Friday, August 28, 2009


Tomato juice has long been a folk remedy for removing skunk odor. 
However according to chemists who have analyzed the makeup of skunk “juice,” it doesn’t work. They say tomatoes only mask the skunky odor at the same time that our noses suffer from “olfactory fatigue,” a condition in which nasal receptors are overwhelmed and no longer detect particular smells  - perhaps that’s why you can’t smell your dog, but others can.
Without getting into the complex chemistry of skunk spray, de-skunking requires a product that neutralizes the smelly compounds. Fortunately, there is such a concoction (invented by a chemist) that you can make from readily available ingredients. In a bucket, mix 1 quart of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, ¼ cup of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of liquid soap or detergent.
Soak your dog with water, work the mixture into its fur (keep it away from its eyes), leave it on for 5 minutes and then rinse thoroughly. Don’t try to store the de-skunking mixture; the combination of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda can blow the lids off containers. Note that skunk spray won’t permanently damage a dog’s eyes, but they might be red and painful. If inflammation persists, see your veterinarian.  RedHunter LLC The Coyote Hunting Experts


I wanted to own a dedicated predator hunting rig but any expendable cash I had would always be vectored in another direction.  That is, until one day when something very unusual happened.  I actually sold a boat and made money on it.

I’ll try and keep the story short and to the point.  I got a great deal on this neglected, classic boat, bought it and worked hard to refurbish it.  We used it as a family boat on lake trips for five years until my wife and son got tired of going to the lake.  Since they were no longer interested, I put it up for sale and make a tidy profit on the deal.   Yes, strange but true.
Certainly, the only logical thing to do was to buy an old full-sized Jeep Cherokee Chief and transform it into my concept of a California/Nevada coyote hunting rig.  Keep in mind that “bling” was not a consideration here.  The project focus was to achieve multiple goals.  When completed, I wanted a coyote hunting vehicle that was reliable, utilitarian, economical, comfortable and stealthy.  I am happy to report that old “Jezebel” does the job.  As they say, “This old dog can hunt.”

The photo below shows the added lighting. The driving lights for dark back roads and below the bumper are my "creeper" lights. The creepers are pointed down and give just enough light to run trails without spooking nearby coyotes, bobcats, fox or other predators.

The photo below shows some added backup lighting. There are two tractor lights pointing down and a rectangular quartz lamp in the middle. They come in handy when backing up in rough country.

The engine in the photo below is a straight six (258 cu. in.). It's not a powerhouse but it keeps the rig light and has a bunch of low-end torque. I ditched the old carb, smog pump and a bunch of vacuum lines when I yanked it all and installed a Mopar multi-port fuel injection system. I was forced to buy the fuel injection kit because the old gal would not pass the strict California smog test with the old electronic carb. Then, after beginning the fuel injection installation, the new intake manifold was hitting the brake booster.   So that meant I had to go for a Hydra-Boost braking system. The sucker will stop on a dime though and the increased performance from the fuel injection is worth the effort.  I also purchased a 3-core radiator and some other goodies to increase performance and MPG.  Right after I bought the jeep I had a rebuilt engine installed and most of the drive train rebuilt or replaced.

Below is a photo of the cab. It shows a gadget bag on the passenger side for my hunt partner’s coyote hunting odds & ends, a home-made center console for predator hunting stuff and some extra instrumentation, including vehicle attitude gauges and a dedicated charging indicator for the rear battery that feeds power to all of the coyote hunting related lighting and electronics.

Below, the photo of the roof shows the Nevada hatch, my spare fuel containers (8) and the rifle rest surrounding the roof area. Sandbags (6) are set all around for easy access when calling coyotes, bobcats, fox and other predators.  The rifle rest surrounding the hatch is made from lightweight, inexpensive plastic sewer pipe and attached securely to the old roof rack with stainless hose clamps.

This interior photo below shows the underside of the coyote hunting hatch, some of the rifle racks on the driver's side, a plywood roof console I made that holds the CD player & MP3 amplifier for the under-body coyote calling speakers, the top of the hydraulic predator hunting chair for the hatch (on a portable base so it can be removed for sleeping in the rear of the rig), easy access attractant and cover scent spray bottles, cow horn coyote howlers, red & white interior lighting and you can barely see the top of the auxiliary battery by the seat back.

