This certainly isn't what the benchrest boys meant by "Heavy Varmint", but it seems appropriate this morning...
After killing a young shoat the other night, I'd moved the hog carcass out into an open flat where I could use it for coyote bait. The recent cool weather had slowed the "ripening" of that carcass and I'd found no sign around it. It's just as well: we had company over the weekend and I couldn't get out to provide overwatch without neglecting my "host" duties.
I slipped away from the house early yesterday morning and was in position above the hog carcass a full hour before sunrise...and the bright moon and my Swarovskis showed a dim coyote form tugging away at the dead pig. Decent shooting light was at least twenty minutes away; nothing to do about it but wait. With maybe five more minutes needed, the 'yote suddenly got nervous. He backed away from the carcass, made a half-circle around it...and ran. Hmmphf. Vampire...scared of daylight. Daylight can mean gunfire. I can't argue with him there.
This morning found me back in position: same Bat-time, same Bat-channel (you'll get the reference if there's enough gray in what's left of your thinning hair). The black lump of my hog carcass looks awfully lonely out there. Crud, I thought I might get another chance at him. Minutes crawl by; the country gets marginally brighter. I glance back and discover that my hog lump has doubled in size...he's back!. And a bit more comfortable this time, too...he's really getting stuck into that carcass. C'mon, Mr.Sun...get a little closer. A few more minutes pass. I check through the scope. Maybe. Hang on Mr. Coyote...just another couple of minutes. He's starting to get antsy; he's spending more time looking and listening than feeding. He backs away from the carcass, head up...broadside. If I'm gonna do it, it better be now.
The big rifle roars and recoil shoves me out of view. As I reach for the bolt to cycle another round into the chamber, I hear a yelp from the coyote and see him jump, swap ends and run behind cover and out of view. I don't see him reappear anywhere. Still, this morning I'm toting my old warhorse Sako Safari Grade .375 H&H...and I know where the crosshairs were when the trigger broke. I let it get a bit lighter before walking the 150-ish yards to the now pretty-well-chewed hog carcass. Forty-three steps away lies Mr. Coyote, the 300 grain Hornady solid having taken him cleanly through the engine room.
Greed. Gets us every time.