West Texas Trip


New member
I finally had the opportunity to take some leave so the last two weeks of Feb I went to West Tx (home)for some hunting. A good friend and neighbor went with me to help with the driving. He is brand new to the sport (never been calling). It was also a great opportunity for me to break my new camper in. We took my camper and his truck and left on the 16th for 33 hours of straight driving (with a stop at Cabelas in Fort Worth).

Feb in West Tx is the windy season. I went into this trip knowing that but had to take the leave when I could get it. Temps got down in the teens at night then up to the 70's in the day with the occasional high of 50's. Very few clouds during our two week span.

I was hunting two ranches owned by the same person: One is in the Davis Mountains and is approximately 30,000 acres of rough mountainous terrain and his other ranch is in the low country plains 50 miles south of the Davis Mountains and is approximately 9000 acres of rolling grass plains.

Gear: I took my CZ 527 American in 204 topped with 3.5-10x40 shooting HSM ammo 33 gr Calhoon hollow points, Benelli Super Nova w/steady grip, FoxPro Fury, Mossy Oak Brush outfit. My bud also had a the same CZ in 204 but his is topped with 4.5-14x40 and was shooting 32gr Hornady, Rem 7600 270 and a Rem 11-87. We both had Stoney Point bipods. For all sets but the first I we were sitting together and I was always on the left.

Coyote #1:

Time of Day: Just prior to sunrise
Temp: 18 Deg
Time on set: 12 min
Distance of shot: 80 yards
Location: Lower Plains

I started off with Lightning Jack and switched back and forth between that and Snowshoe in distress (20 seconds of calling followed by 3-4 minutes of silence). I saw him coming from almost a mile and as soon as I saw him coming I muted the caller. He came hard without hanging up. The foxpro was a good 50 yards in front of me in a Yucca bush. The coyote stopped just prior to the Foxpro and I anchored him. The sun wasn't even up yet. You can tell by the long shadows that the sun had just peaked over the horizon when we got up to him and dug the camera out.


Coyote #2:

Time of Day: Just after coyote #1
Temp: 21 Deg
Time on set: 6 min
Distance of shot: 40 yards
Location: Lower Plains

After I shot coyote #1 we walked 800-1000 yards and sat down and called again. I should add that after the first set my buddy decided to sit right by me so I could point out the critters as they are coming in...so the rest of the sets are with us sitting close together. This time I tried something new and put the whirling woodpecker on the FoxPro antenna (they were 30 yards out in front of us). After 6 minutes I saw her coming from a good 3/4 of a mile so I told my buddy to get ready (since he's never shot one) and at 150 the coyote saw the woodpecker and made a B-line for it. At 50 yards I gave out a little bark to stop him and when I did he whispered that he lost him in the scope so at 40 yards I dropped him. He ran 10 yards then tumbled. ....and no...I'm not giving gang signs...just numbering the coyotes to make the pictures discernable.




Coyote #3:

Time of Day: Just after coyote #2
Temp: 25 Deg
Time on set: n/a
Distance of shot: 60 yards
Location: Lower Plains

After I shot coyote #2 we were walking to another set and a coyote jumped up right in front of us and I anchored him and my buddy Keith finished him off. It's what I call a "drive by".

Not a bad start to day # 3....the sun had been up a total of 45 minutes and we had 3 coyotes on the ground.



Time of Day: 1430 (same day as coyotes 1-3)
Temp: 65 Deg, winds 20 mph
Time on set: 20 min
Distance of shot: 95 yards
Location: Lower Plains

Later the same day we set up on a small hill overlooking a huge flat. I placed the Foxpro 100 yards beneath us up in a yucca and placed us just below the skyline. After 12 minutes I saw something a good mile off coming in hard so I thought it was a coyote. Once he got within 400 yards I could tell he was cat and confirmed it in the scope. I could tell my bud was as excited as I was and I had a hard time letting him shoot since I've never taken a bobcat.....but I let him since I had already killed 3 coyotes that day. I should add that once I saw him coming I didn't call unless he got hung up...which he didn't. At 200 yards the cat paused momentarily and my buddy said "I'm taking him" and I said "no, let him come in closer". The cat kept coming and at 100 yards I told him to take him and I made sure he was in my scope as well because I didn't want this one getting away. He shot and I could instantly tell he was hit. Keith chambered another cartridge but I told him not to shoot because he would mess up the pelt. Sure enough the cat ran 10 yards and piled up in a mesquite bush. We were beyond pumped up. Keith kept him and will be having a rug made.



Below is the view from our set up, the caller was down below and the cat came from the creek that is a good mile from the hill.

Below, Keiths finger is pointing to the creek that the cat came out of.

