I always use my game camera surveys to form my “hit list” for the season. Typically the list includes mature bucks or cull bucks but last year I added a non-antlered animal……a coyote.
The quest began when I saw the infuriating picture of that darn coyote on my trail camera. There he was carrying a fawn in his mouth. Not just any fawn, but one of my herd! That picture made me mad. I didn't want to compete with another predator for deer. He needed to keep his nasty teeth out of my herd! How dare he be so bold as to take a little baby deer, I would never do such a thing! He obviously had no shame. That the coyote needed to go! And thus my quest began.
It wasn't hunting season yet and so I kept the camera in the same location gathering more surveillance. And don't you know it… that coyote's brash behavior escalated! He was going by my trail camera two times a day almost daily. And he wasn't slinking by under the cover of darkness, no not this sassy one, the pictures were almost exclusively in the daylight hours. He did not sneak around; he trotted past that camera, head held high, brazen as could be. I could tell he felt that he was master of his domain and he did not have a care in the world…or did he?
The trail camera photos revealed his patterns and his weak points. I was able to capitalize on the information I gathered and that gave me an advantage over this predator. I don't have the keen senses of a coyote, but I had eyes in his territory day and night. He never knew that he was giving me all the secrets of his daily routine.
I anxiously awaited the opening of bow season. I was hoping that that coyote would be up to his usual tricks and I would have a shot opportunity. I sat in that stand whenever the prevailing wind was in my favor. Bow season came and went and I never was able to lay my eyes on that conniving coyote. But the trail camera still told of his frequent daylight trips. Our paths just hadn't crossed….yet.
So came the opening of gun season and we were at hunting camp for Thanksgiving. Friday evening the wind was to be out of the west, perfect for hunting the coyote ambush site. And so I sat. I got there in the early afternoon and got all my gear situated. I sat very still and watched vigilantly. A little before 4 p.m. I detected movement about 100 yards up the lane. Sure enough here comes old Wiley himself. My heart began to pound as if there was a freaknasty droptine buck was standing in front of me. He was all cocky and full of attitude. He came prancing up the road with his head held high, just as I had imagined. It seemed to play out in slow motion. He continued up the lane and turned onto the deer trail just as predicted. When he was broadside and I had a clear shot I squeezed the trigger. Down he went! The fawn killer was no more.
I got down out of my treestand to face my fallen foe. He was a healthy male with a sleek, shiny coat and sharp teeth. The perfect predator. I couldn't help but pump my fist in the air in triumph. It had been a long journey, but persistence and perseverance paid off. My nemesis was vanquished.
So rest easy little yearlings and momma does, you are safe for a while here on my property. Wiley coyote won't be bothering you anymore. Coyotes beware! Don't mess with my herd!