The Adventures of Rizzo

Friday, February 27, 2015

Coyote Clinic graduates are still dropping fur!

Aaron is my kind of hunter - the guy that understands that you won't kill anything from the couch. He gets out there and puts some more critters in the dirt, job well done!


Made it out again.  Took the family camping knowing they won't crawl out of the sleeping bags at 0500 leaving me an opportunity to hike away from camp and make a racket with my calls.  At sunrise up on the rim I learned another lesson about knowing the terrain features of my field of fire.  Within 2 minutes of starting to call a coyote came over a depression just 15 feet in front of me at a full run I didn't realize when I set up in the dark there was an avenue of approach I couldn't see and certainly not one that close.  I was primarily concerned with vegetation I could blend in with.  That was moving too close to get the shotgun up let alone get a shot off.   As soon as he came up over the rise and saw me he changed his path about 30 degrees and ran within 10 feet of me never breaking stride.   The following morning found me in Tonto Basin (large enough region, not concerned with OpSec)  and setting up three stands.  At sunrise the first fox popped out 20 feet in front of me and when I quit blowing the open reed call, popped back into concealment.  Again I switched to the closed reed bite call and raised the shotgun and got him when he came back out.  The second stand just got me swooped at by a humming bird that wouldn't leave me alone.  The third stand of the morning brought the second fox in.  I saw him between bushes up the canyon moving in fast.  He ran across a creek bank at 15 feet away looking through me as I called.  I stopped calling and raised as he paused, when I hit him he rolled into the creek.  He's set in the picture that's not mange.  

Last time I wasted a couple of hides with an AR, this time my weapon of choice was a $200 used shotgun that I rattle canned to blend and prevented the ballistic damage.  Lessons re-enforced from class is I need to start doing this with someone else.  Predators come in fast and I am not looking forward to seeing what one may do if its too surprised when it comes in and finds me and not a wounded rabbit.  I'm still using mouth calls so when they come in they are coming at me, even though the decoy is 5-15' in front of me. When you are blowing a call you will not hear anything approaching.   Also learned to find your fur buyer ahead of time, before you skin them in a manner the buyer doesn't want.  Looks like I'm getting these tanned for myself.

Thanks Glen for a great program.


Happy Hunting!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Another Coyote Clinic drops fur: 4 foxes in, 2 down

Congratulations to Aaron for getting out there and putting his new knowledge to work! Here's his story:

Finally put it all together up between (A) and (B) and used a sceery open reed call to do some hunting.  At 4 min first fox came in and got got.  2 min later next one came and got him, 2 min later 2 more came in at my 5 o'clock but wouldn't commit. I couldn't draw a bead on them through the trees and brush and if I quit calling they started to wander so I switched to the sceery closed reed call and was able to two hand my rifle.  One actually came in and sniffed at the second one I had dropped.  I hit him and he rolled off an 18" ledge and bolted.  I tracked the blood trail for about a 1/4 mi but lost him.  Lessons learned everything you taught us was dead on: camo up, sit in front of a tree/bush/ something to blend with, sit as ready to shoot as possible.   Next time I'll be shooting something smaller, the 5.56 wasted the hides.  I saved the skulls and tails though and practiced skinning the paws and faces for next time.  I want to go with you sometime, I just haven't had much time yet. 

Thanks for everything!

Happy Hunting!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Coyote Clinic Graduate dumps his first coyote!

Predator hunting season is in full swing and graduates of the Coyote Clinic are doing their part to put fur in the dirt! This graduate dumped his first coyote last week - here's his story:

Coyote clinic success!

My son and I went out last evening and we did 3 stands. At the first stand, after 10 min of calling on the Foxpro we did not see anything, so we hiked around for about 15 min and set up another stand.

After only a few minutes a coyote came in and my son took 2 shots at it but they both missed. To his credit he was using our Mossberg 20 gauge pump, not the best hunting shotgun but we used what we had.

We packed up and hiked another 20 min or so and set up another stand. Again, after only a few minutes a coyote came in towards me. This one did not get away.

First time out coyote hunting, first coyote to come to my stand, first coyote kill. I used the 20 gauge shotgun I have hand since I was a kid.

We had a blast!

