Woke up at 4:30am central time this morning to catch my first of two flights. Leg one would take me from my home base in the Dakotas to a short layover in Denver, then on to Salt Lake City. SLC isn’t my final stop though, as I write this I’m waiting for the other members of our party to show up before we saddle up and drive to Ely in Nevada.
I said goodbye to my wife and the dog, and headed out the door. The flights were uneventful, and now I’m enjoying a cup of mediocre airport coffee and putting my thoughts into electroncs.
I’ve never really hunted coyotes before. I’ve shot them, but the tactics and strategy of hunting an elusive predator have never been something I’ve really gotten in to. In fact, this will be only my second official and organized hunt ever. It’s a strange thing – I’ve spent my entire life around guns, and I have enough skill that if you asked me to pick up a strange pistol and hit a target 50 yards away, I can with relative ease. But hunting? This is a whole new world to me. I play at the country boy, and while my youth was spent in the great expanses of the Mojave Desert, my adult life has been marked by far more 5-star hotels than camping trips. Luckily, we won’t be doing any of that “camping” business, but I still feel much further from my comfort zone mentally than I do before any match.
A passing observation as I people watch in SLC: I should have worn my flat billed cap. I would have fit in quite well with all the extreme-sport looking guys with ski bags and snowboards who’ve come here to commune with the mountain gods. That’s a thing that no matter how outdoors acclimated I become you’ll never see me doing: ski. Michael Schumaker drove F1 cars for ages and never got a scratch. He goes skiing once and almost dies.
I hope you’ll enjoy this more introspective look at what is to me, a new side of the shooting sports. I bought a camouflage jacket yesterday, designed specifically for hunting. It’s a very nice jacket. I’ll be updating this series as I go on. At the end of the day, despite everything else I do, I am a writer at heart. This is a chance to share a new experience for me in the way I know best.