Sometimes you need to protect the herd (or in my case the future rafter of turkeys). Every year a group of hunters come and flush our bush in search of coyotes. They chase these wild dogs (often with hounds) until they can get a good shot. I realize that this may be considered cruel but when you loose a percentage of your livestock to a wild animal, you want the varmint dead. After all is said and done livestock equals part of a farmer’s livelihood.
Last year I lost all my new chicks to a weasel. The gut wrenching feeling of going into a quiet chicken coop haunts me to this day. A weasel is a vicious animal that loves the kill and in my experience rarely eats the remains. When that bugger was shot, I jumped for joy and I haven’t had a weasel since. Knock on wood.
Anyway the hunters were around today, and they shot a big male coyote. They wanted to know if we would like to see it. I usually don’t. I usually turn a blind eye. When we kill chickens here, I wait in the house until the deed is done and only then I will venture outside to do the plucking. I hate to see death and often avoid it at all costs. But I forced myself to take a look at this coyote, to document this because I think that this is a very real part of farm living. On a farm there is death, whether it is for the table, the loss of livestock to disease or from a predator, or if a farmer is forced to kill for the sake of their livestock. Death is a part of farm life.
Honestly, the coyote was beautiful and reminded me of my dog, Arlo. He had a beautiful coat and looked like he was thriving in our bush. He resembled a wild vicious animal but was peaceful and silent. If he had of been alive he would have been thrashing and gnashing his teeth. But he lay there silent. His life was over. New life will now have a better chance at survival.