By CLAUDIA KOERNER / THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
In response, the Laguna Woods City Council is planning a special meeting Thursday afternoon to consider changing its law banning the discharge of firearms. More here…
The congressional rider removing gray wolves from Endangered Species Act protection faces a court challenge in Missoula on Tuesday.
The Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Clearwater and WildEarth Guardians together claim Congress violated the U.S. Constitution’s separation of powers doctrine when it ordered the wolf delisted and blocked future court review of that decision.
In response, attorneys for Interior Secretary Ken Salazar say Congress has frequently rewritten laws…
Read more: http://missoulian.com/news/local/article_56bc76ea-b675-11e0-867b-001cc4c002e0.html#ixzz1T9of2XaT
By Glen Wunderlich
Coyote hunting has always intrigued me and with all the sign we had been seeing on a parcel of land in Shiawassee County, it was time to see if we could lure one into rifle range. Just about anyone will remark about the number of coyotes there are, but doing something about thinning the population is another matter altogether. They have a nose that knows, and hearing and eyesight suited to their instinct to kill whatever they can.
During daylight hours, the game laws permit the use of centerfire rifles for coyotes in southern Michigan, so my friend, Joe Reynolds, and I devised a plan in which we could both tote trusty long-range firearms. Joe’s tool for the job is a real shooter: a Ruger in .300 Winchester Magnum, outfitted with a Timney trigger, topped off with a 6.5 x 20 power Leupold scope, and fed with handloads of rocket-like 110-grain Hornady spire points. It’s point and shoot without any need to consider holdover anywhere in the field we were to hunt.
I was carrying a dual purpose rifle suited for anything from bear to woodchuck: a Browning model BAR, scoped with an Aimpoint Hunter. This classic was stoked with homebrewed 110-grain Hornady V-Max verminators.
Our plan was to set up in the dark Saturday morning April 9th with only about a week left in the season. (Yes, there is a season unless you are on private property and witness a coyote “doing or about to do damage.” Then they can be taken any time, but since I can’t comprehend what a wild animal is about to do, I hunt during the stated season.)
I set up our full-body Flambeau coyote decoy about 100 yards up wind of our blind. Next to it, I poked a rod into the ground with a spring and imitation tail fastened to the other end of it powered by 4 “C” cell batteries in a plastic compartment. It’s called a Predator Enticer (www.LiveDecoy.com) and spins and bounces at timed intervals, thus adding some crazy motion to our set up.
About 50 yards closer to our stand, I set out a FoxPro FX3 receiver/speaker and headed back to the shack where I would dictate sounds with the remote control device in hand.
Joe was already set up at the blind when I returned. I then cycled the action on my semi-auto BAR trying not to make too much noise in the still, foggy early morning air.
When we were finally able to see across the field, I sent the first signal to the receiver, which imitated a rabbit in distress. I altered the volume for a few minutes and nothing appeared so I mixed in some female invitation and challenge calls. These calls are boomed out of the diminutive digital device and we were sure something would come running in. Still nothing.
I paused for a while then tried a woodpecker in distress call – a bit odd, but maybe different enough to trick a cunning canine.
It worked. I made the spot at over 100 yards on the edge of the field and moved my rifle into position and held on the chest of the wily one. With the red dot centered, I squeezed the trigger. Click!
I knew I was in trouble and I immediately suspected what had happened. In my desire to be quiet when I cycled the rifle, I eased the bolt forward so it wouldn’t slam shut. Wrong! It didn’t strip a round from the magazine, meaning it never loaded one into the chamber. The coyote was too close at 120 yards for me to recover, so I urged Joe to take the shot.
I learned two valuable lessons that morning: chamber a round before getting on stand and always take a friend who happens to be a good shot.
By Glen Wunderlich
Professional Outdoor Media Association
Down in the wildwood, sittin’ on a log,
Finger on the trigger and eye on a hog;
My hold was good, so I let ‘er go,
And that hog de-parted to Ohio.
That sure takes some doin’ from Lincoln County, West Virginia, home of General Chuck Yeager and Steve McComas. Since most people know a bit about ol’ Chuck, here’s a little of what I know of Steve, affectionately known as one of the biggest liars in the area. As a matter of fact, while we were at the Vandalia Gathering at the State Capitol Complex in Charleston, they held a liars’ contest as part of the weekend’s festivities and wouldn’t let Steve compete. Turned out, they had a rule against allowing professionals. Folks say there’s a dead giveaway to know when he’s not telling the truth, however: his mouth is open.
Actually, he’s a good ol’ boy who’s introduced me to some of the finest hunting land in the country. He knows the back roads and those who live among the hills and calls out their names and waves as he drives by. I couldn’t wipe that grin off my face as he sawed on his fiddle at a local get-together in Branchland Friday night, The Vandalia Gathering in Charleston on Saturday, at a Guyan Valley High School class reunion Saturday evening, and back to the final day of pickin’, fiddlin’, and singin’ at the Capitol on Sunday. Man, there’s nothing else like it, but it was time for a change of pace and some Southern style groundhog huntin’ was on Memorial Day’s agenda.
We searched high and low and found the orchard grass hay far too tall to spot a hog, so we headed where we could look down onto a field prepared for tobacco planting at the Stratton farm. Soon, I spotted movement on a distant log pile across the field well below us. Swinging into action I read 177 yards on my rangefinder to the logs from the vehicle. Steve obligingly offered the first chance to me and I opted for some serious horsepower: my Browning A-Bolt in .300 Winchester Magnum and Shepherd scope fed with 110 grain Hornady V-Max verminators. I eased on down the hill with Steve’s homemade blue jean sandbags and set them on the down slope. Soon, I found a second hog atop the pile, mere feet from the other one; Steve let me know there was a third one there, too, but I already had a plan.
The one on the left was nominated and his number came up in 15 one hundredths of a second from ignition. His associate couldn’t comprehend the quick disappearance of his pal and he sat there studying on it long enough for me to get another missile from my pocket. Another one de-parted to Ohio. I never saw the third one but I focused on the logs, while Steve checked out the low ground behind us. Before long, curiosity and my home-brewed charge got the best of the third hapless log hog and we headed to Cowhide Branch Road.
We met Jimmy working near the sawmill and he willingly gave us permission, although he was pessimistic about our chances. As we poked along the winding dirt road, we came across four people sitting at the back of a tractor setting tobacco plants. We safely distanced ourselves from them at the far end of the field, where I noticed movement in some high grass. I retrieved my .223 Thompson/Center Contender pistol with its factory 14-inch, ported barrel under a fixed 7-power Burris long-eye-relief handgun scope and chambered a zippy 40-grain V-Max bomb. Yardage was confirmed to be 117 and another one succumbed. Investigating the scene, we determined there were more hogs at hand so we got back into position at the same place where I had taken the last one. This time, Steve tried his hand with the Contender, as I watched through my binoculars. Unfortunately, Steve didn’t have his earplugs in securely and paid the price with a headache afterward, while the hog paid most dearly.
Before long, the farmers finished their chores and we had the place to ourselves. With room to boom, I confidently put the .300 Winchester back into action and took out a couple more pigs making it 6 for 6 on the day plus Steve’s contribution. I set the hogs out for the vultures, and before we drove off, they gracefully swooped in below the hardwoods’ canopy. When we returned the next day, they were still on the nourishing main course.
In a land where Republicans are as common as ugly girls competing in the Miss America pageant; where music is produced without electricity; where venison goes well with deer meat; where vultures always show up with buzzards; where woodchucks and groundhogs are despised equally by farmers, I was welcomed everywhere and always encouraged to return. I think I will.