Took a friend and his son out calling today. They have never been out calling and had wanted to go, so I told them I'd be happy to take them out and see if we could call in something.
As we're driving, I spot this coyote in a small creek just standing there. I told my friend to pull over down the road and his son and I would put the hunt on him. We quickly throw on some snow camo and grab the guns. We go about 300 yards, as quietly as we can bush-wack down from where I saw the coyote and set up looking up the creek towards the coyote. I start my first 10 second sequence of rabbit blues on the Sceery and sure enough...here he comes. I tell my friend's son to get ready. That coyote ran right in front of us and I barked to stop him. I wonder why no shooting is going on and he tells me that it won't fire. Sure enough, the safety wasn't pushed all the way forward. Needless to say, that coyote hit the afterburners and took off. For the first "stand" of the day, we were off to a good start seeing activity.
Two stands later, my friend and I go out and his son is warming up in the truck. We call and are about to leave when I see something standing about 200 yards away. We drop to the ground and I quietly start the mouthcall going. The animal (turned out to be a huge fox) starts slowly moving towards us and then slowly walks into the woods. Then, 10 seconds later, a coyote pops out across from where this fox went into the woods. I start squeaking the call and it just stands there and then dips away. A second later, my friend says "There are two coyotes" out there. Sure enough....there are two of them standing out there just looking towards us. I called some more, but they just slowly walked away.
Next two stands produced nothing.
Then, the following stand, I set my friend and son up in a spot where I had killed a coyote before looking down a small clearing of willows. I put the caller and decoy about 20 yards in front of me, to their left a bit. I positioned myself about 25 yards behind the caller, just slightly behind them. Ten minutes into my custom rabbit sequence I see a coyote slowly walk out no more than 30 yards in front of them. He keeps slowly walking and looking right at them and then over at the caller and decoy. He keeps walking and is now directly in front of them about 20 yards. I'm watching them and seeing if and when they are going to shoot out of the corner of my eye as I keep my cross-hairs on that coyote. Then, I hear a "Click"....OH NO!!!! The gun didn't fire. The coyote looks over at them and is about to move toward the caller more and the boy barks twice (He knew that barking would stop a coyote after the early morning incident). The coyote stops and I put the lead to him with the 22mag. It was an average 27 Pound male. Success, but not the kind I was wanting. I wanted the young boy to do the shooting. Either way...he's one hooked predator caller now. I told them that the cold weather can and will mess with gear at times. There is probably some oil or grease in that gun he was using and needs to be hosed down with Brake Kleen and then dry lubed.
Heading back we stopped at the spot where we saw the fox and two coyotes. I figured that they didn't run away from us while we were there, so they might still be around. We (two of us again, the boy was thawing his fingers out) set up differently this time since the wind had shifted slightly. I started the caller off with some coyote howls. Sure enough, there was a responding set of howls from about 400 yards away it sounded like. I went into my rabbit blues for about 5 minutes and then hit the young coyote howls again. My friend and I are back to back and he whispers..."Here he comes".. I slowly turn my head and see the coyote trotting in and then stops. Then he hit mach 9 and got out of dodge back to a safe zone. Smelled us? Saw us???? Who knows, that's predator hunting.
I warned them that today was an amazing day of calling for Alaska and to not expect that every time they go out. Their response to that was a simple..."We'll just go with you every time then"...Pretty funny, but surely not likely to happen like that again anytime too soon.