After I had harnessed and hooked the team to the bale wagon this morning, I took off across the yard, headed south to the bales across the road…3 dogs were with me, two Border collies and one a combination of several cow eating breeds… 😉
Just as we got halfway across the driveway, my horses and I both looked to the south east at something running. It was a deer, a yearling or two year old doe, coming at a run, panic in it’s actions, and there was something chasing it that looked like a coyote, but bigger and fatter than I would think a coyote should be at this time of the year… so I was thinking a dog perhaps, as both it and the deer were intent on the chase and really paid no attention to our yard, my dogs, my team and wagon or me…I had my pistol with me and thought about getting it out and taking a shot, but the thought crossed my mind that it was going to be hard to get off a good shot while trying to drive fresh horses, one handed and what their reaction was going to be after the sound of the first shot, and also that I would be shooting between them or slightly off to the side….
I was kind of amazed that the dogs did not see any of the action and were intent on sniffing and dancing around, getting their edge off from being in the house or kenneled up all night. The wind was blowing somewhat towards us from the action so I wondered why they did not scent the deer or dog-like creature…
As they got closer, I could see the deer was running with it’s mouth open, showing that this chase had gone on for some time and I could even see the panic in the eyes of the deer, as they passed in front of us less than 50 yards away…it was a coyote, fat and furry, with a little hair shorter on the end of his tail, like perhaps he had gotten the mange and gotten over it.. or maybe was in the first stages of getting mange…. I am no mange expert!
As they passed right in front of us, neither looked our way or even acknowledged that we were there and I thought, “My, how bold!”
They continued on and so did we as tho’ neither part had even noticed the other, except that I kept looking off over my shoulder to see where they went and what they did, while wondering again if I should attempt a shot…they ran almost across the lawn and between driving the team and the tree’s behind the house, I lost sight of the deer. As soon as the coyote got across the road and some distance away from me and my party, he looked back and stopped and watched us… then resumed his hunt and headed over the hill behind the house. Unperturbed.
So… these thoughts crossed my mind…
A. I wonder why neither the deer or coyote showed any fear of me or the dogs? Was it because this is a coyote who had been around me before and showed contempt and disdain for my shooting abilities so really wasn’t worried in the least about running his prey that close to me?
B. How ballsy is a coyote to think he can run down and kill a deer? Why didn’t he call for backup?
C. Why did my dogs not notice the coyote or the deer? Tho’ to be fair, when Buck was running around he did seem to smell a track and started to search it out, but I called him back…
D. Why is it that in 55 years I have only had about 10 coyote sightings on this ranch, tho’ I am aware they are around? Do I have a stench that makes coyotes want to avoid me?
E. Why was the coyote so fat?
F. If I am going to pack a pistol with me at all times, why do i not use it? If it is because of fear of how my horses will react, why don’t I train them to be accustomed to the sound?
I am most partial to A., as there have been many times I have proven to all about, just what a poor shot I am! Sorry my sheep ranching neighbors, but he got away..