Saturday, December 8, 2007

Thanksgiving Coyote

It started as a simple early morning walk. Deer season had just ended, but I carried my .243 win Savage rifle anyway. The lure of varmint sniping was tempting enough to wake me on this cold morning of Thanksgiving Day. I didn't expect to see much beyond the cloud of my own breath on this frosty morning before sunrise. My hopes were lifted though, when I saw a coyote hunting in the far distance. The sun was just peeking over the horizon, and i knew I was in for a treat. Before long the half circle of orange and red nearly filled the Eastern sky. I sat down and began scoping the land around me. I soon found many others that had been roused to the beautiful early morning light. Rabbits were hopping and playing, and two yearling whitetail deer wrestled and grazed in a tree row in the far off distance. I watched them soaking up the early morning rays until they disappeared behind a row of cottonwoods. The frosty air penetrated me so I began moving again. I spotted a short row of evergreens that would be adequate cover and camouflage. I only traveled a few yards into this tree row when I spotted him. A coyote was running fast away from the direction of the sun, which was now disappearing, as a heavy fog settled in. I shouldered my rifle and scoped him hopefully. I watched him run several yards, until he caught the scent of a tasty rabbit (I assume). He turned North sharply and followed his nose, aimed almost directly towards where I stood, hidden in the trees. My heart began beating faster as I watched closely through the lens of my scope. Within seconds the coyote had covered a large distance in my direction and showed no signs of stopping or changing his course. Before long the coyote grew so close I could scarcely see anything but the fur of my victim. I swung my rifle quickly and flipped the safety. I thought to my self if i don't shoot quickly this thing will be on my lap. The closer the coyote came the harder it was to maintain the cross hairs position just in front of the shoulders. I led the shoulders and pulled quickly. He never caught sight or scent of me. The .243 caliber bullet met it's mark perfectly and dropped the coyote within a few yards of running. The timing could not have been better. I looked around and realized in just minutes the fog had settled so heavy that the visibility was limited to less than 50 yards. My coyote made a fine pelt and an even better story for Thanksgiving dinner.