“No way we’ll ever get within five hundred yards of that gemsbok!” Before I could disagree Corne Kruger my PH said, “But we might as well try! Realize however the tallest thing between us and that oryx is about four inches tall.” I nodded! We were on a broad open plain in the Omathandeka area of Namibia.
With that I grabbed my Nature Blind Stalking Shield, at that time a prototype Tim Thomason and I were working with. Corne and I proceeded to walk toward a monstrous gemsbok, about 1500 yards away. In the process we walked by extremely, normally skittish ostriches, a small herd of mountain zebra and numerous springbok. Occasionally the animals would look our way, but it was like we were invisible to them. The entire time Corne was saying, “I can hardly believe this…”
We finally came to a stop about 100 yards from the gemsbok, which proved to be a tremendously long-horned cow with horns well over 44 inches. Being a cow, we decided to pass on this oryx. We got up, the Stalking Shield still held up, backed out, the headed back to our ride.
The International Association of Natural Resources Crimestoppers (aka Wildlife Crimestoppers) Executive Board is proud to announce that Larry Weishuhn has humbly accepted and is honored to be the association’s spokesperson.
Professional wildlife biologist, outdoor writer, book author, speaker, television show host and hunter, Larry Weishuhn is one of our country most recognized outdoor personalities. Even though known to many as “Mr. Whitetail” because of his many years of researching, managing, hunting and promoting whitetail deer, Larry had hunted big game throughout the world. As a professional wildlife biologist Larry has established quality wildlife management programs on well over 12,000,000 acres. Read More
February has long been my favorite time to call coyotes!
It all started many years ago when I was about 14 or 15 years old, growing up in the rural Zimmerscheidt Community of northern Colorado County, Texas. I had been reading about how fellow Texans, Murray and Winston Burnham called up coyotes and other predators using a mouth blown, reed, call they produced and manufactured. And yes, they were being sold commercially. I took some money earned from helping worked cattle and digging post holes with an old drop auger and ordered one of the Burnham Brothers predator calls.
My long awaited “wolf call” arrived by mail in January, shortly after our annual whitetail season had closed. I suspect I drove my mother, dad, younger brother Glenn and my Dad’s coon hounds, crazy blowing on the call practicing how to blow it.
A cold, wet front had passed through our area. The sun came out, but the temperatures remained cold. I had finished my chores then asked my dad if I could borrow his Winchester Model 94, .30-30 Winchester and permission to go “across the road” to the backside of property we had access to, to see if I could call up a “wolf”. Back then we called the local coyotes wolves. But too, they were quite large. The previous deer season my uncle, Herbert Aschenbeck, had shot one that weighed 52 pounds on official scales. Pretty good size for what we normally consider coyotes.
After crossing a couple of creek bottoms, I set up to call with my back again a big cedar tree. After waiting a few minutes to let “Nature return to normal” I started blowing my Long Range Predator call doing my best dying jackrabbit imitation. No sooner had I started I spotted movement behind a screening of youpon bushes coming directly toward me. I could hardly believe I was calling in something.
That’s when a “monstrous wolf” appeared running right toward me. Up came the .30-30 and in rapid fire, fast as I could work the rifle’s lever and shoot, I shot all of my 7 shots in the rifle’s magazine in the “general direction” of the coyote. He left unscathed. I immediately jumped up, empty rifle in one hand and now a hunting knife in my other, just in case the “wolf” decided to make good his charge. Slowly I back up and continued doing so until in a fair sized opening, fully expecting to any moment being charged! There I turned around and quickly proceeded back home. I could not wait to tell my mom and dad what had happened.
I was hooked!
Over the years I have called predators or attempted to do so almost everywhere I’ve traveled. For year I carried a variety of mouth blown calls and had at least good success nearly everywhere I blew on the call.
More recently I have been using an electronic call produced by Convergent Hunting Solutions called the Bullet HP, which not only has various predator enticing sounds on it, but also those for hunting wild hogs and even some whitetail rattling and grunting, which I recorded for the Bullet HP.
The Bullet HP works off of Bluetooth on your cell phone, and once you’ve downloaded the app, it works regardless of whether or not you have phone reception or not. It’s easy to set up and extremely easy to use as well.
In setting up to hunt predators, I like to set up using my Nature Blinds Stalking Shield, which provides cover for me regardless of where I hunt. I set the Bullet HP about 25 to 50 yards away from where I’m set up. I too, set up just as I do when trying to rattle in whitetails, where I can see downwind, but with shooting lanes to the left and right of exactly downwind. Most predators approach potential “food” downwind.
In terms of firearms I’ve used a great variety of calibers in rounds both in pistol, rifle, muzzleloader, as well as various gauges of shotgun. However, I like hunting with the rifles and handguns I use when hunting big game. Hunting coyotes and bobcats with big game rifles gets me more and more familiar with them, and also helps me gain confidence in my shooting them. To me there is no such thing as being “over-gunned” for any particular species when it comes to hunting. I use Ruger firearms, Zeiss optics and Hornady ammo exclusively on my hunts regardless whether I’m trying to call predators or hunting big game. Between hunts I spend what time I can at the FTW Ranch and their S.A.A.M. ranges, shooting both near and extremely far.
Coyotes and other predators have a great sense of smell which is one of the reasons before going afield I put my hunting clothes and especially my brown felt hat, leather gloves and Kenetrek boots in my Scent Crusher, which does a fabulous job of essentially making those items “scentless”. I love wearing the same hat, gloves and boots whenever I hunt, but was somewhat concerned because of the odors they carried with them. Using my Scent Crusher bag I can eliminate that problem.
On our DSC’s TRAILING THE HUNTER’S MOON television show which appears year around on The Sportsman Channel, this year we have a short segment in every show about calling predators using the Bullet HP. You can find the exact airing times on www.trailingthehuntersmoon.com or by going to www.thesporsmanchannel.com. These are great way to learn more about hunting predators, regardless of where you pursue them.
When is the best time to call? I call whenever I can find time to do so regardless of the time of day. However, I have also learned that predators like deer have a tendency to move during prime activity or feeding times, as found in solunar or activity charts. Thus, if those times show peak feeding times during the mid-day, that’s when I’m going to call. Doesn’t always work that I call in more predators during those times but it does so many times more than not.
There’s something special about calling predators which come to you! If you’re not already a predator caller, maybe it’s time you considered becoming one. There is no better off-season on for that matter on-season “activity”….