Tex Strikes a Beautiful Red Fox

Love it when a plan comes together! I have always wanted to kill a fox at my cabin, on my own property and tonight I was blessed with that opportunity. I had originally planned on watching the Daytona 500 this afternoon/evening but due to rain, the race was postponed and I headed out for one set before dark.

This has been a really crazy winter with extreme amounts of snowfall, making it challenging for predator calling and limiting the movement of predators. We got a typical Michigan thaw last week to firm up the snow and allow the predators to move about much easier. I have been starting to see more sign in the last couple days and I had to take advantage of this beautiful evening. I decided to take my 17HMR out today since I was targeting a fox and I didn’t want to destroy a pelt with the 22-250 if I could avoid it.

I walked out to the back of my property to overlook the hardwoods and swamp down to the lake. I set my Fox Pro CS24 out under a bush in front of me about 20 yards. There was a neighbor out shredding it up on a snowmobile so I just sat still for about 15 minutes until he was finished and the woods had calmed down. I was in no rush and planned to sit until dark. I fired up the Fox Pro at the 20 minute mark, playing some Rodent Squeaks at various volumes for 15 minutes on and off. I then got on my Red F for a couple sequences with some short pauses in between for about 5 minutes. Still not seeing any movement around me so I played a couple short red fox distress sounds. I then switched back to rodent distress, periodically playing a few short bursts of fox in distress. Out of the corner of my eye at 2 o’clock I catch movement and its a fox trotting in at 40 yards and closing. I have my rifle on my sticks pointed at 11 o’clock and they are buried in snow so I just froze as it moved in. My only hope at this point is that the fox moves in between me and the caller and I can get a shot off without having to move my gun. The fox trotted right in to about 15 feet, still focused on the caller with no clue I was there until it turned with a flash and looked right at me. She spun around and I pulled my gun off my sticks as she retreated. I lip squeaked one time, she stopped and turned back for another look at about 25 yards. I got on my rifle offhand as the fox stood facing straight at me and let the 17 HMR rip with one shot to the chest/lower neck area. The fox went down in a pile and never flinched a muscle. It all happened in about 30 seconds and I was left sitting there amazed at what had just taken place! Sometimes it sure does pay off to be patient, let a set speak to you and give it the appropriate time needed.

I am a blessed man to be able to enjoy the outdoors and participate in such a fun and rewarding sport. I would really like to thank all the guys in my life that have taught me the true art of predator calling in its purest form! Thanks to Yotehead Ed, Opie and Bob Patrick at Rare Earth Predator Calls.

Shoot Straight!




We Go Way Back – Rooney and the bobcat


As you all know, I’m a duck hunter. The FLG Down Patrol gang kills their fair share of birds which means we clean a lot of birds here at the house. Since I’m on a creek bottom, I figured I would feed those leftover carcasses to the local creek bottom predator population. When the “pile” became popular I put a trail cam on it just to see what was feasting there in the middle of the night. I’ve had everything from hogs to hawks taking part. The one predator that caught my attention was a bobcat and the journey begins.

For the past 2 years I’ve had encounters with this bobcat while deer hunting. At this point, I figured the best way to get this cat was to start trapping. Only made sense to set a couple traps around the bait pile as much as it was visiting it. It was a learning experience for me. Between de-scenting my traps to funneling the animal into the trap set, I finally got that cat at the “pile” this past December. I was so excited since I wasn’t really a “trapper” in the traditional way. After prepping the cat for the tannery, I checked my trail cam pics and to my amazement, there was a second cat! The first one was a female so this one must be her mate. I reset the trap and just a couple days ago, I got her mate. He’s an old tom with scarred up ears. A fighter for sure. Both cats will go to the tannery and hang on the wall together.

Kill ‘em!



Old Alpha Male Coyote

Opie and I headed up to the north country of Michigan for a long weekend of predator calling! The weather has been absolutely spectacular with bone chilling temperatures and light snow periodically throughout both days we’ve been up here so far. We set out this morning into the frozen tundra on snowshoes ready to hone our calling skills and challenge ourselves physically with the demanding terrain ahead of us.

We didn’t have any takers on our first set and it wasn’t long before we located another calling location several hundred yards away. Opie and I settled into our calling sequence, taking turns playing our Rare Earth Red-F (Bird Distress) calls. Opie hopped on his HSB at about the 8 minute mark playing some light cottontail distress and that’s when I noticed a coyote working towards us at about 100 yards. I got on my rifle just in time to see the coyote stop to take another look in our direction. I passed on the first shot opportunity as I wanted to see him work in closer to our location. There was a slight hill in front of us and when the coyote closed inside of 60 yards we were not able to see him until he crested the hill at 30 feet. My heart was beating like crazy when I lost sight of him and I still wasn’t sure if Opie had seen him closing in on us. I quickly got back on my rifle and waited in the location I thought he might show in. The coyote stopped at the top of the rise and gave a look right at Opie, allowing me to make my final adjustments and let the 22-250 bark.

This is a beautiful large male coyote with scads of battle wounds and a busted up face from fighting. One of my largest coyotes to date and one heck of a trophy from the north woods. We still have a couple days of hunting left, tons of predator sign and we are going to get back after em!





Crunch Time Coyotes


Well I was hoping to sneak out of work early to go deer hunting tonight. We have a huge storm sitting on us right now and the deer should be moving.

Unfortunately It was 5:15 before I could leave work which left me exactly 25 minutes until the end of shooting light. Not enough time for deer hunting but just enough to get into my favorite predator spot for a quick call.

I settled in behind my rifle and let out a series of cottontail distress aimed at the swamp in from of me. I called on and off for 5 minutes before I saw a coyote heading away from me 40 yards away in the thick swamp brush. It was the big dog I’ve been after for a while and damned if he didn’t beat me again.

I continued my calling sequence and after 5 more minutes a second coyote showed itself and came trotting out of the swamp 30 yards to my left stopping behind a big maple tree.

Some patience and gentle coaxing lured the coyote to 20 yards where she presented a clean head shot. I settled the crosshairs between her eyes and I watched as she dropped like a bag of rocks.

Less than 20 minutes on stand and I had 2 coyotes show up within 50 yards and had one over my shoulder on my way to the car. Goes to show that keeping your gear in your car and taking advantage of every calling opportunity can sure pay off.

Looking forward to really getting into the swing of predators soon.

Shoot straight.



First Coyote of the Year

Last week while out hunting Whitetails sitting in my stand on the fencerow pictured above I counted 5 different coyotes from my stand, called in two and had two shots which resulted in no dead coyotes (you’d be surprised at how effective coyotes are at dodging arrows). I have managed this property for game animals and also have encouraged coyotes to live there because I love calling them so much.

Well this morning I went after them and called in a double on my first and only set of the day. As the first coyote was coming in from directly in front of me (see pic above) the second coyote came from the ditch to the right and damn near ran over top of me. I stayed on the first coyote and was able to make a running shot on him at 45-50yds.

It was a younger male dog with beautiful coloring. The fur isn’t as primed up as I like so I will probably hold off a few weeks before I really start after them. All in all though it was an amazing morning.