Best Christmas I ever had, Adventures with Bill week 3

We got up early and headed west toward Montana, it was a long day of travel, but we finally made it. We pulled in the drive up to the barn, I had no idea what to expect. This was going to be a whole new way of roughing it for me. I knew it wasn’t going to be much, our living quarters were a utility trailer with a twin bed and an electric heater, not a lot of room to move, but I didn’t mind I was enjoying our time together. We got the power on and the heater going, we had to get everything out of storage containers, blankets, and pillows and we were set to go. We wanted to do a little shooting before the day ended so we went to a prairie dog town, that was so fun and great target shooting practice. Grilled us up some dinner, took our sponge baths to read for a bit, and off to sleep we went. We woke up early it was time for us to get some coyote hunting in. Bill took me to the old oil fields; the wind was blowing out of the south. We set up, Bill switched on the caller within the first 7 minutes here comes a coyote I was so nervous I was shaking but I waited till I had a clear shot, I squeezed the trigger, down went the coyote, it was my first coyote I was so excited, and Bill was to.

We carried the coyote back to the truck loaded it up and headed to the next spot. This time 3 came charging in it was fast-paced. I missed and Bill took 2 of them. We laughed about how fast and crazy they came in. We moved on; Bill shot a couple more for the day. I was exhausted by the end of the day, all that fresh air and walking, didn’t take me long to fall asleep. The next morning, we headed to the prairie reserve, boy that was a trip, thankfully it was frozen, as we drove down these two tracks they were so rutted up, the elk hunters must have had a heck of a time getting out, people had to get creative on getting their vehicles unstuck, there were logs and branches and anything else you could imagine froze in the mud, they used to get themselves out. It was some of the most beautiful scenery I had ever seen the prairie and mountains and all the different size buttes and draws, I saw buffalo which I had never seen before and cattle, oh my gosh cattle standing in the roads on the side of roads, I had only seen that in movies never experienced it and just the beauty of the land I was so relaxed. It was toward the end of the day and was getting close to dark, so we found some Bureau of Land Management {BLM} land to hunt we set up and started calling, wasn’t long and I saw a coyote sneaking in, he was going from sage bush to sage bush, I took a shot it was about 150 yards away. Down went the coyote. Bill never even saw it. I was doing the happy dance. Our week pretty much continued about the same driving around calling coyotes enjoying the beautiful land God created.

Toward the end of the week, we took our coyotes to a friend, and this is where I got my first lesson and experience on how to skin a coyote, I never realized how much work goes into that. Preserving the pelt and making it look like it was never shot. Montana coyote pelts are so much nicer than Michigan coyote pelts, the fur is softer and much whiter, I always thought a coyote is a coyote, not so much. After we skinned our coyotes, we got cleaned up, a much-needed shower, that felt wonderful, sponge baths only work for so long before a real bath is needed. All cleaned up for our trip home. We got up the next morning packed everything up, put everything away, closed the barn, and headed out. We had a long trip ahead of us. Homeward bound, Bill took the day shift driving and I took the night shift. We made it to somewhere in Wisconsin in the middle of the night I had to stop and rest for a bit couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. A couple of hours later we were back on the road and headed home. Finally arrived,23 hours of driving wears on a person, boy it felt good to be home. That was the best trip I had ever been on. I felt so blessed to have the time and opportunity to have that experience. That trip has become a tradition for Bill and me, to spend our Christmas and New Year’s ice fishing and hunting.