I’ve been working on a line — an extended simile — for the way farm fields and pastures look in the late winter and early spring. I’m trying to capture the tawny colored curves and contours. So on our walk this morning, I captured this photo for inspiration.
As we walked to the right of the frame above, towards the timber, we came across what was left of a 10 point buck after it a coyote attack.
The coyotes have been encroaching the cabin and barn along the trails at night. Mostly we ignore each other, and if I have a dead animal or bird, I’ll leave it as a peace-offering along their hunting routes in the back habitat. Coyote hunters will often send their hunting dogs out in January, just before mating season, to help thin the population. The last hunter through made the mistake of not stopping and asking permission before he turned his dogs out on Two Mile. They were hot on the trail of a coyote when they smelled the chickens in the pasture and turned and came into the farm-yard. I managed to collar one of the dogs and hold it until its owner drove sheepishly down the driveway. He got my best “next time be a gentleman and ask before you trespass” lecture. Small Farm Life does have a code of honor.
In the city, it’s hard to appreciate why we have concerns about coyotes. In cattle country, during calving season, coyotes do occasionally go after newborns and separate them from the herd. Small colts are not immune, and coyotes are clever and skilled predators.
The first clue of the coyote kill was finding this leg, followed by the hair clumps, and then the remains of the carcass, with the rack still on the skull.
Of course, my sidekicks immediately wanted to take control, and were begging me to surround the area with crime scene tape. I told them we could Google it, but I was certain they don’t sell DOG LINE – DO NOT CROSS crime scene tape.
A deer of this size may have died from other causes. It was far from the road, so I don’t think it was hit by a car or truck. And a deer like this would not be abandoned by human hunter. So while the coyotes may have just stumbled on the carrion, I think this was a kill of their own doing. While we wait for CSI- Two Mile Ranch, I’ll share this photo of the two detectives on the case.