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Outdoors Outpost
Perry 1 - Coyotes 0
Wednesday, June 30, 2010 • Posted June 30, 2010

By now just about everyone in America who is currently alive has heard about Governor Rick Perry’s run-in with a coyote while jogging a few months ago. Perry, who has a Concealed Handgun License, carries a Ruger .380 semi-automatic pistol called an LCP, which evidently stands for ‘lethal coyote popper.’ Or something. It worked pretty good on the coyote in question, as Perry only needed one shot to dispatch the critter.

I’ve been trying to find out what kind of laser sight Perry’s pistol wears. I’m assuming it’s a Crimson Trace model, since he only needed one shot. I believe Crimson Trace makes the best laser sights for pistols on the market today. I have one of their Pro Custom imitation burlwood lasergrips on my Smith & Wesson 1911 .45, and I’ve been more than impressed with it. Now if Crimson Trace can figure out a way to keep my hands from shaking while I’m using it I’ll have it made.

Perry evidently didn’t have that problem. He has, however, been roundly criticized ever since he shot the varmint. Lots of people seem to think he should have left the coyote alone. They claim he could have scared it off by yelling and waving his arms, or something. Granted, some of these people don’t live in Texas, so their opinions on Texas coyotes are not worth considering, but some of them claim to live here. Maybe they moved in from up north, or something.

The fact is that if a coyote is bold enough to advance on a man and a Labrador puppy inside the city limits of a large city, it needs to be killed, and the quicker the better. Perry did the right thing, without question. If he hadn’t shot the coyote it would have killed someone else’s pet, or maybe even a child. Perry should get a medal, although I don’t know who would pin it on him. Maybe W. He’s not too busy lately.

After this story hit the news my friend, Ed Thomas of Round Rock, who has a great blog called ‘Wild Ed’s Texas Outdoors,’ sent me a comparison between what happened with Perry and what would have happened if the Governor of California had encountered a coyote while jogging. I think it’s pretty accurate.

It said California’s governor would have let the coyote alone, as it was only doing what came naturally. Then he would have called animal control, which would have captured the coyote and spent $200 testing it for disease and $500 relocating it. He would also have called a veterinarian to collect the dead dog and spent $200 testing it for disease, too. The governor would then have gone to a hospital and spent $3,500 on coyote bite treatment and getting checked for disease himself.

The running trail, of course, would have had to be closed for several months so wildlife services could conduct a $100,000 survey for dangerous animals. The governor would then have spent $50,000 from the state coffers to implement a ‘coyote awareness’ program in the area, and the state legislature would have spent another $2 million on a rabies investigation study.

Since this happened in Texas, the governor shot the coyote and kept jogging. Total expenditure was about fifty cents for a .380 cartridge. Which is why California is broke and Texas is not.

The really outstanding part of this story, though, is that Ruger has now come out with a special pistol commemorating Perry’s jog/coyote hunt. It’s their LCP (lightweight compact pistol) model, but the sides of the slide are engraved with ‘Coyote Special’ on one side and ‘A True Texan’ on the other. On the box is printed ‘For Sale to Texans Only.’ The pistol is a Distributor Exclusive, so you can’t get one just anywhere. McBride’s Gun Shop in Austin, I understand, has them, so you might check there.

The thing that surprised me was the vehemence of the yahoos that voiced their opinions on blogs and such that Perry was wrong to shoot the coyote. All such complaints were, no offense, stupid, but one stood out from the rest.

This one guy said he didn’t believe Perry’s claim that he carried the pistol for snakes (which could mean, of course, snakes that slither or those that walk on two legs). He said, "A .380 Ruger with hollow points? For snakes? Those are man killer bullets."

With all due respect to this guy (which is none), there is no point carrying a gun that won’t hurt anyone if you shoot them with it. And Perry has a CHL, so he was perfectly legal. And the coyote was threatening to attack, yada yada yada.

But the main point is that if Perry wanted to kill people with his pistol, it would not have been a .380. A .38 at minimum might be adequate, but most people who want to put a guy down for sure carry at least a .357 or .40, and those who are serious carry a .45. The .380 will kill someone, depending on shot placement, but it’s not known as a ‘man killer.’

But then, I guess it depends on the man.

I think Texans, at least those with common sense, are proud of their governor for shooting a coyote while jogging. I know I am. My only complaint is that it wasn’t a lawyer that went for the Lab puppy . . .

Kendal Hemphill is an outdoor humor columnist and public speaker who never met a coyote that didn’t need killing. Write to him at PO Box 1600, Mason, Tx 76856 or

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