Is using Varmint bullets on Predators a good idea?

It wasn’t until I started doing a lot of coyote hunting in the winter when the problems started exposing themselves.

Killed with 243 Winchester 105 amax bullet
Killed with 243 Winchester 105 amax bullet

For starters I started out using a 243 Winchester using 87 grain bullets for coyote hunting. This was a deadly combo, every shot was a bang flop. It did not matter if I put it up the back side, on the shoulder, face on, you name it, if I hit the coyote with out grazing him, he was dead right there.

The down side to this round was fur damage. The holes in and out were big…really really big! Like fist sized holes. This worked great, I had no problems with it at the time. Coyotes were really mangy and were not worth their fur for skinning. So moving a few years forward the fur started getting better and I started getting more and more into coyote hunting so I bought a nice little 223 to cut down on the fur damage. This worked as planned for a while. I had very little issues but one day I called in a dog, stuck it on its shoulder and sqeezed the trigger. The rifle recoiled and the dog went down. Then she started gaining her senses back stood up and started making an exit. Luckly she was close enough for me to get another round up the back side to finish her off.

Scratching my head while walking up to retrieve the coyote I thought what the heck had happened? I thought everything was good to go when the trigger broke. I get up to her and rolled her over to see what happened and right then and there I experienced my first splash wound. “Splash Wound” for a guy that has never seen it happen is a baffling situation. Basically the bullet blows up before it can penetrate the vitals. It almost sounds impossible right? How can it blow up on the skin and not penetrate? You got me. I know it is the most frustrating thing that I have experienced while coyote hunting.

Now that I hunt coyotes for a living year round, I have a whole new respect for the will to live of this critter. This is a critter that does not want to die easy. When your dealing with a coyote that is killing livestock you do not have time for bullets that splash, or bullets that do not completely pass through the coyote 90 % of the time. A 100% of the time would be even better. The reason I want the bullet to pass through the coyote is to ensure that I have a blood trail for myself and my dogs to follow.

I am sure I am going to offend some people when I say this. If you use the common Vmax/ballistic tip/Amax type bullets ect… type bullets in the 22 and smaller calibers you will have problems. It is not “if”, it is a matter of “when” you will have problems. Now I am not saying that you cannot kill a coyote with the smaller calibers. But if you do go down this road look into bullets that were designed for whitetail or hog hunting. These bullets are built to hold together and penetrate the larger animals. The varmint bullets were built for varmints. Prairie dogs and woodchucks in particular. These animals are way smaller and more fragile then any coyote you will ever come across.

So what is the solution? For starters what I did is went back to a larger caliber rifle shooting a heaver bullet. My personal opinion is coyote rifles should start off by launching a minimum of a 6mm 80 grain or larger projectile. Me personally, I even went to a larger rifle then a 6mm. I went to a 6.5 mm to take advantage of the high Ballistic Coefficient bullets that are available in the 6.5 caliber. If I were looking at a short to long range coyote rifle that could be dropped into the ever growing AR-15 platform it would have to be the 6.5 Grendel. I went even larger then the Grendel and instead I am building a 6.5 Creedmoor on a Aero Precision  SR-25 platform. Overkill? Yes. But windy conditions and 100% pass though will no longer be and issue.

In conclusion, I want you to think really long and hard if small light weight bullets are really the best answer for your coyote hunting needs. Trust me, I hate stitching a hide more then anyone. But the feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you have a bullet splash or you watch a coyote fold, lay there for 5 minutes not moving then get up and leave with no blood trail is way more frustrating then any time spent patching a hole. This has happened to me once and to a friend twice.

So I hope you all pile up and kill every coyote that you call in this year!

God Bless,
Dustin Drews

Please feel free to contact me any time at



Podcast: Spring trapping coyotes with Darren Grefe







If you are interested in starting out trapping coyotes in the spring time, this is a good listen. Darren and I cover his spring time coyote system. Darren is a guy I highly respect. Even though he is not a big name trapper he knows his stuff. Darren really excels at reading sign and the grunt work of pounding in steel. He loves it.

We also cover the highs and lows of the trapping and what it takes to put up numbers of coyotes.

Darren’s first  year spring time trapping he pinched over 40 dogs!   Enjoy the episode while Darren and I cover a whole bunch of aspects of spring time coyote work! Is Darren’s website if you want to contact him feel free to visit and question him about the methods of his madness.

