Saturday, January 26, 2013

Call of the wild

photo of a coyote hunter in a field
© harrington
This is a picture of my daughter's significant other [SO] on his way back to a ground blind (not visible in the photo). He's returning after placing a coyote call in the small cedar behind him. We, SO and I, sat in the ground blind late one afternoon during the closing days of black powder deer season. That accounts for the florescent orange he's obviously wearing. After an hour or so of sitting quietly and playing with the call, we decided that there weren't any local coyotes that were going to come and play with us that day. Fast forward to last night. There is snow cover in the "back yard." The moon was waxing gibbous (full will be tomorrow) so there was night light. About 8:30 or 9:00 PM, the SO heard howls outside. He bundled up, took the call, asked if I wanted to come (being considerably older and therefore, presumably, somewhat wiser, I looked at the sub-zero temperature and, regretfully, declined. (When I was about the same age as the SO is now, I used to use a full moon/full tide excuse to drive for several hours to a beach to see if any striped bass wanted to come out and play. Evening temperatures were in excess of 60 degrees on the plus side of zero. I may be crazy, but I'm not yet totally insane.) Anyhow, after placing the call in a handy bush, SO proceeded to call and wait quietly. Success! sort of. He managed to call in a small pack of 5 or 6 coyotes that refused to break cover and emerge from the woods onto the snow-covered-brightly-moonlit field where he could see as well as hear them. Instead, they had split into two small groups (or it may have been two separate groups to begin with) each on one side of the field, howling back and forth for quite awhile. It was exciting for SO, interesting perhaps for the coyotes, and about as productive as many of my striper expeditions. Lack of success usually makes me more interested in getting out again to play the game. I think it may be the same with SO. How about you?