PATIENCE PAYS OFF
Pouring my morning coffee into my thermos, I wondered if today would be the day to see ‘Him’. Yesterdays morning check yielded a nice set of tracks that visited every set along the clearing I made through the high dead brush. You could clearly see the prints in the snow travelling first to the set up on the hillside, then he continued straight down the middle of the clearing, then he danced around the last 3 traps before seeming to disappear into thin air.
Something about that spot had drawn my eye from the beginning of the season. The flat area at the base of 2 embankments just seemed to invite coyotes to run through. Maybe it was the way the spot was visible right after cresting the first hill. Just seemed a perfect place to see a coyote bouncing around in my mind.
I had seen coyote tracks while scouting, but decided to place my sets along the main tram road, instead of venturing off the beaten path. I was fortunate enough to connect with a large male a few days earlier and just 75 yards away, but just couldn’t shake the feeling that there was another big one still here. No one had trapped this area in years, and I was more than happy to break it back in.
Setting the traps along my man-made road sent a rush through me that I cannot explain. I was like a kid at Christmas as I dug each dirt hole, pounded each Earth anchor and placed my MB 550’s that I ordered from Minnesota Trapline Products. After carefully sifting dry dirt layered with Calcium Benzoate (I didn’t want frozen traps), I placed some guide sticks, directing anything right onto the pan. Using a small stick, I dropped a pretty nice dollop of ground mouse bait into the hole, and then stuffed a golf ball size wad of sheep’s wool. A little long distance call lure and a quick squirt of coyote urine, my set was done.
Grabbing my thermos, I set out just before daybreak. It was only a few miles to this property, but I couldn’t wait to see if I finally caught ‘Him’. A half hour and couple of quick coon dispatches later I crested the hill. There he was, jumping around. He was exactly as I envisioned him. A nice blonde with dark tips, caught high on the right front leg. Nope…this dog was not going anywhere…well, the only place he went was home with me.
Of the many coyotes that I have been lucky enough to connect with, this one by far was my favorite memory. Perhaps because he fulfilled every expectation of what I imagined. Dreams, (even daydreams) do come true, even to us trappers. I still smile ear to ear when I think about this song dog and am looking forward to the next ‘perfect’ location that calls out to me.