Double for the rookie


New member
Well, had a little excitement over the weekend that I thought I would share. My second daughter, 11, and I took a little time out from ranch chores to make a stand or two. Was the second time she had ever carried a gun on stand, and we had high hopes.

The wind was coming up out of the south as we moved some cows and checked tanks first thing, and she commented about maybe it being to windy when we got done, but I told her I had a spot that should be just fine, maybe better in the wind cause it was cut up with a bunch of washes and rough little hills. As we parked the Ranger in a draw I looked up on the rim about 150 yards away and a coyote is standing there. It hasn't noticed us so I point it out and hand her the rifle. She starts fumbling with her ear plugs and it spots us and trots over the ridge line. She is disappointed, but I told her if there is one around there are likely to be more. We walk about 3/8's of a mile to the south into the wind and set up over looking this draw to our south and east.

I start out with some rabbit squalls on a closed reed and see a coyote leaving on the edge of the canyon to our south east about 500 yards out. Figured it saw us come in and set up. Nuts!! Two coyotes bumped now. I go ahead with another couple series and wait a couple minutes between them. Now I see a second coyote leaving down the edge of the canyon on the same line as the first we saw leave. Looking straight east of us, hard to 9 o'clock, I see another coyote just standing in a rocky wash looking our way. As I am describing where to look to my daughter, another one pops up down in front of us about 200 yards out. She spots it soon as I tell her where to look and starts gradually getting her gun lined up, nice and easy, no fast moves. Once she is on him she asks "Can I shoot him now, Dad?" I told her if she felt good about the shot to go ahead. At the shot I hear the bullet impact; the coyote staggers and starts spinning, but biting a little far back. He manages to get it together after a few seconds and starts off straight south down the middle of the draw. The way he is traveling it doesn't look like he will make it far, and sure enough after about 150-200 yards he stops and lays down in some taller grass. I mentally mark the spot for the follow up while blowing some ki-yi's.

When I look back to the east for the second coyote, we see that it has started our way with the ki-yi's, but is in no hurry. I blow another series of them, and he breaks loose into a slow lope and starts closing the distance. My daughter is already moving the sticks and the gun getting lined up on him, without me even saying anything. It was great!

At about 200 hundred he slows down at the edge of the wash in the draw and she starts asking if she can shoot again. At this point, he is 90 degrees across a 15-20 mph breeze, so I tell her to wait and see if we can get him closer. Sure enough, he keeps coming, goes out of sight in the bottom of the wash for a short eternity, and pops up at about 150. Now she is really on point and ready to go. I whisper to her to hold into the wind just a shade and shoot him when he stops and she feels good about it. At about 125 yards he stops facing dead on, and she center punches him. I immediately look to the other coyote down the draw in the grass, and can see he has picked up his head.

Here is the pic looking to the east where she shot the second coyote. He is laying in the patch of sage to the right and a little above the end of her gun barrel.

The second coyote is obviously stone dead, but number one looks like he may have a little left in him to get up and run if pushed, so we sit and relive the experience for a couple minutes and then I send her down to find and check out the second one she shot while I try to mentally mark the first coyote again in the tall grass from our vantage point.

After I think I have a lock on number one I traipse down the hill after her, shooting a few pics along the way. She is zigzagging through the sage towards where she thinks her coyote is lying and occasionally looking back at me. I tell her to be careful not to get bit, and she looks back at me and says something to the effect of "He isn't getting up the way he got shot!"

Boys, you should have seen the grin she had when she finds him and looks back at me! I walk up there and we start looking him over. A pretty good sized, mature male, but he has got the mange started. Hair is missing on his shoulder, tail, hip, and his belly is turning pink. Nuts! For the second time today! We take a few pictures and she says she wants to haul him home to show mom anyway, especially if we can't find her first one.

After all those pictures and killing a little more time talking things over I figure the first one should have called it a life, so we wander on down to where we think he should be. Back and forth through the grass we go, and no luck. She is still happy, but a bit bummed not finding him. Nuts! For the third time today. I tell her we will drive out this way in the Ranger and look some more on the way back to the pickup. All I can figure is he got up when we were taking pictures and headed on south up the draw. Maybe we can find him in the Ranger and finish the deal.

Going back to the ride, I stopped where we called from and look back at where the first coyote should have been. Sure enough, I was off my line about 50-75 yards to the west when we were looking, so I have hope that maybe it is still lying where I saw it last. All that grass got to looking the same but different when I was right in it compared to where we sitting 400 yards away.

As we get on a ridge headed back we see a coyote about 350 yards west of us on the crest of another ridge, but he is looking at us and drops out of sight we when we stop. That makes 6 coyotes in one hour with in half a mile supposing the first and last coyotes weren't the same one, which is a possibility.

We get in the Ranger, get to the mangy coyote, load it up, and head south to look for the first one she shot. I move more to the east side of the draw and start driving a snake trail, looking. Sure enough, she shouts "There he is!", and the hunt is over. This was another good sized, mature male, but this time the only flaws in him were a couple cockle burs that I cleaned out. Hoping to get this one tanned for her; I figure its worth it.

Here is a shot of her posing with her double. I told her maybe she should quit now seeing as she has never missed a coyote, but I think she is hooked.

Hope you all enjoyed story as much as we did making it, I figured it was worth writing down just for us to read sometime in the future if nothing else.

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There's a whole lot of smiling going on in those pictures. I'll bet the smiles behind the camera were just as big as the ones in front. Congrats to you both!
Major congrats to both of you...but especially to your daughter!!!!

Sounds like ol' Dad was just as excited as she was, (and definitely proud).

I hope your little gal bugs you all the time, now, to keep taking her hunting!!!

Great telling of the hunt!!
That's Great!! She should write notes and keep photos and start a journal. One day it might make a great book for the grand kids!! Or others!
Outstanding hunt and story! Spend all the time you can with you daughter now, she will be away to college and life before you know it. That being both will remember that hunt for the rest of your life's.
Thanks for all the comments, fellas. J, my daughter, just starts grinning again every time we talk about her outing. (truth be told, I do too.) I am hoping to get my other girls a chance at coyotes this winter, also, but ya just never know how it will turn out.

You guys that have commented about how fast kids grow up are sure enough right: time goes by way to fast in that regard.
That's awesome. Congrats to the young lady for holding it together and makin' the shot. I've seen grown men miss easier shots than that.
Those pics bring back memories! I grew up in that area of Kansas, so it's nice to see those pictures. Tell your daughter congrats. I have more fun watching my kids shoot then anything.
Glad you liked the pics, money, the Smoky Hill River was just north of us about half mile. We are very blessed to be where we are, doing what we do.

All- I showed my daughter all the comments and she asked about who you all were. I tried to tell about what I knew of each of you from your posts or some of you I have met or had contact with. She was very excited to hear what I could tell her and after seeing pictures and stories from lots of you guys she was very flattered that you would comment on her story. Thanks a bunch guys.
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