Wednesday, September 15, 2010


"Time to milk!"   MM's voice cut through the fog. 

"Already?  I just got to sleep!" 

They were at it again last night around 2:00 AM.  There was no moon.  And this time, we were truly under attack.     The electric fence was ripped to shreds not 200 feet from the front door.  From what we could "piece together" part of the coyote pack got stuck inside the fence. The cacophony was unbelievable and frightening.  Among the voices of the coyotes, were those of a large coonhound and two or three beagles.  So, the pack has grown larger with the addition of some local domestic dogs people no longer want to feed. 

There was howling and squealing and barking.  MM and I were armed with our  shotguns--MM's automatic 12 ga. and my automatic 16 ga.  MM let fly a couple of times in the direction of the sounds.  Then he had to reload.  I stood watch as he jammed more shells into the shotgun, but the sounds started fading.  He let fly with one more shot and then we both stood and listened as the noise began to abate, then trailed off into the distance.

It's possible he got a few BB's into one of the marauders.  Apparently--the evidence for it being visible this morning--some of the pack got trapped inside our electric fence.  The turkeys were on top of some lumber piles close to the house and never moved a muscle.  I could see them in the light of the flashlight after the ruckus, but it's back into the chicken coop for them tonight.

It's hard to keep your cool when canine howling is practically on your doorstep.  There had to be at least 8. 

We have a fence repair job this morning and it was too close a brush with the coyotes last night.  I was still awake at 3:30 AM.  Finally got to sleep shortly thereafter. 

All the turkeys are fine.  All the Border Collies are fine, too.  Good thing we didn't have them on stakeout last night.  They'd have had their "hands" full! 

These are true predators.  I feel like a pioneer against wolves.  I'm by nature a preservationist, a naturalist, and I am not one to kill animals because they encroach.  But I can sure empathize with settlers who had to cope, somehow, with "painters" (panthers, translated cougars) and wolves.  It was tough to defend yourself and your family and your stock. 

Early one morning several years ago when MM and I were heading for the airport in Roanoke for a flight to Chicago, a "painter" crossed our path on the way up Route 311.  It's still pretty wild up there in places, and that cat walked (in our headlights) as big as life, across the road and slipped into the mists.  MM and I looked at each other and simultaneously said, "Did you see what I thought I "seed?"  And they say none are here!

On the edge of wildness, here, JOTOLR.


  1. We see the occasional coyote, but fortunately never a pack. Must be hard to get back to sleep after an ordeal like that.

  2. We've seen a few -- usually they seem to be passing through. I'm pretty sure that the donkey would attack any that got in the pasture with the cows. And our chickens are locked up in their house at night.

    So far, so good. I'm sure you did feel under attack -- not a nice feeling at all.

  3. NCmountainwoman,Vicki,

    You are so right, NCMW. Good choice of word--"ordeal." And yes, Vicki, we, too, have seen the "odd" coyote over the past three years or so just passing through; but we've never had them come so close. Probably due to the demise of our Great Pyrenees. Wish you'd do a post on your donkey. What a great guard.

    Thanks all for stopping by!