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!  



 


2 comments:

Le Loup said...

Great post Bob, thank you.
Regards, Keith.
http://woodsrunnersdiary.blogspot.com.au/

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.