The 2009 World Coyote Calling Championships were held in Cortez, CO. We scout for this hunt all year but we don’t get serious about scouting until about two weeks out. I will first say it is not about the prizes or money; it is all about getting out of your comfort zone & hunting against some of the best coyote hunters from across the country.
I took my first serious scouting trip a few weeks before the hunt. I left my hometown at 2:30 AM & headed to a spot that I thought would hold a lot of territorial coyotes but after several hours of scouting I was off to my next spot.
Four days before the hunt we finally found an area that held a ton of territorial coyotes and by the sign there was also a ton of transients. Arizona has been super dry for the past several months thus all of the prey species seem to be congregated around water. Needless to say that was where all of the coyotes were too!
Three days before the hunt we headed to the Navajo Nation to scout for our second day of hunting. It was beautiful country but we couldn’t seem to find the amount of coyotes we were looking for…
The day before the hunt the blower motor in my 1987 Toyota 4runner took a dive. Without any resources we headed to Cortez, CO for the meeting & in search of a parts store with a blower motor. If we would have had an Outdoorsman’s Resource Guide for the Rez and or Colorado it would have made this hunt a lot nicer & WARMER.
After coming up empty in our search for a blower motor we decided to dress warm and hunt hard in the below FREEZING temperatures. This picture shows you the ice on the INSIDE of our windshield the first morning of the hunt.
My dad braving the below freezing temperatures before the sun came up on the first morning of the hunt! (0F to -11F temperatures in the region we were hunting.)
We ended up finishing in 21st with 6 coyotes. We called in 10 coyotes total and saw 1 volunteer but he was less than a half mile away from a residence so we couldn’t let any fly. Another Arizona team Matt Wolsey & Chris Chavez finished with 4 coyotes and called in 8.
A couple of Navajo Hunters took top honors with 18 coyotes & saw 25. Second place finished with 16 coyotes & a couple of teams had 11 to round out the top five. These numbers might seem a bit crazy but calling conditions were awesome on Friday & the top four teams all must take a lie detector test. If you fail the test you are out of the hunt for LIFE!
A hunting story is never complete without the excuses…
We did not end up hunting our number one spot because the National Weather Service Forecasted gusts as high as 35 MPH & we did not want to spend another $300 dollars to buy out & hunt in the wind.
We were told at one time that you could not hunt the entire Navajo Nation because of a new Mtn. Lion season that shut down all small game hunting. So we called the Navajo Nation Fish & Wildlife office and a gentleman advised us that they were working on getting the entire area back open for the coyote hunters. We decided to scout an area that had a trophy big game hunt, thinking the entire Nation would be open to hunting. Thursday we called and left a message. No one returned our call so while in between sets on the first day we called the office again and left a message with another wildlife officer. Without hearing back from anyone we called again, a few hours later and this time the secretary advised us that EVERYONE would be unavailable until Monday. We told her the situation and she stated that the only thing she knew was that the units with trophy big game hunts were usually closed for coyote hunting. Crap, we didn’t want to chance it & get disqualified so we ended up cold calling on the second day.
When we arrived at check-in we found out that every World Coyote Calling Team had a waiver to hunt any unit on the Navajo Nation. I know of at least three teams that called the Navajo Nation Office and we all got the run around.
We did not get it done & hats off to the other teams that did well. We had a great time & froze our butts off!