Desert Skies and Bunny Cries.

The desert is one of my favorite places to hang out. Even though it looks plain and like it doesn’t have much going on, taking a day and spending it out there will change your mind. My fiancé and I decided to go coyote hunting one day. She had shot my rifle and my shotgun and even though we hadn’t bought her any camouflage yet, I had enough that she could borrow. We got her set up and I had done some scouting on OnXmaps and found some spots that looked decent. The thing with it is that even though OnX shows the public lands, it didn’t show shooting restricted areas. The first spot we were heading towards was shooting restricted and it was a recreation area. Utah is still somewhat new to me and that was an interesting find. This obviously threw a wrench on our plans. Not that the plan was very solid in the first place, I hadn’t done any real scouting so this was a crap shoot anyways.

I got back on my GPS and started looking at other locations to go try. We decided to drive to a different spot about 30 minutes down the road. We drove until the recreation area was over and found a spot to park. There we got out and got loaded up and began to hike looking for a good spot for our first stand. I have a Camelback that I use that makes it nice to pack my FOXPRO, my MOJO critter and my ammo. We hiked about half a mile and made our first stand. You could tell that there was an old den in the area and there were plenty of clues that coyotes were hanging out in that area. I told my fiancé to find some big sagebrush to go sit in or around and I would go get the MOJO set up. When I got done setting that up and got my FOXPRO set up, I looked for my fiancé and I couldn’t see her at all! She totally disappeared with that Kings Camo gear on. I managed to get her to wave at me without shouting and scaring all of the coyotes away.

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We sat there for about 30 minutes. This was her first time hunting ever! I was nervous as to how she was feeling or if she’d get super bored or not like it if we shot a coyote. I told her that coyotes don’t really attack humans and she told me she was terrified. While we were on our stand, she googled “coyotes” and she saw a picture of one snarling, she then described coyotes as “dog piranhas”. Coyote hunting isn’t for everybody and some people, including my dad, think that coyotes look too much like a dog for him to be able to hunt them. As we sat there, I kept looking over at my fiancé and she was all smiles and anticipation. I was glad to see that she was enjoying herself and I was really hoping for a coyote to come in. Luck was not on our side though so after another 30 minutes, we decided to move on to the next stand.

We hiked another mile away looking for a spot to make another stand. On the way we saw some antelope out in the distance, she said that was her first time seeing antelope. She had seen deer before but never seen any antelope. On the way to our second stand, we also found a carcass. My fiancé had never seen all those bleached bones laying around. It looked like a deer that was possibly killed by either coyotes or a cougar. We went a little further and set up again. This spot had a lot of cover around and so I mentioned that if any coyotes came in, they would be coming in fast. This got her a little nervous but sure turned on the excitement. I had her with my shotgun and I had my rifle, even though I knew the rifle would be useless in that stand. We sat there for another hour or so and we had no luck. I kind of expected that since we hadn’t done any real scouting. At this point the sun was going down and we were hungry. We hiked back to the truck and made our way out.

The hunt wasn’t very eventful and really, all we wanted to do was get out and go play in the desert. I never get tired of playing in the desert. There’s a lot more to see out there then just bushes and dirt. We left and enjoyed our time together. It was fun to get out with my fiancé and get her started into hunting. Now we have waterfowl season going so coyote hunting takes a break until the season is over. Hopefully when February comes around we can get on some coyotes and she can see a “dog piranha” up close and personal.

Lessons Learned:

  • Coyote hunting can be intimidating for a complete first timer
  • Don’t have high expectations when you haven’t scouted
  • Coyote calls can be weird to new hunters
  • You have to watch from all sides, not just in front of you.

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