Home of the K5 Blazer/Jimmy including GM Trucks and Suburbans.
|02-03-2012, 09:29 PM||303|
This year has been slow only a couple yotes. We had a big rabbit die off and caused some serious decline in yotes, and fox. cat tracks indicate that they are doing ok. going on sunday for some cats.... We will see what happens.
|02-03-2012, 10:38 PM||304|
|02-12-2012, 07:32 AM||305|
CK5 Cat down...
So far my season has been massively slow. In fact, I am on pace to kill the fewest yotes I have since I was a rookie. The rabbits all died and the yotes are few and far between. Even worse I have been able to get out a few select day this winters and they are either really really nice, melt snow mud etc. Making driving and walking a pain, and allowing the predators to lay around and sleep or the opposite blowing 30plus.
So the last few weekends I have managed to get out one day.
Since the calling has been sooo slow (1 yote in over 30 stands) I decided to focus in out cats. Heck can't be much slower and they are worth some money right.
I have focused in on one of my favorite areas for cats. the last 2 weekends I was able to find as many cat tracks as yotes. In fact one day I found 7 cat tracks and only 4 yotes. So the area I know has cats, problem is it is thick and cats are just cats...
Today I got up early and left the house by 5:00. drove until day light and started calling. Right away I find a smoking cat track and start to call. About 15 minutes into the stand I have a dirt bike driving cross country drive right in the middle of the stand. It goes about 1/2 mile than come screaming back. guy never knew I was there, but still pisses me off as he should stick to roads/established trails etc.
Second stand was dry, now it is getting on to 10:00 am. I decided that my best bet is to pick out an area and blanket it calling every 1/2 mile. I selected a ridge that ran east to west and had nice rocky out cropings on the south side and rolling pinon/juniper flats on north side. I parked the blazer grabbed the shot gun and the rifle, added my back pack and went to walk a couple miles calling.
I had made it about a 1/4 mile from the truck when I got the urge to call. I sat down looking over a small sage flat in front of me and the ridge line over my shoulder. I called for about 15 minutes with nothing. Then I had 2 magpies show up and start circling around. they acted as if they were looking for help. They made it about 3/4s of the way around me when once landed and started squaking like it was pissed. the second one landed and was making all sorts of noise while jumping up and down at the to of the tree. This all occurred over my left shoulder. I started watching over my left shoulder and lip squeeking. Pretty soon both the freaked out and left. I lip squeaked one more time and out popped a cat. I threw the gun up and leveled off. It was pretty exciting, but somewhat anticlimatic. Every stinking cat I have called during the day always shows up over my shoulder. I really want to watch one come in, but oh well at least I got a cat this year...
Oh I also managed to pick up a good antler from last yeat. It is white, but not cracked. I did not have my camera tripod, so the cat got to pose with the blazer...
I managed to call a few more stands that after noon. One stand was a long ways up a ridge. As I walked up the ridge I came across an old indian camp. It was probably coolest one I have seen yet. The under side of the tree was dug out. It was 3 trunks that came together in a pyramid shape, leaving a decent room underneath. IN the base there were several flakes and evidence of a fire pit. In addition to the cool hut I found 5 other pits. I will go back later this spring and document what I find with the snow gone. I like to leave things as they are, someday my daughter may go there with her kids and see what I saw.
At ant rate here is the dug out. I definitely have not seen this before:
It was a good day. Wish I managed one more cat, but oh well.
The afternoon was really warm and the roads and walking got nasty. Needelss to say a normal 30 minute drive to pavement truned into over 2 hours...
|02-14-2012, 07:35 PM||306|
That was written right out of a coyote hunting show or an in-field editor! Dig it. I just found a guy who has some private property here a few hours from me. Seems he has a coyote problem on his 150+acres that backs to a US Forest area. He wants the coyotes gone due to a few newborn sheep, a zebra he has and some other animals.
Sounds like a perfect set up and I cant wait to get out there with the call and my rifle. Best part is that it is private property and pretty much can do what I want. Just got some NVG's at work so may take em out to scout it at dusk to early night. Thinking I will see how this goes but if all goes well and he is happy, I am going to try and get him to put in a food plot for deer out there.
Plenty of property, huge water supply, zero pressure and he had a MX track so the animals are used to noise. With the track comes equipment to cut a couple feed plots as well..... Head is spinning with the chances!
|02-23-2012, 10:05 AM||308|
Probably My last one for this year... Not sure I will get out this weekend:
On Monday I woke up early to 4 inches new snow and at 4:45 things were a mess. It took me almost 3 hours to make the trip that normally takes one. I arrived to the area just after first light. Luckily I was the first one in. As a result I jumped a drive by yote immediately, unfortunately it escaped unharmed.
As I drove in further I was checking tracks and looking for a cat track either lion or bob. Not long into the trip I jumped a small group of bulls and this one stuck around for a photo opportunity. Not a bad bull I hope to find him this fall. Sorry did not have the telephoto lens on...
