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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Last March Coyote Hunt and April is Here at Long Ridge!

The end of this New Hampshire March was typical - raw, damp, windy, and then on April 1st 6 more inches of snow. Still, it IS melting and I suspect that we are down to less than 15 inches in the woods. Knowing a day or so ahead that we were going back into winter, I spent the better part of a day coyote hunting again. I hiked from Deer Camp up toward the Far Ridge Stand, and about half way up I set up. Wouldn't you know it! My Primos electronic call had such low volume I could barely hear it at ten feet! Low batteries. It had been a job getting up there, so I decided I would continue the hike, check for tracks, and check the trail conditions...The next three pictures below, you see the broken tops of the Oak my ladder stand is in. Then my miraculously undamaged stand half way down, and the third shot of all the trash on the ground that fell right at it's bottom. How I didn't lose it I'll never figure out!

Below is a pit deeper than I am tall, right on the side of the trail from two huge Hemlocks that fell down due to ice load. It may make a fine bear den one day...

 Here it is from twenty feet away.
 Another section completely trashed and impossible to get through. I'll be recruiting hunters to help with this one.

On my walk I passed this huge pile of chips, and looked up to see whence they came.

It's those crazy Piliated woodpeckers for sure. They are cool birds, almost prehistoric in the way they fly, look, and sound.
I then headed back to LRDC to pick up fresh batteries, and decided to hunt a neighbors farm about three miles away. He raises beef cattle, and twice while driving by I have shot off coyotes attacking his new born calfs. One instance in early spring about 5 years ago I was on my way to work, quite nattily dressed in loafers tie and shirt, when I spotted a hereford giving birth. Her calf was half way out, and was a twin. The first was lying on the ground, and two coyotes were at it. She whirled and went after them, and when she did I was astounded to see them run back to her rear and go after the not born babe. I cranked my cruiser over very hard (sorry taxpayers) and jumped out running toward her . I had to yank through an electric fence and then run through knee deep grass to get closer to her. She was about 250 yards from the road, and all I had was my service pistol. When I got about 150 yards from her, it looked like they were about to do the calf on the ground, even though she was whirling around and around trying to stop them. So, I fired a round in a safe direction just to get everyones attention. Sure enough both coyotes bee lined for the woods. Now, we shoot 24 inch metal gongs at 200 yards just for fun with these pistols, and can hit it quite regularly. But that is slow, precision fire. I tried to be precise, but out of breath, ankle deep in water, I simply tried my best, emptying the 15 round magazine before the coyotes disappeared. They wouldn't be back for awhile! Slogging back to my cruiser I called dispatch and had them notify the farmer so he could check them. The Chief, by the way, was quite impressed with my appearance and tardiness for the meeting! Well this spring much the same thing happened, and later when I was talking about it, the farmer thanked me and offered full permission to hunt his many acres of land. Here are some of his herefords as I walk through woods about fifty feet in from the edge of the field.

The first wildlife of the day, a gray squirrel...
This next photo, I was actually only seeing the turkeys up ahead. When I got home, I noticed this narcisstic squirrel getting back into the picture!
The doe below is not from this day, but one way up in our field. I took it with a movie camera at 50 optical zoom so while pretty, it IS a bit blurry
So, while I didn't harvest a coyote, I did have a great hunt day - got to check the conditions of all my trails, saw some wildlife, jumped a bunch of deer that I did not see, and enjoyed the sunny 40 degree weather. Tell me how to beat that!
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