Below, another interior view shows the spare water, cook box, cooler, and a better view of the battery behind the driver's seat. The underside of the roof console also has two 12-volt cigar lighter receptacles for coyote hunting lights.

Below is a rear photo of the passenger side. It shows the shooting seat base, rifle racks, a couple of coyote decoy sets hanging on the overhead, fire extinguisher, shovel, hatchet, and some Home Depot carpenter's aprons that I affixed to the side of the rig to hold small items like coyote tail cutters, rubber gloves, laser pointer, etc.  You’ll also notice an inexpensive laser pointer on a tripod and a white strobe light (used to find the rig again after walking away from it to find critters…yes, that’s another story). 
Below is a complete rear view. When hunting, the coyote lighting hatch is pulled off and bungeed to the bar that holds the cooler and cook box in place. All loose gear is stowed on top of the cooler and cook box and held there by the hatch. Everything is removed for sleeping. The rear is floored with 3/4" plywood, padding and carpeting.   It is very comfortable for two guys to sleep in.

There is a bunch of other stuff I didn’t mention such as under floor storage, a 4” Skyjacker chassis lift, coyote calling speakers under the front and rear of the rig; CD player, MP3 player, 50-watt amp for any predator calling input source, under-vehicle speaker controls, 110-volt AC inverter, gas stove and more.  Also, the only component that wasn’t replaced or rebuilt is the ash tray…LOL   I hope you new predator/coyote hunters will benefit from this overview of a California/Nevada style hunt rig. It’s not the Ritz but I love the old girl.  She takes me way out there into the Mojave Desert and beyond and always brings us home.
NOTE:  Night hunting coyotes and lighting predators from your vehicle is legal in designated areas in California; however, shooting out of a vehicle is not.  Also, the vehicle may not be in motion while lighting.  Nevada is a free state and it is legal to shoot from a vehicle in remote areas.  You can also light and call while rolling in Nevada.   
Check your local laws before attempting to night hunt.  Even where night hunting is legal, restrictions may apply.  Know your facts and be prepared to politely defend the legality of your actions. Sometimes local police and fish & game officials may be in error.   No matter what the situation, always remain polite, courteous and cooperative when dealing with any law enforcement officials or land owners.  Don’t ever argue or raise your voice.  Also, most importantly, never volunteer information.  When in doubt, keep your mouth closed and don’t make a “statement” to any peace officer.        

Camo Painting Your Coyote Rifle

As most of you know, I like to paint my hunting rifles. I am a painting advocate for two main reasons. The most obvious is stealth. Camo painting your rifle will make it disappear in the field and prevent a barrel or receiver reflection from spooking your prey. Secondly, coating will prevent your firearm from rusting by encasing the blued steel in a jacket that seals the pores of the steel and keeps out the elements. Some may be horrified at the thought of painting a rifle but I regard my rifles as tools. Painting them not only makes them harder to be seen by predators but it also makes them much easier to maintain.

Until recently, I have been using DuPont Krylon camo spray paint with reasonably good results. It sprays on easily, dries fast and adheres pretty well to every surface. The down side is that it is not as scratch and wear resistant as I would like it to be. Therefore, I decided that I needed to investigate some other, more high-tech options.

The next step up in the durable coatings category is the “two-part” chemical process. With these coatings, you have a base product and a hardener that must be mixed in an exact ratio for success. Of the two-part coatings there is another category, baked-on and non-baked finishes. One will cure in hours by heating in an oven and the other is dry for use overnight but takes up to a month to completely cure to optimum hardness.

I don’t know about you guys but if I attempted to bake a painted gun part in our kitchen oven, my wife would not be too pleased. Keep in mind that while baking, certain chemicals flash off and permeate your oven (and house) while the baking/curing process is in progress. I just don’t think that would fly at our house. So, I began to look more closely at the non-bake type finishes.
Upon further investigation, one name stood tall above the rest. The name of the product is DuraCoat. Steve Lauer of Lauer Weaponry is the inventor of DuraCoat and the development of this firearm-specific coating process has changed everything. DuraCoat is now recognized as “the” premier firearm coating and Lauer’s satisfied customers now span the globe.

