Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Wylie Coyote

By Norm McCreight, show spokesperson - When I was a kid my favorite cartoon was the Roadrunner, that Wylie coyote was the epitome of a born looser. In those days a cartoon wasn't a cartoon unless it had at less three sticks of dynamite in it, there was no I love you, you love me. The coyote wasn't stupid, he just had bad luck. I may have liked watching coyotes then, but I sure hate them now.
This has got to be one of the worst years yet for those predators. Nature always take care of itself, this is something I always believed in. A good example of that is when they stopped the spring bear hunt on Ontario. Without that spring harvest some areas showed great increases in the population of the bear. As time went on the birth rate of the black bear slowed down to manageable sizes.
For some reason the coyote as well as wolf has grown to problem levels. Everybody that I have talked to has reported high levels of these two predators. When I was muzzle loading in southern Manitoba this October where we usually see at lease a 100 deer in our hunting area we saw none. they pretty well went nocturnal.
In remote areas where there is just forest or bush, packs of wolves have been sited chasing the deer. I know wolves go thru cycles but coyotes are managed thru nature a lot of time by contracting mange, a disease that can quickly make the coyote drop in numbers.
When in doubt back out. That is an expression that most hunters are familiar with specially when bow hunting and your shot is off the mark. Unfortunately an arrow may veer off coarse for reasons unknown and may hit the animal too far back, a killing shot, say to the liver, but it takes a little more time.
So instead of going after the animal an hour or so after the shot, the hunter will wait till morning to retrieve his animal. You don't want to keep pushing him further in the bush if you don't have to. Well one of my friends had this happen to him while hunting, the right thing to do was to back out till morning. Unfortunately when he pick up the trail of his deer it led to one remaining hoof, the wolves got to it at night and devoured it.
A friend of my buddy John shot a deer, a good shot at that, waited two hours to be sure, found his deer eaten by coyotes in that short space of time. so what do you do? Well the first thing you do is make sure you have two, not one, two good flashlights and extra batteries with you. Wait 45 minutes then go after the animal. Caution here is the key when walking thru the bush, at night it is dangerous. I can't emphasize that point enough!
When buying your flashlight don't get taken in by the brightness of the flashlight, I'd rather have a good light that last long then a super bright light that works for half an hour. I like using two six volt lantern type flashlights with a spare battery in my pack and a LED head lamp. Two years ago I bought a million powered light it lasted about half an hour it was a piece of.... junk, I'm being nice here.
In normal conditions always back out when in doubt but for this year and maybe next be prepared to adjust to the predator conditions.

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