“Would you and Blake like to come spend a couple of days on my private mule deer lease to help remove some coyotes?” questioned Greg Simons who heads Wildlife Systems based in San Angelo, Texas. Before I could reply a definite yes, Greg continued. “The property is one we acquired about three years ago. A couple of friends and I are wanting to manage it for big desert mule deer. We’ve had good fawn crops lately and the population is increasing, but I’d like to see it increase a bit faster, and removing some coyotes will help.
Three things; I am always ready to help a friend, I always like spending time with a friend, and I love calling predators, especially when there is no other hunting immediately available! Greg Simons is a dear old friend, who has been in the wildlife biologist and outfitting business for about 30 years. Greg and I have hunted together off and on over the years, especially for desert mule deer and occasionally whitetails. His Wildlife Systems is one of the premier series of hunting opportunities in North America, with emphasis on the Southwest. North American Hunting Club member will remember Greg was the “NAHC’s Outfitter of the Year” a few years ago, actually their first. Greg too is one of the past presidents of our Texas Wildlife Association.
Greg and I planned a date to meet on the property along with Don Richardson who has long guided for Wildlife Systems, Blake Barnett my co-host for our “DSC’s Trailing the Hunter’s Moon”, as well as our cameramen Dustin Blankenship and Cody Fite. I was excited, getting to spend time with special friends, calling coyotes and spending time in the arid, desolate, GORGEOUS, rugged Trans Pecos region of Texas. Interestingly, Greg’s property was within sight of the mountain top where I shot my first mule deer many years ago!
First afternoon Blake and I hunted together with Don while Greg stayed back at camp performing one of his favorite camp duties…camp cook, at which I will add he is fantastic!
The wind was horrible, blowing with gusts upwards of 30 miles per hour. Still, by using Convergent Hunting Solution’s Bullet HP electronic call we were able entice one coyote within range. But before either Blake or I could shoot, waiting to get the coyote “on camera”, the wind switched and it turned and ran.
Next morning, we were out early Blake and Cody hunting with Don and Dustin and I hunting with Greg. While Blake used the Bullet HP, I decided to use Convergent Hunting Solutions new mouth blown call, specifically the jackrabbit and cottontail closed reed calls.
During the course of the next four hours Gregg, using those mouth blown calls managed to entire seven different coyotes from great distances. Unfortunately, with me, it was a “comedy of errors”. Coyotes approached from up wind which they normally they do not do. I watched the wrong direction three times. Then while watching a distant approaching coyote I failed to see the one which charged in just mere steps away below us. On another one, I was again watching a distant approaching coyote when one walked in, which Dustin saw and got on camera. But before I could turn to get on him with my Ruger Model 77 FTW/SAAM, 6.5 Creedmoor, loaded with Hornady’s Precision Hunter, he turned and disappeared behind a ridge.
Blake and crew did better and he shot a double when three coyotes charged in from great distance (one of the beauties of hunting the sparse and low growing vegetation of that area of the Texas Trans Pecos country.
We spent mid-day exploring some of the ranch’s more remote landscape. In doing so we found several Indian campgrounds.
Later that afternoon we called in a couple of coyotes but the stopped long before they got to within reasonable rifle range.
Last morning Blake enticed a huge female from hundreds of yards away with his Bullet HP. He shot the coyote just off the side of the call.
While we may not have had a huge impact of the local coyote population, we still likely saved numerous mule deer fawns.
Before parting company with Greg, we discussed the possibility of hunting with Wildlife Systems for desert mule deer, whitetails, nilgai and aoudad sheep. Greg has some of the finest country and hunting in Texas for these and other species. Who know we just might even share one of Wildlife System’s camp with you come fall!