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Author Topic: Yotes  (Read 8942 times)

Offline littletoes

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Re: Yotes
« Reply #25 on: August 11, 2007, 07:37:41 AM »
Sisu-Seen one up on 29th, looked like it had mange, and there are a breeding pair that I've been seeing for a few years now hanging around Horizon, all the way to North of Magnesium Rd. Ain't that a kicker?

Must be surviving on small dogs and cats or food for the same left out! LOL Now thats funny! Hey, 'yotes gotta eat!

Think most hard core 'yote hunters know the night regulations. At my kids hunters ed this year, I even corrected the teachers on this one.

I would say a low powered scope, with heavy crosshairs might work best for this, since shots must be fairly close.
I've got a Leupold M3 that I think would be great for just this sort of thing. It works great out to 600 yards, and I've even used it to 850, although the Mill-Dot Reticle does cover up smaller targets at those ranges.
"The People of the United States are the rightful masters of both Congress and the Courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution." - Abraham Lincoln

Offline tlbradford

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Re: Yotes
« Reply #26 on: August 13, 2007, 08:59:48 PM »
Here is the text for an article written by Leonard Bosinski.  I did a lot of things wrong following the advice of others, and articles I had read.  This has everything you need to get started.

"Here's Night hunting basics Chapter One as written by Leonard:

Night Hunting Basics: lights and methods.

Okay, you want to try night hunting, so you go out and look for a spotlight. The first thing we need to understand is that there really isn't anything available, off the shelf, that won't need to be modified in some way.

Just to clarify, up front. Night hunting is best done with a partner, I have very little information about attaching a light to a gun and hunting alone because the team concept is so superior. One man hunting with the light, and the other with the sole responsibility of safely handling the gun and acquiring the target. The man with the light knows where the animal is going, and will be aware of the best opportunities for a shot. Until then, the shooter is just a casual observer, but he needs to be ready at all times, as is obviously the case on daylight stands. Normally, we switch off assignments, whenever either partner desires, but with some kill teams, everyone has an assigned task, has the specific talent, and might stay there all night. Illustration: a driver, a light man and a shooter, no switching gear or positions. But, for recreational hunting, informally switching every other stand, or every once in a while, is standard procedure. Some guys just like to do the lightwork, others are more inclined to shoot. And better shots. The main thing is to understand that it is a team effort, and it's shared glory or failure. To make the point a little clearer, a good light man can hunt with a novice shooter, and be quite successful, once he understands what is expected of himů.and who is in charge. In other words, the man on the gun doesn't shoot until the light man permits it. For several reasons, including safety, and marking the animal before the shot, but enough about tactics, for now.

One of the biggest mistakes is to acquire the largest and most powerful light money can buy. Consider that you will be holding this light for up to an hour, and even though you switch hands, it is still exhausting to hold it at chest level for extended periods, and realistically, all night.

Therefore,what we should be looking at is the lighweight, and this usually means a light with a four inch diameter, rather than a six or eight inch. I like an aircraft landing light, sealed beam, with a shroud to prevent reflective bounce. This can be as simple as a coffee can with the bottom removed and taped to the light body, or it can be rolled and fabricated from scratch, with a homemade handle. I have used track lites, removing the guts and installing the bulb so that it ballances nicely in the hand. Some guys like rolled aluminum of the type used to insulate commercial refrigeration piping, and it is certainly light, but you have to be careful that you don't dent it, so that is a choice everyone will need to consider. It isn't strong enough to support a handle, but it will work if you are using an off the shelf spotlight as a starting point. Two thicknesses is another option, popriveted along the length.

Some people prefer the shade to be up to twelve inches, and that is a personal choice. I find that six to eight inches is adequate for my purpose. That purpose is that you can move the light forward enough so that it doesn't reflect on the ocular lens, and is positioned as nearly as possible, directly above the scope.

There are several different types of hunting lights. One popular type is refered to as a "flipper" light. This light uses a cable and trigger fabricated from big game fishing tackle, and operates a colored lens positioned midway inside the shade. This lens pivots on edge, becoming almost invisible when the time comes for the shot. For most of the stand, the light man will be slowly scanning the area with the colored lens, either amber or red. At the precise instant when the animal is in the best position for a shot, he indicated to the shooter that he is ready, and the shooter, in turn will get on target and whisper a command; which is "burn 'em". At this point, the light man will pull back on the trigger, and focus all his attention on the exact location. You should consider that the shooter will have a very short period to do a couple of very important things, himself. He is responsible for identifying the target and at the same time marking the animal as well as he can. You would be surprised at the number of times there can be a difference of opinion as to just where that animal was, at the shot. Eighty percent of the time, trust the light man to know where he is. Sometimes his point of reference isn't as good as having that rifle stationery and pointed in the right direction. Anyway, the advantage of this type of light is that it does two things very well, and is reasonably light weight, and reliable.

