Thursday, February 26, 2009

Coyote hunting

My father was what you would call a coyote hunter.  He had 3 or 4 coyote hounds.  He and a man from Delphos would go hunting on horseback.  They would run a small rope through the ring on the dog's collar.  One end of the rope would be fastened to the saddlehorn and the other end they would hold in their hand.  When they would see a coyote they would turn the rope loose and the dogs would take after the coyote.  Sometimes they would catch one.  I was small when I first started going with Dad. He had an old Model A coupe with a rumble seat in the back where the dogs rode.  Most of the time he hunted with one other person but sometimes he would hunt with a group of hunters.  There would be 8 or 10 other hunters and their dogs.  In later years there would be sn airplasne that spotted the coyotes for them.

I remember one Saturday night in 1940 we went to town to buy groceries.  We would take the cream and eggs to town and sell them for grocery money and we would get to go to the movie which cost 5 cents.  While we were at the movie Dad went to the Ford dealership and bought a new 1940 Ford sedan.  It was the first two seated car I remember us having.  We  (kids) thought that was great, we would have a lot of room.  It was winter and very cold and we thought it would be nice to have a heater because the old Model A had no heater, we used blankets.  But surprise---no heater!!  Dad said he didn't want one because if we went coyote hunting with him we would want the heater on and the coyote dogs would get too hot, then they would get pneumonia when they got out in the cold.  The next morning, sittiing in the front yard, was the back seat cushion out of the new car and there were the coyote dogs in the back seat ready to go hunting.

In the winter they would have coyote round-ups.  They would mark off a 5 mile square, divide the number of people who showed up for the hunt by 4 and place them at intervals on the roads on all four sides of the square.  At a certain time they would all start walking toward the center which would be on  a hill or a clear, level spot so no one would get shot.  Only shotguns were allowed, no rifles. They would shoot their guns off occasionally to drive the coyotes to the middle. When you got close to the center you could see coyotes running in circles trying to get out. Sometimes they did.  

I remember one coyote hunt in the late 30's.  They got 2 pickup loads of jackrabbits.  The county had a bounty of 5 cents on them because they were destroying the farmer's crops.

The last one I remember was probably in the late 50's.  The Jaycees (of which my brother was a member) sponsored it.  When they got to the center there were deer there.  They didn't shoot them because noone had seen deer around here at that time.  Now we can look in our back yard and see 30 or 40 and just as many wild turkeys and sometimes bobcat.  There have been reports of big cats in the area too, which is probably true as they follow the deer.

1 comment:

mark said...

I don't know if I would have liked Grandad's logic on the heater either. Was that the old ford that was on the hill by the silo?