God Bless, Dustin

Coyote Calling 101

Coyote Calling 101

I do not know why I had such a hard time catching on to calling coyotes when I started my calling career. I bought lots of different videos and books on the subject. I read them over and over and for some reason it never sunk in. I mean I called in some coyotes but it seemed like I was getting busted all the time or I was having to take shots that were way out there and mostly running! It was not until I started calling early mornings after a fresh snows before it all came together. The snow for some reason, painted a picture in my mind that made everything come together. The longest shot In the last 2 calling seasons I have had was 213 yards, all others except for one were within shot gun range. The closer the coyotes are the more you will kill, plan and simple!

Now, I may not be Randy Anderson but I know if you follow these simple steps you WILL KILL MORE COYOTES! Reason I know this is I get tons of PMs on my face book and emails asking me how I do it. The questions I get are always, what sounds did you use, what time of day, ect, ect, ect.  These are the same things that I used to think made or broke a stand. Now I worry very little about the sounds and focus on the set up! YOUR SET UP IS THE KEY TO KILLING COYOTES!

Below is a mental checklist I go through on every stand. I will be honest I drive by more of my calling locations in a day then I call. The reasoning is this, Coyotes are smart! If everything is not perfect on a stand I do not make it. If it can go wrong while calling coyotes, it will go wrong. Try to put holes in your plans to insure it is going to work from start to finish. If you find a loop hole keep driving or find out how to solve the problem.

The things I go over and require myself to figure out for a potential stand is overviewed below and covered in depth in the video.

Wind, this is the MOST important thing in calling! Every one talks about it but few really know it let alone how to use it.

SWAG, being from the military this is an acronym I use every time I am out calling! SWAG stands for a Scientific Wild Ass Guess!

Boundaries, Depending on what part of the country you are calling in, boundaries can really help improve your success while calling.

Stand Location, this is the second most important thing in a calling set up. But with out a good SWAG and using your Boundaries you can cost your self a lot of kills.

Call location, When using an electric caller this really aids in getting the coyotes eyes focused somewhere besides you.

Approach, I know your thinking this belongs in front of stand location. But for me this is not the case, Before I leave the truck I know where I am going to sit and where the caller is going to be placed. Once you have that figured out then and only then can plan your approach.

Stick to your guns, just like taking a test in school, most times your first answer or guess on a stand is the correct one.

Review your results, Did you call a coyote in. Did the coyote show up where you thought he would be coming from? Did he offer you a shot? Did you hit it? Did you kill it? If you missed, what made you miss? Take all that info and write it down and learn from your success and failures. Most days I go calling I learn a lot more from the failures then I ever do my success!

Below is my Coyote Calling 101 video below I truly hope that this paints the picture for you, that I longed for when I was entering my journey in coyote calling. In turn I hope it helps you kill more coyotes, all I ask for is a picture along with a story in return.

Enjoy the video,

God Bless,

Dustin Drews

God Bless,

Dustin Drews










The benifets of having double jaw traps!

I did a post a while back about modifying #2 Bridger traps. Now that I have had the traps in the ground for a little bit I wanted to give a little update on the performance of the traps.
All I can say is the traps are freaking awesome! I cannot think of any thing I do not like about them. Last year I lost 30% of my coon from pull outs or chew outs. The year before that I was running a mix of 1.5s 1.75s and a duke #2s and was having issues. Half way though the season last year I switched over to Sleepy Creek #3 longs springs. These worked great but they took up a lot of room in the truck. I also really did not like how much room they take up in a set, when trapping in the water. Coon caught by one toe!

I literarily spent days researching this not just hours, digging and reading everything I could get my eyes on about how to make traps better. What I finally came up with was the traps I showed you in the video.
So far to day with over 400 different critters in these traps. I have only had 2 animals pull out! One was a muskrat, I think a coon pulled it out of the trap because this leg was still left in the trap.

When the weather gets cold coon chew... The right thing to do is keep them in the traps.
When the weather gets cold coon chew… The right thing to do is keep them in the traps.









To say I am happy with the outcome would be a understatement if you guys are having issues with fired traps and no critters in them when you show up. Take some time and make some modifications to them. I will never set a non double jaw trap on my coon line ever again!
God Bless,
Dustin Drews

Off season trap modifications!