A second type of light uses the same general type of platform, but uses spray Dykem, instead of a flipper lens. This can be good, as is, but the best solution is to use a 1 ohm resister inside the housing with a two position switch; up, a dim light for hunting, and down, full intensity for the burn light, with a center off position. The down operation is most critical, causes less jiggling and the light has less tendancy to wander away, or dip. A question of ergonomics. This is a good solution, is lighter than a flipper light and less complicated.

The third type of light, and the one that I use the most is a dual "superposed" light. This requires some talent to calibrate the two beams to the same point, and then gluing them in place, inside the shroud. The two barrels need to be pop riveted or better yet, spot welded together. In this case, you need the same type of switch, up for the hunting beam, and down for the tight spot. The top light should be a wide beam 55 watt fog light. This makes it very easy to scan the entire area. With either of the above lights, it is necessary to move the light around, since it is basically still a spotlight with a narrow focus. You need to move it up, down and all around. A fog has a nice wide illumination, it seems to float around on a level plane, covers a lot more ground, and it is easier to pick up eyes in brushy areas. The lower light is a standard 13 volt 100 watt aircraft landing light. This bulb has the tight focus you need for the burn, and it should be situated closer to the hand, therefore, it works a lot better if it is the bottom light. I have never been able to get amber or red fog light bulbs, but it isn't so important, since red spray Dykem works so well. I also use a little bit lighter shade of red on the burnlight, but that's something that is a personal choice, and to suit changing conditions. Dykem is removable, so you can custom spray your lenses darker for a new moon phase, or change to yellow, as conditions change from week to week, for example. You can't do this with a flipper light. Well, you can, but it's a lot of trouble, and unnecessary, with experience and proper light technique. The biggest drawback to a dual light is that it is a little heavier than a single beam light. However, should you burn a bulb, you can still hunt with the other bulb, you just have to alter your style. With a flipper light, you are dead in the water, you better have a backup light. For me, driving four hundred miles, I have a backup anyway, but it's something to consider.

Now, why not get a million CP light and be able to see eyes into the next county? Because. Less is more. Coyotes are the most light sensitive animal on the planet. Too much light, and they will blink once or twice and the next time they flash, they are further out. Better that you don't detect them until they are relatively close, say within 500 yards. Any of the lights described above will light up an animal at five hundred yards, if you know what you are doing.

The message is that a 250,000CP light will illuminate an animal adequately for an accurate shot, if you are taking reasonable one hundred yard shots, and Heaven forbid! NOT just shooting at EYES. This is the worst possible behavior. This is why we hunt two or three people, which eliminates mistakes. I can safely say that I have never made a mistake, and I don't intend to. For the most part, cattle or deer shot between the eyes, and blamed on varmint hunters are the result of deliberate shooting, by rank amateurs or the criminal element.

Good technique and good habits, makes night hunting very safe, maybe safer than day stands because you are well aware of your suroundings, and can easily identify dwellings? Besides, almost nobody is walking around in the woods at night. Even if they were walking in the woods, they are very easy to see, and identify. Animals? For the most part, deer are bedded down, and cattle are impossible to mistake for a predator responding to a call. Pets should not be a problem if you fully identify your target. It's really a non problem, if you first determine that the light man is working a legitimate animal responding to the call, and secondly, that the shooter actually can identify the animal, when the time comes. The last thing you need is a dead surprise, when you walk out there. And, I'd turn you in, in a minute, because your mistakes will damage my reputation as a professional predator hunter. So, enough on philosophy and ethics, for the time being.

I don't want to get any deeper into the crafting of lights, this can be a very lengthly and tedious subject. There are levels of development, and everyone knows the extent of their abilities and needs. When you perceive a need for something a little more sophisticated, you will know how to accomplish it.

A short note on batteries:
This is an important aspect, I would recommend a dedicated battery just for hunting, deep cycle or standard automotive, it's up to you. However, a deep cycle might not start your engine in an emergency. I like to run two 24 group, with some high cold cranking amps. The higher wattage light you use, and the length of your stands will dictate more dependence on a good alternator and voltage regulator; between stands. If you are walking out, a gelcell or motorcycle battery is the way to go, but it's still nice to install a hookup for recharging between stands. By the way, if you are forced to walk out, a modified tripod is a worthwhile investment.

One last comment. To answer the question. For the most part, you can forget about NV or similar devices. They are expensive and do not work as well as visible light, in 99% of the situations you will encounter. Mine are virtually unused, a last resort, and not a very good one, at that. Trust me, that's all I have to say about it, but it's real good advice.

Part 1
Dreams are forever on the mind, realization in the hands.

