By Glen Wunderlich
On a recent venture to fill the outdoor furnace with wood in the early evening, the unmistakable sound of coyotes yodeling in the distance stopped me in my tracks. The eerie sound reminded me that coyote breeding season had begun and that means one thing to me: coyote hunting.
Coyotes, like other animals can be particularly vulnerable to certain sights and sounds, if a hunter is prepared to exploit their territorial weaknesses. This time of year, a full-body coyote decoy can be just the ticket to distract the canines’ attention away from my hunting position and toward my upwind setup, which is usually 80 to 100 yards away.
To complete the ruse, cover scent is applied to my boot bottoms with a liberal amount sprinkled or sprayed around (not on) the decoy. However, I’m not inclined to spend up to $10 per ounce on some mystical potion from Hoonosewhere, when I have gallons afoot for the taking. Yes, I’m talking yellow snow.
Nothing can beat the realism of all natural cover scent from the wild deer herd in your own area. Plus, not only is it effective for predator hunting, but the same liquid gold can be used to cover your scent while deer hunting.
Here’s a how-to guide for the recycler in you. First, there must be enough snow to transform the liquid into frozen crystals suspended above the ground. Next, carry with you some 5-gallon pails and a shovel, scoop the frozen concoction into a bucket until full. If you want to make it worth your while, fill up as many buckets as you desire. Then, either pick them up when finished or cover them in place to minimize dilution from more snow or rain until you decide to retrieve them.
The next step in the process will require the snow cone material to melt – either on its own or by accelerating the process in a heated garage space. Once liquefied, simply pour the liquid through a paint strainer, which has an elastic band that can be stretched over an empty bucket to filter out debris from the field. Five gallons of yellow snow will produce about 1 gallon of diluted liquid.
Next, funnel the potion into clean containers that can be refrozen. Leave plenty of room for expansion and place the containers within doubled-freezer bags. Mark all containers clearly, so as not to confuse the stuff with anything meant for human consumption.
The brew can also be preserved by adding some sodium benzoate, then bottling, and storing it on a shelf. However, I have no information as to the shelf life.
To make the cover scent even stronger, water can be removed by partial thawing and then pouring off the liquid into another container, thus condensing it. Boiling is another option that I’ve not attempted – and, probably never will.
The final step for field use is to transfer the material into small bottles, properly labeled. I picked up 100 orange-colored, 8-ounce spray bottles online for less than $.50 each and attached some labels to the home brew.
So, if you watch out where the whitetails go you too can benefit from yellow snow.