Thanks Glen for all the great info at your clinic! 

Congratulations, Jeff! Even better that you got to share the experience with your son.

Happy Hunting!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

5 Gray Foxes in 5 Minutes - VIDEO

Back in September I had a helluva stand - you can read about it here:

I finally got enough of a break from my busy life to get the video edited and uploaded, so here it is!

Happy Hunting!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Coyote Attack on Pet Dog in Backyard

This is some interesting footage - now you see why people in coyote country (that's just about everywhere, by the way) are often told to watch out for their pets, even in their own backyard. This dog appears to be on a chain, which may have saved its life, though I am no fan of dogs on chains.
A homeowner's surveillance camera recorded this footage on November 6, 2014 in Burlington, Ontario.
"I didn’t have time to think," Jenn Reid told CHCH in Canada. "I ran out the door and I just ran for my dog to try to make it stop. My kids followed me out the door and they were screaming and crying. The dog, as soon as the coyote let go of her, ran back toward my kids and the dog was crying and yelping and covered in blood."
Reid's dog required emergency surgery to survive multiple two-inch deep puncture wounds.

Happy Hunting!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Afternoon Hunt with a Coyote Clinic student

Yesterday I headed out for an afternoon hunt with one of the most recent Coyote Clinic graduates, Mike. Canyon hunting was our goal, to see if we could get a fox or a bobcat on stand. Our first stand had us both sitting high on the rocks overlooking a dry wash, and about 10 minutes into the stand a gray fox showed up. But he was acting a little odd - he would run to the edge of the rocks and look down at the caller and decoy, then he would run back up through the brush higher in the rocks and perch up on a large piece of granite, surveying the entire area. I was enjoying watching him run and bounce back and forth, which went on for about 5 minutes, all within shotgun distance. Finally on his third trip to the edge of the rocks, when he stopped to look down into the wash at the caller, he was less than 20 yards away and I dropped him with the 12 gauge. Mike had been able to see most of what was happening but wasn't sure if he could make a shot, as he mostly saw the fox either on the move or just his head as he'd peer over the edge. This type of behavior is not typical for foxes, as in my experience they either commit or they don't, and typically make that decision pretty quickly. The next fox that we had on stand would prove this point well.

Fox #1

Two more stands took us deeper into the canyon, but to no avail, so we headed back to the truck. At the very next stand Mike got a chance to see what true commitment looks like, or what I like to refer to as "coming in on a string". After jumping a rowdy group of javelina on our hike in, we setup in a small wash, with big hills all around us. Around the 5 minute mark, I heard Mike's rifle fire . . . . once . . . . twice . . . . three times. I didn't have much time to ponder whether that meant he missed or was shooting a triple, as a fox came busting through the brush to my left, about 25 yards away, headed straight for the caller at 100mph! I hit him with the shotgun, and after a few more minutes of calling but no more response, I signaled to Mike that we were done. What I found out then was what happened in the area that I couldn't see: the fox had come in with total commitment, as fast as he could run, and when he got close to the call Mike fired. The first shot didn't phase him and he continued in, so Mike fired again. That one changed his mind and as he headed away Mike took his third shot. It was a good lesson about zero distance and holdovers - with the type of predator hunting that I do here in AZ, most of my shots are well under 50 yards - in fact, a lot of them are under 50 feet! This makes a 100 yard zero and certain optics difficult to work with. But before Mike could beat himself up too much about it, the fox rounded the bush he had jumped behind and came back for more! That's when I saw him and helped him take a dirt nap. Another lesson learned about how just because there are shots fired, or even animals down, doesn't mean that the calling should stop.

Fox #2

Our last stand was a 'sundown stand', meaning that we just stayed there until the shooting light faded - unfortunately, no more critters showed up. All in all it was an enjoyable hunt with a great guy who is now hooked on predator hunting. We uncovered some new terrain, saw some beautiful AZ desert vistas, and put some fur in the dirt!

Happy Hunting!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

First Fox! Coyote Clinic student gets some fur in the dirt!

It hasn't even been a week after Coyote Clinic ended, and already a student has dropped their first fox. Here's the story in his words:

No luck on my first stand so I moved around a thick and rocky ridge. Remembering the lesson about stand selection and E caller placement, I set up and started calling. 

