Saturday, March 18, 2017

Coyotes

The coyotes were sad last night.  I have lived here twenty years, with goats on the back acre for ten.  Usually once or twice during the winter, the coyotes will come to the back line.  This year, the pack was to the left, the right, and outback, all times of night and evening.  What was going on?

I found out that coyote hunters  had put three bait dumps within 1000 feet of my goats, encircling my pasture.  The bait consisted of slaughterhouse offal, and yes, it included goat and sheep bits.  Because when I confronted the hunter-actually, he stopped to talk to me on the road-he was suprised that I had never had a trouble with my goats, since coyotes picked the goat bits out of the piles first.  Nice.

Then he went on to say that he had taken 7 coyotes out from behind me.  Groups of pickups speeding up and down the gravel road everyday, hunting dogs showing up in my back yard....

Yesterday I went out the long way just because I didn't want to pass the hunters, and I'll be damed but four trucks where down the road and I had to pass them anyhow.  Later Peko and I walked down the road after they had left and followed their trail into the woods.

I have permission from the landowner to be on that property...do they?  Who knows, since my neighbor told me she had found a bait pile on her property and the hunter, a retired game warden, had told her he could put it there because she didn't have her name on her posted signs!

The property they had gone on is also posted, but the name is faded.  The owner lives out of state, but you can be sure the next time he comes up I am going to ask him if they have permission.

Part of this same gang was caught by my other neighbor on her land last fall herding deer!  And she posted her land for the first time in twenty five years because of them.  The whole road is lterally posted-but, as the retired game warden told me "Dogs can't read posted signs"

So they put their dogs in there and stand on the gravel road and wait for the dogs to drive the coyote into the road where they shoot it.  The dogs have gps collars so you typically see these guys lined up with handheld screens tracking the dogs progress through the (posted) woods.  That's why they speed up and down the road trying to keep ahead of the coyote.

If the dogs go to bay in the woods, they go in after the dogs-having the right to trespass to retrieve the dog.  You'd have to catch them and tell them not to shoot the coyote so good luck with that.

Anyhow, we followed the trail and ended up finding blood-whether from a coyote, injured dog, or the dead deer one of the yahoos had in the back of their truck yesterday morning that looked like coyote bait to me (the deer didn't have a mark on it, but orange tape around it's leg.  I think it had been hit by a car).

I was sure they must have shot the last coyote-but last night I stepped on the deck and heard one out back-there may have been two.  The call was so sad, not the usual happy one.  I cupped my hands to my mouth and mimicked the call.  Then I shouted, "I'm sorry,. they're assholes"

I have done a bunch of research on coyotes the last week.  Don't believe the hunters.  You're more likely to lose a cat to a fox than a coyote.  They will go after sheep, but good fencing, guard dogs, llamas, or burros will protect them.

All those years the big goat farm never lost one to coyotes.  AND she had found a bait dump 20 feet from her back fence as well.  It's like the hunters WANT them to go after your livestock so they can justify tearing through posted land with dogs during the season everything is pregnant.

Damn, don't get me going....




Saturday, January 21, 2017