Offline tlbradford

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Re: Yotes
« Reply #27 on: August 13, 2007, 09:01:18 PM »
Part 2

There is an unbelievable lack of knowledge about how to conduct a proper stand at night. Questions such as when do I turn on the light, and for how long? What am I looking for, what do I do once I locate an animal. How to identify what you are looking at.

Basic lighting technique starts with the stand selection. You have to be very careful in selecting a stand, taking wind direction into consideration. You should not have any large objects near you, boulders, trees, a hillside in the immediate foreground; anything that would cause shadows beyond the object. The reason is that any animal that is otherwise out in the open, but is in shadow because of a tree in the foreground, you can't identify in the scope. There is only enough diffused light to see the eyes, but the animal is in darkness, and your light is reflecting off the object. A bad situation, unless you can get him to move to the side. So, the answer is to get those terrain features as far away from you as possible; especially downwind.

If you think coyotes have a tendency to circle downwind on a day stand, wait until you try your hand at night hunting. It's almost automatic, if you let it happen. Make sure you have an unobstructed shot downwind, if at all possible. In fact, if the wind is blowing toward one of those near trees, you might have to select a better spot now, rather than let it become a factor in letting an animal get away from you. Under the best circumstances, night hunting is difficult, you need to set up for success. This should be easy, as it doesn't take many mistakes to improve your stand selection process.

Ideally, I like to have an unobstructed view in a fifty yard radius, but rather than search all night for the perfect spot, you need to learn to make the most of what you have. If you are in heavy cover, this calls for a subdued spotlight. As mentioned, you get too much bounce back, from the brush, and it spooks the animals if you are using too much wattage, regardless of the tint.

Open country, you need a little more light, but that's the key, a little more light goes a long way, when scanning with the hunting light. One of the biggest mistakes people make is using too much light, even if they know proper light technique. The second biggest mistake is the way they mover the light, there shouldn't be any sudden Jedi Knight type slashes and irregular movement. You want a steady, level sweep of ten to twelve seconds to make a complete 360║ circle. Put the light out on the distant horizon and avoid illuminating the immediate foreground. This is very important.

Starting your stand.

Bring the light around behind your back, in your right hand, before you turn it on. Turn the light on, pointing it to the rear and slowly move in a counterclockwise direction, until you are twisting your body and pointing the light behind you. You must make complete circles, beginners almost always cheat, and don't go all the way around before the start back, clockwise. This is also a mistake, easily avoided. Always make your stands exactly the same way, right to left, and return with another 360 in the opposite direction. Begin and end every sweep directly to your rear. And, at this point, don't ask; "how come?" just do it.

If for any reason, you want to turn the light off, do it behind your back, on the right side. Keep it pointed behind you until the light is actually completely dark, sometimes there is a glow that will illuminate you or your partner, accidentally. Another mistake.

Let's say that you are hand calling, and you need to retrieve another call, dress the light cord, pick up something, or any number of valid reasons? If you have a stationary animal, and you must turn the light off, you always want to aim the light directly away from the animal, before you turn it off. When you turn it on, do so 180║ from his direction, and slowly sweep it around to where you expect him to be. Actually, you should never take the light off a set of eyes, for any reason, but in an emergency, this is how you should do it. Never switch the light off and on where the animal can see you do it. Never point the light to the ground, in front of an animal. Never point the light straight up in the air. All of these actions will spook an animal. If you are dealing with a cat, you can get away with a lot of poor techniques, but if you know better, why do it?

As I said above, once you start your stand, you should plan on leaving it on until you break off the stand, if at all possible. Two reasons. First, a coyote can rush in and back out while you are blowing your nose, and you never even saw him. Secondly, flipping the light on and off will spook some animals, so every time you do it, you are taking a calculated risk. If you turn the light off when working a bobcat, he may never look your way again. Happens all the time. So, you need to keep those eyes in the halo, never lose them. It takes all your concentration to follow an animal moving through cover, but you must not lose him. If he is moving in a certain direction and you lose him, you need to watch the direction he was moving, and the last place you saw him, and do it very carefully. Many times he has entered a fold in the terrain, and other times, he hasn't moved, he is still where you last saw him, but his eyes are averted. They do that just to make it interesting, once in a while.

But, starting from the top, when you first turn on the light, you need to make two complete 360║ sweeps with lip squeaks. This is because you may have an animal very close, and you don't want to start a loud series, or turn on a machine at high volume when you don't know what you have before you. This is left to right and right to left, which is one cycle, and then you should do it again, to make absolutely sure that the area is clear. At this time you can turn off the light, optional, before you start your first series, or continue with the slow sweeps while you begin with your selected sound.

