Sunday, January 23, 2011

Coyote Hunting 101

Today it’s all about camouflage and saving you some money.

Camouflage
As far as coyote hunting goes, I don’t think camo clothing is all that big a deal. Keep in mind that coyotes (and any other canine that I know of) are color blind which means that all they can see is shades. I am firmly convinced though that they are acutely aware of human shapes - arms, heads, shit like that - especially if they’ve been hunted before so the important thing isn’t necessarily blending in but breaking up your outline and keeping your ass off the skyline.

Personally I think people obsess way to much over trying to get the perfect camo pattern. I mean, I’m looking at my winter coat and yeah, it does have more gray and lighter colors than something I would wear in the summer, but at the same time, the leaves in it have veins and stems. It has twigs thinner than matchsticks and if I look hard enough I could probably find a fucking bug in the pattern. That shit is WAY busier than it really needs to be.
Here’s how you find out if your camo will work in the season and region you’re hunting: Take something with that pattern (coat, shirt, jizz rag, whatever) and hang it on some brush or a tree. Walk off 75-100 yards and turn around. If the motherfucker stands out like a red light outside a whorehouse, it ain’t gonna work. It’s as simple as that.
So basically you do want to hunt in seasonal and regional shades, though. You don’t want to be wearing your deep forest camo shit when you’re hunting in sagebrush or the winter and vice versa. But don't trip if the shit doesn't match perfectly.

What do I normally wear when I’m hunting open country in the early winter? My tan Carhartt jacket and insulated bibs. No shit. If it’s cold, I’ll wear my winter camouflage coat - not for the camo but because it’s outrageously warm. In the spring, summer and fall, I’m wearing tan pants or Wranglers and a long sleeved drab or camouflaged shirt.
Do I own camo other than my jacket? Yeah, a couple of shirts and a pair of bibs. I’ll wear the shirts hunting occasionally but I’m not fanatical about it. The bibs are for relaxing around the house.

Now for snow camo. This is fucking easy. Steal some of your sweeties’ sheets and wrap one around your legs and another around your body and arms while you’re on stand. Not only will you blend in but you just broke up your human shape. It’s best not to use new ones, you want a little discoloration in them, in fact you might want to dirty them up just a tad. Brand new or bleached sheets stand out like a sore thumb. Oh, and don't get fucking stupid and use form-fitting sheets. Your dumb ass will get all tangled up in it.
Nighttime camo is easy. Wear dark shit. Dogs can’t see in the dark. They use their noses and ears to hunt and get around. Pay attention to the moon. You don’t want to be wearing solid black when you’re hunting grasslands in the full moon.
Ghillie suits are popular with a lot of hunters and for good reason - they do an outrageous job of breaking up your outline. No shit, you can lay on a fucking beach in one and from just a very short distance away somebody’ll think you’re a big wad of seaweed that washed ashore. And the really nice thing about them is that if you shop around you can find a suit for about the same price you’d pay for some fancy camo shirts and pants that don’t do half the job. You can buy pre-made ones or ones that you make yourself if you want to go that route.

Rifle camo….. You can buy rifles that come camouflaged, you can paint them yourself or you can take the cheap route out like I did. Buy some gun wrap (self adhesive tape) and do it yourself. This can be had in different patterns and the nice thing about it is that it doesn’t use adhesive to mar the beautiful satin finish on your barrel that’s scaring everything off within sight when the sun hits it. You wrap it and it sticks to itself. If you unwrap it, just roll it up as you're taking it off and you can reuse it. It costs about 12 bucks a roll and you can do an entire gun with one roll. Or you can go the drugstore and get it in brown or even off white for winter. You'll find it in the bandage section. The nice thing about this shit is it also really improves the grip on your rifle. I bought some to wrap my shiny barrel but like the feel so much I also wrapped the pistol grip and forestock. Don't forget to take a magic marker and dull up the crown of your barrel. And see if you can find a hood to go over the end of your scope so the sun doesn't glint off of it.

Okay. Wear clothing that will blend in with your surroundings but there’s no need to get fanatical about it. Stay off the crests of hills and ridges. If you can’t avoid them, crawl over them. When you make your set, put some brush at your back if at all possible to break up that outline. Keep the sun at your back if possible to prevent glare in your scope and off your rifle and do what you can to prevent the sun from reflecting off shiny stuff. That's a very real and preventable hunt-killer.
Most of all, hunt coyotes like you would deer. Use the wind to your advantage, don’t fucking move more than necessary and don’t outline yourself if you can help it.

And I know at least one person out there is asking after all that, why do I own camouflage?
Because it looks cool, man. You see somebody wearing a camo shirt, you know he's a fucking redneck.