Tuesday, May 29, 2012

My day today

The day sure got off to a crummy start.  Bright and early this morning, actually before daylight, I was jarred awake by a ruckus the chickens were making.  My first thought was COYOTE.  I lost a rooster to a coyote a week or so ago.  No doubt about who the culprit was.  A neighbor saw it run across the field with the bird in its mouth.  Pretty conclusive evidence.  By the time I got out there this morning, the damage had been done.  I had 2 setting hens brooding eggs, and something had pulled a raid.  I had already lost 1 nest this spring, but this was different.  On that first nest, something would steal 1 egg at a time, a few days apart.  This time both nests had been cleaned out.  A couple of broken eggs left in the nest, but the rest were gone.  It looks like if I want to raise some replacement chicks I’m going to have to buy them and raise them myself.

Fast forward a little while, daylight now, and I looked out the window to see a deer in the yard eating the leaves off a young peach tree.  Having run her off, I scattered some grain for the chickens.  A little earlier than the usual feeding time, but 2 hens were missing.  I didn’t see any obvious bunches of feathers scattered around as if a kill had been made, so I still had hopes that the missing birds would show up.  Nothing more I could do for now, so I loaded Bear in the truck and went up on the mountain to play for awhile.

I let Bear run up the road for a little exercise, then parked the truck and walked to one of my calling spots.  I made my usual setup; me on a folding stool, video camera on a tripod, and Bear tied to a tree next to me.  There were a few trees behind me to break up my outline, and I was looking up an old abandoned logging road and a clear cut.  I selected a mouth blown call from the few in my pack. 

Predator calls, Several different types of mouth blown predator calls.

I had been calling for just a few minutes when Bear jumped up at full attention.  He was looking behind me.  I swiveled around in time to see a bear there in the timber.  Bear let out a roar, and that was the end of that.  There was the sound of breaking limbs, and the bear was gone.  Just a typical example of why I like to have the big guy watching my back!  There are larger critters than coyotes and foxes in these mountains that sometimes come to a screaming predator call.  At any rate, it made my day.  I gathered up my gear and left the trail cam there, strapped to a root of an old fallen tree.  I’ll go back for it in a week or so and see if it caught any action.

We went on to another spot and tried calling again, but without results.  There were signs of quite a bit of deer activity there, and this should be a good place to set up the trail cam at another time.  It was getting pretty hot by this time, so I found a shady spot to eat lunch then poked along home.

Feeding time this evening, and no further doubt about it.  I’m missing 2 hens.  I talked with a couple of neighbors who have seen the coyote, or coyotes.  One said he was watering his garden a few days ago, and a coyote walked past within 10 or 15 feet of him.  Bold as you please!  Another has a couple of little Dachshund dogs, and he has seen a coyote running back and forth along the fence where the dogs are.  They told me of another neighbor who saw a coyote trying to get into his goat pen.  Of course no one had a gun handy at the time.  Since I lost 2 chickens at the same time this morning, I’d say there is more than 1 coyote involved.  Needless to say, everyone has an itchy trigger finger right now!  



Le Loup said...

Great post Bob, thank you.
Regards, Keith.

Bob Mc said...

Never know what's going to turn up around here Keith. I discovered a skunk in my tool shed last night. I suspect that's the egg thief.