Like many other inventors you’ve read about, Steve Lauer developed his DuraCoat process in a residential garage. After years of trial and error, Steve finally developed a product that displayed all of the characteristics he was looking for. DuraCoat was born.

DuraCoat is a two-part mix that must be applied by spraying with an airbrush or HVLP spray setup. DuraCoat can not be brushed on to a surface. The surface must be clean and should be roughed up enough to provide some “tooth” for the coating. Once applied, it adheres to the surface like a tight plastic wrap. It sprays on thin and really holds on when cured. After spraying your rifle, it dries to the touch in 30-minutes to an hour and your firearm is ready for service in 24-hours. Complete curing will take several weeks. How durable is DuraCoat? Steve Lauer says that under normal use, DuraCoat will last several lifetimes. That seems like a reasonable service life to me.

One of the other benefits of DuraCoat is the almost endless choice of colors. With almost 100 different shades and finishes, you will surely find one (or several) that will suit your needs. If you plan on a camo job, Lauer also sells camo template kits that will pimp out your hunting rifle like you never thought possible. The Lauer Weaponry website Lauer Weaponry has a world of info concerning the DuraCoat product, color illustrations and various camo designs and kits.

DuraCoat is a process that is relatively easy to apply, especially if you purchase one of the many kits that are offered by Lauer Weaponry and follow the instructions. The kits also include a CD that can be loaded into your computer so the process can be watched. Lauer has made the tricking out of your favorite hunting arm as easy as possible and the customer service is second to none. Stave Lauer wants you to succeed and he and his staff are there for you should you have any questions or problems. When I called for information, Steve talked with me for at least 15-minutes and was very informative.

I recently purchased a curio & relic Enfield rifle that was produced in 1965. The finish on the rifle was failing and the stock was pretty grimy. After taking the entire rifle apart, I decided to refinish the metalwork with DuraCoat. I purchased a basic kit from Lauer Weaponry and got busy.

My .308 caliber Enfield was manufactured in India at the Ishapore Armory and as a normal practice; they coat the metal on their rifles with some kind of funky black paint. I think by the look of it, they used a dirty cotton ball to apply the paint. Needless to say, that had to go. The first step was the removal of mass quantities of Cosmoline (a light amber ointment to seal the rifle’s pores and prevent rust from forming). Once that mess was removed from the stock and metal parts, the stripping of the funky black paint began. After stripping off layers of the black paint, the metal was cleaned, all rough edges were faired with a file and the metal surface was sanded with 220-grit sandpaper. Then, it was on to every screw. All of the screws had idiot marks (apparently they only have one size of screwdriver in India, (the wrong size) and after careful filing and sanding, they were all returned to like new condition and prepped for the DuraCoat finish.

After all of the prep work was done, I laid everything out for spraying with DuraCoat and began the process. For the Enfield, I chose the “Parker” color. I have never used an airbrush before but it was easy to learn and the DuraCoat process went off without a hitch. Apply the product as suggested in the instructions, in thin coats, and you will have no problems. I started with the barrel and receiver and then shot light coats on everything. I did about four rounds of light coats before I was satisfied with the finish. It dried to the touch in about 30-minutes but I let all the parts sit for 24-hours before messing with them. No kidding, this stuff is fool-proof. I am convinced that anybody can use this stuff and if the directions are followed, the results will be perfect the first time.

The Enfield’s Mahogany furniture has been stripped, cleaned, and sanded. It’s now undergoing a hand rubbed, tung oil finish and that will take a lot more time and effort than the DuraCoat process. After seeing the completed DuraCoat finish and the progress on the stock, I am confident that when this rifle is re-assembled, it will be one super-sweet example of the .308 caliber Ishapore Enfield.

