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First weekend hunt of the season.


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#1 Mark Steinmann

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 01:19 PM

What a brutal summer it has been in Arizona. 143 days above 100°, 53 days above 110°! Oh and look there, the temp currently reads 100°. So over the heat. Well the weatherman promised a cool down last weekend so we headed to Southern AZ to one of our best spots. Turns out the cool down didn't really happen like they thought but we already made the drive, here we go...

First stand was a blank so we headed down the road to try again. This stand Tim and I used ladders and shooting sticks with our AR's while Nathan filmed. I called a variety of hand calls and finally around the 15 minute mark Tim shifted and was pointing out past me a bit. I turned my head and sure enough there was a young Coyote working in slowly. I adjusted and had him in my sights now as well. As the Coyote pause Tim took an 80 yard shot but JUST clipped a tree branch! The Coyote hopped to his right and hid in a bush. I got back on the call after trying lip squeaks unsuccessfully and he liked that. Up he came and crested the next rise. As soon as he paused I put a 55gr right in the pump house and he flopped over dead. It felt nice to get the first kill under our belt and we hustled to the next stand.

Here we found ourselves 500 yards off a water tank out in the Creosote flats. Tim toted the shotgun and I was on the ladder again watching downwind and the far hills. Nathan ran camera again and sat with Tim. Tim had just began to call and I was concentrating on the far hills when all the sudden I was jolted by a gun shot! This Coyote must've been bedded up in the next cut over because it was on them in under 45 seconds! Nathan got footage and Tim made a perfect 30 yard shot to anchor the Coyote. We called for another 12 minutes but had no more responders.

We did 2 more stands the first morning but it was getting hot quick! We relocated to calling area #2 and took a long break in the shade of the E-Z Up which ALMOST made the 94° heat bearable. We feasted on Trout I caught this past summer and had some green beans on the side. Around 3pm we packed up the cots and E-Z Up and headed out to start calling again.

The next 4 stands all produced Coyotes, despite the high temps! Our very first stand after the break had us up against some shady hillsides calling along the flats. There was sign everywhere on the way in so we were pretty excited! Tim setup with the shotgun in the tight stuff facing towards the hills and I covered downwind and hand called. Nathan was on camera with me and we just stood up against a huge Creosote. I had been calling just a few minutes when Tim had 2 Coyotes run past him and he took out the big Male as they scooted through the brush. The small female got away and came back part way when I whimpered a bit after the shot. She didn't commit fully and made her way downwind to warning bark us at well over a quarter mile. We wrapped up the stand after a bit more calling and headed in the direction she was at now.

After the area "cooled down" we setup just a few hundred yards past where we believed her to be. Tim was hand calling while standing in a bush with the rifle and Nathan and I were out with the shotguns watching the area she might come from. I noticed that Nathan was sky-lined bad on his chair so I motioned for him to sit on the ground flat...probably a good decision with what happened next. It didn't take long before I saw her come cruising through the brush angled to head right in at Nathan. I watched as she closed in unknowingly to a shotgun already pulled up and waiting. As she got to about 15 yards Nathan sent that copper-plated 4 buck right threw the face and she dropped like a sack of potatoes!

The area was only big enough for 2 stands so we backed out and headed to a tank that we called in a Bobcat on a couple years ago. This time we approached from the North side and it was more "call friendly" since it was a bit more open. I placed Tim and Nathan out front with shotguns and I called from 20 yards back watching the downwind with my rifle. Again it took just a few minutes and then I heard Tim lip squeak as he looked towards the tank. I kept up my sequences and I caught movement as a Coyote came through the brush right at Tim. He layed him out at about 20 yards with the Winchester Varmint X round. There was time for 2 more stands before dark.

Back when we took a break mid-day we found a couple of Donkey carcasses and there were predator prints everywhere! Since it had been a couple hours since we left we decided to try and go back to call it, figured it was worth a shot! I was on rifle once again watching the downwind and Tim called while running shotgun. Nathan ran the camera right next to Tim. After 4 minutes on EW "Bite-Down" call Nathan spotted movement through the brush and alerted Tim. Nathan was able to capture it all on film as this Coyote came all the way into 12 feet, paused, and gave them a funny look. It then turned 90° to trot away and it watched as Tim pulled up and turned the lights off with a 12 gauge shot to the face! We were super glad we brought the camera on that stand!

The last stand of the day seemed to be ruined by a huge guard dog's precense as nothing showed even though it was one of our best stands in the past years here. All in all we had 6 down on the first day and we were glad for that! We headed to find camp and eat some good food before falling to sleep with howling Coyotes in every direction.

