Bonanza for Kinky and Fam, by Walkaboutlou

[For those interested, Kinky Tail has a history. Enter “Kinky Tail” into the search box to read more about her and her family]

Hi Janet,

An update on how strange life can be, and how coyote take instant advantage.

On our patrols early in morning we saw a cow had died during calving. Unfortunately it happens with these range cattle.

Her last movements put her in view of the Ranch Patriarchs home. He’s housebound bit scans his land incessantly with scopes and binoculars.

It’s customary now to burn or bury a dead cow if possible. Especially with wolves now usually we want to limit exposure for taste of beef. 

But the timing and place of death also lead to the ranches college kids who are becoming biologists, to conduct experiment.

The hypothesis is..the spot is too open and noisy for wolves to scavenge. LGD are literally next hills over as well. So permission was granted for experiment on the basis if wolves arrive they have to remove cow instantly. 

So far…trail cams and Ranch Patriarch have noted…a lot of scavenging. No wolves as of yet. Golden Eagle, Vultures, Raven, Jays, 1st came. Then a Badger literally burrowed under..and in it. It seemed to be there days. Racoon. A fox. Mink, Weasel. 3 dogs. (Someone’s Doodle got very filthy) 

The highlight is….Kinky Tail.

Kinky Tail and her Mate realized…a cow dropped dead within sight of pup den. Bonanza. But problems too. A lot of company visiting too close to den. 

That night..one of the kids showed Patriarch how to use night vision scopes.

He scoped and watched Kinky..from 9:14 pm to 1 a.m. moving NINE! 9 pups from hillside den to old shed foundation many yards away. 

Then at 3 a.m. her Mate came..fed doddering pups at new spot and curled up to sleep. Kinky went off to feed and cache food 3:15-5:56a.m. Then went inside new den and didn’t emerge until late afternoon.

Also noted…3 strange coyote came to cow..chased off by Mate but returned later. Territories don’t seem to hold much force when huge meals are available. At least for some coyote.

The kids are charting up facts and trying to apply science with realities seen..and possibilities thought. We never know whole picture. But tentatively..locally..we see coyote seemed to have disappeared large scale. We see wolves traveling widely after deer and elk. We see a dead cow not utilized by wolves… we suspect site too open and with homes and LGD in view. We see one of the few remaining known coyote have huge litter. And we see them take instant advantage of cow dying at den site…but 1st moving pups. 

The hypothesis and info gathering will be intense next few weeks.

The Patriarch has his own predictions.

Those are going to be the fattest coyote pups for 100 miles.

Take care, 

Lou


PS: I think Kinky will be a superlative Mom. Her Mom and litter siblings were wiped out by wolves. Her aging father and land lessons molded her fast. She bred early and denned in Sun scorched cliffs..raised 2 pups and instantly left cliff area when wolves trotted thru this year. She’s only 2 but has learned a lot. I feel biologically her body did just as we have heard…coyote population locally dropped…she had huge litter. 

She is a small slip of a coyote but of immense mind. Her mate seems small in her presence though he’s big. Making meat caches all night then gorging then feeding pups all day…shes busy. And the type of coyote that embodies this indomitable flame of canine species.

Wolves are Top Dog Here

Dogs Rule The Ranches

And Kinky Tail Navigates Them All.

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