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Saturday morning found a bunch of us sitting at the Bradfordsville Country Store listening to a very informative seminar given by Mr. Leon Smith.
That morning the former government trapper from Colorado (also a former elementary school principal) gave 16 of us a quick lesson on trapping/shooting coyotes….and cats, bear, raccoons, muskrat, etc.
With skulls from various critters we learned that their sense of smell is determined by the length of their nasal cavity. We also learned…by looking at a skull and hoof…that a 90-pound wildcat can take down an 1,100-pound horse.
Something else that really surprised me was when we were told that our coyotes…local dogs…are bigger than those in Colorado!
Also taught was the number one rule in trapping…”get permission”. Course that should be the number one rule in any outdoor pursuit!
In retrospect, I guess “get a trapping license” would rate maybe “tied” for first place in the “gotta have” category!
Anyway, assume you have a license and permission…now what?
Several types and styles of traps were shown and their purpose explained. Note to everyone…avoid bear traps. They’re huge and nasty. How huge? About 40 pounds! How nasty? Well, I could almost feel the bones in my leg snapping, just from looking at the trap!
All the steel traps were interesting. But, what about coyotes? Several of the trap styles would catch a coyote (but only a few would hold them)!
Around here, especially this time of year…Mr. Smith recommends the use of snares to catch coyotes. Or “cable restraints” for those of you who may be “sensitive.”
These snares are simple in design and easy to make…or you can order them online. If you want to make your own you’ll need some 3/32 steel cable, regular (modified) washers and some ferrules. Or, you can order them already made and ready to go for under $20 per dozen. Just Google “trapping” and start surfing.
There are tricks to setting these snares that will only be learned through research, trial and error.
You can…if you have a good one…hunt coyotes with a dog. A dog that takes commands and is very fast.
You find a den…and I’ll bet seeing a coyote will also work…and send your dog. Since coyotes will chase dogs…thus the necessity for a fast dog…when your dog returns to you, with a coyote chasing it, simply shoot the coyote (not the dog).
I know that sounds sorta “out there” but I watched a show on TV where a guy did just as described. He’d send his lab out to antagonize a coyote he’d spotted. When the coyote(s) started to chase, his lab would run back to the hunter. The coyote(s) were so intent on catching the dog that they didn’t notice the hunter…until it was too late.
As stated: A fast dog is essential…for more than one hunt!
For hunters who prefer shooting, any flat shooting gun will work. But, if you want to minimize damage to the pelt, save some ear damage (always wear hearing protection anyway) and reach “way out there” something in the 223, 22-250 or 243 might be taken into consideration.
Just know that 99.9 percent of the time a coyote will circle your call and try to get downwind.
Some serous coyote hunters work in teams. One with a rifle, one with a shotgun…long shots and short shots! Twelve gauge, tight choke number two to four shot. Or, just take your turkey gun!
So, what do you do with a dead coyote? If you’re after fur then skin and cure the hide. If it’s an attempt to control numbers, leave’em for the buzzards.
But, before you dispose of the carcass why not enter your kill in the Country Store’s 2013 Coyote Roundup!
The Bradfordsville Country Store Restaurant will host their first annual roundup during January and February of 2013.
There’s a one-time $25 entry fee…which includes a t-shirt and banquet. Since this is their first year they’re going at it in unique fashion. For every coyote brought in…well not “brought in”, but “brought outside” you’ll receive one chance in the round-up lottery. They’ll take the tail off or in some way mark it so no one else can also turn it in. Do we expect someone to cheat? No we don’t!
If you want, they’ll also be measured for the “biggest coyote” prize.
Either way, make sure to keep your coyote outside and make sure it’s dead! Don’t laugh. A live coyote was once brought to a contest!
As a twist, you can bring in a coyote no matter how it’s taken. That’s right, shot trapped, snared or road kill can all be entered.
The purpose is to eliminate…or help control…coyotes, so anything goes!
Now you’ll have till the end of December to sign up. And since the Country Store will close from Dec. 15, 2012 thru Jan. 15, 2013, you’ll want to hurry up and get registered.
They’re hoping to get registration papers in all our outlets, Walmart, Deep’s, Courtwright’s etc.
Get one, fill it out and send it in. You’ll receive an email/letter explaining the details.
You can call David at 337-2802, Dennis at 337-4124 or Keith at 337-2114.
You can send your application and $25 to David Mullins, 2300 Jones Creek Road, Bradfordsville, KY 40009 or The Country Store, 205 Main Street, Beadfordsville, KY 40009.
I’ll have updates on this event as they come up.
Guess that’s it for now. Get out, enjoy what Mother Nature has to offer, stay safe and I’ll see ya next week!