So today I took the shot.

I’ve been here more than six years, and I’ve never taken a shot at a coyote. I was tempted once, but there was no real reason and anyway he was disappearing over a ridge. In fact I very rarely even see any when I’m afoot. They see or hear or smell me first, and give me room.

Since we moved to the Lair, I’ve paid attention to where the coyote sign is. They’ve kept their distance since we moved in. Even when the chickens arrived there wasn’t much change.

Until today. I knew I was going to town with D&L, so I didn’t go get the boys after shit-shoveling. A little before two, when I was supposed to meet up, I came out of the cabin and saw something dart around behind the power shed. Looked a little like Ghost, and at first I thought the boys had gotten out of Gitmo. So I didn’t draw my pistol or anything until I rounded the little juniper behind the shed. There about 20 yards away was a small coyote, standing there looking at me, not taking me seriously. I assume it was sneaking down on the chickens.

I fumbled the draw because I don’t practice enough of this dumb holster, the coyote turned to run up the ridge, and I got one good shot off. It was running straight away or I’d have probably missed, ’cause I’m not that great a shot. But it squealed and went sideways, then corrected and disappeared over the ridge.

So I don’t have a body, but it’s got one of my .44 hollow points and I don’t like its chances for a long and happy life. It left a bit of a blood trail from where it was hit, but I didn’t really try to track it. I had an appointment.

Except for a couple of rabbits, that’s only the second mammal I’ve shot since I moved here – and only the second I’ve shot at, which ain’t too bad for an old guy.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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6 Responses to So today I took the shot.

  1. Buck. says:

    I’m calling PETA… for the children. You and your assault revolver will be sorry.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I thought that you shot something that the dogs cornered once? Cat or badger?

  3. Robert Evans says:

    I’m reminded of the scene from Never Cry Wolf where the hero “marked his territory” by urinating in an area around his campsite, which created a boundary that the titular wolves honored. Don’t know if it will work with coyotes.

  4. R says:

    If you open up the Never Cry Wolf story-line next thing you know Joe is going to start posting mouse recipes.

  5. MamaLiberty says:

    I always love an incentive to practice more. Sounds like this is a good one. 🙂

  6. Joel says:

    Good memory. Yeah, it was a badger.

    It was in the summer of ’08. More an execution than a hunt: The dogs trapped it in a bunch of rocks near their home territory. and wouldn’t leave well enough alone. It was a strange thing: It was on the very first day of my officially becoming their paid dog-nanny, though I’d lived right next to them for going on two years and they knew me well. The two younger ones trapped the badger, and the two older ones actually came and got me.

    I went to see what all the commotion was about. The scrum was in a gully on the other side of the wash. When I showed up on the ridge Ghost, who back then was much more combative with local wildlife than he is now, came running across the wash and up the ridge, dancing with excitement. He seemed to think he’d really done something good, and wanted me to come play too.

    By the time I got there all the dogs were involved again, and the badger was just this side of berserk. The dogs refused to go home and leave the poor thing alone, but when I changed the command to “get behind me” they went for that. Seeing no other way to end the confrontation that didn’t involve vet bills, I shot it behind the eye with my .45.

    I justified it at the time with “I’m responsible for the welfare of the dogs, but not for that of the badger.”

To the stake with the heretic!