A couple weeks ago when it was ass biting cold with a couple inches of ice and snow on the ground I noticed a pile of frozen coyote shit right outside the chicken coop door. Yes, I’m very familiar with coyote shit – smaller than Charlie’s, bigger than Legal Lucy’s and full of hair and feather bits. Then I started checking tracks, trying to see what was mixed in with my dog’s tracks and bigger than shit, there were coyote prints, nice and crisp and pretty good sized. Fuckers…
I didn’t trip on it too much, I figured the colder weather and lack of rodents would bring them in closer to the house but when it warmed up they’d go back to their normal routine and routes. And then there’s mating – I’m not sure when they mate around here but in Central California it was usually around the second week of January so they could throw their litters in mid March when it warmed up, a coyote’s gestation period being about 62 days give or take a day or two. Mating may be a little later around here because of the colder climate, I’ll have to check it out. But yeah, coyotes tend to range a little further during mating season so that might also account for the tracks.
Today when I was finished shooting and headed back to the house, I saw another pile of coyote shit and it was fresh, I mean just a few hours old – it had rained pretty good up until an hour or two before dawn and this pile hadn’t rain melted at all so I figure it was shat out sometime between 5 and 7 AM when I got up and around. I wasn’t so curious about the age that I checked it for warmth though – a two hour spread was good enough for me.
This bothered me. I’ve got two dogs that we let out pretty much unsupervised when they want to go out and I don’t want either my little dog or my old dog killed by coyotes. I told Lisa that I was going to have to break down and spend the money to buy a game cam or two so I can get an idea of the direction they’re coming in from and the time stamp so I can shoot them without staying up and out all fucking night trying to second guess the wind shifts. There was a time not too long ago when I was perfectly happy and content to lay up in a tractor rut waiting for a ‘maybe’ shot, but those days were over when my knees started aching for no reason. Hell, I’m not even sure they’re making my place a nightly or even a weekly stop, another reason for the game cams.
Anyways, once I explained to Lisa about needing to know their time and direction of travel so I could get a few good shooting positions set up for different wind conditions, she suggested that I set up in the kitchen, take the screen down from the window above the sink and pop the motherfuckers from there and maybe we can save the expense of the game cams.
I’m not sure what was funnier, her being white trash enough to be the one to suggest ambushing coyotes out of the kitchen or the thought of her levitating in bed when I fired that 22-250 out the window in the dead of night. And then there’s my poor gun-shy Legal Lucy – she’d probably go catatonic on me.
But trust me on this: if I get up in the middle of the night to piss and see a coyote dicking around on my property, I will blast his ass, screen on the window or not.