It could be the plumes of dust kicked up by the combines, the abrupt change in the dominate colors of the landscape, or the appearance of thousands of geese making their yearly migratory journey; whatever triggers it, fall is here! As my mother puts it, "I have been dealing with your father's neck swelling this time of year, for 26 years; and now I have to deal with both of you going into rut!"
I have never thought of it in this context, but with wisdom only a mother has; she is absolutely right. Since I can remember my father and I would live in agony during the summer, watching hunting shows, checking and rechecking gear and generally being a pain to the women in our lives. While the average person enjoys the warm summers; my father and I curse the closed hunting seasons; and long for the changing of the leaves that signify the approaching hunting seasons.
Over the years, we have taken up the high energy, intense excitement of predator hunting. The seasons are year round, and have acted as a substitute for our hunting addictions; that couldn't be fulfilled during the off season. However, a new problem has presented itself; we are both now completely addicted to the thrill and challenge of calling in these magnificent creatures.
This year we actually goose hunted very little, instead we spent our time in North Dakota hunting beautiful fall coyotes. We have hunted geese together in North Dakota since I could walk, to say we passed this up for coyote hunting, is a testament to this intense affliction my father and I have caught.
By mid October the large majority of the crops have been harvested off the fields, leaving little or no cover for coyotes. In northern North Dakota there are very few trees, the ones that are present are planted in straight lines, called shelter belts. These shelter belts are planted every half mile, and serve as wind breaks for the fields. This combination of little to no cover, posed an interesting and difficult calling set-up.
The first couple of days we concentrated on hunting open fields, calling from the concealment of the tall CRP grass. This yielded little to no results, we were able to call a large male, but he quickly disappeared in the tall grass; never to seen again. As with all types of hunting, adapting to conditions is vital to success. This could not be more true with predator hunting. Knowing this, we had a brainstorming at dinner; the goal to come up with a new calling strategy. At this all too serious meeting of the minds, my father went to the trunk of his car, proudly producing his newest invention: "The ShadowShield: Predator Series."
My father is a tinkerer, when he buys a new hunting product, he quickly retreats into his lab to modify and "improve" his new procurement. His hunting and fishing gear has no shortage of duct tape, pvc pipe and "improvements". It was no surprise to the people who love him, when my father invented The ShadowShield, a reflective acrylic shield, used for stalking animals. I have successfully used this for Elk, Mule Deer, Whitetails, Geese, Turkeys, Grizzly and has even been successful in Africa. He had really out did himself with an "improvement" of his own product! A light weight, portable blind, that allows the hunter to disappear in any environment; even a dirt open field.
The next morning with great excitement, I set out to give this ingenious invention a try, my set up was in the center of a plowed wheat field, sun at my back, facing a shelter belt that contained an old abandoned farm. Knowing that these coyotes hang up 100yards out from the caller, I dropped my e-caller 100 yards behind my stand. I started my series with "Jumipin Jack" from my Minaska Game Call, and was pleasantly rewarded when a beautiful coyote came from the shelter of trees. She stayed on the outter edge of the tree line for the first minutes of the call, all the while I was wondering if she could hear how loudly my heart was beating.
I ran my series for approximately 5 minutes then rested for three. When I start again, she came busting out of the woods heading directly for me! When I finally shot her, she was 25 yards away and never saw me.
I have since had the pleasure of using the shield on most all my hunts, and am quite pleased with the great results. As for my father, with a few well placed, "I told you so" he has once again proved it is a good idea to listen to your father, especially when he is an experienced "improver"!
For more information about The ShadowShield visit www.theshadowshield.com .