This morning I got up early and hit a spot that I always love going to for a coyote and haven't been to this year. It was a beautiful morning watching the sun come up while sitting out there. Finally a day without a terrible wind blowing. Nothing came to my rambling rabbit noises so I was off for the next farm on the agenda.

The second spot I saved till a little later in the morning in hopes that a bobcat had returned after a night of hunting to his core area. Last year a couple of days after I killed my bobcat (we can only get one a year in Iowa), my son and I hit this spot and called in a large male cat and I couldn't shoot because I had already got my cat for the year. A little over a month later while a friend was hunting with me, he called up a bobcat on the same farm. By then the season was over so that kitty survived. Then in April, I took a friend's son out for youth turkey season and called in the same large male again accompanied by a smaller female. So 4 cats came in 3 times out this last year. I was getting tired of seeing cats in front of me while holding a gun and not being able to shoot. That big male was my target cat for this year. The female however, was not on the list and would probably receive a pass from me.

The ground has a little of everything they like. A good cedar grove, grass, a little timber and a pond. I walked in down a fence line that is over the hill and out of sight from all that cover and hung my caller. I returned back up the fenceline about 70 yards and took a seat in the grass strip along the field edge. After letting things settle down for a bit, I stirred things up by blowing two series of rabbit distress on my mouth call. Then after a couple of minutes started the caller up playing baby cottontail for a couple of minutes. Then after some more silence, played cottontail distress for a minute and muted the caller.

Ten minutes after my initial mouth calling followed up with the caller sound, this guy came walking over the hill:

I had the camera settings set up so that if a cat came around the hill in the shade of the trees, I'd have a good photo. Instead this cat came over the hill in the bright, direct early morning sunlight which kind of ruined the exposure in the photo. I was a little disappointed with the photos.

When the cat appeared there was no sound running from the caller. He sat down and actually looked right at me and I'm sure he could see this big ugly hunter sitting right there 75 yards away. That'll usually spook a coyote every time, but with cats it's not usually a big deal. I started the caller up and he turned his attention towards the sound and continued to sit there while I snapped a few photos. I would have taken a lot more photos because I'm sure this cat would have given me all the time in the world but when he didn't stalk the caller once it started playing, I decided to just take him then and not take any chances. They'll hopefully be another cat come in yet this season that I can have all the time in the world to take photos of.

In the direct sunlight I knew I had a tom and at first thought maybe this was the big male I had been after. Upon a closer look thru the scope at him however, I knew it was a different cat based upon his pretty, lighter colored freckling and his ears. But I knew I had a tom so I placed the crosshairs right on the shoulder in line with where I thought his heart was and at the squeeze of the trigger, he just tipped over without so much as a kick. The .223 V-Max didn't exit the other side and the shoulder absorbed some of the energy.

I snapped a few photos after the kill. The tom was 22 pounds with large feet and a large head.

And a shot of that beautiful dotted belly:

After I left the farm I called the local game warden and left him a message hoping to meet up with him at some point so he could tag my cat. I figured I'd go call another farm for a coyote while I waited for him to call me back. This is where things went downhill. I walked in, sat down and blew two series of distress and waited for a coyote. While I was waiting, I felt my phone vibrate inside my coat pocket telling me I'd missed a call or text. Earlier I had texted a few of my friends about my kitty success and had missed a few replies from them. While I was fooling around with that, I look up and see a coyote on the adjacent hillside in the bean stubble about 150 yards away just standing there looking at me. WOAH!!! The coyote begins trotting as I drop the phone while I begin to cuss myself and start barking to get him to stop before he gets behind a tree that is between him and I. It worked and he stopped for a moment but I couldn't find him in the scope in time before he was trotting again and behind the limbs. With no more shot from me to him, I tried something that almost never works. I got up and moved to hopefully get him stopped and shot before he hit the tree line and was gone for good. Well, it didn't work but it was my only chance.

So the distraction cost me a coyote. Usually I'm pretty disappointed when a coyote gets away, but this time I was still pretty happy on my walk back to the truck with my kitty in the back.

Edited by reb8600 (12/03/13 12:25 PM)