Thursday, March 12, 2015

What's left on the agenda

By Mac Arnold
RTO Editor

Pretty much everything else came off the Michigan Hunting and Trapping Digest Sunday March 1 of legal critters to kill.

Coyotes are still on tap until April 15 as long as you buy a new small game license April 1.

And that's really all that I'm interested in anyway. Not that I wouldn't take a fox if presented with an opportunity when in season.

But that predator -- Wile E. Coyote -- is what primarily affects me because it eats into my deer hunting and really is the only reason why I still venture out into the great outdoors, unless you count the nightly expeditions I take with Augie, our black Lab, along the trail that hugs the pond behind the Monroe County, Mich., house.

The snow had been a problem for getting back there but after a trial run last week on snowshoes, it looks like I can get around that hangup. Of course winter could just end making everything easier all together. The forecast shows promise for this week -- March 9-15 -- with highs hitting the 50s from Wednesday into the weekend. Rain is supposed to muck up the Friday plans and possibly into Saturday.

This last Saturday looked warmer and was expected to be at nearly 40 degrees, so out I headed with new gear and a Foxpro electronic caller.

But for what it's worth, I'm pretty sure for a second time, I saw a glimmering of a 'yote in the morning darkness dart off the trail and into brush lining the south side of the pond.

During our walks, Augie always has his eyes intently on something off to that part of the field so I'm sure he's onto their tricks. Or maybe the sneaky dogs are stalking us.

After our outing two weeks ago, a quick locator howl from outside the garage door drew a response back in the general direction the crafty coyote would have traveled. But Saturday, March 8, I heard only owls and doves and watched the jumbo jets flying overhead out of Detroit Metro Airport.

One time maybe two weeks ago I was watching "experts" during the Foxpro show on the Sportsman's Channel and the guru -- I forget his name -- said calls and camo aside, the most important aspect of coyote hunting is the setup -- when, where and how you go about it.

I've cut out the quad not only for the noise factor but for the stuck factor in the snow as well. I don't feel like burying the four-wheeler in the back field. No thanks.

In addition I tried a slightly different place to call from along the edge of the woods to take away from the predictability factor.

Yet, no Wile E. Coyote approach. (Yes there are coyotes there on property, not only have I seen them but along with the wife, we have both heard them, so it's not an exclusive hallucination to yours truly.) So I would say the only other thing is getting out maybe at another time other than a couple of hours before dusk, which I did Sunday when I ventured out into the "non" warmup predawn air. Again, no customers were to be seen but boy the Foxpro electronic caller sure did sound nice.

With regard to this, and I'm sure applies to dogs equally, deer guru Stan Potts was saying during one of his shows how the position of the moon, not necessarily the phase, affects whitetail movement with the most busiest times being either when it is directly above or below the horizon.

That is another trick I might try so I can look into the scope and see the varmint's fury vitals in the cross hairs.

Believe me, it's overdue.

On a more positive note, for the glorious spring turkey season, I was one of 10 drawn for Monroe County's ZD unit from May 11-31.

For this outdoorsman, spring gobbler is where it's at. I mean I like it as much as any other hunting or fishing endeavor, except bow hunting for deer in the rut. Those two seasons probably run neck and neck, then followed by muzzleloader for deer, regular deer firearms, bird hunting, bass fishing, and lastly, (gulp), predator hunting?


But really, I've been getting more and more into coyote hunting. I just wish I was having more success at it.

Maybe that's what keeps me coming back every winter to take another crack at it.