Coyote hunt nets 25 critters
Two-day event draws teams from Wamego and Salina
As Chase Carlson looked over a room full of camouflaged coyote hunters Sunday at the Marion VFW post, he wore a look of satisfaction.
“It was a good turnout,” Carlson said. “I was pretty pleased with how it went. We’re going to try to get it to be an annual thing.”
While competitive coyote hunts are common in other parts of the state, Carlson said there hasn’t been one within 60 miles until he and fellow Quails Unlimited members decided to stage one.
“We do a lot of things for youth, so now we’re getting something to get adults more involved, to get guys together in the winter.”
Fourteen teams of two and three hunters signed up Friday for the weekend hunt. Most were local, but teams from Salina and Wamego also were in the mix.
“You check in Friday, hunt all day Saturday, all day Sunday, and the most coyotes win,” Carlson said.
The timing wasn’t ideal. Most coyote hunts are held in December and January, when coyotes are more likely to be out hunting in daylight hours.
However, no one wanted to wait for December to roll around again.
“Windy days are tough, warm days are tough — we’d like a calm, cool day,” Carlson said. “But we got it going for the first time, and I’m excited to get it going around here.”
Burton Harshman, Jordan Metro, and Russell Chapman were excited as well. They bagged eight coyotes — five on Saturday, three on Sunday — to win the event.
Harshman said they had been hunting together for a while, but when asked if they were experienced coyote hunters, the trio burst out in laughter.
“We do it for fun,” Metro said.
The team hunted at Harshman’s grandfathers farm, where calving was going on. Spaced 200 yards apart, Metro operated the electronic call used to lure coyotes in.
“We’d get groups in of three or four, sometimes just a single one,” Harshman said. “There were times we got one, times we got two, and there were times we didn’t get any.”
Chris Brewer’s team didn’t stay in one place.
“We kind of bounced all over,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of property we have permission on. That’s the biggest part, farmers and landowners that allow you to go in. That’s really helpful, and we’re sure helping them getting the coyotes out.”
Brewer said that there was more to coyote hunting that just finding a good spot.
“They have better noses than most animals out there,” he said. “Preparation is a big thing. Scent blocker matters, your positioning matters, slow movement, windage, you have to take all of that into account.”
In addition to a coyote call, Brewer’s team used a decoy designed to mimic a wounded bird or one caught in a trap.
While a call will pique a coyote’s interest, seeing something flipping around can pull them in.
“That’s like a free meal to them,” Brewer said. “Just like you and I, you’re not going to turn down a free meal.”
Brewer’s team bagged just one coyote, but Brewer said camaraderie among hunters made the event more than worthwhile.
“We all love to do the same thing, go out and hunt and do the calling and all that,” he said. “We all think alike and enjoy being around it. Like I told my guys on the team, even a bad day of hunting is better than a good day at work.”
Last modified March 15, 2018