May 23, 2012 | LXXII, No. 8

Coyotes, Colorama, and Cletis

Jess Shut Up

I learned a valuable lesson a couple weeks ago. It all started when one of our cats, Nala, was killed by coyotes in the middle of the night. It was hard for all of us who had ever petted her soft fur.

Now, some of you guys out there are thinking about taking some man points away from me, but just wait. I racked my brains for ways to “pay back” these no good, sneaky, K9s. But, after many hours of scheming, I concluded there was nothing I could legally do to these vicious wild dogs that lived in the Crescent Bay area and roamed our streets at night. Then a possible solution raised its hand in my mind. If I can’t kill the culprit, then I should kill its relatives.

So I and the boys, (a couple of wrestlers you know) went towards Delrio to help the farmers with their pesky critters. After a few hours one evening I came home without even firing my gun. Next step, a few days later, I and my cousin (a known snake killing, coyote stomping, deer slaying, farm hand) went out and were out foxed by a non-fox. Step three, I ran into a friend in Safeway (a well-known area hunter who wanted to remain anonymous). He told me all his secrets. One trip to the store, purchase made.

Now I was ready. But no one was available to go with me. I knew I shouldn’t go hunting a pack predator by myself. I mean that just isn’t safe. But after some soul searching, I decided I am a man, right? I can do this. I am a coyote killing machine. Nothing will happen. Probably would have better luck by myself anyway. As I waited for the afternoon to turn to evening, I downloaded a couple of coyote calls on my cell phone (that would make things easier; I am going to outsmart these dirty dogs.) As the sun started setting, I headed out to “The Secret Spot.” After a short drive and a shorter walk I was in the perfect position. I sat down and got comfortable. I had a perfect view and the wind was right. Sagebrush and open ground all around me. It was time.

I found the sound on my phone and hit play. The sound howled and yipped loud and bold. It echoed in the canyon for one minute, 23 seconds. And then Foreigner (Dirty White Boy to be exact) blasted the air like a concert at the Gorge. I had forgot to put my phone on shuffle.

I stumbled and bumbled to get my phone shut off. Unless the local coyotes liked 80s rock, this area was now no good to me. Discouraged and feeling a little stupid, I headed to spot number two, deciding on the walk that I better leave technology out of this and do it the old fashioned way.

As I settled in my new spot, the sun almost down all the way now, I took a deep breath and got ready. I did my best coyote howl impression (I sounded pretty good too) and waited. After about 30 seconds the sweet music I had been waiting for filled the area. The locals were serenading me, howling back. And then silence. And then noises came from behind me.

I spent the next five minutes turning in circles, not wanting a pack of angry critters to sneak up on me. My eyes were straining to see in the fading light and I was getting dizzy from turning my head back and forth. Then it hit me. This is STUPID. This is how stupid people die. I quickly gathered my stuff and headed for the truck and I swear I was followed all the way back. Note to self: Don’t go coyote hunting alone.

• Colorama weekend was fun. On Saturday I found myself at Pepper Jack’s cheering for family in the arm wrestling tournament. I would have never thought watching people test their strength on a table would be so entertaining. If you missed it, my advice is don’t miss it next year because Nicollette Oliver (Seylor) will be defending her titles. Both right handed and left. We are proud of you, Princess. Jesse Billups and Brice Billups were also in the tournament and got medals too. Rumor is the three of them are going to start an arm wrestling club and start training for next year.

• Cletis Lacy was honored at the Cletis Lacy Memorial Bull Ride. I’m about to lose more man points. The tribute was one of the best I ever saw. But as I stood there with some other local tough men, tears rolling down our faces, I couldn’t help but be proud to be standing in the very arena that Cletis helped build. His character and values are instilled in every cowboy, man and child he ever spoke to. I am honored to have known him and am very happy to call him a friend.

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