The Fox shot in like he was on crack in about 45 seconds. I then realized my view was partially blocked by a bush and grass (amateur!) but he popped out on the other side and I got him in the grass. 10 yard shot, super fast.

Awesome job on stand selection and calling, and good shooting, Devin!

Happy Hunting!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Another Successful Coyote Clinic!

Another Coyote Clinic is done and in the bag, with more hunters ready to get out there and put some fur in the dirt!

Lots of different camo patterns to consider! AR500 coyote target provided by Mr. Target.

For the field day this time around, we had several foxes to skin, and after a quick demonstration, these hunters jumped right in to get the job done!

Jason, one of the hunters at the Coyote Clinic, couldn't wait to get out there and do some calling, and shared this with me the very next day on the Independence Training Facebook page:

I just wanted to give a quick shout out to Glen and thank both he and Independence Training for putting on Coyote Clinic this past weekend. I couldn't wait to get home and try using the principles taught in class right away. In fact, I didn't wait! On Monday evening (the day after training ended) I went out to the desert near where I live and used 6 of the principles I learned in class to call in a coyote in under 2 minutes. No joke! If you want quality training I definitely recommend you check these guys out. I couldn't be happier.

Excellent job, Jason! Next time, I expect you to drop the hammer and send me some pictures!

Happy Hunting!

Friday, September 26, 2014

5 Gray Fox in 5 Minutes

It's been awhile since I posted any predator pics, so here's a fun story from earlier this week.

I hiked back about a mile from the end of a dirt road in the middle of nowhere and into a canyon that looked like a good spot for some critters to be living in. It was a nice clear day, mid-80's, 1-3mph wind, around 1pm. I took my rifle instead of the shotgun because I was anticipating some longer shots, but when I got back there it was pretty thick. I setup my FoxPro and Quiver Critter decoy about 30m away in some tall grass where animals would be forced to expose themselves if they wanted to get closer, and started with some bird distress sounds.

About 3 mins in, fox #1 shows up and heads straight for the decoy - I shoot him about 3 feet from the decoy (red is fox, yellow is decoy and caller):

Less than a minute later, fox #2 shows up from the same location and runs to the decoy and attacks it - I shoot it off of the decoy (no bullet hole in the Quiver Critter - hooray!). Another minute and fox #3 creeps up behind me - I catch him from the corner of my eye and try to swing on him but he sees my head move and heads for the brush at 100mph. I got him in the scope but not lined up:

I switch to fox distress to try and bring back fox #3 (it's worked well in the past). Another minute and fox #4 (or #3?) suddenly pops up in front of the decoy - shot to the neck and he's down. Fast forward another minute, and here comes fox #5:

I got it all on GoPro (first time I've used it for hunting) so that video will get edited at some point. 5 foxes showed in 5 minutes, and 4 went down with 5 shots (shot fox #2 twice - turned out to not be needed but I didn't want him running off). I didn't have to move much for the shots - they were all killed within a 10ft radius, as evidence by my ejection pattern:

All in all, it was a helluva stand, and a great opportunity to test out my new SJK Carbine 2500 pack, which I had been hiking with that morning. It carries the carbine easily, as well as all of my other gear, which was nice considering that I had to carry 4 foxes a mile back to the truck, which was out of the canyon, through several washes, and brush busting through some nasty stuff.

The foxes with one of my favorite decoys, and survivor of a straight-up fox attack, the Quiver Critter from Lucky Duck.

Taking a break about halfway back to the truck - I only had one pelt packer, so all four foxes' feet are jammed in the carrier loops.

Happy Hunting!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Western Whitetail article: Silence is Golden

The new issue of Western Whitetail is out (Early Season 2014), and my "Make The Shot" column in this issue takes a look at why using silencers/suppressors for hunting is a huge benefit to everyone, including those who don't like suppressors or don't own any (yet). You can read the article in full by clicking here or on the image of the first page below.

Want more info about Western Whitetail magazine? Visit their website.

Standard subscription rate is $12.99, but if you're interested in a FREE subscription to Western Whitetail, Independence Training can help you with that! Contact us to find out how to get it - Contact Info Here.

Happy (Silent) Hunting!