I had heard rumors of the caliber of critters—both hooved and pawed—that call the desolate Sandhills of Nebraska home, but as I drove into camp the first evening and looked into the setting sun, I couldn't help but consider that The Maker forgot this landscape when he was planting trees. Like a dude who shaves his legs, it just ain't right! Don't get me wrong, there are small stands of timber around the rare natural water sources, but it's entirely possible to cover 90 percent of the dirt ... er, sand ... and see for miles without catching a glimpse of wood. A treestand salesman would lose his a** in this country.
But the coyotes are here and they are thick as democrats in Chicago. I spent the morning hunting with Les Johnson of Predator Quest, and through the course of seven sets, we saw 15 'yotes and killed five of them. As a camp, we ended the lives of 12 fawn-killing coyotes today. If mange weren't in these critters so bad, that would've been a solid bit of cash at about $25 a hide. It's kinda sad, actually, but I love killing 'em just the same.
As you read this, I'm well into day No. 2 sitting behind the wicked-cool new Dimension Rifle from Thompson/Center (I would be more up-to-the-shot with my updates for you, but Internet access is limited, cell service is nonexistent and, man, does it feel good!). I will say, the guide had to pull the Smith & Wesson Performance Center M&P15 from my cold, sleeping hands. As I see it, there's no better coyote rifle than the AR platform. By miraculously divine intervention, I leveled each of my three coyotes with only one shot a piece. However, I'm not above "letting it rain" if my first shot is a miss (which is more my style), if a pair of 'yotes show up, or if those buggers are running. My motto: Shoot straight or shoot a lot.
But enough of my ramblings. This is the best day of hunting coyotes I've had in a long time, and I need to try and sleep despite still being completely jacked-up. Admittedly, I nearly came unglued on the first coyote of the day, and you can bet a new AR my prayers tonight will end with requesting that feeling comes back on each 'yote of day No. 2. I'm gonna do my best to kill 'em all.
Sit tight and keep your nose to the wind. I'll be back with a recap from the second day, some photos and one coyote-killing secret I've got for you that will put more dogs in your truck—I promise.