As the Egg Shoot (related elsewhere) ended with a dose of hail Thursday afternoon, RanUtah, Dtech, and I decided we would try to make a few stands that afternoon.
After surrounding some hot food and coffee at the casino, we headed of towards the lake. The first stand we were set up with Randy and Mike watching the confluence of a couple of washes on one side of a ridge, and me watching another wash on the other side. Randy got my attention with some kiyis (I wasn't really asleep, just inspecting the insides of my eyelids) as one bugged out after crossing Randy's scent trail. I guess Mike and Randy were each waiting for the other to shoot for so long, the coyote wound up getting a free pass.
We left that stand (and my stool) and leapfrogged stands with RagnCagn and Yellowhammer (I think) down the road for a few more, but didn't see anything else.
Friday morning Dtech, Pdbuster, and I went out. We had to be back at the casino by mid afternoon and though the weather was fine (finally), I figured the roads up north would still be mostly gumbo mud (they were) so we stayed on the south side between the casino and the lake. We didn't hunt hard, spending as much time in "get to know you" conversation as calling, but had fun.
We made our first stand in basically the same spot as the busted coyote of the previous day. The batteries in my FX5 had inexplicably gone dead after only a couple of weeks of being left turned on (imagine that
), so I used hand calls. Fortunately both Brandon and Mike were relatively new to calling and thought I knew what I was doing
. No takers on that stand, but I got my stool.
A couple of stands later, I called one in, but neither Mike or Brandon had a shot, and I was being stared at hard by the coyote, with both hands on the call and my rifle on the ground beside me
. He bugged out and I couldn't get him to come back, so no shot.
Two or three stands later we set up on a small hill overlooking a couple of washes with gobs of javelina sign. I decided to call piggies instead of coyotes as neither Mike or Brandon had ever seen one. Man oh man, that FX5 makes calling javelina ridiculously easy (spare batteries were in the last place I looked). If I hadn't put the caller 3 feet or so off the ground I'd have been worried about it's future.
We made another unproductive stand or two and headed back to the casino. Not a shot fired, but I had a great time and enjoyed hunting with Pdbuster and Dtech.
After eating, Mike and I headed back out to try another stand or two before sunset. We were trying to get to the back side of the golf course, but the gate was closed so we made a stand maybe a mile further north sitting under the ridge-line of a fairly large hill overlooking several draws.
We weren't having any luck and the sun was setting, so I decided to change sounds. I fired up the rabbit/coyote combination, then a young coyote, then an aggressive coyote, then a coyote fight, then another challenge. That sort of thing has never worked for me before, but I figured there was nothing to lose, and lo and behold here comes a large coyote charging
in to my right. I took my rifle off the sticks and switched shoulders shooting him at 200YDs with a left hand, offhand, running shot that knocked him azz over teakettle tumbling down a hillside. I was elated, since I suck
at running shots with a scope even right handed and off sticks.
Mike and I walked around the hill and down the wash to where I thought he'd gone down, but it was full dark by then and I wasn't sure which hill he'd gone down. We couldn't find his carcass with the flashlight and decided we'd come back the next day and locate him.
Saturday Mike and I headed toward the south west corner of the rez. We made a couple of unproductive stands, saw three that hung up on a ridge way
out there, and found the landscape littered with other hunters (first day of javelina season). We did some exploring, took some pics, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves without hardly hunting at all.
Late that afternoon we went back to check out the carcass from the day before and found...nothing, nada, zip. I'm sure I hit him cause he went from full tilt charge to full tilt somersaulting down the hill, but I guess I still suck at running scope shots.
I had a great time, even without putting any (recovered) fur on the ground. I got to put faces to a lot of names, saw some old friends, and made lots of new ones.
That’s what our annual get-together is all about.
I was remiss in carrying my camera with me (good camera but big), but here’s a few more shots.
A couple of miles north of where J. Holly shot (at) a lion last year Mike and i came across a grove of HUGE saguaro cacti. They normally grow to about 30ft tall with 5 "arms". Some of these had to be pushing 60ft and had more than a dozen arms.
The one I'm standing under was close to 40ft tall and was one of the smaller of these giants (but accessible).
Biggest (by far) saguaro I've ever seen, and I live here.