Hunting in West Texas

I have been warned many times by the native Texans that if you're planning a trip to West Texas for predators, to stay away from the month of March. During this time of year the winds in west Texas can be almost unbearable. We found this out first hand last month when we hooked up for a hunt with Byron South and Larry Wilson. Byron picked up Tom Steel and I at DFW International to take us the rest of the way to Seminole, Texas. Here we hooked up with Larry Wilson an avid coyote hunter with plenty enough land to keep Byron, Tom and I busy for three or four days.

After reviewing the weather forecast for the next few days we noticed that it was calling for above average temps and high winds, which was a huge disappointment to us. After traveling to the other side of the country we didn't want to be controlled by the wind or warm temperatures. We quickly came to the conclusion that we would hunt from daylight until about 10:00 am. Then rest for the majority of the afternoon and begin hunting again in the evening. That brings me to a good point, although it may be very windy you can still take advantage of those wind lulls, which normally occur right before daylight and just before dark. The temperatures also seem to be the coolest during these times of the day. Take advantage of these opportunities because you may see increased movement by coyotes and other predators.

The first morning we met Larry Wilson and he directed us to an extremely large pasture behind a feed barn. As we approached our stand we noticed that two coyotes had already beaten us to the pasture. We quickly got into position and when Byron turned on the FURY, the coyotes made their way down wind. Unfortunately that was the only action we had for the day. To be honest, they were the only coyotes we had called in until Friday morning. Finally our odds had changed. Unfortunately Byron was fighting a terrible head cold that morning so Tom and I were on our own. We went back to the same pasture that we had called from the first morning that we were there. This time we were sure to get to the pasture way before daylight to beat the coyotes there. The wind was coming out of the south and we setup facing the east. The only disadvantage here was that we were dealing with a cross wind. We made do and set the FURY in front of us about 50 yards away. I started calling with sound #L00 Lightning Jack. It wasn't three minutes and two coyotes popped up on top of a hill to the north about 150 yards away. We knew we didn't have a lot of time because they had the wind in their favor and it wouldn't be long before they would figure us out. I got on him with the camera and gave Tom the go ahead. Needless to say someone forgot to bring their shooting sticks with them on this stand. The dust flew and the coyote ran leaving us disappointed once again.

We hooked up with Larry again and he took us a good 20 minutes from our first stand to a place closer to his house. It was about 9:00am and we walked behind his place and found a decent vantage point to begin calling. This time the wind was coming out of the southwest and the sun was behind us. I hung the FURY upwind in a mesquite tree about 40 yards from me. I began the calling sequence with sound# L00 Lighting Jack and let it play for about seven minutes. I then switched to sound# L54 Bay Bee Cottontail. I left the sound play for about three more minutes and Larry caught movement in front of us about 200 yards out. I immediately lowered the volume and kept a stern watch for the approaching predator. Larry informed me that there were two coyotes approaching our stand. With the wind in our favor I knew we had plenty of time to get them on film. I caught the first coyote weaving in and around the mesquite trees at a steady pace. The second coyote stayed back and watched as this one made his way in for the feast. I made sure Tom was on him and I locked in on him to make the shot. He stopped on his own about 60 yards out and turned his head back the other way to look for the second coyote, no doubt his partner. The first shot made its mark behind the shoulder; he whipped back around and started running to my left. I quickly threw another one into him on the run and put him down for good. I immediately got on the Skyote with some ki-yi's hoping to bring the second coyote in to make for a West Texas double. Unfortunately she wanted nothing to do with me. We ended up calling in one more coyote that morning in some very thick cover. This hunt was more of a hit or miss hunt than anything.

Although it can be very difficult calling in high winds and warm temps you still have to be out there calling to kill any coyotes. Granted I don't know that I will head down to Texas again in March but it just shows that you can play the high winds and warm temps to your advantage. Face it, predators have got to eat sometime and if you can pin point the time of day they are moving the most, you should be able to increase the odds on your next stand.

Until then, God bless and keep calling!

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