Thursday, March 14, 2013

Coyote Update: Unexpected Help

Our coyote saga continues.  You may have read about it in this post with pretty snowstorm photos;  you may have read my update on Follow-up Friday.  Or you may wonder what the heck I'm talking about.

The lone coyote stalking our dogs a couple days ago.

I'm talking about coyotes who seemingly call our place "home."  Since Friday, we've had a couple sitings from afar, with only one more close encounter until yesterday morning.

Rudy and Rosie were outside in the backyard playing.  Jeffie was napping at the front door (He calls it "keeping watch;" I call it napping.)  I was watering plants which involves much filling of water pitcher in mud room and trapsing through the house too many times.

Something catches my eye.  Yep, its a coyote just outside the backyard fence.  He's watching Rudy and Rosie who are oblivious.

I slid open the door and call the pups who come immediately.  Then I grabbed a big stainless steel bowl and soup ladle (set aside to be handy for just this purpose) and head outside to make noise.

As I step out and begin striking the ladle against the bowl (it is LOUD), I realize I have help from an unexpected source.  One of the horses, Ditty, has obviously decided enough is enough.

Nostrils flared, head lowered, blowing so loud I can easily hear her, Ditty is slowly, but determinedly advancing on the coyote.  He looks pretty shocked as he glances at the deck where I'm screaming and beating my bowl, then at the horse that has marked him/her as a target.  

Head ducked, back tucked, the coyote begins to slink off.  That's when our other horse, Cakes, decides to provide back up.  The slinking turns into all out running.

Talk about the cavalry!

Unfortunately, this particular unit of cavalry cannot be relied upon to come to our aid all the time.  So... my pistol is loaded and handy.

I hate that.  We operate on a no harm, no foul rule. (You don't mess with me and mine, we won't mess with you.)  Except for sugar ants.  Any sugar ant I see is a dead sugar ant.  But that's another blog post.

We enjoy living in the country partly because it affords us the opportunity to see wildlife up close and personal.  To a point.

Year ago we had a much larger farm in a very secluded area.  With chickens, geese, ducks (cattle, horses, mules, dogs and cats, too) we were bound to attract preditors.  

In fact, one day my dog, Benji, got into it with a small pack of coyotes over some of our chickens.  Benji on one side of the fence; coyotes and chickens on the other.  I joined the fray with a baseball bat.  Yes, seriously.   Talk about seeing wildlife up close and personal.

Subsequent sitings with accompanying warning gun shots deterred them not the slightest.

When a coyote decided to carry off Mrs. Peeper (one of my geese), Gary grabbed a rifle and that was that.

So, the "ultimate solution" awaits further coyote trespassing.  This cool customer is entirely too comfortable here and he/she is putting my pups in jeopardy.
Lone coyote a couple of days ago at our backyard fence.
You know, I did call and talk to one of the Missouri Conservation Agents in our area.  "Shoot it!" he said after I explained the situation.  He agreed with us that this critter had lost all wariness of humans.  He urged me to not let the dogs out at all while it's dark and never alone.

He believed the coyote probably had pegged our puppy, Rosie, as a nice meal.

Not on my watch.  (That click you just heard is me cocking hammer on my pistol.)  


  1. We've started having trouble with Coyotes in my neighborhood- which is scary. saw 3 one morning walking Noah. Not much you can do but scare them off or try to get Animal Control here. By the time they arrive they're gone.

    1. The truth is that I enjoy watching them - from afar. And we'll try warning shots with this one, but if he/she continues to stalk our dogs, that will be that. Just yelling and waving arms, etc, does nothing. Darn critter just sits there ver unimpressed. :-(

  2. We have coyotes too and they've been great about sticking to the edge of our property and not coming to the house. Coyote breeding season is coming up so I'm being vigilant about keeping the dogs with me and not allowing them to run in the woods.

    Our community has been good about making the wooded trails between our properties people friendly so the coyotes don't have a den nearby, but I still don't want to risk another run in. Poor Rodrigo wasn't hurt bad, but it terrified both of us!

    Great job making the noise; I don't want to hurt another creature, but we have a shot gun. Hug the horse for me!

  3. Good job for your horses!! I'm glad you have the gun at the ready though, he could, and probably will come back.

  4. Maybe electrifying the fence? Razor wire on top?

  5. OMG this filled me with fear. Rosie was exactly who I was worried about when you first posted about it. Yep, I had also said to never leave them out alone nor at dark. I am against shooting too but in this case, your dog's, horses and geese safety comes first!

  6. Yikes! Adorable pic at the top of Rosie as little Miss Red - but we don't want to hear about those coyotes getting anywhere near her! You gotta do what you gotta do. And like the conservation agent said - this sounds like a case of an animal that has lost its healthy fear of humans - and that's dangerous for everybody.

  7. Coyotes seem to be everywhere today, they've even been spotted in cities like New York and Chicago. They do seem to have lost their natural fear of humans

  8. That is just so scary Sue, I'm so glad you are vigilant with this, you can't be too careful. I carry pepper spray when I walk, I know it is a small deterrent but I think it gives me a fighting chance. I would hate to have to hurt something, but to protect my dogs I would.

  9. It's disconcerting and can be scary when wild animals show no wariness of humans. Always makes me think they are sick! I loved the privacy, quiet and wildlife sighting perks of living in the country too, but between the array of birds of prey and predators like coyotes I, like you, had to be prepared to protect them. (Great horse story too, by the way!)

  10. Awww poor Mrs. Peeper. I guess I didn't realize you had horses and stuff. I'm sure my dog could fend for herself pretty well against a coyote but I still don't like letting her out after dark by herself. She likes to get into trouble at night anyways.

  11. We have plenty of coyotes too. Luckily, there's plenty of other wildlife for them (field mice, squirrels, rabbits, possums, etc) that they don't have much interest in our dogs. It might help that Slimdoggy is pretty fearless and pretty big and even his little sis Maggie is almost 65lbs, so bigger than the coyotes around here. But I also know they are cunning and will work as a pack to trap a lone dog. I keep them leashed during peak coyote times and keep a watchful eye out whenever they are out back alone. Having them stalk you like that and not showing fear is worrisome. Keep your guard up and your eye on the pups.

  12. OMG Sue! I must have missed the other coyote updates.

    Yes. Shoot it. It is mating season and they are more likely to kill a puppy like Rosie now because they need the food. I wouldn't want her or Rudy to get hurt. You know he would be after that coyote in a heartbeat if he made a grab for Rosie.

    Thank goodness for the horses. Nice to know they have had enough too. Let's hope this guy moves on soon. We have them here in abundance. I worried about Cupcake all of the time when she was lost for just this reason. The areas she traveled are all known to be coyote infested.

    Love the idea of you with a baseball bat going after a coyote. Yikes! You are one tough lady!


Go ahead... bark at us!