As harvest wound down, I hunted daily for deer. I focused on completing one good hunt per day while getting a few hours of work in for my dad where I could. My plan was to leave Iowa Dec. 1 and head west. My brother Max told me the state of Utah pays for the removal of coyotes in order to protect their mule deer populations. I decided on Utah.
I packed all of the gear I would need into the back of my Suburban: traps, rifle, camo, sleeping bags and a Yeti. I also brought climbing gear for a trip down to Las Vegas with some friends from college. With Nali riding shotgun, I drove toward the Rockies. I began hunting in eastern Utah near Moab, then found my way to the center of the state and finally to Cedar City, the focal point of the trip. By looking at maps provided by the Department of Wildlife, I could tell there was a solid coyote population in the area and ample amounts of BLM and national forest land.
I now spend each day searching for areas of BLM land to park in the evenings and hunt the surrounding area the following morning. I crawl out of my sleeping bag at 6 am with the outside temperature around 20 degrees and the car maybe two degrees warmer. Watching the sunrise over the mountains makes up for the sleeping conditions. I eat oatmeal and walk several miles calling at four different locations. Once I get back to the car, I run through some training with Nali and make a loop checking and setting traps.
In the afternoon I find a local gym, and attempt to start a free trial. After a workout and a shower, I go to the public library to read for an hour or gracefully slosh together a blog like the one you are reading. Around 8 pm I head back out of town, turn off the paved road and park, crossing my fingers for an LTE connection to check out the Tinder prospects. Tinder recently asked me to add my occupation. Apparently “coyote hunter” and “funemployed” weren’t options. I went with entrepreneur. I hope I spelled that right.
Stuart will be hunting and trapping coyotes in Utah until mid-January.