Last Saturday morning was very cold and windy at The Proving Grounds. It had been unseasonably cold for days so I assumed the deer would be feeding late into the morning. I had selected a stand about 100 yards from a bedding area in hopes of observing deer returning to cover. I was able to approach the stand with the strong wind in my face and the set-up seemed ideal. The wind was shaking the tree, even though my stand was located in a bottom. I rarely hunt the bottoms at The Proving Grounds unless the wind is howling as other conditions tend to allow the wind to swirl. Swirling wind was a non issue last Saturday. Keeping my balance while riding (versus standing in) the stand was an issue.
During the late morning I spotted a coyote moving about 50 yards away. Recent research is clear that coyotes consume lots of fawns. Many times folks state that only a few coyotes actually kill deer. However, research from South Carolina clearly showed that a vast majority of fawns that were killed by coyotes were killed by different individuals (the wonders of genetics in research). Therefore, I consider each coyote a potential fawn and turkey killer. Coyotes also harass and kill adult deer. I wonder how many hunts I’ve had where deer I had patterned changed their travel to avoid coyotes.
For those and other considerations, I instantly began squeaking (sucking air through tight lips) when I saw the coyote. The cameraman began filming and I readied the Z7. It was only seconds between when I first saw the coyote and when my arrow hit the mark. The first step of making a nice coyote pelt had been completed. I never worry about spooking deer during a hunt when shooting a coyote. Rather I consider the fawns, poults, and adult deer I’m a bit more likely to encounter during the future because I opted to take the shot. What will you do the next time you see a coyote while deer hunting?
Growing Deer together,