It was close to the end of the evening when I heard some coyotes calling in the distance. I was somewhat startled by a very loud reply that was coming from the ravine just below my stand. I found the coyote trotting through the ravine with my thermal spotter and transitioned to my rifle. I started rabbit distress squeal calling as I was powering up the Zeus rifle scope and recorder. By this time, the coyote had gotten up the far bank. The call stopped the coyote in place and held her attention. I tried calling several more times to get her to come closer, but she didn't move. Maybe she should have moved?
The shot was 92 yards. The exit wound is seen in the video. The 6.5 Grendel Hornady SST 123 gr. round ripped a huge, ragged hole out of her shoulder.
Got a chance to look at the coyote in daylight this morning. The shot entered the left side just forward of the shoulder blade and exited the right side with a hole about the size of a golf ball, but ragged oval shaped with some tearing.
I assume the Hornady SST bullet was likely coming apart at that time, versus similar shots that have produced smaller and more uniform exits that were nickel or quarter-sized.
Yeah, the conditions were weird. The temps were in the 50s, but I could see my breath. There was so much humidity that everything was damp. Earlier in the evening, I had run the heater just to dry off my rifle and the sight.
The little FLIR PS32 thermal spotter performed terribly by comparison. It had trouble registering rabbits at 100 yards.
In the video above, but everything below the coyote in the FOV is the opposite bank of the ravine and the coyote is actually on a vehicle 2-track path. She was still on part of the slope when she was shot (hence the blood running down). There were all sorts of trees behind her and especially to the left, but between the humidity, wind, and temp, everything was just about the same temperature if it wasn't warm-blooded and just grayed together visually.
While thermal was still great for seeing critters under the conditions, it was virtually useless for navigational purposes where the landmarks were all just gray.