Copyright ©1998 Spring Creek Communications
Additional information on the book reviewed is provided below.
This title is for sale through Idaho fish Ďní hunt
in association with Amazon.com Books
by Sharon Watson
Some hunting is relatively uncomplicated.
A hunt for the coyote is like that.
Simonski is a relatively uncomplicated man
infatuated with this dog of the wild.
(The best of us hold our prey in awe.)
I disagree with him when he says the coyote
is no longer a "symbol of the rural West,"
since they feed on house cats in our backyards
and roam within site of the Empire State Building
and have adapted to downtown Los Angeles.
That may be. But at dusk in my rural Western backyard, the coyotes tune up, and family groups for miles around answer the calls, and when itís totally dark, they move in closer to our house. With a flashlight, sometimes you can catch the glow of their eyes. It feels real "wild" to me. The coyote song is a sound akin to that of the loon, and of geese honking overhead, and of course, the wolfís eerie calls. Symbols, still, of lonely, quiet places, not quite safe. I find comfort in that. Iíve grown accustomed to the unpredictable, chancy, rugged lifestyle of the rural wild west.
I agree with Simonski that you canít kill off the coyote. As a species, this desert dog is an admirable survivalist. The rancher fights back with ugly slaughters at times as a pay-back for the emotional image of a newborn calf eaten as it was being born. Otherwise, the ranchers I know donít hate the coyote, only those few animals that get used to new-born calves and baby lambs and wonít move on.
They are smart, these dogs. After rabbit-squawking at them, some will figure it out, especially if they were shot at. So the educated one may come in next time, but he sits out there a good distance away and just howls at you, or barks. Itís neat. An important part of hunting anything -- is that it not be easy. Itís a bloody business, not to be taken lightly, or taken for granted, or given away. You have to pay. (Slob hunters and anti-hunters are actually two of a kind. They have no comprehension of what the sport is about.)
For whatever reason, Phil Simonski became admittedly obsessed with coyote hunting, which only means he became a master at it. His book covers how to use various calls, camouflage (he is especially fond of "Shaggie" camo), cover scents, shotguns, rifles and ammo, shooting sticks, "critter carriers" for retrieving your catch, weather elements to consider, using decoys (rabbits and fawns), blinds, where to set up, skinning and how to care for the pelts (I have a friend in Grangeville, Idaho, who had a beautiful coat made for himself from his coyote pelts.), the tattletale magpie (magpies mean the coyoteís on his way!), and calling in other predators (bobcats, cougars, fox). Simonski doesnít mention the non-predators who are just curious. With the dying-rabbit squawl, Iíve called in rabbits!
-- and cows! Arizonaís javelina came in to my calls too -- a big mamma and her entire brood.
Coyote Hunting is a good no-nonsense book, written quite obviously by a person who has been in the sage hunting the coyote for most of his years. The cover photo, and some of the coyote photos inside the book by Marlin C. Jones of Fruitland, Idaho are impressive too.
Be sure to get the latest edition of February, 1998 or you wonít get information about more recent equipment and techniques. Actually, if you use all the stuff available to locate, trick and get your coyote, the hunt can get rather complicated!
The new edition retails for $12.95, or $15.45 postpaid from the publisher. Call the publisher, Stoneydale Press at:
406-777-2729. Or contact
About the Author
Phil Simonski grew up in the east, became a professional forester, and moved to the West. He has been an avid hunter of big game, small game, and predators. He has literally put a lifetime of effort into hunting the wily, universally-present critter known as the coyote.
Simonski is now settled in Baker City, Oregon, where he and his family run a guide service and fishing tackle business, plus a bed and breakfast. This is his second book. The first involved fishing, another of his favorite activities.