It may not go down in the history books, but it happened again, exactly as it did along about this time last year.
A coyote-kill has presented me with another set of antlers to mount up over my Canary Castle door. This year’s presentation, though still lacking bragging rights, is of greater size than last year, so I will mount and wax them to hang side by side as my proud collection of two.
It all happened innocently enough. The day previous I had spread several bales of fresh straw out covering my twin row of strawberry plants for protection during the wintertime. This, I’m sure, had nothing to do with the coyote-kill, but it tired me out a little more than usual, so I slept in later than most other mornings.
As I wandered out to take care of my birds, I could see a heavy, black pickup truck come down the road slowly and turn into our main road drive. By the familiar rattle of the motor as it idled up the lane, I could tell it was diesel.
The driver got out, wearing hunting garb, (the “black powder” deer season was still on) and without introduction, asked me if I had looked out into our field just behind our workshop.
There, when I looked, little more than six hundred feet from the building, in broad daylight was a coyote brazenly gnawing on the carcass of a very large buck deer. It showed no sign of leaving until we started to walk in its direction. Then it slunk, tail low, looking back only once, up over the hill in the direction of where I had found the remaining stripped bones of the kill the previous year.
It was a huge buck approximately twice the height and three times the weight of our well-fenced-in large Boer goats, and I could tell by the sunken, glazed look of the eyes that it had been an early kill of the night before.
By the amount eaten and patch of well- flattened grass, it had obviously quenched the hunger of more than one coyote. By the width of its cleft hooves, I felt it was the one that left its tracks as it quenched its thirst at our pond’s edge during the summer.
When I talked to the hunter, he explained that he lived just a few country blocks to the east of us and that he hunted coyotes. He went on to explain that he had lived in the area for over 30 years with no problem but had lost, to coyotes, two newly born calves in the last three years. Appreciating his courtesy of asking permission and knowing the coyote’s likelihood of returning, we gave him permission to return with scoped higher powered guns and his coyote trained tracking dogs to do what he felt was necessary.
It’s a good indication that goats and coyotes good companions just ain’t gonna make, and my mind now wonders if the doe and fawn tracks that accompanied the big bucks at the pond’s edge in summer will be there to greet us when the ice thaws in the spring.
It is my hope that Mother Nature will be kind.
Take care, ‘cause we care.