By Stuart Hoegh
Sunday morning I climbed into the stand around 5:45 am and realized that I had hung the stand with a solid lean. Sitting the next hour before shooting hours became a battle to avoid drifting off to sleep and sliding out of the stand. I had hung the stand on an east-to-west fenceline in the corner of a field with a thick grove of trees about half the size of a football field. Around 8 am a couple does moved up the fenceline to the north then crossed a draw and continued around the grove I was sitting in. Another hour passed with nothing moving. Then, I caught the glimpse of a coyote tial moving into a thicket about forty yards out. Before deciding whether to shoot the coyote I thought of the possibility of a buck coming in, the pheasants and deer fawns that the coyote may eat in the next year, and of adding another animal to my goal of the Iowa Slam for 2016. I made a one second kissing noise and waited to hear the coyote moving. Nothing happened. I waited until I could hear the coyote walking again and I gave about a two second squeal. This is sort of like the kissing noise people make when calling to puppies. It imitates a mouse and can be super effective in getting a coyote to close into range. The key is not overdoing it. Keep the animal curious without going to the point of it becoming suspicious. If the coyote is not reacting, try sucking on the back of your hand. It is considerably louder and deeper sounding, more like a cottontail. The coyote came out on the north side of the thicket and trotted down a small creek bed before coming broadside at about fifteen yards. I adjusted the camera and raised my bow. I settled the pin onto the vitals and let the arrow fly.
The sound an arrow makes when hitting a coyote is much different than a deer. While a deer is hit with almost a thud or a punching noise, a coyote is more muffled. The thick fur dampens the noise and it sounds more like getting hit with a pillow. The coyote ran about thirty yards, crossing a fence and running about ten rows into a cornfield. It showed no signs of injury and only looked confused. I wondered for a moment whether I had been mistaken and the arrow had only skirted along the bottom of the coyote and not hit the animal at all. Then, the coyote wobbled and collapsed.
One of our main goals for the season has been to focus on building a better deer herd I took the coyote in order to promote the pheasant and deer populations on our land. With the addition of the coyote I now must take a duck, goose, turkey and deer in order to complete the Iowa Slam. This week marks the last week before shotgun season and I hope to take a doe off of public land. Additionally, throughout shotgun season we will be duck hunting as often as possible. Stay tuned. Thanks.