Elusive Canines



They are so elusive, at least around the vicinity of the hub of our place. Most often I spot one when I am driving somewhere.  But when I’m around home and on foot there are always dogs with me or nearby, and so coyotes are not. 

This coyote was in one of the pastures adjacent to the roadway. We spied it on our return trip from town. I went back out to try for photos but it was too watchful and my attempts to sneak over a hill were not successful. If he did not catch my scent, he heard me as I have not managed a way to stay quiet when walking in cold snow. I was still two hills away when it made off. 


A glimpse of a wild canine still stirs something inside of me, my breath still catches. There is only one person I can speak to about these encounters and know, even if he doesn’t share the same sentiment, he will accept mine. But otherwise, in this agriculture country, there is no breathing room allowed for coyotes. Whether legal or illegal to hunt them, they are hunted, snared and shot year round. The fox gets more leeway and is less troubled by humans. I suppose since the majority of the mixed farms around here keep cattle, the fox poses little threat. Around sheep the wee fox can wreak havoc during early birthing.

 


I am well aware of the damages these wily creatures can cause, we’ve been through very harsh years with coyotes killing sheep and indirectly resulting in the death of dogs. And I believe a rancher needs to have the right to manage problem animals and secure the safety of livestock. But I am also well aware of what balance and coexistence feels like and the majority of the time this is the fluid state we exist in and so I can not hold long term grudges against these wild canines. I will remain grateful for each brief encounter I get.

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p.s Thank you for the recent comments. It is curious that similar comments and emails seem to arrive in batches. I am not online with the blog every day (I try to keep a healthy dose of off line time in my life) so don’t always reply to blog comments immediately, however, I do receive the comments in my email inbox and I hold them there as reminders that people are reading and checking in for the photographs. Know that I am thankful for that.


Comments

  1. I also greatly value the presence of coyotes and all wildlife on my farm. They are truly magical in their voice and fluid movement. For most of the 17 years I have been on my farm, the coyotes and I have maintained a respectful and peaceful relationship. I did have two lambs killed two years ago by coyotes, and then witnessed some luckily unsuccessful attacks, but this all occurred after a winter when coyote hunts were organized in my town. I have given up trying to explain to the hunters that they are not doing farmers a favor by killing as many coyotes as possible during the breeding season, as they do not believe when I tell them this will cause more breeding females, larger litters, and just end up increasing the numbers of coyotes in our area. Furthermore, some of these hunters tell me that they don't care, they just like to kill. How can I possibly respond to that?

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    1. The explanations fall onto deaf ears here as well. I no longer even have conversations about coyotes with anyone as it is very similar, many just like to kill. And then question about the state affairs in the world. I do think there is a connection. We must respect nature if we are to respect ourselves.

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  2. I agree with all 'farm buddy' has written...How awful to be told they do not care..'they just like to kill'..They also like to, at least verbally, hurt anyone they can.. I live in rural Nova Scotia and most have the same mindset as the farmers out there..I have a pin I wear states 'I Respect all Creation'My son and I live trapped two skunks last summer and took them off to a new home..they were siblings and not very old but eating all the cat food put out..so were able to take care of themselves,I think mother was killed on the road..I do not mind them around but they were living under my house and the cats were rather annoyed,so would be a smelly trouble soon I think.

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    1. It is a very tough argument and possibly not worth arguing about but instead doing what you are doing, acting respectfully.

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  3. The same attitude is here in northern Minnesota. We have many trappers in the area who enjoy trapping any wild animal, wolves and bobcats in particular. When my dog nearly got into a baited trap, I had a few things to say to the owner of that trap. It was right on the side of a walking path. I reminded him that the north woods is the wild animals home. Humans came along and now want to remove them. If they can't live here in the north woods, where are they supposed to go? He grinned and said, "Into my traps."

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    1. Ugh, what an ugly encounter. I don't even know how to reposed to that type of glee toward an animals death. I just know what I believe and that is we must respect nature if we are to respect our human race.

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