Some of you have asked about the source of my material. It all began several Christmas seasons ago with the gift of a Trail Camera.
One other attribute to this story is the location of our home. My wife and I live just north of the community of Rio Rancho, New Mexico. Our backyard abuts Bureau of Land Management acreage. Three hundred yards to the east of the BLM property is a Bosque (Spanish for woodlands) that provides riprap for both sides of The Rio Grande River. On the opposite side of the Rio Grande lies the Sandia Pueblo, a Native American Reservation. I speak about our home location because for several years all manners of wildlife both feathered and fur bearing lived and hunted the Bosque. Our sub-development was not as populated, or as noisy nor were there many other developments nearby in those days. I had seen porcupines, raccoons and coyotes roaming about during that time but never close to the homes, that trend soon reversed itself. A drought sat in and for the next two years the river started drying up. Almost immediately, some of those Bosque critters were coming to neighborhood backyard bird feeders and water fountains to augment their diminishing food sources. That was three years ago, that was the same year Santa Clause delivered my first trail camera.
The summer before the camera went up there was a terrible commotion in our garage one particularly hot night. I had left the garage door opened just a few inches hoping for some cooler air. Apparently, a raccoon had snuck in then helped himself to a stash of bird seed. That varmint created such a mess it took two days to clean up and set things in order. By now there was a regular game trail going on behind the back fence and emboldened rascals of the four legged persuasion, walking down the street in front of our house. It was time to decide, coexist or find a way to rid our selves of the pests now frequenting our home. We enjoy nature but it was getting a little too friendly. The internet has a lot to offer on just about every subject, some references are good and others pretty bad. This was also about the time that a few communities with in New Mexico were taking up Coyote Hunting Contests. I retired January 1st, 2011 from the Regulation and Licensing Division and went to work almost immediately for the New Mexico Legislature as a Financial Analyst. That job entailed determining what potential legislation would cost the tax payers. One of the bills I reviewed was the concept of licensing Coyote Hunting Contests, more on that in another story. Hard facts were in front of me and with my new desire to rid our home of pests, the future was set- almost.
The internet offered that efforts to exterminate Coyotes were futile at best, better to make the Coyote uncomfortable near your home. The internet also carried stories about ongoing Coyote studies which could be verified, I emailed a couple of those leads. I found there were a few columnists who were very happy to share their references in addition to those I was gathering, the life of the Coyote was beginning to reveal itself. The Coyote is not a complicated animal, it thrives were other animals have perished. The Coyote is only a nuisance when it kills livestock or attacks the family pet and scares the bejebus out of inattentive home owners. However, the story of the Coyote seems to be almost all negative hence the desire some have to eliminate it from their surroundings.
Now that I have a better grasp on the Coyote’s prescience it doesn’t seem as malevolent, it passes my yard by though I sometimes get his picture with my trail camera. During cold nights his family will be photographed as they make their way to the old Bosque hunting grounds.
Two years ago there may have been a Coyote in the backyard, I found a big blood spot on the grass. And too, one of the rabbits that fed on the grass went missing. That is what nature is all about and every once in a while it will happen in your backyard. I installed wire mesh on all the entry points rabbits use to access the grassy areas and made sure all of the birdfeeders are positioned over open, sandy soil which discourages small rodents. I have learned to keep bird seed inside the garage in locked containers with all external doors closed tightly. There has been no evidence of critters in the yard since! I paid attention to the assimilation of Coyote material I was gathering and it seems to have paid off.
Have a great summer every one!!! Stay tuned, there is more to come on the Coyote Cam!