Shortly after seeing the bulls I ran across a lion hunter on a snowmobile. This being the first real good snow of the year meant they were going to be hitting it hard. I figured where there is one there would be more. So I abandoned my original plan of driving until I find tracks. I then opted for a walk/hike. I focused my efforts in an area that has had all road access blocked from the public, although the private has road access??? That is another issue all together.... So at 9:00 I left the blazer and headed across this flat. My overall goal was to work the lower ridge all the way up to the base of the larger ridge. The hike to the bottom of the big ridge is just over 3 miles. Here is a pic of the area I was headed towards...
On my way across the flat I found a group of Sage Grouse. There was one male in the group that was strutting his stuff, puffed out and all. It was cool to watch. The grouse decided to split before I could dig my camera out. Once I hit the ridge I sat up to call my first stand. The stand had one of the private access roads running up the bottom. I called for about 15 minutes when I had a yote round the corner towards me... Things looked good only for a split second then I realized the yote was running away from something and not towards my call. I watched it disappear without a shot.
Here is a pic of the 1st stand view. Yote came on the road at the furthest corner.
After that I was back on the move up the ridge. Snow on the ridge was about knee deep on average with deepest spot mid thigh. After I made it about 500 yards from my stand it was becoming very apparent that I was way over dressed and was overheating like mad. So I ditched my bibs on the fence and stripped down to cool/dry off.
As I stood there on the fence line(with my pants literately down) I had a second yote come running hard in front of me. It never stopped and never gave me a shot. In fact it never looked my direction. After the passed I got my stuff gathered up, ditched my bibs and headed further up the ridge. Just as I started 2 lion hunters on snowmobiles passed. That had the yotes running and it really messed with me, do I continue on over dressed and over packed or call it and go find some other areas? I decided that I should continue on. From this point the snow got deeper and making any sort of distance was slow.
I pushed on headed towards a small rock out cropping I wanted to call around. As I went I finally cut my first bobcat track and it looked to be really fresh. Having always wondered if I could walk out a bob cat I decided to try. The track was easy enough to follow, fresh snow about 6" deep made it very obvious. At first the cat worked a good south was west facing slope with rocks. Meant easy going for me. After a 1/2 mile the cat took a turn for the worse. It headed down a north east slope. The snow was deep, near my waist, and very slow going. After trying to wade the snow for 200 yards I gave up and headed to the ridge top figuring the cat would soon get tired with fighting the snow. It never did and eventually we made it off the ridge all together and in the sage brush bottom. This was good as it made thing easier, but also bad was as the cat headed towards the snow mobile tracks. It cut its way across the sage and right towards the snow mobile track.
This was either going to be good or bad. If the cat was on top of the tracks I knew I was close, if not the cat had at least a 2 hour head start. When the cat track hit the snowmobile track it was obvious that the lion hunters had stopped right there and walked around. My hope had sunk at this point. I had been busting my butt for 2 hours on the track not stopping and fighting the snow. As I looked I decided to see where the cat headed figuring I had no chance to catch it. I walked up the snow mobile tracks a 100 yards then was able to pick up the cat track on the snowmobile track.
This gave me a renewed hope, I now knew for sure a good timeline and I was not far behind it. When the cat left the snowmobile track I followed its tracks. The cat worked in and out of the bottom, with its overall direction up the draw. Since the snow was wearing me down a ton I elected to use the snowmobile track and put my head down and start covering ground. My faster pace paid off. Sweating and winded I took a break doubled over to catch my breath. I look up and see the cat. At first I thought I was seeing things, a fur mirage... Then it registered the cat was actually there. I then un-slung my 223 (also I was packing my 12ga since I like punishing myself) and aimed, the first shot was a miss, winded, excited, sweat in my eyes, glasses fogged etc... No matter it was a miss, I loaded another round and hit the mark. The cat fell in its tracks. Here it is, a pic of my guns, pack and cat. The pic is staged such that you can see the ridge it came down in the background.
After taking the cat I had a second wind, that did not last long. I made one last trek into the deeper snow looking for a track, but I was spent. So at 3:30 I headed back to the truck. I made use of the snowmobile track, but by this time I was hurting. I made it back to my bibs just in time for the wind to pick up again. I was wet from snow and sweat and the wind was bitter. I threw my bibs on and made my way across the big flat back to the truck. I arrived back to the blazer just as the sun set. I took a few more pics. the first one is a close up of the ridge. I cut the track at the left arrow and the right arrow is where the cat headed down the back side in the deep snow.
Then I took a few last shots at sunset and managed to take my traditional K5 fur shot. The cat is now at the fur guy, he is expecting it to take around $450 for just about anything0...
Over all it was a hard hunt, as hard as I have hunted for anything... I also got to talking with my buddy, he figures the cat could see the snowmobilers from the ridge top and being curious it went to check it out. Makes sense as it was the only place they stopped and got off and the cat basically made a straight line for it... Who knows? Cat are just really cool...
This has been my slowest yote year for a long time but my best year. Heck I only tried my cats areas 3 times and killed a cat on 2 of em...
|09-17-2012, 06:23 AM||310|
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Francisco
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Got this beefy forked horn Saturday morning.
Thing is, you are either pro-freedom or you're not. That means the freedom to own a gun, the freedom to marry who you want, the freedom to determine your own identity.
A large part of being free is accepting that the freedom you have also will allow people to do things you don't find palatable...but the minute you attack their freedoms, you start eroding yours as well.
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