Encounters with coyotes not uncommon


Encounters with coyotes not uncommon


It was 74 degrees when I got up the last two mornings.  Heavenly!  I know what the forecast says for the rest of the week, though, so am enjoying it while I can. 

I have a part time overnighter these days, with a relative in rehab at Madonna Rehab Hospital. She came in with eyes quite big one night, saying she saw a coyote when she pulled up in our driveway. Well, yes, I told her, we have occasionally seen one in our backyard, hurrying to the apartments east of us. Where they go from there is anyone's guess.

Today, the paper shows a photo of a retired law enforcement gal with her dog and she says they encountered a coyote while out on the walking trail. It did not attack, but seemed to be “escorting” them out of the area.  A wildlife expert commented that was probably precisely what he was doing: warning away from the young. After all, I told my guest, we are on their land! This area is called Taylor Meadows because it was once a farm belonging to Mr. Taylor.  

The paper also says they have become acclimated to people. I can certainly visualize that happening, as a result of living close to Safari, the park owned by the Henry Doorly Zoo south of Ashland. Early on, there were wolves in a sort of canyon developed for their habitat. Sometimes, you could see them prowling down there, but more often than not you would walk up the hill and not see anything. Within a few years, they were laying in the sunlight, out of the canyons, looking as docile as dogs. Furthermore, I have a photo of a lady I knew from Murdock feeding them; inside the enclosure!

In the book he wrote, Mike has a whole chapter called The Call of the Wild. (I'm pretty sure he had also read that book back in the day.) He took up trapping because furs could be sold, and he had pretty good luck. However, he thought getting a coyote would be the ultimate prize. They were known to be smart and have an excellent sense of smell.  He used an old trap and waited for three days before finding one who investigated the bait.  

He also wrote of the coyote hunts that took place on Sunday afternoons. A four section area was selected, usually with a 1 p.m. start.  Pickups, four wheelers, and a few saddle horses were spaced at 1/4 or 1/8 mile intervals on the eight mile perimeter. With two way radios, everyone began to converge towards the center at an even pace.  The goal was to herd the coyotes towards the center where they became easy targets with no escape routes.

I remember the same thing around our farm when I was growing up. You can say it really was not a fair fight, but coyotes liked to feast on chickens and small animals. Here in Lincoln there are often postings on the neighborhood website about keeping kittens and little dogs safe in enclosures. AND, there are folks who also keep chickens in their backyard!  I have a friend only 5” away who has a dozen. She gives eggs to her neighbors.. And she locks them up overnight.

I got chicken raising out of my system long ago. I used to buy fresh eggs from a neighbor while in the Bed and Breakfast. To be honest, I cannot tell the difference from those and the ones I buy in the store. 

And, I have not personally encountered a coyote; I'd like to keep it that way!