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Rez hunters place second, inch closer to state finals
From left, Ted Rivera, Rv Hereford Sr. and Rv Hereford Jr. accepted their prize money Jan. 11 in Casper after finishing in second place in the Wyoming Best of the Best coyote hunt. The team will now head to Rock Springs for a final attempt to qualify for the state championship. Photo from Wyoming Best of the Best

Rez hunters place second, inch closer to state finals

Jan 27, 2014 - By Alejandra Silva, Staff Writer

This year, Ted Rivera, Rv Hereford Jr. and Rv Hereford Sr. said they got serious about their hunting skills and they decided to enter the Wyoming Best of the Best Premier coyote hunt.

Their dedication paid off.

They placed second in a hunt Jan. 11 in Casper, and they headed to another hunt Saturday in Rock Springs.

If they did well enough Saturday, the three could compete in the state championship Feb. 8 in Wheatland.

Coyote teams

The circuit style hunt consists of seven qualifying tournaments throughout the state. With each kill, teams gain points.

Just by checking in and out of the hunt, half a point is awarded. One harvested coyote equals one point, and more points are administered after placing in the first five spots.

Most recently, the trio from the Wind River Indian Reservation took second place at the Casper hunt. The three placed third when they competed Dec. 7 in Riverton. The earliest hunt began in November in Cheyenne.

As of Jan. 14, the trio is ranked No. 5 with another team, each having earned 14 points out of the top 10 teams.

The top 12 teams from each qualifier get a chance to compete in the state championship. Hereford Sr. and Rivera have been hunting together for more than a decade, and with the addition of Hereford Jr., the team can win the "Till Death Do Us Part" award.

It recognizes hunters who stick together for the whole hunting season. Teams also win cash for placing and entering raffles to win guns.

One shot

Twenty-one teams consisting of two or three people signed up at the Jan. 11 Casper hunt.

Organizers said this number was fewer than in 2013, and the 40 mph to 75 mph wind gusts may have turned some teams away. The team headed back to the reservation to hunt.

"It was real windy," Rivera said. "The coyote were hard to call -- (they) don't come in too easily."

As the hours passed, Rivera and Hereford Sr. continued to call for the coyotes.

By 11 a.m., one finally had positioned itself for the perfect kill. Hereford Jr. took the shot with his .223-caliber rifle and got the 29.5-pound, light red-colored coyote.

"We were very fortunate to get one," Rivera said.

After they got a coyote, they continued to call for more but later returned to the check-in point as the deadline hour came closer.

The first place team brought in five dogs with a total weight of 134 pounds.

The reservation team said it was thankful for the local support they have received and hope to gain sponsorship to go to the championship.

"We're happy to be doing it," Rivera said. "It's important that team members have fun."

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Wind River Indian Reservation