Guys and Gals the season is coming up. In 50 days we will be taking fur! This is a great time to do some trap mods and touch up your gear! Last year I was getting pull outs like crazy on my coon line. I made a short video here to show you how to correct this problem!

Enjoy the video and put more fur in your truck!

If you guys have any questions. Email me at

God Bless,


First time at the patterning board.

Well today I finally went and did it. I took my shotgun to the pattern board. I wish I could say everything was what I was expecting it to be, man did I get my eyes opened!
For you guys that do not know me I have a problem with recoil but that will be another day. Long story short I shoot a 28 gauge Browning BPS shotgun. BPS stands for “Browning Pump Shotgun”
The shells I use for doves have always been Remington STS gold 7.5 shot at 1300 fps I have killed lots of doves with these shells. This is the main reasoning I never went to the pattern board with them!
I typically shoot doves at all different ranges. For starters the first thing I learned tonight is 40 yards is not that far! I have never paid attention of shot distance with a shotgun. But it was aperient to me that many of my dove hunting shots were MUCH further then that! The first pattern I shot was at 25 yards these patterns were laser range found with a Leica 1200 range finder.

The first series of shots looked like this about what I expected! Fairly dispersed pattern with a couple of light spots but pretty much a dead dove if I do my part!

Pattern of 28 gauge Browning BPS. Remington STS shell 3/4 ounce of shot @1300 FPS 25 yards
Pattern of 28 gauge Browning BPS. Remington STS shell 3/4 ounce of shot @1300 FPS 25 yards














This was the shot at 41 yards! O snap… Where did all my shot go? We have some stuff to figure out!

41 yard pattern Browning BPS. Remington STS hull 3/4 oz of 7.5 shot at 1300 FPS.
41 yard pattern Browning BPS. Remington STS hull 3/4 oz of 7.5 shot at 1300 FPS.














As you can see I need to rethink my choice of loads, choke and even gauge! If I really want to stack the doves and other flying tasty goodness’s… A lucky BB is nothing more then luck and I really do not like counting on luck! I am going to start working up patterns in other guns of mine.

I will keep you posted!

God Bless,


Life update…

Man this summer has flown by! For you guys that do not know, I spent most of my free time this summer trying to become a conservation officer for the state of Nebraska! All my free time was spent trying to make myself smarter, by studying the various things a game warden should know. Along with trying to touch up on proper grammar while writing. I am at the tail end of the process and I have a good feeling going into the end of it.
I applied late spring. I was one of the 415 applicants from 13 different states that applied. I received a letter saying I was going to be required to take several different test that covered a wide range of topics. To make a long story short, 158 took the test and 36 of us passed. I was one of the 36 that passed!
The next step of the process was a question and answer, followed by a 10 minute presentation. Then I had to respond to 4 subjects, by writing a series of 4 essays. The final part was physical part which they checked to see if we could do a variety of outdoor actives that we would find ourselves doing while on the job.
I feel great about my performance during the last phase I competed. I just hope the Nebraska Game and Parks feels the same way!
Enough about that…. What else has went down… All I really did this summer is a little fishing. I played some with down scan and side scan imaging and I really feel like I am starting to grasp the whole idea of what it does and what it can do.
I also have almost completed my dream fishing boat. Well almost perfect dream fishing boat. I will start doing some more videos about them!
More stories to come!
God Bless,
Dustin Drews

Electric motors on kayaks… To push or pull?

So after taking out my NuCanoe frontier a few times with the paddle it became clear that if it was at all windy I needed something to make my trip have less time paddling and more time fishing!

Since the Nucanoe does have a spot for a rear mounted trolling motor I thought I should give that a try first! I had a Minnkota 30 pound thrust laying in the garage that put on the back of the boat. This system worked out but it had its down sides!

The first down side was the trolling motor controls. The motor was a rheostat controlled motor. What this means is the motor has 5 preset speeds so when you are using the motor it seems that most of the time 1 was to slow and 2 was to fast. This got frustrating when I was trying to keep the boat in one location while fishing and fitting the wind. But if a person is just looking to go from point A to point B this set up is really all you would need. another one down side of the set up with the motor in the back was you always had to reach around and steer the motor while facing forward. This may not seem like a big deal but when I was going across a 600 acre lake it really got uncomfortable being all twisted around reaching the tiller stick.

