John's Journal...


Predator Hunting 101 – The Beginner

EDITOR’S NOTE: What does it take to become a professional hunter, and get to travel the country doing TV shows, putting on seminars, making videos and spending most of your life as a hunter? What gives a predator pro the credentials to stand before a group and speak as an expert? Allen Morris of Springville, Utah, a Hunter’s Specialties’ pro, has hunted coyotes for 28 years. He has placed in the top 10 in the last nine World Championships of Predator Hunting and came out second place in 2002. Although Morris and his partner had the same number of coyotes as the first-place team - 13 taken in 1-1/2-days, the first-place team returned to the tournament site 10 minutes ahead of Morris. Since the contest is judged on who takes the most coyotes the quickest, those 10 minutes were the difference between first place and second place. However, no one can dispute that Allen Morris is one of the best predator hunters in the nation. This week, we’ll talk with Morris about hunting predators.

Click to enlargeWhen I was a boy, every fall my dad and I would go and collect hay in a little town called Delta, Utah, which was about 60 miles from my home. We had to bring home 30 to 40 tons of hay to feed our 12 to 20 horses throughout the winter. When I arrived home from school one day when I was 12-years old, Dad said, “Allen, get that lever action .243 out of the gun cabinet and bring the clip with the shells also. We’re going to get this last load of hay today. When I was at the hayfield earlier, I saw a coyote mousing in the field. If we see that coyote, I’ll let you shoot him.” When my dad told me to get that gun, and that I might have a chance to take a coyote, I couldn’t have been more excited than if he had told me that we were going to the fair. That was the most-exciting ride I’d ever had to Delta, Utah. I was anticipating that there might be a coyote mousing in the hayfield, and that I might have an opportunity to take a shot at it. When we arrived at the hayfield, I looked out in the field, but didn’t see anything. Naturally, I was a little depressed. I walked over to the cowboy gate to open it, so Dad could bring the truck and trailer through the gate to get the hay. Just as I opened the gate, I saw the coyote standing in the edge of the field in the high grass that hadn’t been cut.

Click to enlargeWhen the coyote spotted me, he started loping across the field. I was so excited. I hurried back to the truck to tell Dad. I put the clip in the .243 gun and worked the lever action on the Model 88 .243 Winchester. Then I saw the coyote loping across the field at about 100 yards. I’ll never forget how nervous and excited I was as I aimed and fired. I shot that coyote in the back of the head right between the ears. The coyote had been running straight away, and I couldn’t have made a luckier shot. My dad could hardly believe I’d killed that coyote. I don’t know who was the most excited, me or my dad. Loading the hay was postponed because Dad and I spent the next two hours skinning the coyote. Because I’d heard that you could get paid money for those coyote hides, I took the coyote hide to a fur buyer, who gave me $22. That was big money for a 12-year-old. That $22 financed five or six boxes of shotgun shells with duck loads. That one coyote bought me enough shells for quite a few days of duck hunting. I never lost my love for hunting Click to enlargethose coyotes since that first one I took. I made the video “Operation Predator 1,” and I just finished “Operation Predator 2,” for Hunter’s Specialties. I’ve helped create the Coyote Dog Howler for Hunter’s Specialties too.

To learn more about Hunter’s Specialties’ predator products, go to


Check back each day this week for more about ALLEN MORRIS AND PREDATOR HUNTING

Day 1: Predator Hunting 101 – The Beginner
Day 2: Getting started Predator Hunting
Day 3: Predator Hunting 102 – Setting-Up
Day 4: Predator Hunting 103 – The Hunt
Day 5: Calling and Shooting Predators



Entry 338, Day 1