The one that got away

Mike Roux with one that DID NOT get away.

The afternoon was cloudy, but not too cold. Actually, for December it was really pretty nice.  

The peak of the rut had passed, but the bowhunting was still good. As always, I was hoping for some early evening movement.

That is about the way most archery deer hunting stories start. Well, this one has a twist.  

No deer were seen that evening and no animals were harvested. This was, however, one of the most exciting hunts I have ever had.

As is my usual practice, I was still-hunting that evening. I would move slowly and quietly from place to place, rattling and grunting.  

This method not only allows me to hunt several locations, but distinctly increases my odds of seeing animals. Not just deer, but all the animals in the woods.

The afternoon slowly ticked away and at about four o’clock I sat-up on a ridge overlooking a cut corn field. This ridge was a good staging area for deer entering the field to feed after dark.  

I had just completed a short series of grunts when movement caught my eye from below me. Something was moving parallel with the field edge, just inside the woods.

As I focused my binoculars, I could make out the outline of a coyote. It was not running, but still moving too fast to be hunting.  

I quickly found my mouse squeaker. I would give the dog a couple of squeaks, hoping to lure it up the hill toward me for a shot.

At the first squeak the coyote stopped and perked its ears. This stop could not have taken half a second. 

The coyote continued on its way, ignoring my follow-up calls. I watched it go out of sight through my binoculars.

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