You won’t believe this hunt. I’m firearm hunting in north-central South Dakota not far from the banks of the Missouri River. Good friend Levi Duncan invited me to hunt with him on his family ranch and some other neighboring property. His management has been paying off with mature bucks and great rutting action, but coyote numbers were also booming and interrupting our morning hunts.
The other morning two young pups spied us on a ridge before sunrise and howled at us for more than an hour causing every deer to detour away from our location. Duncan had to return to work, but showed me a map of the property and I was solo for the afternoon.
After watching good rutting activity through noon I decided to move during a short lull to another lookout location. As the sun started to set bucks and does started to mingle. Suddenly I spied a buck racing along a ridge in my direction. I sized him up as a shooter, but also noticed a mature coyote in hot pursuit. It was actually chasing the buck as if it intended to pounce on it and eat it.
The buck put it into overdrive and started circling the basin in my direction. I quickly crawled to a higher spot and started to range distances with my Nikon Rifle Hunter 1000. Amazingly the coyote quit the chase and the buck stopped to catch his breath. At first a tangle of brush hid him from shooting sight, but as I waited he slowly walked up a bank and into range of my TC Venture. I lit a Hornady Superformance cartridge and my .300 Winchester magnum tumbled another mature, brawny buck.
As for the rut, I witnessed my first buck following a doe coming into estrus yesterday. The pre-rut is about to come to a close, but the rut is still on fire. Good hunting!