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Fake News
May 2020
Gerhard Schroeder

April 2020 – we are all living under the apparent spell of C19, better known as kungflu, or the Wuhan virus pandemic. And quite a bit of fake news that goes with it all. At least in Arizona we are still allowed to leave town, to escape into the woods. Just to get a change in scenery, Mary strongly suggested we go camping. Simple stuff, just pack food for two days, and beddings to sleep in the back of the 4Runner. Well, happy wife – happy life. I converted the Toyota, packed water and stove. And of course also firearm and ammo.

About midday we arrived what at one time was deer camp for Steve, Ron and me. Nobody else around for miles. Mary simply is a hyper-miler hiker, and soon took off to do her ten miles. I opted for lazy, plinked around with my suppressed 300 Whisper – oops, Blackout. Brought along some gun and hunting magazines and read some of those. Even prepared for a campfire. Yep, that was before things warmed up Arizona style, which then ushers in all those restrictions.

That evening I did sneak away from camp with the Ruger American over my shoulder, but no ‘targets of opportunity’ showed up. The day wound down with quiet time at the campfire and a little star gazing.

The next morning I woke up a little later than I wanted. So I hurried to get my gear and again left camp, to the north this time. About a half mile away I began looking for the ‘right’ juniper tree. And quickly found one where I could stand and hide, yet have plenty of view. It appeared to be a perfect morning, next to no wind, and temperatures barely above freezing. There was a little ice on the dishes from the evening before. Soon fake news echoed over the prairie. Fake news of a rabbit struggling in agony, slowly dying. Fake news for something like a fox, coyote or bobcat of an easy meal.

Having done this fake news thing way before somebody came up with the label, the experiences ranged from a coyote bolting onto the scene while still blowing the first squealing sequence, to nothing showing up at all. Mostly the latter. Doesn’t matter. With the squealing the anticipation grows. The first sun rays hit my tree when I was into the second fake news paragraph. Then it got loud. About ten ravens found my noises too interesting. Some landed in a nearby tree, some circled me. Know that this bunch isn’t stupid. Soon they realized that the squeals are fake, and they flew on.

I continued with my broadcasting. With every new attempt the anticipation decreased. Mental games kick in: another failed attempt to fake out a yote? How much longer should I stay here? Would I have had more action if I had headed south from camp? Etc., etc.

Not sure what version of self-pity I was on when he showed up! The sun made that coyote stick out like a light, even though he was what looked like quite far away. And he just froze there. So, slowly the call came back to my lips, and the fake rabbit struggled in severe agony again. Except this yote was not impressed. He remained frozen, out there.

Now what?? Try calling one more time? If he turned and loped he’d be gone in under a second. Somehow my brother’s words popped into my mind: “Not shooting is also a miss!” I opted to slowly bring the Ruger to my shoulder. At least I did have the scope all way down, in this case 4.5X. As always, the heavy suppressor required definite lifting. But once the crosshairs were on target, they remained there better. When they settled at about the back of that dog I squeezed.


 
Fake News
The SigSauer belched, the supersonic Hornady hissed for what felt like a long time. And then terminated into a solid whack – Kugelschlag! The coyote collapsed in the back, then slowly fell over sideways in the front. Down! And now he was just as frozen as when he was standing moments before. I cycled the bolt, called some more. Occasionally one can fool a second critter even after a shot.

Not this time. Besides, I can’t deny that I really wanted to know just how far out there the yote had met my 110 grain Vmax, fueled by a max load of LilGun. So I carefully left my hiding spot. Nothing behind me. Couldn’t find the empty, either. I began my walk, counting the steps. After 276 I was at the dead coyote.

It made my day. Only problem was that I had no camera on me.

Of course I had no more objections when Mary wanted to go camping again the next week. And the week after that. You betcha each time I had the Ruger along, and the camera. I needed another coyote for this story. Guess what, they did not see it that way. But then Dan said he sort of really could use a story for the next newsletter.

Meaning, this is all you gonna get, this time. Or, if the publisher were to add some picture of a dead critter, it could be fake news.

© Honeywell Sportsman Club. All rights reserved.

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