Picture This

Picture This

With The Dumb Bunch hunting them, the coyotes may just laugh themselves to death.

It is just after dawn on a very cold Saturday in early January. My hunting buddy Owlface is huddled next to me in a small makeshift ground blind overlooking a big cow pasture. Owlface is fiddling with the controls on an electronic game caller.

"Will you hurry up and get that thing going?" I said. "I'm already freezing to death in this stupid blind. Whatever possessed you to build a ground blind out of sticks and limbs that the wind can blow right through instead of buying one of those pop-up blinds?"

"I can't figure out why this game caller won't work," Owlface muttered. "Go check the speaker wire and make sure it's plugged into the back of the speaker."

"Haven't you noticed that the tape in the player ain't moving when you hit the play button?" I said. "Try shaking it."

Owlface shook the tape player. A few seconds later the speaker 20 yards in front of the blind let out a squeal that sounded just like my wife, Three, when I told her I was going coyote hunting with Owlface instead of going with her to her sister's anniversary party. I told her that Old Man Turner had asked us to shoot some coyotes because some of his cows were about to calve and he was worried about the coyotes getting the newborn calves.

"Why is that speaker squealing like that?" I asked Owlface. "I thought this thing was supposed to call in coyotes. It sounds just like my wife. No critter in the world will go near her when she gets like that."

"That's the sound a rabbit makes when it's hurt, you dimwit," Owlface said. "When a coyote hears that, he can't resist coming to it for an easy meal. Move over and give me enough room to shoot my bow. I want to be ready if a coyote shows up."

"I thought you were going to work the caller and I was going to shoot the coyotes," I said. "That makes more sense. You know I'm a better shot than you are."

"All I know is I've done all the work so far, and all you've done is complain," Owlface said. "Besides, the only thing you can shoot better than anybody else is your mouth. Now shut up and watch for coyotes."

About five minutes later the speaker went silent.

"It sounded to me like the batteries went dead," I said. "Don't tell me you didn't buy new batteries for that contraption before you dragged me all the way out here to sit in this miserable cold."

When we stood to exit the blind to go get some new batteries for the caller, my bow got caught on one of the limbs Owlface had used for the roof of the blind and the whole blind caved in on top of us. After we crawled out from under all that brush, we saw a coyote standing 10 yards from the speaker. Owlface grabbed his bow. When he tried to shoot, the bottom limb on his bow hit the ground between his legs and his arrow skipped off the ground 20 feet in front of the coyote.

Picture this. It is the following Saturday morning, and it's even colder than the week before. I'm back in the same ground blind with Owlface and the game caller has a new set of batteries. After 40 minutes of calling with no results, I am seriously considering burning the blind to get warm.

Then Owlface smacks me in the head and points toward the pasture. Two coyotes are slowly approaching the speaker. Owlface whispers to me that I should shoot the coyote on the right at the same time he shoots the one on the left. I whisper to Owlface that I should shoot the one on the left and he should shoot the one on the right because I am left-handed and he is right-handed and that makes more sense.

As Owlface reaches into his pocket to get his handkerchief to wipe off his glasses the tape player falls off his lap onto the ground and the tape pops out. Immediately, both coyotes stop well out of bow range. Owlface panics. He puts the tape back into the player without looking to see which side of the tape is up. When he hits the play button, we discover immediately that coyotes run like crazy at the sound of a man giving verbal instructions on the proper way to use a game caller.

Picture this. Another week has passed and we are in the blind once again. Owlface has brought along what he refers to as a raccoon decoy to keep the coyotes attention off of us so we can shoot them. This decoy is actually a coonskin hat that Owlface likely stole from his grandson's toy box. Owlface has modified it by stuffing it with newspaper and putting cardboard legs on it. Owlface's idea is to tie some fishing line to the raccoon tail and run it back to the blind. When he jerks on the fishing line, the tail will move and the coyotes will think it's alive.

I suggest to Owlface that he tie the fishing line to his ankle so he can keep the tail moving while keeping his hands free to shoot. After an hour of unproductive calling, I'm getting sleepy. As I drift in and out of consciousness, I have this weird dream that Owlface is attempting to draw his bow while standing on one leg and shaking his other leg at the same time. I realize this is not really a dream when I hear the loud snapping of limbs and see Owlface rolling on the ground in front of the blind.

Picture this. It's the Saturday after the decoy fiasco and we are back in the same blind. Owlface has come up with what he perceives as a better idea than his decoy to bag these coyotes. He tells me not to say a word or move a muscle until after he shoots a coyote or two or three.

Rather than argue with someone who is obviously mentally impaired from hitting his head on the frozen ground the week before, I decide to wait quietly and see what transpires.

Twenty minutes later three coyotes approach the speaker from the other side of the pasture. I grab my bow and attempt to get into position to take a shot at one of them. Owlface does the same thing. We slam into each other, and then Owlface stumbles and steps on the tape player and smashes it. The tape stops playing; the coyotes stop coming. Then Owlface starts screaming at me like it was my fault he didn't know how to build a proper ground blind big enough for two bowhunters to shoot from at the same time.

Picture this. Another week passes, and we are now sitting in a bigger version of the same ground blind. Owlface has purchased a new tape player. He says since I didn't pay him for half the price of the new tape player I had to leave my bow in his pickup. All I am al

lowed to do on this hunt is work the new tape player.

As I'm about to turn on the tape player to call in a coyote for Owlface, I notice there are two hunters with rifles walking across the pasture. Owlface tells me he will find out who they are and I am not to do anything until he gets back.

When Owlface returns after talking with the hunters, he tells me we are leaving. "That's Bear Breath and The Ferret," Owlface said. "Old Man Turner ran into them at Gert's Gas and Grub the other day. He asked them if they would shoot some of the coyotes on his farm. When I told them you and I were already taking care of that, Bear Breath said Old Man Turner told him he wanted the coyotes shot -- not entertained."

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