Below, Keiths finger is pointing to the taller Yucca that the Foxpro was in which is also where the cat was shot.


Coyote #4:

Time of Day: 1730 (same day as coyotes 1-3 and bobcat)
Temp: 55 Deg, winds 10 mph
Time on set: 2 min
Distance of shot: 30 yards
Location: Lower Plains

Same day, as we were walking out to a set we saw some substantial sign that a big male was in the area. I let out a couple of Male Challenge howls and not even two minutes into it a big male came running off a hill so hard that he hit the barbed wire fence and tumbled a few times, got up and kept coming. I had to give him a bark to stop him right at the Foxpro and shot him at 30 yards. This is one of the biggest coyotes I've shot. Right after I shot I look over at Keith and I see a coyote running away from us at about 400 yards on Keiths side. We never did get a shot at him and he wouldn't respond to a call. Not bad for the day: 4 coyotes and 1 bobcat.





Coyote #5:

Time of Day: 1830 (sun had just dropped below the horizon)
Temp: 50 Deg
Time on set: 3 min
Distance of shot: 25 yards
Location: Mtns

This coyote came in to the snowshoe in distress and I wouldn't have seen him hadn't he knocked two rocks together. I shot him between me and the foxpro. That's exactly why I went with the 3.5-10 vice the 4.5-14. For the longest time I was debating between the two and I now realize I made the right choice. Ideally, I'd like to have a 3.5-14 or 3-15 but it's hard to find one that does NOT have a AO or side focus.

No pics of this one.
Coyote #6:

Time of Day: 10 minutes prior to official sunrise
Temp: 35 Deg
Time on set: 4 min
Distance of shot: 35 yards
Location: Lower Plains

We were set up on a hill overlooking a large flat and started calling when it was light enough to see. At about the 4 minute mark he snuck up on us and appeared out of no where right by the caller. I used my typical snowshoe and lightning jack combo. I told Keith to shoot him and he nailed him in the neck at 35 yards. HIS FIRST COYOTE EVER!!! Heck, I was just as excited. As a matter of fact, we were both so excited that he forgot to take his facemask off for the photo and I forgot to remind him. Too funny.




Coyote #7:

Time of Day: 30 minutes prior to official sunset
Temp: 65 Deg
Time on set: 2 min
Distance of shot: 20 yards
Location: Mtns

This is more of an usual set. The landowner came along with us on this set as we were calling in a known lion area. All three of us set up in this rock ledge overlooking a large flat and has a gentle slop up and is covered with trees. The immediate area in front of us is tall grass and the trees don't begin for another 100 yards. Our plans were to use kid goat in distress and stay on the set for at least an hour. The foxpro was set up in the bottom and we were 40 yards above it. When I first hit the call 6 mule deer ran up (this is always a plus for me, whenever possible I call around deer or cattle as they will see/hear/smell/sense the predator long before I will and it has paid off more than once) and hung around the bottom. Not even 2 minutes into the kid goat ballad a coyote came from the left up in the rocks between me and the foxpro and as I moved my rifle to aim he saw me and I instantly shot him in the chest....done. We stayed for another 55 minutes or so but didn't see anything else. The unique part about this stand is that the mule deer gave away the coyote and saw it way before I did so I was prepared when came looping around that corner right underneath me. Thanks mulies!!!

Again, no pictures of this one.


Coyote #8:

Time of Day: 1530
Temp: 75 Deg
Time on set: less than one min
Distance of shot: 50 yards
Location: Mtns

This is a cool one. We were working a large canyon that is roughly 5 miles long and dumps into an even larger canyon and we had no success so far. As we were driving to another set right where the two canyons meet I slam on the brakes and point out a large Rio Grande gobbler in full strut through the trees. I turn the truck off and we watch them for a bit. Keith gets his video camera and starts filming what is now 10 Rio gobblers that are less than 25 yards away without a care in the world about us. They slowly start making their way to where we just came from and Keith gets out and follows them as they are walking while I stayed in the truck. 15 minutes later I hear some coyotes howling and yipping from in front of us. I look around and Keith is too far off so I grab my rifle and Foxpro and walk up the canyon a couple hundred yards and set down under a large oak and put the foxpro 15 yards in front of me and let loose with a male challenge howl followed by female barks and in no time two coyotes were on me. That big male ran right up to me and stopped at 50 yards, bowed up and let out a couple of barks...he was there to fight. I let him fight it out with a 33 grain hollow point to the chest...he lost that battle. That little bullet hit bone just right to blow a softball size hole out of the middle of his chest. his heart was completely gone. The female headed for thick cover and I couldn't get a shot on her. It happened so fast that I didn't get excited until after Keith walked up. He was off filming turkeys and next thing he knows he hears a shot a couple hundred yards away and he's thinking...[beeep]? Another large male but still not as big as #4.




