Maybe I’ve been squealed to insanity

Predator hunting is an acquired taste. It’s not something everyone can enjoy right out of the gate. It’s hard to get into, but it’s also hard to quit once you’ve gotten hooked on it.

Predator hunting is a lot like waterfowl hunting, in some respects. Both require sitting out in the cold for hours on end, trying not to move. Waterfowl are a little more forgiving, though, because they aren’t usually sitting back watching for anything out of the ordinary. Usually with ducks and geese, you can wiggle around when there aren’t any visible in the sky, and you’ll still be OK. Predators like coyotes and foxes are a little trickier. They’ll come in to check out your call, but they’ll hang back scanning the area until they’re sure there’s nothing out of place. You might never see them, but if you so much as twitch your nose, they’re gone, and you’re just sitting out there in a field, playing a noise emulating a dying rabbit, with no hope of even seeing what you’re after.

And then there’s that dying rabbit noise. There aren’t many noises in the world worse than the sound of a cottontail in distress. It’s creepy as heck, and to attract coyotes from a long way away, you have to play it loud. So you sit there for hour after hour, listening to one of the most blood-curdling noises at 65 billion decibels, hoping a coyote will show up before you lose your mind.

On top of all that, the best time to hunt coyotes is when it’s 200 degrees below zero. You need a good, stiff wind in your face to prevent your scent from drifting out to the coyotes you’re hoping to fool, so the wind chill factor makes it feel like it’s just a bit above absolute zero. Doesn’t sound like a lot of fun, does it?

That’s the crazy thing. I think between sitting absolutely still, listening to the dying rabbit call and silently counting the digits you’re surely going to lose to frostbite, you lose your mind. Instead of heading home, thinking you’ll never do that again, you can’t wait to come out again the next morning and give it another shot.

See? Just like waterfowl hunting.