Morning came and was a very pleasant 65° with little wind. We got fueled up with some caffeine and headed to the first stand. The wind wasn't ideal so we entered from a different direction than normal but it ended up working out. We got setup before first light and then Tim began to call towards a known Coyote hotspot. Nathan had our backs with the AR-15 as I vodeoed Tim and his hand calling skills. Just 4 minutes in I saw Tim stop calling abruptly and he froze. I caught movement and was ready with the camera. To my surprise a big Barn Owl swooped through the wash and flared at Tim ready to grab the "rabbit"! Tim literally pushed it away with the shotgun and the Owl turned my direction. It flapped and cruised right at me and landed directly on my head! I could feel the talons through my hat and as quick as it came in, the Owl decided to find a more natural perch. That was a first for us! We've had them land on our gun, but never on our head until now. We had a good silent laugh and Tim got back to calling...after all, there are Coyotes to kill! He called for another 10 minutes or so and sure enough, from the same direction as the Owl there was a Coyote working in. I spun to get the camera on it as Tim made 2 quick shots with the 12 gauge at 40 yards to put the big Female down. What a stand that was!

After first light it took about 2 hours for the wind to decide what it wanted to do. We made some frustrating stands as it flipped every which way. Called 1 Coyote in even, but the sun glare hit the truck and caught his eye, so he was gone as fast as he appeared.

The wind finally made up it's mind so we headed along the flats and hiked out with the ladders to a flat spot that did us well last year. I setup watching the left with my AR-15, Nathan was watching over the FoxPro with the shotgun, and Tim had the right side with rifle. I started off loud and proud with a baby rabbit sound. I heard the scraping of claws and rocks as a Coyote came ripping in and through the downwind. As it hit the wind it slowed to a trot and I popped it...down he went. We kept calling and I switched it up to a kitten distress and also worked in some diaphram pup whimpers. 10 minutes after the first Coyote came another from a bit different direction but still through the downwind. It paused as it caught my movement and right as I was squeezing the trigger it moved down into the ravine further. The second time it paused I took a shot but the bullet deflected off the brush. That Coyote took off down the wash and Nathan could see it but it was too far for the shotgun. He whispered to me which way it headed and I zoomed in my scope hoping for a last shot. I focused on the only opening available on its path out and sure enough, she came to a stop directly in the opening! My reticle was bouncing all over as my bipod wasn't planted securely. I tried timing the shot with the bouncing target and heard the lovely *WHOMP* sound as it met its mark at 190 yards. Turns out I only had 1 leg on the ground as Nathan pointed out afterward! Haha, whew!

At this point it was hot and we decided to take another break. We headed into town to grab some ice cream to cool off with before lunch, dessert first!

We called after the break until last light with little success. As we headed to a new spot around 4:30pm Tim spotted a Coyote running next to the road. He sped up to keep it on my side and as it veered off the road he hit the brakes and I jumped out. As I extended my stock and backed out my scope Tim started wailing like a hurt rabbit which slowed the Coyote greatly. I focused on making 1 shot that would count. As I placed the reticle on the chest of the trotting Coyote I squeezed right as his front feet hit the ground....smack! I'm not ashamed to take a road Yote here and there.

Last light stand Tim called in a double but they sneaked right by me to the right at 12 yards and I had no way of getting on them with the rifle. We straight up setup wrong and should've had the shotgun on that side. We still make some mistakes here and there, but I'm proud of how far we've come in this journey of calling predators. It was a great weekend with buddies that we will remember for a lifetime! I'll do a post with the footage once we get it edited and on the YouTube channel.

As always, thanks for reading!
- Mark702ac27305002dcc6b75c1197fdbb0e1.jpg5990f6c64a08c15eec606fa455fd5e15.jpgda75ee620edfea0c66bbe9db8a12dd90.jpg260d11eeea29b25510cb7f78ab331a9f.jpg4003f3968eae2e2e121ca64dcf63a082.jpg56f69ca26c3ae2307001f395f7828bda.jpg45937692846e23f0016057adaecd1890.jpgf792e280fff64bfd56730050e39e58d2.jpg18bff9156b11bba53de1b6d1a7b9a5d9.jpg0622fb00000aac029050069d61355921.jpghttps://uploads.tapa...28d437035bb.jpg

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#2 Mark Steinmann

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 01:21 PM

More pics...74ee49e566ffd3fddf75d85d4d610c33.jpgd1ab7baf3b2407da0a4ce453f807571e.jpg744f549e4e8bdd66317d385c715ce142.jpg1b7d7cec6d960f8aca72522614560f82.jpgac101fc7951071758203ee93ed6dfd61.jpg4ed3a2b5377537de6379ef70faabb988.jpg
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#3 knapper

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 03:06 PM

Looks like fun.



#4 hassell

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 05:52 PM

Congrats, thanks for sharing.



#5 SWAMPBUCK10PT

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Posted 17 October 2020 - 05:17 AM

 wow !!!  great hunt--- :hunter4: -----Thanks for sharing-----------------


CALL'EM THEY'LL COME

#6 azpredatorhunter

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Posted 17 October 2020 - 06:18 AM

Nice work Mark 👍😁 I'm glad I'm not the only one trying to shoot through bushes.

#7 Mark Steinmann

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Posted 17 October 2020 - 07:17 AM

Thanks all, the memories will last a lifetime and the pictures and videos will help preserve them!

Yes Eric, we too get excited and think our bullet will separate branches from time to time. Haha.

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