Depending on the terrain, you can keep the volume to about twenty-five percent, in heavier cover, and in open areas, go ahead and turn it up, as far as you like. You have already determined that you don't have eyes in the immediate vicinity, so this is actually the beginning of your stand, everything else being preliminary.

The length of the stand will depend on a couple of things. First, in open country, I make stands of no more that twelve minutes. When you have a lot of brush, you can extend the stand beyond fifteen minutes, maybe twenty. And that's the other consideration. You go with your instinct. Some stands just look better than others, good line of sight, no obstructions. Others, you might just be going through the motions. In other words, it can be a lot like daylights. Routinely, night stands are shorter, because you can see eyes, and you know when you have no takers before you arrive at that conclusion, were you on a day stand, even in the same location.

Animals generally respond just as eagerly at night, but they circle downwind on you more often. Your job is to prevent it. If you don't jiggle the light or make any noise or movement, you have a good chance of a direct approach. However, expect him to flare off at any time, the shortest direction to downwind. That's another thing. Above, I said that if you lose the eyes, you need to watch two places; where he was and the direction he was moving. Consider this, they almost never go the long way around to get your scent. If it's a tossup, he will most likely travel counterclockwise to get there.

As soon as you pick up a set of eyes, you need to hold the light very steady, maybe use both hands? Kick or tap your partner on the shoulder, he needs as much warning as you can give him. He will help with the tracking, as sometimes the eyes reflect to one side a little better than the other, depending on exactly where the animal is going. In other words, you may not see both eyes, and he may be looking at an angle. This means that you might see flashes, here and there, and you would be surprised that the man on the gun can sometimes pick up a flash where the light man didn't. Not often, but it definitely helps to have two sets of eyes following the animal, whenever possible.

From the beginning, the shooter needs to be ready. You cannot predict when you will see an animal, but especially when you do have one approaching, the shooter should be tracking him wherever possible. If it looks like the shooter doesn't know where the animal is, gently pull him around, and help him out, it is important that you both know the situation. Remember that the man with the light is the actual hunter, and he should be making all decisions. It's like playing a bass, you don't hand off the rod, or you don't pay much attention to what the other guy thinks you should do. The light man is working the animal and he has the best idea of what's going on. When you reach a point where a shot is possible, the light man should make that known to the shooter by crowding in closer to him, and making absolutely positive that he sees the animal, has him located in the scope, and understands that this is the best position. At this point, the shooter should assure the light man that he sees the animal, and has him lined up, or will, as soon as the animal stops.

At this point, the light man should lip squeak the animal for the shot. When the animal stops, the shooter takes charge for the first time and commands his partner by whispering "burn him." Now, as soon as the animal is lit up, the shooter must identify the animal, and shoot, before the animal moves. He will typically have about five seconds to do all of this, and he can't make any mistakes. At the shot, the light man has full control and will concentrate all of his attention on exactly where the animal was when he dropped out of sight. They will drop out of sight, count on it. Both team members need to agree on the exact spot, and make a mental note of the distance. Both should look for visual clues to help them fix the location. This can be as simple as a rock directly in front of them, or beside a certain bush, whatever it is, it needs to be something specific. And, keep the light on the spot until you have it bracketed as well as can be done. You would be surprised at the number of animals that are never recovered because of poor spotting. Not only that, but it wastes time better spent on another stand.

Once he is hit, there is usually a distinctive "whop" like a broken watermelon hitting the ground. This sound is a lot easier to pick up at night than daylight, and is a good reason to keep looking, if you didn't get a good location, and can't find him right away.

Never move, once you have an animal down. This is the easiest way to lose him. One guy should retrieve, and the other direct him. Two guys wandering around doesn't save any time, and in the process, you might lose the location, or get confused.

Okay, let's say you didn't see anything, and after a reasonable length of time, you are ready to move on. What is the procedure? The light man will decide when the stand has played out. He will terminate his last sweep with the subdued light, and turn on the burn light, and make four complete circles, right to left, left to right and then do it again, all the time lip squeaking. Never break off a stand without doing this. The number of animals that you pick up, that have previously avoided detection is a low percentage, but never assume that you got them all. If it happens that you pick up a flash when burning and lip squeaking, raise the light and keep him just in the halo, do not go back to the lower hunting intensity. If you have any chance at this animal, you need to work him with the same light that lit him up, but you need to be very careful. If it's a coyote, chances are, he won't get any closer, so as long as he is steady and looking at you, get on him with the gun, and bring the light down on him when the shooter calls for the burn. This will put a lot of coyotes in the truck, if you play your cards right.

So, that is about all there is to conducting a successful night stand, like an expert. These are proven techniques, developed (literally) over decades in the field, by hundreds of skilled night hunters.

It works. Try it out, and good luck. LB"

The shotgun is my go to gun when night hunting.

Dreams are forever on the mind, realization in the hands.


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