A how-to guide on calls to the wild
Hunting coyotes at night is not a good idea, the speaker said.
By NANCY TULLIS
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
CANFIELD -- Forget raking leaves, caulking windows and cleaning gutters; outdoor work for Alex Vedrinski of Streetsboro is talking to the animals.
Forget Dr. Doolittle, too. Vedrinski is a world champion turkey caller, maker of turkey-calling devices, a game hunter, and a guide to other game hunters.
Vedrinski presented a program on recognizing and reproducing wildlife calls during a forestry meeting Thursday at Mill Creek MetroParks Farm.
He said whether hunters' prey is crow or a big bull elk, rather than sitting on a stump waiting for something to happen, hunters need to learn how to communicate with animals and talk back to them.
Vedrinski also said although many hunters and farmers are eager to hunt coyotes -- which are now present in all 88 Ohio counties -- they should not hunt coyotes at night.
Eastern coyotes are most active between 2 and 3 a.m., but that is also when they are most aggressive, so hunters need to be cautious, he said. They are always looking for food, so they can be found any time of day. Hunting them at night is just too dangerous, he added.
"Coyotes are at the top of the food chain, so they aren't scared of anything," he said.
He said his worst experience with coyotes was in Harrison County, where a sheep rancher lost 27 sheep in two days. He and a partner went hunting and by using their calls lured and killed two large male coyotes in the same day, and the rancher had no further problems.
Latex, wood, plastic and even a mirror from a makeup compact are all tools of the wildlife-calling trade for Vedrinski.
Proud of an antique moose call made of birch bark given to him by a French Canadian guide, Vedrinski said he was most surprised to find an American Indian guide luring moose with a call created by pulling a wet shoestring through a hole in the bottom of a coffee can.
"He's guiding guys paying thousands of dollars to hunt moose, so I thought he should have used something a little more traditional," he said. "But no, he pulls out the Maxwell House can."
About 40 people attended the event, including many game hunters, who immediately recognized calls of elk, moose and various waterfowl Vedrinski produced. They also seemed to relate to and enjoy his many hunting tales.
"I always tell the truth, but sometimes I stretch it a little," he said.
One of his best stories was of squirrel hunting in Mississippi.
He said he watched a local man in the woods who had a sack over his shoulder. He would periodically bend over and stare at something on the ground for a few moments then pick up something and put it in his sack.
After a while, an inquistive Vedrinski caught up with the man and asked what he was doing.
"Hunting squirrels," the man said.
"But you don't have a gun," Vedrinski said.
"Nope," he said. "I just 'ugly' 'em."
The man spotted a squirrel, leaned over it and made faces at it. The squirrel sat up, spun around and dropped dead.
Even more amazing to Vedrinski was that the man said his "old lady" was better at "uglyin'" the squirrels, but he didn't let her hunt with him.
"We eat 'em, and she's so good at it, she tears 'em up too much," the man said.