Wisconsin's 9 Day rifle season and the first few days that follow have turned into a predator hunt instead of a deer hunt. The rifle season started out very slow with few deer moving. Part of this was due to the weather and the other was because we don't push deer anymore. As a land management specialist, I have set my property up so when the deer feel pressure, they know where they can go to get away. (This has been confirmed for years thanks to my Moultrie cameras) After the opening weekend we hunted sparingly as I knew there were some good 3 yr olds in the area and didn't want to push them off the farm. My neighbor and friend manages the same way and hunted only specific areas of his farm also. He and I spoke and decided we would hunt the last weekend but only in easy access areas. Saturday night was coming to a close with both of us reporting what we had seen when 2 shots rang out on his ridge. My phone quickly lit up with a text that his son had just shot a pair of coyotes. This did not surprise me as Dave at the age of 16 is well beyond his years in hunting maturity and marksmanship. I was happy and excited for Dave but just as happy to have 2 fawn/turkey killers off the landscape. Sunday morning we were back out waiting for the sun to come up. As the sun rose the deer movement was slow. A few does and small bucks but nothing we were looking for. Around 9 am we were texting each other, letting eachother know what time we were getting out and our routes, when another shot rang out from his ridge. Again my phone lit up with text stating Dave had just shot another coyote. Deer season quickly turned into a successful predator hunt instead of a deer hunt and I was fine with that. Rifle season had ended with a couple dead does and 3 dead coyotes. Now it was back to hunting the entire open sections of the farm with my bow. Wednesday evening I snuck into my honey hole to see what was left in hopes of putting an arrow into one of my older deer. After 1 hour in the stand and already seeing one doe and 4 young bucks, I had high hopes when a fawn doing mach 4 and bleating at the top of her lungs came running past me. Right on her heels were a pair of coyotes. I whistled trying to get them to stop. They kept chasing this poor fawn until I pulled out my Knight and Hale rabbit call and began squally into in. They stopped and one stepped back into the field to see where the wounded rabbit was. At 47 yards and a slight quarter to me, I rested my 50 yard pin on his lower chest and squeezed the trigger. My Hoyt sent my Killzone lengthwise through his body. He quickly bolted and ran about 25 yards before expiring. The first night back out with a bow couldn't have gotten much better - except for maybe a big ol' 6 year old buck. I am happy, though, with 4 coyotes in the last few days between Dave and me. We will be out hopefully removing a few more, but as for this weekend and next week, it's back to trying to find that elusive old whitetail.
Art & Michelle Helin have enjoyed the outdoors their entire lives. Here, they share their passion with you.
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