What can I say? I am sold on the merits of DuraCoat and I can think of several other rifles in my safe that will benefit from a DuraCoat finish. It’s fun, easy, affordable and a great way to preserve your favorite hunting or defense arms.  For more examples of the DuraCoat finish, see "Red's Page" on the website.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

How to Outsmart a Coyote

By this time, most of us have our rifles sighted in, our hunt rigs stocked and ready to roll and all of our other necessary gear fine-tuned and ready.  The last remaining factor that spells success or failure is totally dependent upon you, the hunter.  Ultimate success will be dictated by your skill and strategy. 
All of us spend a great deal of time analyzing our prey.  We scout for the most likely habitat, look for sign and attempt to zero in on just exactly where and when the animals are most active.  However, what worked just fine last month and produced several kills may not work at all this month.  Coyotes seem to move around a lot and in the process; they can become more “educated” due to frequent calling and hunting pressure.  These shifts in animal behavior necessitate a shift in our attitude and procedures too.  Perhaps it is time for you to try something completely different.
Although the general animal habitat guidelines don’t change, perhaps our attitude and techniques for attracting them should.  Chances are, the typical coyote and bobcat have heard the pleading jackrabbit call more than once or twice and it may not have the startling effect we would expect.  Hey, even my dog is a perfect example of that.  He hears me testing different pitched calls all the time.  Now he is used to those sounds and he only reacts when I introduce something new into the mix.  Therefore, new ideas and a fresh approach might make the difference between coyote hunting success and failure.
A little side note is in order here.  

My personal feeling is that bobcats are nowhere near as smart as coyotes.  Cats are cats and they seem to be dominated by instinctive reaction.  A bobcat will often come back to the same call even after being shot at and missed.  You know how cats are…..if they hear an interesting sound and a see a moving object to match that sound, chances are they are sneaking into the ambush party.  Highly educated animal behaviorists may disagree with me but I believe coyotes “think things through” while cats simply become entranced in their stalk, dominated by instinct.  I have had bobcats so focused on the caller and decoy that they have walked right by me and didn’t even notice I was there. 
My point is, coyotes are damn smart and I believe their brain has the capacity to overpower their instinctive reactions.  Just watch the typical adult coyote coming to the call.  If he or she is not starving, the animal will approach to a certain distance that is comfortable.  From that vantage point, the coyote will take a hard look around and check things out.

If I were asked to describe a coyote’s best attribute, it would be “situational awareness”.  That call we’re playing is not a game to a coyote, he knows it could be a life or death situation.  His exceptional vision, acute hearing and finely tuned sense of smell all kick into overdrive.  Your stand is toast if a hunter makes the slightest movement or if the sun reflects off of some unnatural surface like you rifle, scope or sunglasses,  I don’t care what tortured animal sound you play, the coyote has figured out the game and he is gone. 
On the last hunt, I tried sounds, sequences and techniques that were different than my usual bag of tricks.  I thought of all the sounds other hunters were using in that area and I purposely avoided using any of them.  Instead, I used one of our RedHunterLLC Nutcracker Squirrel Barkers.  I changed more than the sounds however; I tried an entirely new coyote calling psychology.
In the past, my calling was not a part of a larger plan.  There was no scripting of sounds or end game in mind.  I simply played a CD or worked a mouth-call hoping that a hungry critter would respond.  I was only appealing to one sense…..hunger.  That would mean for me to be successful, the following factors would have to be in place:
·         A hungry coyote would have to be within hearing distance of my call.
·         That coyote would need to be hungry enough to respond.
·         That coyote would need to be comfortable responding in the calls’ territory.
·         The coyote would not be educated to that specific sound.
·         The coyote’s hunger would overcome caution.

For my money, those are too many variables.  By appealing to only one sense, you severely limit yourself.  For the best success, appeal to as many of the animals senses and “instincts” as you can.  The ultimate key word there is instinct.

Webster’s dictionary defines instinct as “a largely inheritable and unalterable tendency of an organism to make a complex and specific response to environmental stimuli without involving reason.  b: behavior that is mediated by reactions below the conscious level.
That is our ultimate edge gentlemen, playing on their strongest instinctive responses.  If you plan your ambush to appeal to instinct rather than their thought process, your chances of success will be greatly enhanced.  OK, it will indeed be easier to do this while hunting bobcat but the coyotes will take a bit more thought and planning.

You’ll need to play on a variety of instinctive reactions.  A few examples of coyote instincts you’ll want to tickle are mating, hunger, defense of territory, defense of young, curiosity sounds, curiosity smells, visual decoys, etc.

The fact is, soon after the season starts, most of the really young and dumb coyotes are dead.  If you’re going to put fur into your rig, you’d better prepare yourself with some new tricks and have something different to offer.

