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Allen Alderson

It was a phone call from good friend Cal Taylor and his message on Monday morning July 24, 2017 that started the week off, “Hey Mark, not sure if you heard yet, but our buddy Allen passed away over the weekend.” He was 83 and tougher than two mountain goats until cancer showed up in an x-ray a few years ago.

Around 2004, I put out a DVD called ‚ÄúCallin‚Äô Coyotes with Mark Zepp and Some of His Friends‚Äù.  Although I had been blowing into calls and chasing critters for many years I was unknown, but that DVD and the release of a line of predator calls seemed to put me ‚Äúon the map‚Äù in the predator hunting industry. From that first DVD and the three that followed with the help of my buddy Eddie Hawkins and many others, I filmed lots of coyotes and made many new friends. None of them ended up being more special than Allen Alderson from Big Horn, Wyoming.

He sent me a few letters with pictures from his trap line and called a time or two inviting me to the northern windy country for a hunt. I knew the area he called home fairly well from earlier years in my life when I spent months at a time in that part of the country. My new wife Amber and our even newer son Wyatt were living in Tucson then and slipping away, especially for a hunt, was beginning to get difficult, but I made the trip north which would turn into other hunts over the years with Allen and his good friend Jim Smith. I am happy that some of the footage of the hunts with Allen will live on throughout the years for others to watch, learn and enjoy on our DVD, Free Grass and No Fences.

I have said for years that guys like Allen Alderson, Vern Howey and other full-time coyote guys are the ‚ÄúMcGuffey Lane‚Äôs‚Äù of our industry. McGuffey Lane is the best band most of you never heard of. They still draw crowds in the Midwest and make great music, but their ‚Äúyoung years‚Äù are gone. In the late 70‚Äôs and early 80‚Äôs they ruled the college circuit in Ohio and played their music all around the country opening for the big names of that era. Excellent musicians, excellent songs, as good as it could get, but they lacked that one big break before misfortune struck. 

Men like Allen and other full time ‚Äúwolfers‚Äù, didn‚Äôt get the ‚Äúbig break‚Äù because they really didn‚Äôt want it.  They were happy to follow the sheep and cattle herds and kill coyotes full time for a living.  365 days a year they have steel in the ground, cable circles hanging in the air, a call to their lips and eyes in a pair of 10X50‚Äôs. The real truth is hard for most to handle because their egos will not allow them to see it. That truth is that guys like me, most of the guys making DVD‚Äôs or doing TV shows or seminars and getting a lot of publicity and credit for being big time coyote men, we are not a ‚Äúpimple on the ass‚Äù of the guys who have devoted their entire life to coyote control.

I will miss him. His smile, his laugh, his terrific attitude on life and his genuine concern for family and friends. I never heard him say a bad word about anyone. He also loved his extended family, Mack, Brian, Courtney and everyone at his beloved NX Bar Ranch in Sheridan, where he was in charge of their predator control operation.

He often asked about Amber and Wyatt throughout the years of our friendship. A half a dozen times a year he would text me pictures of coyotes he had just killed as I began to live vicariously through him. He knew my life was changing with the added responsibilities of a family and work and would ask when we might share another campfire together, another morning in the mountains staring through binoculars and blowing into some calls, saving the sheep, cattle, elk and goats around Sheridan County and the Powder River bottoms.

That hunt will have to wait for now old friend.  Keep the fire warm for me.

See you at the top of the Mountain.
God Speed,

– Big Mark

Allen Alderson‚Äôs favorite predator killer was a 
Zepp’s Rattler

This is the original, super raspy, dual reed call for big, open country. 
See why top
coyote hunters
and government boys use this on their call line.

Great call for coyotes, greys, reds, and cats.

Lanyard included.

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for Details

Zepp’s Cat Rattler
Higher pitched to
be slightly more appealing to those high dollar bobcats!

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for Details
Zepp’s 1080 is Big Mark’s favorite open reed call!!

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for Details
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