Rut Report Nov. 7: Swing And A Miss!

Day No. 7 of a 13-day rut hunt is in the books. Discover what North American Hunter Senior Managing Editor Dave Maas learned during his day in South Dakota.

First the bad news: I shot and missed from 20 yards. And now the good news (although it’s really not that good): it was a coyote and not a deer.

Today I saw the same number of coyotes as deer: nine!

And while some of the coyote sightings were probably repeats during my all-day sit (four different treestands), I did have a pack of five coyotes come through at one time.

I took the photo above at around 1 p.m. when I went back to my truck to eat lunch and change into lighter weight clothing. As you can see, my five-arrow quiver is missing one arrow. I shot at one of the five dogs that rolled past my ladder stand at 8:30 a.m., but my arrow deflected on brush, and not only didn’t I hit the coyote, I couldn’t find my arrow, either. Frustrating!

To add insult to injury, I missed a second coyote at 5:30 p.m. at 18 yards. Upon close inspection of my arrow, I touched hair, but didn’t find blood. I’d type another word here besides “frustrating,” but I’m trying to keep this text PG-13.

After this post, I’m heading into the backyard and, with aid of my pickup headlights (it’s 7 p.m.), I’ll attempt to decipher whether I’m having equipment trouble or if my missing is simply pilot error. I’d be lying to you if I didn’t admit that missing two coyotes today (and one 2 weeks ago) isn’t messing with my confidence. But coyotes are tough to hit; they almost never stop, and when they do, it’s usually behind a tree or brush. Maybe tomorrow I’ll leave my bow at home and carry the .243 Win.

And I almost forgot: no bucks chasing does today. I had one 120-class 4x4 walk through my shooting lane just prior to the coyote parade, but I decided not to shoot. Still haven’t seen any of the real big boys.