originally published April 7, 2010
Being Coyote Clan you would think I would be ecstatic about the 70 odd Coyotes living here. I am not.
As man must have it the balance in the eco-system is out of line and the Coyotes are running in huge populations unchecked. Most people do not like them. Most ranchers shoot them. There is not enough money or manpower to relocate them. Not that we should – after all – this IS their home. This IS their original and natural habitat. It is us and our animals that are threatened because we eliminated their natural predators and the race to adapt is on.
We have identified 3 individual packs north, east, and south of our property boundaries. But, their paths do run through our land. Most have taken to skirting us, along our fence line mainly because of the dogs. You can believe our dogs give chase at astonishing speeds. The 4 strand barbed wire slows the dogs down just enough to give the Coyotes extra advantage of time that they certainly don’t need. Most of the Coyotes know that it will slow them too – giving our dogs the advantage so they chose to skirt the fence line.
Except for that one…. that one that just has to be a taunter, a pest. The one who strolls by slower never looking this way directly, stops to sniff at nothingness, causally glances about taking note of the dogs and their positions – if they do not respond he will in fact jump clearly, smoothly between two wires without touching either and stroll towards the back gate, a 14′ pole gate. Dogs give chase for sure then.
One of the Coyote games we have come to know so well is the Bait Game. A lone Coyote, usually one that is on the smaller slender side, will sit either inside or right immediately off our fence and woefully call to our dogs. The objective is to get the dogs over to her/him where the pack is laying in wait. It’s an effective game. The Coyotes have it honed well, and “steal away” with our pets for pure fun, or dominance or food. To eat them. If you can catch site of the entire pack you may see dogs running with them.
For the most part now though, the dogs splinter off and form their own wild dog packs. Late last fall we had a visit from such a pack. There were bolder and definitely more aggressive than the Coyotes. The pack was very close, about 100 ft off the house. The problem lay in that they were between my husband and our kennel where 3 of 4 of our girls were going crazy to give chase. The 4th was loose and she is feeble, older unable to protect herself from a pack. One. she would try to hold her own abut more would not be in her favor at all.
We probably would have ignored the wild dog pack if they had not charged at my husband. When he yelled at them in his deep booming voice all but one turned to leave the other sat down. He called for me to bring his rifle and again at the dog – the dog charged fully with intent even after the warning shots that flew past his head. He was promptly and effectively dispatched. He will not threaten the life of another man or dog or child for that matter. Even knowing that does not comfort my husband who cherishes every life form on this desert. To this day he still feels sad and as if he may be part of the problem not the solution.
You have the Divine Right to Protect yourself and your family. In this environment you must be prepared to take a life if yours is at stake or that of your family or livestock. It is the hierarchy or the way of the food chain here in the Southeastern Desert Country.
Tonight the Coyotes Songs are in the air as they have been all week following the moon. The dogs sleep in the house lighter than normal. They are always on duty. Now I carry a hand gun for personal protection whenever outside.
And, recently my husband bought be amazing Snake proof boots. After I killed the only Western Diamond Back Rattlesnake i have seen here,
It was at 2 in the monring and the dogs had it pinned beneath my truck, nosed close to the back door.
I did try to scare it off with the garden hose no to avail. On reflection the icy water may have hindered his ability to flee. when it moved under the jeep i ran over him a few times - our drive is of stone so that too was in vain. When he moved another 5 feet under my husbands very large truck i ran over him 12 times with the 3/4 ton truck. No Luck.
At last I used a hoe. Striking hard enough to raise sparks before i severed his head.
We really don't have snakes here. It was strange.
I did not want to kill it. But, my husband is disabled. He has endured 17 surgeries, 8 admissions, numerous partial amputations and finally a complete amputation of his left leg. he is restricted to a wheel-chair and/or a walker and is unable to protect himself from a surprise snake attack. Nor, would he survive a bite.
It is the way of the land here.