donovan. He took the shot, the last we saw of that coyote he was still running.

Friday was over and I believe that we would all agree that it was a good day. Dinner at the Country Kitchen was amazing, lots of hunters, lots of stories, lots of fun.

SATURDAY I was to guide Moose57. With all the pressure on the reservation I decided that we would hunt off the reservation. At 5:00am in the rain we headed for South Eastern Arizona. Dawn broke wet and rainy but the sun broke out and the day was about as close to perfect as possible. This is ladder country so we used that all day. Moose57 is not very experienced so he wanted me to call all day. On the third stand a coyote broke cover but was instantly gone offering absolutely no shot. On the next stand I called and killed a coyote from my ladder. I wanted Moose57 to try the ladder so he used it for the rest of the day. On the 6th stand I was on my stool and called a coyote, it seemed to stand and look at me for ever (probably for only about 5 seconds) so I turned on it and killed it. I looked over at Moose57 to find him settled in and ready to shoot it but I’d taken it from him. The guilt was almost instant, man, I’m a game hog.

On stand 7 I decided that I would not take a rifle and give Moose57 every opportunity. He was on the ladder, AR15 in hand, I was about 25 yards behind him sitting on the ground. I was blowing on my Rhino call for a few minutes when I noticed Moose57 draw on something, I was sure it was a coyote so I barked to stop him and he took the shot. His second pull of the trigger “CLICK”, so I got up to see that he was shooting at a badger that was far from dead. He cycles the AR15 again and took another shot hitting but not stopping it. We chased it down and finished it off. Man did it stink, but the quality of the fur was worth any stink so it was time to skin. I’ve skinned a few badgers and am always amazed at how difficult a job it is. We probably could have skinned out 3 or 4 coyotes in the time it took to skin this relatively small animal, but the effort was worth it. We called a few more stands and headed back to Globe.
Another great day and again the number of hunters in the Country Kitchen was nothing short of amazing. It was nice to see Mike Paul had made it.

SUNDAY was a short day with the banquette so I did not hunt. The banquette was fun. I was completely surprised by Ranutah, when he presented Crapshoot, NASA, Critr and me with some beautiful wildlife art for helping Predator Masters, I never expected this and don’t know what to say. Raffles are funny things. I tossed my last $26.00 into the pot fully expecting it to be nothing but a donation. So while I was sitting there talking non-sense with Jay N., Rich Higgins, Rich’s son and Bill I’m sure Crapshoot was going nuts calling out a raffle ticket number until I realize it was one of mine, imagine my surprise when I won the Foxpro E-caller, WHOW! Then the same thing happened with the guillie suite. The foxpro is wonderful and the guillie suit is truly impressive. My thanks go out to those that donated these products.

This was all fun but equally fun is the gatherings out in the parking lot. Rich Higgins and son did some howling, as did Jay N. accompanied by many others. Photo’s, talking, even some skinning was done. These are the good times.

edit for spelling
.....liars usually leave tracks, the trick is finding them without getting caught ......