There were 30 teams hunting for 24 hours in the sixth annual Coyote Calling contest over the weekend.
It paid off in cash and prizes, with side competitions for “Big Dog” and “Little Dog” based on the weight.
The team of Mark Kellar and Mark Ferrell picked up a first place in the 24-hour competition with six coyotes.
In second place was Troy Nagle and Nathan Beck with five coyotes. The tandem also won the Big Dog competition with a total of 34 pounds.
In third place were Shawn and Dave Wiseman with a total of four coyotes, while Clint and Chad Zolnoski took fourth with three coyotes.
The trio of Joe Nussbaum, Larry and Carmie Steffes won the Little Dog competition with a total of 20 pounds.
The size of the competition dropped off from the previous high in January 2019, something organizer Trevor Nelson attributed to the prediction of high winds Saturday.
“It (the hunt) was in Fallon County and the surrounding areas,” Nelson said. “It was based on quantity and weight. In case there is a tie, the tie is broken with the weight of the coyotes.”
“It was a 24-hour hunt with the objective being the team that kills the most coyotes. With Big Dog and Little Dog, it paid to the team that killed the biggest one and paid to the team that killed the smallest one,” he explained.
Nelson attributed the drop in participation to weather predictions, which projected high winds Saturday. “We had 16 less teams than we had last year,” he said. “They said the wind was supposed to blow 40 to 50 miles per hour all day Saturday, but it didn’t. There was at least of handful that didn’t get in because of the weather forecast, but then, it didn’t end up blowing.”
“About the time we were done weighing coyotes, the wind came up and blew pretty good,” he said, adding that if it had come up in the middle of the competition, it would have had a big impact.”
He said that those who didn’t compete in the event missed out. “It was a beautiful day.”
The teams were broken into two and three-person teams for the competition, which ended up with approximately 80 people competing.
“Last year was our best year out of the six years,” he said. It wasn’t the first time weather has had an impact.
“The very first year, there was a blizzard. The wind blew and there was a blizzard for a day and a half. The third year, it was well below zero and the snow was deeper than deep. So, the weather has definitely been a factor a few times. But, it didn’t seem to hinder it like the forecast of the wind this year.”
One advantage to having snow, it makes the coyotes a lot easier to see, Nelson explained. “We have had a pretty good winter so far.”
The competition drew people from as far away as Camp Crook in South Dakota and Terry to the north.
The coyotes were picked up at The Corner Bar in Baker by Wiseman Furs and will be part of an auction in the spring, Nelson added.
There will be more coyote competitions in coming weeks, Nelson added. “There is one in Ekalaka this weekend and in Bowman. Then, next week there will be ones in Golva and Plevna,” he said.