Then my husband took the dogs out at 3:00 AM to do their business, and the coyote was running back and forth grunting too close for comfort. My husband tried chasing it off, but it would only go as far as the street. It kept turning to face him and grunt. He looked into seeing what animal control could do to help, but apparently they won't relocate a coyote unless it actually bites someone or does property damage. So, he researched ways to "haze" coyotes and get them off your property for good, as well as how to prevent more from coming around.
Normally, I am of the mindset that we have to share our space with the wildlife. We should be able to coexist. However, I do think that our dogs are at risk of being eaten even though we always keep them next to us on short leashes. If that coyote is not afraid of us, what's to stop him for grabbing one of our dogs right out from under our noses? My friend was horseback riding once with her large dog trotting beside her, and a pack of coyotes lured the dog away from her, probably with the intention of attacking and eating it. There's a reason why Native Americans call coyotes tricksters and ghost dogs. They are smart and deceitful.
Part of the prevention is removing food and water sources for the coyotes. Now, I can't get all the rabbits, snakes and squirrels off my property, but I can remove the water bowls I set out for the rabbits in order to prevent them from chewing our drip system. However, I doubted that would make much of a difference since the coyotes drink out of the horses' water troughs. Obviously, that water for the horses has to stay.
The name of the game now is to use a different deterrent each day to chase off the coyotes. Today is banging pots and pans day. I went out to the two locations where the coyotes usually nest, banged the pots and pans, but they were not there. Just a few minutes later I walked out front to put an outgoing bill payment in the mailbox, and a coyote jumped out of the bush in front of me. I yelled at it and it looked off in the opposite direction. It had heard noises, but hadn't seen me yet. I realized that this was the nice, female coyote who is quiet and doesn't cause any problems. I almost let her be, but then remembered that the worst thing I can do is ignore them. In order to get the aggressive male off our property, I'd have to chase off his girlfriend too. All it took was throwing my hands in the air, which was a good thing, because I didn't bring my pots and pans on that trip.
After putting the outgoing mail in the box, I went back indoors to look outside and see another coyote walking around in the barn. The horses were tolerating and ignoring it. While I appreciated the coyote desensitizing my horses to dog activity around their legs, I still had to chase it off. I noticed that it was eating the fresh horse manure. That's another food source that's going to be difficult to remove faster than the coyotes can eat it. I ran out on the porch with my rock scoop and chucked a rock at it. The coyote turned and looked at me, and then the rock hit the ground in front of it and sent the coyote flying down into the arroyo. Then I instructed the horses to chase and kick any coyote that comes near them in the future.
Yes, I know horses don't speak English, but I know for a fact that if they witness me chasing off the coyotes regularly, they will start doing it too. They trust my judgement, and if I don't want someone on our property, those horses will help me get them off.
I started thinking about the potential for a coyote who has been habituated to the horses to contract rabies and then bite my horses. My horses have had their rabies vaccinations, but it's still better to just keep the coyotes out of the barn. I'm also sick of them stealing the horses' toys and dragging them out into the desert, as well as digging up neighbors' buried pets and dragging their bones onto my property.
I finished cleaning up manure and dumped it in the big compose pile at that back of the property. I was baffled by what I saw. Last night I saw a horse's hoof prints going right through the big manure pile. I wondered if someone's horse got loose or if someone rode their horse through my property. There has been a full moon, and a lot of locals like to right at night under the full moon. I immediately checked my tack room to make sure nothing was stolen. However, this morning all the hoof prints were gone and the manure had been chewed down to little tiny morsels. Something has been dining there all night.
As I was walking back to the house, some man in a little car pulled up next to my mailbox and opened it up. I was like, "WTF???"
I charged up the driveway to try to stop him from stealing my bill payment out of the mailbox. Some people take checks and have ways of erasing everything but your signature and then can address the checks to themselves. I ran as fast as I could with my bum leg, and the guy drove off before I could get halfway there. I kept running to try to get a license plate number, but he was gone, along with my bill payment.
However, the good news is that he put in incoming mail into my box. This was a substitute mail carrier for USPS who came to my mailbox at an abnormal time of day in his personal vehicle. I think it should be illegal for any delivery service to deliver mail and packages in an unmarked car. But, I also know that the USPS has funding challenges, so I won't complain, because otherwise I'll be paying for it with another increase in postal prices or taxes. It just would be nice to be able to tell the good guys from the bad guys.
|Still aping me from across the road.|