John's Journal...

Coyotes For Grabs

Coyotes for Grabs

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: If you’ll hunt coyotes and try to help the landowner get rid of coyote nuisances, many times he’ll invite you back to hunt deer or turkey on prime lands. The more you get to hunt with your black-powder rifle, the more value you receive from the rifle, the better you’ll shoot, and the more fun you can have. Looking for opportunities to hunt after deer season ends makes sense. Coyote hunting during the off-season enables you to build good relationships with the landowners whose land you hunt.

I heard a rustClick to enlargeling in the leaves behind me. As the fog cleared out of the swamp, I could see about 50 yards in all directions. I spotted a form moving my way and raised my .50 caliber CVA rifle to my shoulder, anticipating a big buck. The animal drew closer, and I had my thumb on the hammer ready to cock it. When the doe appeared, she ran about 20 to 30 yards, stopped and looked back and then repeated the same drill. I heard another deer rustling in the leaves behind me.

“This one will be the buck,” I told myself as I once again readied for the shot. But instead of seeing a buck, a spotted fawn, running hard with its tongue hanging out moved out of sight with the doe. I heard leaves rustling a third time. “Now, that’s the buck,” I thought. “He sounds heavier and is taking longer strides. I’m about to take the buck I came here to bag.” Confidently I began to put pressure on my gunClick to enlarge’s hammer. Although I hadn’t brought it all the way back to cock, I simply needed to put a little more pressure on the hammer for it to cock. A dark form came quickly toward me, a big coyote apparently trailing the fawn. I cocked the hammer. The coyote froze in its tracks when it heard the hammer cock. I fired, the coyote tumbled, and I had my trophy for the morning.Click to enlarge

When I returned to the lodge at White Oak Plantation in Tuskegee, Alabama, and showed my trophy to the lodge owner, Robert Pitman, he said, “Way to go, John. I’d rather you shoot the coyotes than the biggest deer on the place. They’re getting to be more and more of a nuisance. They’re disturbing our deer hunters, our turkey hunters, and I know coyotes are killing our wildlife. Please, come back any time for free and hunt these coyotes.”

For more information about White Oak Plantation call 319-395-0321, e-mail, or visit

Tomorrow: Millions of Acres to Hunt

Check back each day this week for more about "Coyotes For Grabs"

Day 1: Coyotes for Grabs
Day 2: Millions of Acres to Hunt
Day 3: Decoys, Calls and Cover Scents
Day 4: Coyote Techniques
Day 5: Landowner Relationships



Entry 390, Day 1