Today’s successful hunter will devise methods that play to a coyote’s instinctive reactions and hope that the bait (in whatever form that may be) will override the coyote’s education.  If you keep true to all of the other basics, the result should be a bunch of bang-flops for you.

Since most of our southern Kaliforniastan hunting areas are frequented by far too many other predator caller/hunters, my last hunt seemed to prove this “instinct” theory correct.  There are no hard and fast rules for success when it comes to coyote/predator hunting but a fresh, approach is always worth a try.
Before your next hunt, think about where you’ll be going and what new sounds, scents and visual effects you can add to your stand.  Make your ambush site look safe, easy to approach and attractive to Mr. Coyote.  The easier and more attractive it looks, the more success you will have.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Bobcats are very interesting little critters. Bobcats are extremely adaptable and can be found all over the United States in mountain areas, thick forest, swamps, rocky cliffs, deserts and chaparral.

The bobcat is not a large creature. The average sized bobcat body is only about two feet long with a tail from four to eight inches long. Although the bobcat originally got its name because of its stubby tail, there are some with longer tails.

Bobcats look very much like a pumped up housecat. The muscle structure is stronger but the face is housecat all the way, only larger. The average bobcat weighs between twelve and twenty-five pounds and its average height is eighteen to twenty-five inches. Bobcat tracks measure around an inch wide with no visible claw marks.

The bobcat is a predatory killing machine. Its claws are long and super sharp. They are excellent for climbing and for holding their prey while they administer the death bite. When Mr. Bobcat is not using those razor sharp claws, they are pulled way back into his toes. Like I’ve said, they won’t be obvious in his tracks.

Their teeth are made for the kill too. The bobcat sports long canine teeth to perfectly stab and hold their prey. Their back teeth are arranged much like a pair of scissors and are perfect for cutting through hide, meat and bone.

The ears of the bobcat are one of its finer assets. This cat has acute hearing and by moving its radar-like ears from front to back, the bobcat can pick up on the distant sounds of mice, rabbits, ground-dwelling game birds and other small critters. Some scientists believe that the little tufts on the top of the bobcat’s ears improve the sound reception, much like we use our hands to cup our ears.

The bobcat has a wonderful, natural camouflage that blends him into a variety of backgrounds. When a baby bobcat is born, his fur is heavily spotted but most of that tends to go away as they get older. The adult bobcats that keep those belly spots are prized for their coats. Bobcats in seasonal areas change their clothes (fur) twice a year. In the winter, the bobcat’s coat can be striped, blotchy and a very dense, almost grayish color. During the summer months, the bob’s coat is more of a brownish-red in color.

The bobcat also has some very unique tricks up its sleeve. When it comes to stealth, the bobcat has a special method for running down its prey. It knows to put its back feet into its front feet’s spot, therefore reducing noise on its stalking approach. Usually, the prey never hears the bobcat coming. The bob is a patient and steady hunter and he doesn’t mind taking all the time needed to carefully stalk its prey. If speed is needed, that presents no problem. The bobcat can sprint to thirty miles per hour and sometimes faster.

Bobcats are not pack hunters. You won’t see a “pride” of bobcats working together to stalk a beast. They are loners that stake out their own separate territories. An alpha-male bobcat can have a territory as large as forty or so square miles. The male bobcat is not a total dud though because he will tolerate several female bobcats in his territory. He does this because he mates with those females. I guess having the ladies around breaks up his territorial patrols. I can understand that.

Unlike some humans, the male bobcat will not only impregnate all of those females, but he will also take full responsibility for feeding the mother and her kittens. Female bobcats have their kittens in the spring and usually birth two or three kittens each year. The little ones are born with their eyes closed (like housecats) and their eyes don’t open for ten days. The little kitties are breast fed for a couple of months and they slowly transition into their hunting classes by the age of five months. They are in no hurry to leave their mother and teacher and can stay with the mother for almost a year before going off to establish their own territory.

Although bobcats are quite common in North America, the bobcat’s natural camouflage is so good, they are rarely ever seen. Like all other cats, the bobcat is a total carnivore. His favorite goodies are mice, squirrels, birds, rabbits and any other meat he can pounce on.

The bobcat has no natural enemies. He is most often the predator and it extremely rare for him to be preyed upon. He is kind of like the barn cat of the wilderness, eating mostly vermin that man has no use for.

North America is inhabited by more than a million plus bobcats. They are not endangered or threatened in any way and sport hunting and trapping is controlled by local fish & game authorities. These creatures are very adaptable and seem to have no problems sharing their territory with coyote , fox and others.

Unfortunately for the bobcat, he has a beautiful coat. A properly tanned bobcat coat is a thing of beauty. The fur is soft and supple and the markings are usually very attractive.

Calling bobcats takes patience. You will rarely have a bobcat charge into the call. They will respond like a housecat. Slowly, cautiously and always taking their time to stop and study the situation.

The best sounds to lure in a bobcat with are high pitched squeaks, bird-like noises and rustling sounds. Expect to devote a half-hour or more to a stand and keep a sharp eye out for the bobcat. He won’t be easy to see coming in and sometimes you won’t even notice him until he “appears” on scene.

Using a small bird decoy or a small bunny decoy seems to work really well for bobcat day hunting. Keep it small because the cat will pick up on even the slightest movement. If you have a remote for your decoy, so much the better because you can taunt the cat with jerky movements. Play the bobcat as you would your housecat and you will have success.

Since the fur is thick his actual body may present a smaller target than you think. The bobcat has soft skin and a smaller caliber rifle works just fine to put him down and save that beautiful fur. Place your round carefully and make certain the bobcat is dead before picking him up. I have seen the aftermath of a hunter that assumed the bobcat was dead and haphazardly tossed the bobcat over his shoulder. Believe me when I tell you, that bobcat opened up a major can of whoop-ass on that hunter and tore him up pretty badly.

The most effective calls to use for a bobcat are a Lil' Pekker, Big Pekker, Nut Cracker, Brassy Alto, Death Screams II or a Mini-Blaster III, all available from RedHunterLLC Store

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Voted Best New Coyote Hunting Product of the Century

25 August 08
Huntington Beach, CA

RedHunterLLC introduces incredible breakthrough hunting product.

At first, there was the Indian style, learned predator call. Calling predators took a lot of practice. The next step introduced mouth-blown devices to entice predators and these aids could be mastered quickly. Eventually, advanced, battery powered electronics ushered in pre-recorded calls and subsequently, the remote controlled digital caller.

Once again, the science of predator calling has taken a giant leap for mankind. RedHunter LLC is proud to announce the "green" energy and planet friendly game calling system of the new century; the new “RedHunter LLC Typhoon” Predator Calling System. Typhoon uses no batteries or clunky electronics, it is “Planet Friendly”, it’s recyclable, it’s hands free and requires no special learning skills.

The Typhoon Calling System comes with the following components:

• Special, variable pitch calling insert with replacement reeds.
• Custom, fitted undergarment to accept calling insert.
• Proprietary fabric hunting pants with O-ring sealed access area and patented, anti-escape vapor barrier, camo print fabric.
• One case of Red’s special “Magic Beans”. This is our introductory variety case that is guaranteed to attract coyote, fox, cats and other predatory animals.

How this incredible system works:

The night before your hunt, simply make a hearty meal from one 16-ounce can of the “Red’s Magic Beans” scent of your choice. The amazing part is that this space age system works while you sleep. By morning, Red’s Magic Bean, advanced enzyme formula will have you fully charged for a day’s hunting and calling.

When you arrive at your hunting/calling area, simply remove the safety plug and insert the variable pitch call into the “access area” of your custom designed RedHunter LLC hunting pants. Now you’re ready for hands-free calling action. For added comfort, order the RedHunter LLC special “relieved” hunt seat that allows your call to project through the seat material for added comfort on long stands.

To begin calling, simply relax and let Red’s secret formula do its job. Soon you will be effortlessly calling (hands-free & battery free) and simultaneously releasing an attractant scent that coyotes and other predators simply can’t resist. (NOTE: Make sure to tighten the waist cinch cord on your RedHunter LLC hunting pants to prevent the Magic Attractant Vapors from escaping into your shirt area as the vapors may cause your eyes to water and make sighting difficult).

At last, a predator calling system that works naturally and in harmony with nature. Protect you planet, recycle and enjoy your favorite sport at the same time. Yes, you can have it all. Order your RedHunter LLC Typhoon Predator Calling System today. Operators are standing by.

Sorry, no returns on the variable pitch calling inserts or used reeds. Please mail all used reeds and calling inserts to B.H. Obama, Charles Schumer, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer, and Dianne Feinstein or to any local office of the DNC.

Coyote & Bobcat Predator Hunting Preparation

The time for coyote calling and predator hunting is getting near.  As our summer transitions into fall, the predators will become a lot more active.  Instead of bedding down and avoiding the heat of the day, they will be out doing a little hunting and foraging for food.  The coyote pups will have grown quite a bit and the little bobcat kittens are learning the ropes from their momma.   I have even heard some coyote pups sounding off in our neighborhood, much to the chagrin of my dog.

After Labor Day, when all of the summer activities slow down, I begin to devote my time to coyote hunting and predator hunting preparation.  I usually start with my hunt rig, a 1981 Full sized 2-door Jeep Cherokee Chief.  I do all of the usual preventative maintenance checking:  Tires, hoses, belts, batteries, fluid levels, chassis lube, oil change, radiator flush, brakes, new plugs, clean the K&N air filter, check under the hood for any abnormalities like oil leaks, etc.  I then run the rig down to my Jeep mechanic and have him look it over. 
All of this preparation may sound obsessive to you but I hunt coyote way out in the barren Mojave Desert of California and Nevada.  There is no cell phone coverage and if you get stuck, help is not forthcoming.  It may be a long, hot walk out to a paved road and even after getting there, you may not see a soul for hours.  I feel a lot more comfortable knowing that I have done everything possible to make sure my rig is reliable.

Next I check out all of my coyote calling gear.  I begin with my mouth calls and coyote howlers.  I check the reeds on all of my calls and make sure they all sound like they should.  If they need attention, I change the reeds or address whatever other issues need attention.  The same goes for my coyote howlers.  I check each one out for sound quality, check lanyards and when I am sure they are good to go, I pack them at the ready.

My electronic MP3 coyote caller is next.  I happen to like the Minaska “Ultimate One” predator caller because of the volume potential when calling in open country.  It features 2-speakers and they can be used independently or together.  The sound quality is second to none and it even has a built-in, remote controlled decoy.  I know there are a load of devoted Foxpro fans out there but sorry guys, in California lingo, I say Minaska “rules”.  Just my opinion, use what you like.  They will all call in animals.

At the beginning of each new season, I install a brand new 12-volt battery in the Minaska ($10.00) and I also purchase a spare battery and pack it in the caller’s backpack.   I replace the battery in the remote, pack some 9-volt spares and then take the coyote caller out for a field check in a nearby park. 
The screams of dying rabbits and other horrific sounds emanating from my Minaska coyote caller drive all of the park yuppies nuts (love it).  One lady even threatened to call the police and report me because she claimed I was “harassing the squirrels”.  I offered her my phone if she would let me listen in as she made the report.  I would love to have heard her describe what she witnessed to the police.  That would have been funny…                 
The Minaska Coyote caller is re-charged using a 110-volt plug-in charger.  I have two ways to charge my electronic predator caller when in the field.  I can plug the 110-volt charging unit into a small 100-watt inverter that I run off the Jeep’s auxiliary battery or,  the Minaska caller can be charged from a solar panel that I adapted just for that purpose.  Solar charging is quick, free and I sometimes leave the solar panel connected to the Minaska coyote caller when I am on long desert stands.  I can chill, knowing that when I decide to start calling, my electronic coyote caller has a full charge and is ready for action.  I will illustrate how you can make a solar charger for your Minaska or other 12-volt powered coyote caller in an upcoming blog.

Since night hunting for coyote and bobcats is legal here in California and Nevada, our predator hunting light is a key tool.  Let’s face it, if you can’t see coyotes & bobcats, you can’t shoot coyotes and bobcats.  After using a bunch of commercially available lights, homemade can lights and a bunch of other cobbled together Rube Goldberg contraptions, I decided that I would make my own light that incorporated all of the features a night coyote hunter would need.  I knew what I didn’t like and I have heard all of the complaints from other night hunters.  I knew exactly where I was going with this design.  Rather than go into the details here, go to this link for all of the details on my innovative “lateral beam” coyote hunting light.  RedHunterLLC Coyote Hunting Light

OK, so I check the operation of my coyote hunting lights (primary & spare).  I clean my light’s lenses, check all controls for operation, check the plugs, check the power cords and I make sure I have spare fuses.  Back in their storage bag they go and they are ready. 
Next are two other important lights.  One is my coyote or bobcat “pick-up” light and the other is my powerful green “kill-finder” laser.  

My coyote pick-up light is the flashlight I use to retrieve the animal once it has been dispatched.  In the old days, I used to rely on a massive 4-cell police style flashlight.  Those days are long gone however and now I pack a small (but super powerful) CREE LED flashlight that is about 10X more powerful than the old D-cell flashlight.  RedHunterLLC sells these powerful pick-up lights at a very reasonable price.  Go here for info:
RedHunterLLC Tactical Pick-Up Coyote Lights

These little lights will amaze you with their power and long-lasting beam.  I will never go back to any type of conventional flashlight again.  The LED technology is amazing and if you are looking for your kill, this type of light really does the job.  I have even taken one and tinted the lens red for away from the rig lighting.  I can pick up a coyotes eyes at 300-yards using the little tactical flashlight.

Of course, finding a dead coyote or bobcat that you’ve dispatched in the dead of night can be a bit difficult.  Once you leave your hunting rig or stand area and start walking out 200 or so yards, it’s easy to lose your bearings.  That is when the laser is worth its weight in gold.  I have my hunt rig laser mounted to a magnetic base.  Once the shooter takes his shot, he keeps his scope on the general area where he fired at the coyote.  The lighter (hunting partner) fires up the laser and the shooter directs the beam to the kill zone.  Once it is zeroed, it is locked into position and the hunters can follow the green beam right to the kill.  No searching, walking in circles or guesswork.  The dead coyote should be right at the end of the beam.  Inexpensive lasers can be found on-line and at some retailers.  Most are way too under-powered.  I just happened to order mine from an overseas supplier just before the feds put limits on the output power available to the general population.  Check around though because it is a valuable tool.  I am going to search for a good source too and when I find a good, reasonably priced unit, it will be tested by John and me and then sold in our store.

Next, I address my decoys.  I sometimes use a Foxpro “Jack-in-the-box” coyote decoy.  I also like my home-made, simple 1.5 volt coyote, fox and bobcat decoy made from an aluminum arrow shaft and half of a Decoy Heart (that throws a little stuffed critter around in circles).  And lastly, for days with a slight breeze, a very simple low tech arrow shaft coyote decoy using a feather or two, tied to a light swivel with fine monofilament fishing line.  I simply stick it in the ground and the breeze blows the feather around.  It’s just enough action for a coyote or bobcat to fixate on.  I check the batteries (and pack spares) and operation of the electric coyote decoys and look over the simple stuff to make sure everything functions as planned.   I even go so far as to put all of the coyote decoy toppers into a plastic zip-lock bag and generously apply the scent or attractant that I want the Coyotes to smell.  I don’t want my coyote decoys to smell like me or any other human.

Next I get out to the range and make sure all of my predator hunting rifles are shooting as tight as possible.  I also check and inventory my reloaded ammo for each rifle.  In addition, I pattern my shotguns and make sure my handguns are zeroed for the ammo I will be using.   Finally, I touch up any of the nicked or worn camo paint areas on my coyote hunting firearms and make certain there is no chance of reflected light spooking an inbound coyote.

Next, I clean all of my coyote hunting rifle scope lenses with an approved cleaner so as not to damage the delicate lens coatings (See the “Op Drops” sold by RedHunterLLC). Op Drops Scope Lense Cleaner   I also service my binoculars and make sure they are clean and ready.
Once I’ve checked all of my main coyote hunting equipment, I start checks on all of my general field gear like hunting license, bobcat tags, flashlights, knives, tools, gloves, head gear, camo, boots, sleeping bag, scents, etc.  Lastly, I reassess my pre-hunting checklist and make sure it is updated and complete.  Once I have completed my preparation, I should be good to go for the season opener. 
By making periodic checks part of your hunting routine, you’ll always be ready for that last minute call from a buddy saying, “Let’s do a one-nighter and slam some coyotes”.  Oh man, how can you resist that?