So after really looking into the different trolling motors and really doing the research I found that one thing was certain I needed a Digital Controlled motor! Digital controlled means this… Instead of using a resistor to control the motor speed they use a circuit board that cycles the motor of and on thousands of times a minute! What this does is allows is you to adjust the speed of the trolling motor to any speed you want! Now the price of the Digital Maximizer model is more then the rheostat model but you get more then just better boat control you get much more battery life! The reason you get longer battery life is resistors create heat when they limit the flow of electricity to the motor but when you cycle fully power of the battery thousands of times a minute you create no heat and in turn increase your battery life up to 75%

I looked into a few different setups the first set up I looked into getting a tiller mounted digital motor but that would be a little better but I would still have the same issues with having to twist around reaching for the motor. Then I came across the BassYaks kit. This kit is designed to push the kayak from the rear and it uses cables connected to foot feet to steer like rudders in an air plane and an electric hand control that goes by your hip that controls the speed of the motor. I really like the design of this kit but I think it has some down sides the first down side for me was the cables. I am not the smoothest dude! When you throw strings, poles and hooks in the mix. I just for seen a huge tangled up mess on my hands with the cables pedals! Next was boat control, with this system you really just had a using a rear mounted motor on the back of the boat, you had nothing really special besides foot operated steering. Another down sided of the system was cost! The system is not cheap for what it is I think the cost is well over 600 dollars. But with that being said I do like the simplicity of the set up if I was a hard core river fisherman that wanted to do nothing but drive up stream this I may of went for this system.

What I wanted was more boat control on the water while fishing… The only system I could find that would offer this possibility was the Minnkota power drive systems. This system took out several of the hurdles that are associated with trolling motors on kayaks. The first issue it takes out is steering. With the PowerDrive system the steering is all electric it is controlled by your feet. Using a foot operated controller. The greatest thing about this set up is you can move the controller any where on the boat and steer your boat. Something you cannot do with a mechanical system also the PowerDrive system is up-gradable to an i pilot system. Which is the king of boat control. After all my research I finally decided on a the basic Powerdrive model with the foot steering.

Rear mounted motor
Rear mounted motor

I first mounted motor on the rear of the boat. This set up worked well but the first thing I over looked was the motor controls were backwards when moving forward. The second issue I ran into was that with the electric steering it was a little touchy and it was hard to keep the boat running in a strait line. To be honest I the reason I mounted it to the rear of the boat was laziness I originally wanted it up front but I could not do it very simply. So I wanted to try it on the back to see how I liked it. It worked but it would take more practice keeping it in a strait line and when I was fishing I could always drive in reverse and get my boat control back but I was convinced it needed to be up front.

So I started playing around with the motor mounted up front, the problem with putting it up front was this the front of the boat is not level with the bottom of the boat so the bracket that the trolling motor is going to be bolted to is going to have to be built on an angle is built on an angle. This was tricky to get everything mocked up right but after a few hours of tinkering it I was convinced I had it right.

As you can see in the video above I nailed it… That video is worth a thousand words I will make more videos in windy conditions to show guys how easy it is to run it in heavy winds!

I really feel I have the best boat control there is to offer with out going to the I-pilot system. I may do that in the future but for now I am plenty happy with the control I have at this time.

Thanks for reading,
God Bless

First trip out in a Kayak!

Earlier in the year I talked about getting a kayak. Well I finally got around to getting one and got it out on the water. The kayak I got was a Nucanoe Frontier. It is a hybrid kayak. Hybrid meaning it is a sit on top crossed with a small boat! Very neat little vessel.
Well the first trip out I found out something about kayaking that I over looked! You have to paddle the dang things… Not that this is a bad thing but I guess I over looked it? Padding was no problem when it was calm but any wind moves you across a lake in short order. I am glad I went with the Nucanoe because I can put a small outboard on it.
The second thing I never thought about was the lack of storage space! I am the type of person that likes to bring everything and the kitchen sink along. With rigs of this size you really limit your self to what you can bring. I really do think it makes you become a better fisherman in doing that it limits your options making you fish harder with what you got.
The good news is the little boat catches fish! I really like the boat I did some modifications to the boat that I will cover later on.
In conclusion I really like the small hybrid kayaks! They are fast to get in the water cheaper then a full sized boat and catch tons of fish!

Nice fish out of the NuCanoe Kayak!
Nice fish out of the NuCanoe Kayak!

If you are in the market for a new boat do not over look the simplicity of a kayak!
God Bless,
Dustin Drews

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