The day had been a long one planting okra and Tecomate blends for wildlife, picking several gallons of delicious dewberries, even a bit of fishing in the pothole of the seasonal creek. To say the least my back was aching. Simply another day on “the place”, my bit of Texas. I was ready for a break, one to simply relax for a few minutes. I headed back to my vehicle parked under a giant live oak, one which had been big even back when I was simply a youngster barely “out of short britches”. I pulled back the front seat of my Dodge Journey to grab the .357 Mag Ruger Blackhawk revolver I kept there. It was not there! A moment of panic thinking someone might have “relieved” me of it. But then remembered I had left it at my daughter’s house for her to practice with, for an upcoming firearms qualifications she annually goes through with her job related to law enforcement. Next step….
A couple of days earlier my brother who grazes registered Hereford cattle on my property had lost a calf to coyotes. Walking along the seasonal creek planting various tree seeds earlier in the day I had found coyote scat containing red hair typical of a Hereford calf. I had hoped I might be able to call in the coyotes responsible and shoot them, this before I realized I did not have one of my usual Ruger guns with me.
Not finding the my Ruger revolver, I thought what the heck, I’ll sit down under the persimmon tree on the edge of the hay meadow, set up my Convergent Hunting Solutions Bullet HP which is operated off of Blue Tooth on the cell phone and see what responds. I opened the back end of my vehicle, raised the cover on the compartment where I normally stored my Bullet HP when traveling. I had come from my home about 220 miles west the day before I grabbed it, then reached in the front of the vehicle for my phone. I tried to turn it on, but it dead, I had forgotten to charge it before I had left early that morning and had left it on throughout the day. And there is no electricity on my property!
No problem…..I walked around to the other side and grabbed my Convergent Hunting Solutions mouth blown calls, which I dearly love. I very seldom go anywhere, particularly if there could be a chance or opportunity to call in a critter without my mouth blown calls.
So sans my usual Ruger firearms loaded with Hornady ammo, I headed toward the old persimmon tree. I sat down and waited for things to settle down. As I relaxed, I recalled a recent predator hunting hunt Blake Barnett and I had done with Wildlife Systems a few weeks earlier. On that hunt Blake used a Bullet HP to call in and shoot several coyotes. I had used primarily Convergent Hunting Solutions (mouth blown calls. I had hoped to call in a coyote or two, but I also wanted to call in some of the many resident mule deer. Over the years I have often called in mule deer with a mouth blown predator call. I can not explain why mule deer frequently respond to the sound of a dying rabbit, but I can assure they often come at a run; does, fawn and bucks!
While hunting with Greg Simons, a dear old friend, fellow biologist and owner of Wildlife Systems in far western Texas, we alternately took turns at the call. After calling in a couple of coyotes we moved to call in mule deer.
We set up at the head of a canyon, actually where three canyons headed. No sooner did I start blowing my call than four mule deer does and two fawns came stotting in. The lead doe stopped less than ten yards from me. I kept blowing. A buck, a three-year old four by four, came running toward us. He stopped twenty yards away. I kept blowing.
Normally I am not a big camo wearer. But because I love the material used by Drake Non-typical used in their camo shirts (www.drakewaterfowl.com) that day I was wearing camo. Where I was sitting between a couple of thorn bushes, I evidently blended in extremely well. The deer seemed to look through me!
I kept blowing and within two minutes of blowing the Convergent calls, I had eleven mule deer around me from about ten to forty yards away. The last one to arrive was an older buck with massive beams.
I quit blowing the call. The deer seemed to lose interest and started walking away. I let them get about a hundred yards distant, then started calling once again. Immediately the deer turned around and came back. I did the same thing a third time. But then let them walk away.
Before the day was over I had called in thirty-seven mule deer, including seven different bucks. This well after the rut was over. In years past during the mule deer rut I had often called in numerous bucks. Usually does came in first followed by bucks. I have found using mouth blown predator calls tend to attract more bucks during the rut. Probably the doe responds because of her maternal instinct, but then she is followed by a buck that is vying for her attention.
So much for pleasant mule deer memories, back to the present. After sitting statue-like still for five minutes I started blowing my jackrabbit in distress call. Immediately I spotted movement coming out of the creek bottom three hundred yards distant. It was a coyote!
Normally I would have continued calling and then shooting when the predator stopped or got in very close. But because I did not have a firearm, darn it, I quit calling as soon as the coyote appeared. Even so the coyote came to within one hundred yards, where he stopped, looked around and then turned to trot back into the brush to the north. Again I mentally kicked myself.
I am headed back to my property in about a month. This time I will be certain to have my phone charged and I will have with me my extremely accurate 6.5 Creedmoor Ruger Model 77 FTW/SAAM Hunter shooting Hornady’s Precision Hunter!