I was talking to Brian Beck, one of my local hunting buddies up here in Central Indiana a couple days ago and was telling him that I had pile of guns to work through and not enough time in a schedule that was getting very busy.. didn’t get any sympathy but he did volunteer to take my rifle and do some of the shooting to help out.
For those that are familiar with my writing, you probably know that Brian and I have often hunted varmint and predators over the last couple or three seasons, and I consider him one of the most successful airgun hunters for coyote in the country. He competes in open competitions with an airgun, and wins, which is pretty mind blowing when you consider that guys with high power centerfires are reaching out 300 yards or more.!
I was getting ready to fly out to Germany for a week, and he was going to do the last predator hunt in our area for the season, before heading down to Mexico. I asked if heâ€™d be willing to use my Rogue for the competition, then ship it out to Texas for me to use at LASSO on my return Stateside. He said yes, and as we live couple hours apart we decided to meet in a little town about midway between for lunch and to hand off the rifle.
On the way I got a call from Brian telling me he was going to be late, as he’d been pulled over for speeding, then was left sitting at the roadside as the cop took off after another (worst) speeder carrying Brians license and registration with him. The cop eventually came back and returned the documents he’d run off with, and Brian was allowed to go on his way where we met up at this small town diner straight out of the Andy Griffith show. We ate, talked about a couple of big bores we’d each been shooting, then walked out and transferred the rifle from my vehicle to his before heading off in opposite directions.
I’d given Brian my Rogue along with a supply of the 145 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip eXTREME bullets. I had the gun sighted in at 75 yards (see side bar), and asked if he wouldn’t mind after the contest, re-sighting at 200 yards before shipping it down to Terry Tate’s farm in Texas, which would be the site of the 2012 LASSO.
The next morning I was sitting at my desk working my way through a schedule of conference calls and research data when the phone rang. It was Brian, and he said what are you doing?, so I told him and asked how about you? After a brief pause he said “just loading this coyote I shot with the Rogue into the back of the truck”. I asked for the details while thinking, man he hasn’t even had the gun for 24 hours!!
He told me that he and his dad got up and headed out early that morning, and as they drove along spotted a coyote way out across a field trotting along. The winter in our neck of the woods has been very mild, and the coyote have been more nocturnal than normal, but you still can catch them moving early dawn. They pulled over and hiked out to a fence line where they settled in. After waiting a few minutes, Brian switched on his FoxPro Fury and started up with some howls. The coyote came back out into view, and started down the fence line in their direction, hanging up at about 200 yards. After the pause he started moving in again, coming to about 100 yards and before sitting down.
At this point Brian hit the whimper, and the dog started back in, pausing at about 65 yards where he offered up the shot and Brian took it. The Rogue was set at high, and the 145 grain bullet hit the coyote exactly where he’d placed the crosshair, smacking into the right shoulder and dropping the dog on the spot. The bullet passed through, and Brian told me the dog didn’t go anywhere, just dropped.
So on the upside, in less than a day with my rifle he’d nailed a nice coyote. On the downside, it was the day before the contest so this dog was not going to count .. but maybe it was a good omen for the coming days! The competition is Friday afternoon through Sunday night, so he could get several more opportunities if all the stars line up and the weather cooperates!
Side Bar: I wrote this a couple days before I handed my Rogue off to Brian, and the only reason I post it now is to describe how I’d set up the gun for hunting