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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 9:59 am
by Prairie Ghost
Glad to hear it. Ya that would be something to have a white one hanging on the wall

Coyote Classic an event to howl about By KIM FUNDINGSLAND

PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 4:49 pm
by Coyotehunter
Dickinson?s sixth annual Coyote Classic an event to howl about

By KIM FUNDINGSLAND, Staff Writer, [email protected]


The haunting lonesome howl and the excited yip-yip could be heard echoing among the buttes and canyons in all directions from Dickinson this past weekend. The occasion was the sixth annual North Dakota Coyote Classic, a gathering of some of the most active and accomplished predator hunters in a five-state region. The event was conducted by ( and carried the stamp of approval of the Dickinson Convention and Visitor?s Bureau.

?We?re not exactly a wedding party,? remarked tournament director Jamie P. Olson during the Saturday evening awards presentation. ?This is not the easiest event to find a place for and we probably wouldn?t even be here if not for the wonderful folks at the Dickinson CVB. They?ve been great and are one of the reasons I continue to have this event in Dickinson.?

?It?s nice to see now big it has grown,? said Amy Braun of the Dickinson CVB. ?The more people that attend, the better.

?Hunting is big in this area,? she added. ?I think it is a win-win situation for everybody. We haven?t had any complaints, but we know not everybody is going to like everything being done.?

Southwest North Dakota?s reputation as a coyote hunting destination has grown in the past several years. Forty-three two-man teams took part in the recent Coyote Classic, vying for more than $10,000 in cash and prizes. That compares to about 20 teams and less than $1,000 in prize money the first year. Livestock owners benefit from the tourney by having experienced predator hunters reduce coyote numbers in their area and Dickinson youth activities annually receives a portion of the tournament proceeds.

?It?s a great way to get a bunch of people together and it helps the farmers and ranchers,? said Jerry Hunsley, Pierre, S.D. Hunsley is a long-time coyote hunter and more recently, he began manufacturing his own line of coyote calls. ?We help the landowners out with coyote problems and donate money to good causes.?

Olson sometimes receives complaints about the Coyote Classic, primarily from non-hunters and non-ranchers who don?t understand why anyone should shoot coyotes. Olson responds with the reasons behind staging the event and for keeping a small portion of North Dakota?s coyote population in check.

?I?ve seen as many as 15 dead lambs in one night from coyotes, said Olson. Usually, coyotes aren't too troublesome in cattle country. They may not target the calves themselves but they make cows nervous to the point that they will roll over on calves, step on them or even abandon them. Maybe a coyote didn't directly kill the calf, but you get the same results and then the coyotes will feed on them.

Hunting predators

The hunting season for coyotes and fox is year-round in North Dakota. Thats due to an abundance of coyotes and fox and gives landowners an opportunity to reduce numbers without worrying about season dates. The chance to hunt year-round may also contribute to the increasing popularity of predator hunting.

It's really starting to be a fast-growing sector of the hunting community, Olson said. A few years ago it may have been near the bottom of the pile and now it is rising to the top. It's really gotten to be a huge industry.

Major gun manufacturers have begun producing firearms specifically for the predator hunting market. Bullet makers have done the same. Specialized camouflage patterns and clothing designed for the needs of predator hunters have begun to emerge as well. And when it comes to calls, there?s never been more varieties of reed or electronic calls available to predator hunters as there is on the market today.

?If you want to do something outdoors instead of watching football games, coyote hunting gives you something to do in January, February and March, Olson said. It's fast-paced.

Coyote and fox populations are not the easiest to determine, but Game and Fish does receive information from various sources that helps track the abundance of the furbearers. Among the data collected are rural mail carrier surveys, an annual fur harvest report compiled by North Dakota fur buyers and harvest questionnaires returned by predator hunters.

The last few years we've had higher numbers in the Missouri slope and prairie coteaus, said Dorothy Fecske, furbearer biologist with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department. We've got higher densities in the west but they do occur statewide.

Everything west of the Missouri has been good for years, Olson said. It's a very healthy population. There is no shortage of coyotes. There's even coyotes in places where they've never been before.

According to tournament participants, 270 coyotes were spotted during the Dickinson tournament. Eighty-five coyotes ?including a tournament record 51 on the second day and two fox were harvested. The largest coyote tipped the scale at just above 34 pounds and the smallest at 20 pounds. The two fox were the first fox taken by tournament contestants in six years.

Tips from an old dog

Prior to the Saturday night awards presentations, a crowd of more than 100 listened attentively as Jerry Hunsley spoke to them about his many years of experience as a coyote hunter.

After retiring about three years ago from his job as electrical engineering foreman at the Lake Oahe hydro-electric power plant, Hunsley has devoted even more of his time to his long-time passion of coyote hunting.

