Lights, Action… Camera

Readying myself for my predator hunt at the clubhouse just as two other hunters are coming in from theirs. After exchanging pleasantries, I ask them where they were, what they were doing and what they saw. Knowing that I am the club’s avid predator hunter and hoping they can pull some additional tips out of me, they tell me all I want to know.

Essentially, they just “jackrabbitted in distress” via an electronic call for two hours straight. No mouth calls. Swung a cheap, green flashlight around, got bored and then called it a night. In essence, they saw nothing. My question to them? “How many jackrabbits do you see on our hunting properties?” “Uhhh…we have lots of rabbits.”  I smile at them. “Cottontail. We have cottontail rabbits.”

They smack their heads, looking at each other, mumbling “cottontail…cottontail…so we should use cottontail.”  “No. Don’t use cottontail out on these properties. EVERYONE uses cottontail. Use something unique that they haven’ heard before or often.”

As they huddle, formulating their game plan for their next hunt, I pull out my Coyote Light and test it like always. They marvel at the smooth, consistent beam projected on the far wall and ask,  “Which color light do you like best? We use green.”

“None of the colors are ‘best’. The choices you will need to make are based on distance and the limitations of the distances between the white, the green and the red—talking flashlights here. I always assume that red will give me half the eye-reflection of a green-identifying distance. So If I can identify an animal with a 300 lumen green light at 300 yards, then I can pick up eyes with a 300 lumen red light at 150 yards. But this is a Coyote Light. A red Coyote Light product can easily catch eyes with a red light at 800 yards at max intensity. Green can go even farther, but you can risk spooking the animal with green or white…theoretically.”

Salivating, they ask me how much the Coyote Light costs and after telling them, I quickly revive them with smelling salts. I then remind them that when you buy quality—you only have to buy once.

Sending them on their way with a pat on the head, my hunting party arrives…reporters from a New Jersey print and online publication doing a story on coyote hunting. We suit up, I demo the equipment we will be using for this night’s hunt and proceed out to the same property that our two stalwart yet inexperienced predator hunters performed upon.

A half hour later, the sound of a baby lamb weakly cries out into the night (there is a farm nearby with penned up sheep) across a cold, dark field, as one of the reporters scans the distant tree-line with the Coyote Light. We catch two sets of eyes moving in toward us with purpose. I signal that she should start to warm up the intensity of the Coyote Light as they approach. At 100 yards away, they are still out of shotgun range but determined. I ready my shot, aiming carefully, the three of us bristling with excitement. So excited that…

The other reporter stands up and snaps a picture of me aiming the shotgun. Full on flash, illuminating all three of us to the entire field and scaring the hell out of the two coyotes who were counting on the lamb for dinner. They evaporated into the night, our hunt now over, the reporters ending the night with a poignant… “That’s it?”.

Cest la vie. Still, it was a lot of fun.

Those two coyotes? Mark my words, they shall be mine.


Coyote hunter sitting in the dark
Richard Bogarth sits in a field during a predator hunt in Pemberton, N.J.. Bogarth is an NRA certified instructor who trains people in the use of firearms for home defense, sport and target shooting. Pemberton, N.J. (Andre Malok | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com)

Original publication: http://www.nj.com/burlington/index.ssf/2016/01/coyote_hunting_in_new_jersey.html

About the author:  Richard Bogath is an NRA certified firearms instructor, certified hunter instructor, youth league pistol coach, professional hunting guide, published author, writer for several online publications, blogger, lecturer and proud dad.

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