Related to my calling coyotes at night post..
I met a guy a while back that is a guide at Rio Bonito Ranch, outside of Junction. I was telling him how I hunt at night with night vision. He had never done it and said that he would call me someday and have me show him how to do it. Figuring I would never hear from him again, I forgot about it. Well, a couple of weeks ago, he calls me out of the blue and invites me to the ranch. 17,000 acres, 25 square miles. They have several exotic species, tropphy white tail, hogs, coyotes, etc. They had some coyotes kill some of their stock and wanted me to come and show them my night vision. No way in heck I was going to pass that up! lol. So, I headed out there this Thursday for a quick 36 hour visit. I confess that I might have hooked a few people on the pleasures of night hunting lol..
Turns out, there was a large group of hunters there that weekend. They are all big shots in the meat industry. Sales reps, restaurant chain CEOs, producers, etc.. They all brought some of their product with them.... more on that later...
So, I get there Thursday night about an hour or so before dark. I give the guide a quick verbal rundown on how to use the equipment that I brought. I took a thermal monocular, a rifle equipped with a digital night vision scope, and a rifle with a thermal scope. Both rifles were equipped with suppressors. I also took 2 mini DVRs to hook up to the scopes, but ended up not hooking them up.. I didnt want to overly complicate things for first timers.
Originally, just the guide and me where going to go out. The guests had brought in their own private chef who is also in the industry. Being after dinner, the chef was off for the night and he expressed interest, so I told him he was welcome to come as well. He has very little experience in firearms and zero in night vision.
We get to the first area that we are going to try calling. I get things set up, turn on the monocular and scopes and let them look through them.... They were both absolutely floored by what you could see lmao... They had no clue that such equipment and the views you can get with them. They were both commenting the entire time.. "OMG" "holy crap!" lol.. I let the guide use the rifle with the digital night vision, and since the chef was a virtual rookie, I put him in charge of the monocular. We set up the caller, got some responding howls, but never saw any coyotes. We saw some Aoudad (sp?) that were so close you could hear them snorting. These guys were floored. I could tell they were hooked lol..
At one stand, after seeing nothing but some HUGE jackrabbits, I tell the guide to try out the rifle. There was a jackrabbit about 100 yrds out.. He took a shot and nailed it. I was pretty dang impressed with his shooting, given that he had never used night vision before and never shot that particular rifle before that.
We stayed out until about midnight and then called it a night. In the morning, the guide has to take out the guest hunters and then pick them up when they are done. Mid morning, the chef prepares a huge breakfast, using some of the meat that the guests brought. In addition to the eggs and biscuits, fried potatoes, we had some of the thickest cut bacon that I have ever seen and some breakfast sausage links that were dang tasty.
Waiting for the afternoon hunt for the guests, the guide drives me around the ranch. Awesome place and I didnt see half of it. One of the biggest private lakes in Texas filled with trophy sized bass, a beautiful dry river bed cut out of the rock, just beautiful county side.
That afternoon, they had an early dinner of some of the thickest, tenderest, aged prime ribeye that I have ever seen (compliments of one of the guest's company). During dinner, I was talking with one of the guests and he was very interested in night hunting and asked if he could go with me that night. I said sure. Then, about 18 of the guests went out for an afternoon hog hunt. After they got back me, the guide, and that guest go out.
Same reaction from the guest as the previous night lol. I am feeling like a drug dealer lol.. Anyway, this night I give the guest my rifle equipped with the thermal scope, the guide has the monocular. I am going to use the night vision equipped rifle.
Well, I am still getting all my equipment set up when the guest whispers that there is a hog walking straight toward us. I havent even turned on my night vision. The guide with the monocular confirms and tells the guest to take the hog out. He doesnt hesitate.. he shoots.. as soon as I hear the thud of the bullet hitting, I smile and know what is coming next.. sure enough... the guest says "OMG, I HAVE to have one of these!" and "dont tell my wife" lol...
After that, the weather turned, getting very windy and drizzling rain. We tried a few more spots but were not successful calling any coyotes.
The next morning, I have to leave early and head back to to San Antonio. But before I leave, I have to give the guide, the chef, and the guest some suggestions on equipment, where to get, etc. Hmm.. should I tell Tyler at UNV that I need a commision? lol..
Hopefully I will get a chance to go back, but even if I dont, it was a heck of a time and I feel bad (well, not really lol) that I have hooked at least 3 people on hunting with night vision.
Some pics.. I obscured faces, because I didnt ask if I could post their identities...