Coyote #9:

Time of Day: 1730
Temp: 60 Deg
Time on set: 10 min
Distance of shot: 50 yards
Location: Mtns

Same day as coyote #8. We get a wild hair and decide to video tape a hunt. So, I tell Keith that I'll leave my rifle in the pickup and I'll work the Foxpro and the video camera. We set up in a large flat area with sparse junipers and sit in front of a large juniper with the foxpro in front of us at 30 yards. I started off with some male challenge howls followed by my snowshoe and lightning jack combo and at about the 10 minute mark Keith whispers "here he comes" then askes me to range it for him. At that point he was 100 yards and coming hard and that's when I noticed that there are two and they are both coming hard. The first one (big male) came in and stopped at 50 yards broadside and Keith missed him and the male tucked his ears back and headed for another county while Keith attempted a shot on a running coyote and missed again. The female didn't run off but instead had a gentle lope away so I gave her a bark and she stopped and I told Keith to take her and he double lunged her. Coyote down and it's on video. If you watch the video you'll quickly realize that I have no business behind a camera because my cinematography lacks something to be desired. I'll stick to the actual shooting. Keiths second coyote ever.



Coyote #10 & 11:

Time of Day: 1815 (right after coyote #9)
Temp: 60 Deg
Time on set: 5 min
Distance of shot: 200 and 250 yards
Location: Mtns

This is my most memorable stand. Now it's Keiths turn to video the hunt while I work the foxpro and shoot. It's immediately after his last kill and we're running out of light. Again, we were on a large flat with sparse junipers and I set the foxpro 50 yards in front of us in a small bush. I start off with Male Challenge then go into my mantra of snowshoe and lightning jack. If you've read any of my posts on here or the 'other' site then you know that I've been known to say that if you can't call them in to within 80 yards then you are doing something wrong (hence my depise for large, heavy rifles using rediculous calibers that are used for calling)...well, this time is the exception, not the rule. Two coyotes pop up over a ridge and stand there for a few minutes so I hit the caller again at a lower volume to entise them but they weren't buying it. Something spooked them and they hung up at 200 yards. A few minutes later another coyote comes over the ridge and stands there. Keith never gets him on video. The pair stay fairly close to each other and once they "line up" I decide to take the shot with high hopes of dropping two with one shot. Well, it didin't work, but I did anchor the first one. As soon as I shot him the female took off running the other way and I roll her at 250 on the run. I immediately hit the Ki-Yi on the Foxpro and look for the third coyote but he dropped down in the canyon. Two coyotes...and on video.



In all it was a great hunt and I had a great time. Keith had a great time as well and there were a lot of firsts for him on this hunt to include hogs and Javalina (another post). The wind kept us from calling several days. The ranch headquarters is at 6500 so you can imagine the wind.

11 coyotes, 1 bobcat and lots of hogs... can't complain.

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Wow you were busy. Looks like you have a pretty good cache of coyotes in the area. Good job all around and nice cat. Very nice markings. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grinning-smiley-003.gif

Great story and great pics. That was mighty nice of you to let your friend shoot that bobcat. Now you've got a reason to get back to Texas! Hope to see the hog and javelina pics soon.
Looks like the coyotes gave you a warm coming home. Great playback of the hunt. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grinning-smiley-003.gif

Great recap and pics. Now for the $10,000 question. Did you pay any landowners to hunt on their property? /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif
uh huh
uh huh
finally someone who knows where west texas is
great job guys
i actually just received permission from several ranches in that area
and am lookin forward to helping out the ranching community
way to go boys
glad you could introduce a new coyote hunter to the sport

ok ok
before i get a lesson in geography
if you live out here the pecos river line, west, is our definition of west texas

Great recap and pics. Now for the $10,000 question. Did you pay any landowners to hunt on their property? /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif

Nope. Family friend/former employer.
Best write-up with pics that I've seen in a long time! Great job!!! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/ooo.gif

Also...those are some HEALTHY coyotes down there!! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif Great cat, too!

Thanks again! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grinning-smiley-003.gif

ok ok
before i get a lesson in geography
if you live out here the pecos river line, west, is our definition of west texas


Exactly. I'm always correcting folks who say Lubbuck is west Texas.

My Grandad considered anyone who lived east of the Pecos a "yankee". Too funny.

I was hunting the Davis Mountains.
You have a Private Message.... /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grinning-smiley-003.gif oops, I just noticed it is E5B not ESB...sorry
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And here I was all these years considering anyplace West of Big Spring as West Texas... /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused1.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif