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Frosty 24F the trucks wind shield was frosted over good. I went out with my gear bag started the truck set defrost going. Went back in the house and got the recycle bin took it out and sat it on the tail gate, this week only one can of garbage for the last two weeks was also sat on the tail gate. Back in the house to get my camo,rifle and back pack ready to go I also made a call to Mike and asked if he would be ready at 8:00 AM and I have breakfast ready to go.
At Mikes he had his gear by the door only needing to be placed in the truck . Was happy to see the yet warm foil wrapped breakfast in my little igloo cooler. I had made buttermilk flap jacks scrambled up some eggs and yellow peppers and fried some sausage layered and rolled up with the last of the Maple syrup, from Johns sugar shack. I will give Cheryl a call and buy some of their 2020 crop later.
I had planed a route east of M24 north up a back road. There are 12 farms we have permission to hunt most are ones from back in 2002 till 2009. There are a few more north of M90 that are resent about 3 years.
Lots of small hobby farms, farms where the owners just retired and lease the fields to crop farmers and two huge dairy farms.
First place it the Rick Rodgers farm a hobby horse farm they have about 15 of their own mares and one stallion. They also board horses for people. The Farm land its self is a 80 acre area of hay fields and pastures 20 acres of wood lot. Logged off 15 years ago for wood fence boards.
It is still 24F when we parked despite the blinding bright sun shine we are going to be putting our backs against. We used the board fence and post to break up our out line around 60 yards from the woods.
We start it off with a challenge silence about 2 minutes then another challenge call. We got a few barks in answer some close.
Try the sexy Female sound for just a bit then the challenge again to see if they were moving.
They were so we did more sexy female calling come hither big boy.
About 12 minutes the first coyote sticks it’s head out from behind a autumn olive bush. It is Mikes zone so I watch him to see what he wants as far as the caller I am operating, normally do nothing and let the decoys draw the coyotes our father for a good clear shot. It finally cleared the bush Mike fired and had a coyote down, I see him rack the bolt and swing to his right and fire again.
After 40 minutes we gather our gear and go look at the coyotes. Mike has two males, later told me he spotted the second one off to his right and a bit more into the field but decided to take the first sighted one first and try for the second.
At the truck it says the temp had climbed with the sun shining to 30F. A short drive a mile east and one south to another hobby farm. They are market garden people who have town jobs night shifts cleaning offices so in the summer they can sell produce. They also have chickens and sell their free range eggs from the house and the Wednesday farmers market.
Rodger Janis is in the yard when we arrive feeding chickens.
Tells us they started hearing coyotes in the distance one day last week and has been pretty steady since that day.
It didn’t take much to get an answer to the challenge call try the horny female again and they started moving.
Took 20 minutes before a coyote showed up, again in Mikes zone. We can see across the fields and nothing else showing Mike collects his third of the day.
Rodger was happy to see that one and said we should come back again next week.
Doubled back north crossed over the east bound road and about 4 miles down the road we come to a crop farmers place. Is small about 15 acres but where the shop is and storage sheds. They lease farm land in two counties and in a normal year do close to 3000 acres of corn and 5000 of soy beans. Some of the least places are small 10 acres here and the next for 10 for a total of 20 acres.
But Gale, Tim’s wife has a farm yard manargery and there is about 5 acres of slough back behind the shop and sheds.
We walk down a path to the gazebo by the small pond where we set up. LOL isn’t any place else where we can do so and it has worked in the past.
The challenge sound didn’t results in any barks and after 40 minutes we had seen nothing. We arrive back at the truck strip our camo,
Gale comes out of the house and says she has just taken some bread out of the oven come in and have a bit.
I love fresh home made bread and keep saying I am going to start making my own but never do just to lazy. She tells us it has been a good 6 months since they have heard a coyote pack.
Gale offers more bread and I quickly decline saying Mike doesn’t have all day to hunt and the more he lolly lags the less time he has to hunt.
Back ups the road we go again to a beef operation Owner Darrell Dunkle. This is a free range beef operation the cows are out in a pasture in the winter hay is rolled out for the cattle to feed on as they wish. There is a small heavy brush laden Slogth about 5 acres off to one side of the farm we walk to and set up .
We get a answering bark almost at once, receive a challenge from a very aggressive coyote coming our way. Finally the barking stops so I give a couple low come on big boy I am waiting for you when he came charging out of the brush straight for my decoy. He put the skids on about 10 feet away and went into slink mode. He is in my zone place the cross hairs dead on his chest and squeeze the Swifts trigger, Coyote went to sleep.
That was the only coyote to show there a old male long in the tooth one.
At the truck I tell Mike we are not far from North Branch Maybe we should take a break for lunch?
Mike says OK his breakfast is running out and Gales bread.
We run into North Branch to a convencie store thinking they may have some ready made sandwiches. Walk in the door and the smell of pizza hit us right in the nose so ordered one large Mushroom, Spinach, green and black olives and sauage.
$11.00 and tasted great.
Garden View Apiaries where the view is as sweet as the honey.
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After we had our Pizza we left as we had discussed during our lunch break and headed across to Fish lake road and headed south. I figured we had time to hit 4 places and drive time between so Mike could go to work. Mike argued we had more time all I had to do is get him home by five give him to put together sandwiches and brew a thermos of coffee for work.
I laughed and said allow some time for a shower YOU STINK.
Next place was another hobby farm, most of the property was leased to to Tim Bodie where Gale gave us the home made bread, The did Keep about 10 acres back for horse pasture and have a pair of geldings they ride regular.
There is also a 10 acre wood plot next to a huge drain over grown with brush.
We work along a fence line to the back about 75 yards from the woods and set the decoys and callers out. Backed off about 50 yards and started the calling. Had answers to the challenge but not from the area we had expected. It was off to our right along the drain, That is going to make Mike adjust his set and there is no way I can move and have a safe shooting lane.
That is fine with me to just stay put you never know what coyotes are going to do most times they will try to circle to pick up the scent of the prey or coyote challenging them. Big reason we attempt to set up where the coyote has to show it’s self to get to a decoy/critter.
This time the coyote kept working along the drain to the woods the edge brush. Popes out right in front of me for a easy shot about 90 yards broad side as it went toward Mikes decoy.
The Swift butted my shoulder and I have my second coyote of the day.
After the full 40 minutes was up we gathered gear then went to look at my coyote, a male about average but a beautiful even light color. Worth more money that 50.00 for the darker ones and the marbled ones.
Next farm is a beef operation cattle are kept in lots and feed by auger from the big Blue Stones silos or by a feed wagon auger set up depending on the time of year and when they are going to ship some for sale
Most of the rest of the farm is corn crop to chop and hay field also chopped all going in to one of the 5 Blue Stones. Here we are going to attempt to pull coyotes from the neighboring wood lot. Have never been able to get permission to hunt that place from the widow lady and a son.
The son wants all the exclusive hunting rights and will lease the right to hunt to any one that wants to pay. No one pays to hunt coyotes.
But the coyotes we are sure come from there and get in the feed bunks to feed on silage or the ground corn grain.
We get an answer from the next door woods but in 45 minutes could not entice a coyote to come into the open with any sound. We try not to do a bunch of sound changes as we thing that is not natural and bet coyotes do to.
We with some warm twisting of mike decided we could do one more place.
This is a hobby farm again when Bills parents decided they were to old for farming they planted almost 100 acres to trees a mix of hard woods and pines. The pines are near harvest size and will be once the timber buyer makes the right offer.
Bill and his wife Jane have a few goats and a couple horses. They have week days jobs in town Jane at the local bank branch and Bill a wrench at the Chevy dealer.
When Bills parents pass the property came to Bill the only son and the daughter wanted no part of the land or Michigan for that matter.
We walk back and set up close to the wood lot about a hundred yard shot if a coyote comes out of the woods.
None did show up in 40 minutes.
Maybe the weather has some thing to do with it don’t really know. Bright sun shine rain in the forecast for this evening. SE wind about 9 MPH so the 48F temp felt a lot colder.
But if you were to get out of the wind the bright sun felt great.
Again I have to argue with Mike he needs to get home and make his lunch, coffee and take a shower.
We set up a date to hunt all day Saturday and possible Sunday with Carol along.
Garden View Apiaries where the view is as sweet as the honey.
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