As we made our way silently across a large cut hayfield surrounded by thick woods, I couldn't help but wonder if we might encounter the dog killer. When my hosts, Jeff Gill and his son Michael of Prime Time Pursuits Guide Services, called me a few days earlier to invite me back for another crack at taking my first coyote, they told me that a particularly bold 'yote had recently snatched a Jack Russell terrier right off its owner's leash on the very property we were hunting.
I had first visited Prime Time Pursuits' home base in the heart of Northumberland County a few weeks earlier to hunt ducks. Unfortunately, we were iced out, but after a quick stop at the Gill residence to exchange duck calls and decoys for coyote calls and rifles, we were on our way to my first coyote hunt.
We hunted a number of locations that day. Prime Time Pursuits has access to countless public and private properties covering thousands of acres of farmland, rolling hills, mixed hardwoods and pine forest from Port Hope to Brighton, and much of it is prime coyote habitat. We hunted hard but the coyote chase is never easy and they simply didn't respond. Even so, I could hardly wait to try again.
Sometimes the second times the charm.
We hadn't even settled down against the snow-covered hay bales stacked in the middle of the field when I happened to look across to the far end. A coyote suddenly popped out of the bush several hundred yards away. I quickly set up the bipod on Jeff's loaner rifle. A couple of soft calls on Jeff's mouth call and the coyote headed our way. It stopped at about 125 yards and knew that something wasn't right. This was the best opportunity I was going to get before it would surely catch our wind. I steadied the crosshairs on its chest and squeezed. The coyote fell over backward without a twitch.
As we approached the 50-pound coyote, one of the largest females my guides had seen, I wondered if it was the one with a taste for Jack Russell terriers.
Prime Time Pursuits offers coyote hunting either alone or in conjunction with multi-species waterfowling. They also offer some great spring turkey hunting, and can even arrange game preserve pheasant hunting or a round of golf to complete a package. Northumberland County also boasts very healthy populations of deer, not to mention Rice Lake and the nearby Bay of Quinte, two of Ontario's premier fishing destinations.
Not surprisingly, I'm now a frequent visitor to Northumberland County.
Prime Time Pursuits Outfitters and Guide Services
600 William St.