They came out of the gathering mist at dusk last evening. There were two. Earlier in the week, we'd seen five. Tawny bodies, running low to the ground, too low for a deer. Bushy tails. The dog weighed, perhaps, sixty pounds, the bitch, a little less. It was time to lock up the turkeys for the night. It would seem, since the demise of our Great Pyrenees, the coyotes have moved in permanently and seem to be making a fine living from fawns and other easy-to-down game. We didn't want our turkeys, nor our chickens, to be dinner a la carte for coyotes.
So we herded the turkeys into the outer yard of the chicken coop, probably the safest place on the entire farm, with an electric woven fence, very hot, connected outside the chickens' yard. The turkeys seemed relieved to find themselves in an enclosure. They settled down immediately and stopped their incessant peeping. We'd thought to put them in the larger garden, but after sighting the pair of canines that seemed too risky. We decided on the vacated coop, especially as night was swifly making it difficult to see turkeys in the grass. Wise move. Jessie helped us gather all 14, and we locked them in. I slept better knowing they were secure.
MM got up several times during the night, listened for any sound of the coyotes. But as far as he could tell, none visited us, but Jess seemed to be on alert each time when he arose during the night and went out to check.
They're here. They're not good neighbors. When we caught sight of the whole family early in the week, there were four tawny ones and one black and white, revealing their interbreeding with domesticated dogs. They were at a distance, some 100 yards or so, sprinting away from us as fast as they could go. But they get bolder as food grows scarce, temperatures drop, and the snow flies. We'll have to be watchful. I had my .222 rifle last night as we were gathering the turkeys, ready to pull one down if it showed. It didn't. But it will. And, I'll be ready. I'm an excellent shot with a .222, even at 300 yards. I expect to put an end to several of them in the not-too-distant future. It's them against us. There is no room for compatible sharing in this instance. With fruit, veggies, nuts, grapes, we have enough to share. It's different with coyotes. If we don't win, we lose.