Awhile back, some mysterious creature woke us up in the middle of the night with a series of barks followed by a high-pitched scream. (Take note, Zaehrings!) We thought it might be a fox, and heard it again a couple months later, but last night there was obviously a pack of them somewhere in the field outside, which made me think of coyotes. Sure enough, that’s the sound we were hearing. I’ve seen them on the mountain before while driving at night, so should have guessed sooner.
Mingo was barking up a storm, but didn’t go out after them, for which I’m glad. I’ve heard a pack of coyotes will lure a dog out by pretending one of them is injured and alone and then ambushing. Some friends of ours have an even bigger dog than Mingo, and he was bit by coyotes and got a nasty infection.
I called the Department of Fish and Wildlife to find out what to do about coyotes, and they’re considered “unclassified” animals, which apparently means you can get a hunting license and shoot them year-round, or trap them and then shoot them, or invite your neighbors to come shoot them. The woman I talked with showed me where to find several people here in Stevens County who have their licenses and will hire out to shoot or trap them for you. I think Kerry probably wouldn’t mind doing it himself. Lots of options. (Dan? Amber?)
In the meantime, I let the kids watch a couple of YouTube videos with coyotes in them, and sternly warned them all never to go out after dark alone. I think they were sufficiently impressed-upon.