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GRANT: (Whispering) I’m on her if you are.
GRANT: February 25th, Adam and I have been on a little road trip, ended up in Kansas where there’s a lot of wind, and a lot of fur.
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GRANT: A couple of days ago, Adam and I, and our friend, Jeff Ford, left Branson and went down southeast of Tulsa, Oklahoma to do a little coyote hunting.
GRANT: Adam, and Jeff, and I had permission to hunt a large cattle ranch southeast of Tulsa, Oklahoma where the farmer had had six mature cows killed by either coyotes or feral dogs last winter. As a wildlife biologist, I’m very concerned about balancing the amount of predators and the amount of prey for the future of sport hunting and game species.
GRANT: But this time of year, predator hunting can do more than just balance that predator/prey ratio, it’s a great time to do a service as a sportsman to the community at large, and especially farmers, to help remove some of those predators from those cow/calf operations.
GRANT: What I wasn’t considering, was when a major front comes through the plains states, it usually pushes rapidly, driven by a strong wind. Strong wind where I live may be 15, 20 miles an hour, but in that part of Oklahoma, a strong wind is 40 miles an hour plus, and I could barely hear Adam next to me, let alone enjoy the coyote hunting.
GRANT: We caught a few glimpses of coyotes, but nothing in shooting range. Had a great time with the landowner and promised to come back under better conditions to help him with his situation.
GRANT: Yesterday, Adam and I drove up to east central Kansas to meet with John Kraft, who will be an intern at The Proving Grounds this summer, and his family.
GRANT: Going to meet a friend to coyote hunt this afternoon, but on the way, we just saw two coyotes out in a wheat field, so we’re gonna try to bring ‘em to ya, via our little mini camera here. Let’s see if we can find ‘em.
GRANT: Now you can see why we use a FoxPro, cause Grant’s voice spooked ‘em out of the field instead of calling ‘em closer.
GRANT: John and his father had offered to take us out coyote hunting at some of their areas and we never pass up a chance to go out and scream at some predators.
GRANT: Round two. Kansas style.
GRANT: When I’m a guest, I just have a policy of not guiding the guides, so Adam and I just grabbed our gear and followed along, hunting however they chose to hunt.
GRANT: John’s father had not used a FoxPro before, so I allowed him to use it just to check it out. That gave me a chance to sit there and have some great observations.
GRANT: On the first set up, they gave me the privilege of being the point man, so I was ready to roll if some fur showed up.
GRANT: Several minutes into that first setup, I heard David, John’s dad, say “Coyote.”
GRANT: Across the small drain, about 100 yards away, I spotted a coyote standing there in just a little bit of brush.
GRANT: (Whispering) I’m on her if you are.
ADAM: (Whispering) I’m on it.
GRANT: (Whispering) Ready?
ADAM: (Whispering) Yeah.
GRANT: (Whispering) Oh. That wasn’t any fun. Well it was fun, but it wasn’t fun on my part. (Laughter)
DAVID: There’s another one right there. Right behind that brush pile.
GRANT: John, are you on him? Are you on him, John?
JOHN: I don’t (inaudible).
GRANT: I’m gonna back you up, John. Go ahead, when you’re ready.
DAVID: He’s in the brush now – you don’t, you don’t got a shot.
JOHN: Where’d he come from?
DAVID: Let me see. He come from up above.
GRANT: I pride myself in taking time to sight in and practice, because I always want to have ethical shots at animals. It was an easy shot at about 100 yards, and there was a slight bit of brush, but I thought I was clear. Either I pulled off, or I deflected, and there’s a lesson for all of us in that.
GRANT: It’s very …
GRANT: I’m trying to recreate the view. I don’t know.
DAVID: That’s probably a (inaudible).
