I entered a Predator contest in southern Indiana with my son and nephew over the past weekend. We hunted about 200,000 acres of public ground in the Hoosier national forest. We saw tracks and scat, heard howls and heard the packs on the move and even saw two coyotes walk across the road when we were breaking off a stand!! But with 40 of 48 hours in the woods... no fur on the ground. I am used to hunting the open areas in the flatland here in central Illinois. Anyone who can teach me to call fox and coyotes in tall timber please pipe up now!!
With 15 teams (60 hunters) there were only 4 coyotes killed all weekend and no fox! My team, Dawgdad and the Pups took fourth place by getting one point in the rifle shooting contest.
That part was a lot of fun as they hid 5 targets in a ravine at distances from 45-150 yards. The targets were life size fox and coyote targets mounted to a steel knockdown target with a 4"x4" plate over the heart area. You had to hit the plate to knock down the target.
Each team sent one shooter back to the waiting area about 100 yards back and out of view of the firing point. One by one the shooters came up and brought 5 bullets with them. You had to be in contact with a two foot square piece of wood when you fired, but if you did not shift around on the wood you would not see the targets hidden in brush and behind trees.
I found a coyote behind a tree about 45 yards to the right, a fox on top of a rock about 15 feet up and 75 yards down range, the easiest target was a blaze orange logo of the contest at 100 yards dead ahead But you had to knock that one down to see the longest coyote at 150 yards directly behind that one, but the 60 second time limit expired before I could locate the fifth target. It was a fox placed behind some trees across a creek and about 20 feet up a bluff to the left side. I was the first shooter to fire in the match and left the line 4/4 but with a bullet left in my hand.
One by one the other teams shooters came forward but no one else knocked over more than three targets. The last shooter came forward and knocked down the same four targets I had found in about 35 seconds..... then he looked for the fifth target, could not locate it and shot his fifth bullet into the ground to stop the clock. That gave his team the win by having a four hits in a faster time than I had. It was smart gamesmanship and the advantage of going last instead of first and knowing what the mark to beat was.
This is the picture of me settling in to start the match.