Friday, October 16, 2009

Got the coyote (#5 for the year)

I set myself up on the stacked hay in the hay barn with a good field of view of the area that the coyotes enter/leave the property.  I was in place at 4:30.  At 7:01 (I looked at my phone) I saw this coyote. 

The pigs had done something that I've never seen them do before.  They were all sleeping in a circle, with the biggest pigs on the outside, and the smaller ones and piglets on the inside, right next to the big field feeders. 

When I first saw this coyote it was circling the feeders, trying to pick off a chicken.  The chickens were alert however, and whenever the coyote would get close they'd run back into the circle of pigs, or fly up onto the feeder.  The coyote was never more than about 10' from the pigs, circling, watching the chickens.  It would make rushes in when it thought it could get a chicken, and then go back to circling.  Eventually it would have gotten its chicken for the day. 

The pigs had been active since I got there at 4:30.  Banging their feeder, squealing, grunting, moving around.  None of this activity bothered the coyote at all. 

I waited until it stopped.  It happened to be facing me, but I don't think it saw me or smelled me.  The shot entered its chest and traversed the length of the coyote, exiting through its lower back.  After the shot I couldn't see the animal, but I believed I had hit it.  The long grass hid it.   I waited an hour before I went out to confirm the kill, hoping that another coyote would appear.  No more coyotes.  

When I approached the coyote big momma, one of my biggest sows, came over and investigated it with me.  I think she would have eaten it if I hadn't shooed her away. 

From the position of the coyote when I found it, it fell over dead.  It was still facing me, and didn't show any sign of movement after the shot. 

This particular animal was a female, in good form.  She weighed about 35lbs, had a very nice coat and good layer of fat.  I'm guessing she was enjoying my chickens a lot.  I skinned her and froze the pelt preparatory to sending it off to be tanned. 

I'll make some track traps where this coyote entered to see if there are other coyotes.  I do this by finding some soft dirt and then raking it smooth with a garden rake.  I'll look at the smoothed dirt every few days for tracks and watch for more feathers. 


StefRobrts said...

So were the pigs aware of it when it was hunting the chickens and just didn't care? Do you think it would have picked off a piglet, or was it too small?

Anonymous said...

Of course the pigs would have started on it if you'd left it there long enough. They'd have even gotten proprietary about it, like these guys:

Your pigs must be well-fed, if they don't prey on the chickens.