GRANT: Years ago, there were debates about brush guns and which calibers would push through brush better than others. The path load I was using was just a little bit hotter …
GRANT: Being a researcher, I wanted to solve that problem. So years ago, we took 1/8 inch dowel rods, bored a hole every quarter inch in a two by four, and stuck multiple rods in that two by four. That would simulate shooting through brush, because at a just a eighth inch gap in between the rods, the bullet would either strike the rod squarely, or kinda off-center. Using different calibers, from a .223 to a 30-06, I was stunned to find out that no bullet, or caliber, is the ultimate brush gun. All of them deflect if they hit anything.
GRANT: Even though the wind was screaming, three out of the five sits we went to, multiple coyotes responded in to the FoxPro.
UNKNOWN: John will kill something tomorrow. (Inaudible).
GRANT: You the man, the myth, the legend.
GRANT: These wide open spaces in east central Kansas allow you to see a long ways – see that coyote coming, and call the shot way ahead of time. Sun up with a little frost and a lot of wind blowing, made for a beautiful setting, but a little bit chilly this morning.
GRANT: John’s dad placed a decoy about 100 yards away and turned it on – placed the caller about two feet away from the decoy, got back up on the hillside and started screaming.
GRANT: About 15 minutes into that stand, Adam whispered, “Coyote” and we started scanning and seeing where he had spotted that yote coming.
GRANT: Coming hard.
ADAM You on him?
GRANT: I’m on him, but I’m not, I think about 250.
GRANT: Adam, you on him?
ADAM: Yep. I’m ready if you are.
GRANT: He’s gonna go away. I’m, I’m on him.
GRANT: John picked up the movement as the coyote was kind of quartering, trying to get downwind, and I gave him the go ahead to take the shot.
GRANT: What do you think that is, about 200 yards?
ADAM: Got him.
GRANT: Got him. Rolled him. Give it to me, buddy.
JOHN: Oh yeah.
DAVID: All right. Good shot.
GRANT: Put the hammer down. You heard that one hit, too. Peee-owww!
GRANT: Be looking. Be looking. Let’s see what else we got coming.
GRANT: John got comfortable with the shot and I heard a “pow”, and then that great thump you hear when the bullet strikes home.
GRANT: One down. John’s dad quickly changed the call to disrupt any local coyotes from being scared, and instantly we heard another one howl out in the distance.
GRANT: How far you think that…yeah, how far you think that is?
ADAM: Oh gosh, I can’t even tell you. 500, 600 yards.
GRANT: Actually spotted that yote about 600 yards out, but couldn’t get him to close the gap.
JOHN: There he is.
JOHN: Thank you.
GRANT: February 25th, first sit of the morning. Now we’re three for three. We’ve had three sits and seen coyotes each time. I missed, some come behind us. We couldn’t do anything, and you put the fur down.
JOHN: Well you know, Kansas did its job and we, we got you a shot yesterday, but we had to take this morning to be able to connect. We got this, this female here this morning. She came in about 15 minutes after we started calling. We put a shot on her, about 200 yards. She fell in her tracks.
GRANT: That’s right, I mean just a beautiful pelt, big, thick, winter Kansas pelt. We’re gonna put this thing over our back, head for the truck, and go to another spot.
JOHN: Sounds great to me.
GRANT: John, welcome to the intern program.
JOHN: Thank you.
GRANT: All right. Pick that thing up and let’s get out of here.
GRANT: I’ll grab the caller, someone else grab the decoy.
GRANT: For those of you that never had the privilege of seeing prairie chickens strut on a lek, it takes you back instantly to the pre-settlement days, thinking about when wolves and Native Americans were roaming the prairie.
GRANT: A lek is a simply an area, usually on a high hilltop with very short grass, where our prairie chickens will come in to the spring and strut and drum, where males compete for mates.
GRANT: Changing habitat and predator populations over the decades have really decreased the prairie chicken populations from flocks of hundreds down to flocks of 20 or 30 at a time. Whatever activities you participate in this week, whether it’s collecting fur, or collecting antlers, I hope you slow down and really appreciate Creation. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv.