Thanks to our elite class of rulers, many, many restrictions have been passed down and legislated to help govern us, the great unwashed, you know....keep us in line so we don't hurt ourselves, the planet or the Three Toed Tit Mouse. Unfortunately, these abundant helpful rules and restrictions have caused businesses (you know, those evil businessmen that hire employees and pay taxes) to leave the state in droves. Hmmmmm...could the coyotes be leaving too?
The last three years have proven to be pretty dry for us Southern California desert coyote hunters. I am speaking of the weather and the coyote population. The bottom line is that there seems to be a declining coyote population in the desert areas that were once quite fruitful. So where have the coyotes gone?
Any of us that have hunted coyotes have a great respect for their intelligence. I think the coyotes have figured the game out and the smart ones have moved to "no-shoot" areas surrounding suburban housing developments. It is the perfect coyote habitat. Lot's of tasty cats, small, delicious dogs and plenty of food left out to feed on during the evening hunt. Even better, some of the compassionate humans have actually begun feeding the local coyote population. Yup, suburban areas surrounded by foothills are truly a coyote's paradise. It may even be a part of Obama's "No Coyote Left Behind" program. Yeah, that's it....the new ACORN logo wil be a coyote giving up his paw.
As I mentioned in a prior post, we scoured areas on our last hunt that were usually good areas for calling coyotes. However, no sign was evident and we had to keep scouting instead of hunting hard. The drought has definitely taken its toll because we saw no jackrabbits or rodents. Where there is no coyote food, there will be no coyotes.
So, as I sit at my desk and look at "Ralph" my skinned coyote friend, I contemplate the location of his former companions. I spend hours (when my wife is distracted on Facebook) searching Google Earth in hopes of finding some hidden "honey hole" and striking the mother load on my next series of stands. All too often however, the Google photos are old and what looked great when the photos were taken is dry as a bone when we get out there.
As most of you know, the key to successful hunting is scouting. Well, that is where the reality of our daily lives takes its toll. All week long I am a slave to routine. By day I sit behind a desk and attempt to solve engineering issues (OK, I may daydream a bit about having a triple on a stand). In the evenings, time must be devoted to family and general welfare, personal tasks. That doesn't leave much time for serious scouting. (Those damn retired guys have all the luck)
So, I guess I will continue to seek out unincorporated, sparsely populated areas where it is legal to hunt and shoot. I won't have time to scout those areas but I'll bet you dollars to doughnuts that coyotes will be there. In this time of drought, I believe that those places will bear the most fruit. It worked last weekend and for the limited amount of time I have to hunt, those areas seem to have the best calling odds.
So, stay legal, hunt around rural homes (as per DFG and local laws) and never take a shot in the direction of a house or road. Good luck and keep the faith.