Yesterday, I picked up where I left off last week. I had hoped to get out last Friday, and continue scouting a new to me, area for prairie dog towns. Unfortunately, it rained Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, so I knew there was no way I would get down the prairie roads when they are wet, so I waited until yesterday, when things had had a chance to dry out.
As I'm making my way down this fairly decent gravel road, that cuts across my prairie dog scouting area, a coyote suddenly bursts out of the sagebrush, on my right side, and starts to parallel me along the road. I look down and I'm going 25 miles per hour. He wants to cross the road in front of me and speeds up, so do I, and now we're doing 30 miles per hour.
He keeps glancing over at me, and kicks it into another gear, I add a little gas, and now we're doing 35 miles per hour. Why he doesn't just veer off to the right, and head back into the sage, I don't know, but he is determined to cross the road in front of me. After a few hundred yards, I let off the gas, and as soon as he saw that I was dropping back, across the road he goes. I don't know for how long he could keep up that 35 mph pace, but while he was doing it, it was pretty impressive to say the least.
About twenty minutes later, I'm approaching the first area that I want to check out for p-dogs. As I'm slowly rolling into the edge, of what should hopefully be an active prairie dog town, I start to see some mounds. I grab my binoculars and start glassing as I slowly roll along. I'm seeing a good number of what look to be active mounds, but no prairie dogs. Not unusual, because they're not always out and about.
I dropped my binos onto the passenger seat, and looking fifteen yards to my left, the picture below is what I saw.
Just for the heck of it, I jumped out of my 4Runner, and took a shot of the mound he was in, from the back side. This is what a healthy, active prairie dog mound looks like, with multiple entrances, no weeds in the entrances, and plenty of loose dirt, from the p-dog's claws scratching the surface, as they come and go.
I took a few minutes to walk around the town to examine a couple dozen mounds, and the vast majority look to be occupied, so I marked this town on my map, and headed off to another area that I wanted to check out. As a side note, the wind was really starting to pick up big time.
When I got near this new town, from a distance I could see mounds. It was in a bit of a bowl, and as I came up over a rise I was looking down on the dog town. I stopped and started to glass the area to see if I might spot any prairie dogs. I didn't see any p-dogs, but what I did see, about two hundred yards out, was another coyote. He was slowly working his way through the sage, carefully checking out each mound as he went. At some point, he spotted me on the rise, took one look, and lit out of the area like his tail was on fire.
I slowly rolled into the town, hoping to see a dog or two. The town ran down both sides of the dirt track that I was using for a road, so I'm glassing both sides as I slowly trickle into the area. Finishing up looking at the right side, I turn my attention to the left side, and immediately see this guy, about twenty yards away, sneakin' a peek.
Again, I got out and did a walk around in the town, and I would say about half of the mounds showed signs of activity, and the rest showed all the signs of having been abandoned for quite some time. I marked the spot on my map, and decided to take a lunch break.
I don't know what it is, but food always tastes better, when eaten out in the fresh air of the wide open spaces.
When I first arrived in the area, I saw these two off in the distance. As I was eating my sandwich, they decided to hoof it on over and check me out. That's one of the things I love about getting out into the wilds of the West. On any given day, you never know what you might see. I'm out in the middle of nowhere, and come across two horses living free and enjoying the good life. Pretty cool.
Because of the high winds, they were running 18 to 25 mph, the only thing I shot yesterday, was a picture of my .25 cal Cricket resting on an old corral gate. That's okay though, because my main purpose right now, is to scout out new areas to hunt prairie dogs in, so that when the season opens next summer, I'm ready to hit the ground running.
This coming Friday is supposed to be pretty nice, temps in the high sixties, with moderate winds, so I plan to get out again, and continue to expand my hunting horizons.
Until next time, life is good, and thanks for reading.