?I remember my first coyote back on my grandfather?s farm,? Hunsley said. I blew a store-bought call and a coyote came in. I got hooked on it right then and have been doing it all my life. I still get the same thrill as the day I called my first one. I?ve been calling for 50 years.

Hunsley told his audience that no two coyotes act the same and no two hunting set-ups are the same.

?You can?t really figure them out exactly, Hunsley said. ?But you can do some things to improve your success.

One thing Hunsely advised all coyote hunters to do was to carry a good pair of binoculars into the field and then make use of them. He said a lot of coyote callers are doing better than they think, but they never spot a coyote making its way in because they fail to take advantage of good optics.

Sometimes those dogs just see you first and they are out of there,? Hunsley said. ?If you don?t see them, you?ll never even know you had one working or why he left.?

Hunsley's coyote hunting tactics include the use of a decoy dog and a voice howl that he has perfected through years of practice. When he stepped away from the microphone and let out a perfect yip-yip and long coyote howl without the use of a predator call, the audience could hardly believe their ears.

Sometimes I just do a lonesome howl, Hunsley said. You'll get a lot of coyotes with just that.

As for the use of a decoy dog, Hunsley said it can be very effective but that it's not for everybody. Decoy dogs are used to lure coyotes toward the hunter. Coyotes focus so keenly on the decoy dog that they do little scanning for the possible location of a hunter. And, advises Hunsley, you need to have a dog that is not a big runner.

Because he was always searching for the perfect coyote call, Hunsley began crafting a few of them himself. Eventually, he discovered how to make a call that would produce the precise sound he was searching for. Due to demand, he began manufacturing ?Wiley One? predator calls at a plant in Mitchell, S.D. Many of the contestants in the Coyote Classic were carrying Hunsley's calls.

During his presentation, Hunsley talked about open reed calls and electronic calls, saying there were applications for both. Foremost, he said, was for coyote hunters to learn from every set-up and from every coyote. He said his experience has taught him that less calling is usually more productive, especially in late season or under calm conditions.

If it's windy, then just wail away, Hunsley said. But one thing you need to be aware of is to change your calling as the season goes along. Later in the season, less calling is better.

The Minot Daily News
301 4th St SE,
Minot, North Dakota 58703
(701) 857-1900

PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 4:58 pm
by lyonch
Great write up and great to hear the truth about out great sport!!!

PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 6:59 pm
by LeviM
Great positive article!! Its enjoyable to read peoples positive side about this sport.

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 3:44 pm
by BigCoulee
Great article. One of the more unbiased write-ups I've read. Thanks for posting it.

"Coyote Classic" (Broadband required to view)

PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 10:12 am
by Coyotehunter

Re: "Coyote Classic" (Broadband required to view)

PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 10:49 am
by LeviM

I can't wait till next year, simply awesome!!

Re: "Coyote Classic" (Broadband required to view)

PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 11:22 am
by lyonch
That was f*ck&%$ Awesome!!!! Oh how young jamie and brad look :mrgreen:

Re: "Coyote Classic" (Broadband required to view)

PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 5:24 am
by Dcoy
"All Night Long"? I didn't think you could hunt after dark.Enough to make me think of my "Sweet Home Alabama"!Heck,enough to make me jump on a freight train to get there. :D (sorry,couldn't resist.)
Seriously though it was great.Three classic songs plus great pics.16minutes and 21 seconds of worthwhile.

Re: "Coyote Classic" (Broadband required to view)

PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 11:49 am
by Coyotehunter
glad you enjoyed it.

Re: "Coyote Classic" (Broadband required to view)

PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 8:38 pm
by Tbush
Great job :D brings back lots of memories like passing!! an ambulance with its lights on, on the freeway only to be a minute late, :( would've been 3rd that year but its all good!!! lesson learned. And to see coyotehunters brown bibs that can stand up by themselves with out him in "em :shock: :lol:

Re: "Coyote Classic" (Broadband required to view)

PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2008 11:16 am
by Coyotehunter
My wife just told me a couple of days ago to take them outside. :roll:

Re: "Coyote Classic" (Broadband required to view)

PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2008 11:32 am
by LeviM
I bet you haven't washed them yet! I could only imagine the smells :mrgreen:

Re: "Coyote Classic" (Broadband required to view)

PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2008 4:12 pm
by Tbush
If there is ever a coyote museum they just gotta be in it( if you'll part with em coyotehunter) :lol: :lol: :P

Re: "Coyote Classic" (Broadband required to view)

PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2008 4:32 pm
by Coyotehunter
They have never been washed and are made by C. C. Filson. They started out with a camo print.