I have a new weapon in my war on chicken-eating coyotes

The prime pelt season’s over now, but there might still be some OK pelts running around out there. And a neighbor dropped off a pretty good coyote bait over the weekend.

Coyote pelts are still fetching enough cash to make the work of skinning them worthwhile, even if they’re rapidly going away from prime condition.

But prime or not, hunting coyotes is often about acting when you can. And my neighbor helped me out with that over the weekend. He went out to feed his critters Sunday morning and found that one of his old sheep had died in the night. That sheep is now in the corner of my pasture, acting as the perfect coyote bait.

I’ve been hearing the coyotes howling nearly every night for the last few weeks. Calling them in would take a bit of effort, and with a bunch of coyote hunters in the area, I probably wouldn’t be able to lure them in, anyway. But now with the added enticement of an old, stinky, dead sheep, it’s bound to be more than the coyotes can resist.

It’s too bad that old sheep didn’t give up the ghost about a month ago, when the coyote pelts were in their best condition. But I’ll take what I can get. I’ll camp out over that sheep carcass until the ‘yotes decide she’s too rank even for them, and I’ll try to nab a few of them when they come in for an easy meal.

The trick is to get enough of them and deter the rest from coming back for more. If I don’t, all I’ll do is lure those dogs close enough to my house to give them a whiff of my chickens, and then we might have more problems. But we’ll cross that bridge if we get there.

Until then, I’m pretty sure there will be a lot of late nights in my immediate future. Maybe some early mornings, too. Coyotes like to do their thing under the cover of darkness.

But if I can turn a few pelts into enough spending money for a new coyote gun, all that hard work will be more than worth it.