A few nights ago I came home from work with a massive headache. I have a lazy eye and gawking at a computer screen for nine plus hours a day turns my eyeballs inside out and generally makes me want to puke; hence, the vocation change I’m working on. So I took a nap when I got home. It kept me from puking.
When I woke up, I went to the back door. The big door to the chicken coop was open, which was odd, and I could hear all kinds of squalking. Rubbing the sleep from my eyes, I realized that there was some sort of canine in the coop. Out he came with a chicken in his mouth. I pivoted and headed to the closet to get the my .22 Nylon 66 Remington. If you’ve ever seen one, you understand that the thing loads through the butt of the stock. It isn’t efficient, but I’m deadly accurate with it to about 60 yards.
I fumbled through the closet, trying to find a few rounds. I came to the realization that gunning the animal down wouldn’t work and was likely illegal, which usually doesn’t matter in my mind, but that night it did. I ran back through the house and out the back door. The chicken that the assailant had in his mouth was “Maine”, one of my prized Black Star hens. She, in her defense, was giving the canine a run for his money. She’s my meanest bird. She’s put more than one hole in my hand going for my wedding ring. As I darted across the deck, yelling, the assailant dropped the bird and went up and over my four foot fence. With ease. I was astonished.
I grabbed Maine and headed for the light on the deck. She was rattled, obviously, and submitted to my body check. There were feathers everywhere. She had large bald patches under her wings and on her tail. But, for the mostpart, she came through unscathed. The only blood that I found on her was on her comb and the blood was not hers.
I couldn’t figure out what I saw. All of the foxes that I’d seen here have been red or black. This looked like a coyote. While we have them in the area, I’ve never seen one this close to home. So I did some research.
It was a Gray fox. Dude had a mustache and that’s what gave it away. In further reasearch, I found that we have Red, Kit, Swift and Gray foxes here in Colorado. Good to know. The Red foxes around this place are stupid, hand fed garbage eaters. The Gray…..he’s a different type altogether.
The following night I sat on the back deck and listened in the dark. I heard the dogs in the neighborhood start to bark in succession. I waited until the neighbor’s dog went wild and then I got really low. He was sly. He approached the fence, dug a bit and sniffed around. When he tried to scale it like he did the night before, he got himself a surprise.
Two extra vertical feet on the fence.
He can keep trying and I’ll keep watching. Stay tuned. I’ll see if I can get some pics with my buddy’s game camera.
Pax Domini Sit Semper Vobiscum,
Mike, Oscar, Hotel…..out.