This story took place back in Missouri and the Van in the story was affectionately called our White Elephant and that name was painted on the back door.
It was winter and about 10 degrees out. The night was cold and crisp and the moon was full and so bright you could almost read a news paper. Living in the farm land you soon learned that you shared the night with the wildlife and as I stood on the patio I could hear the coyotes singing north of me. I had been trying to get that particular pack of coyotes for most of the year as they were taking a lot of pheasants and quail in my favorite hunting area. As bright as the moon and stars were reflecting off the snow that covered the ground I thought I might fool them by hunting them at night. So I loaded up my varmint call, my Ruger Std. Model .22 LR pistol and dressed in all white I drove to the area that the coyotes were denned up. The ground was frozen deep but the snow was drifted and the Van was not a 4x4 so I left it at the gate to the corn field and walked quietly to the other side of the field.
I knew they were denned up in the old creek bed so I found a little washed out ditch close to the fence line. I figured they would come down the creek and as they jumped up on the bank of the creek they would be just about 10 yards from me and I could easily hit them head on with my Ruger shooting combat style.
So I hunkered down and started to make music. I was squealing my varmint call. It sounded like a little half dead rabbit, so realistic that I almost felt sorry for it. I could just see over the bank of the ditch I was crouched in and after the first squeal the coyotes went quiet real quick. Heh heh, I got them now.
ALL OF A SUDDEN something hit me from behind! It knocked me to the bottom of the ditch and I heard the "CLICK" of teeth right behind my neck. I struggled up and whirled around to find myself face to face with a big coyote. He was on the bank of the ditch behind me and no farther than a foot away from my nose. I had my coat open to let me get to my pistol and I made one of the fastest quick draws in my life. When I made my move to my gun the coyote realized he had made a BAAADD mistake. He turned the upper end of his body and his front feet were scratching snow, His back legs hadn't got the message yet and were still facing me. He looked all for the world like a Wiley Coyote cartoon. Then he almost turned inside out when everything caught up with his decision to scat. He took off across the frozen corn field and I was steadily shooting at him. I shot the entire magazine of 10 rounds and missed him every time. But the shots most definately kicked in his after burner as he was picking up speed at each shot. Just before he got the the other side of the field he scented my truck and turned and ran up the fence row. I was so shaken up that I could not take a step for a while. I just stood there trying to get my breath. As near as I can figure he circled around me in the bare empty field (who would have thought a coyote would do that?) When he came up to me all he could see was the back of my neck and my hair sticking out of under my white hat. That must have looked like a rabbit to him. So he pounced.
I finally got my feet under me and trudged across the snowy field only to find that three of my ten shots fired at the coyote ricochetted off the frozen ground and into the radiator of my Van and I could see the steam arising from the leaking antifreeze. It took me an hour and a half to get home. Drive until the heat gage goes to the top, stop, throw snow on the radiator, drive till it overheats again, stop, throw snow on the radiator.
Score Coyotes 1
White Elephant zip