Friday, June 10, 2016

Murder At Sunrise

Murder At Sunrise

It sounds like a title for a suspenseful murder novel, yes?

Except in this case, it isn't just a story; it really happened...*gasp*

Over the past few weeks we've been getting a goodly supply of rain (praise the Lord!!), so the ground is very saturated and muddy.
It had rained all the night before so our dirt roads were basically chocolate pudding. I had no desire whatsoever to play slip and slide with the pickup whilst driving through pudding. No thank you, Bob.
So I did the only logically thing, and convinced my two young siblings into walking to the mailbox. 
So off the three of us went in search of adventure! Ermm...the mail. We jogged some of the way, and walked the rest. We haply got the mail safely lodged it in our backpack and were off again towards home. 
We were feeling very adventurous, so we flitted around the pasture a bit; exploring new roads and stalked unsuspecting siblings through the brush. A very pleasurable time, indeed!
That's when we found it...

Little Sis' found this crumbled, dirty warning sign laying by the side of the road.

Can you say creepy?

We kept on our way, and began discussing ways that one might die. Like, you know, being chased down by a raptor and eaten alive. Or being picked up by a giant bird and then dropped from the sky.
Or of course, there's the boring death of old age. Ahem.
By this time, we had reached the cattle-guard that leads into our front pasture.
I remarked at a buzzard that was flying overhead and then looked up the road. Two black things (for lack of a better word) were in the road, moving about. I couldn't decide if they were more buzzards, or some of the wild turkey hens who have their nests all over our pasture. We started towards them and soon found they were indeed more buzzards, and that they were eating something in the road. Something that was not there when we had left.

We all ran to the spot and found two fresh, bloody legs belonging to a calf, lying in the road. 

 Fresh coyote tracks were tramped all over the road.
We looked to the other side of the road where more buzzards were circling. We ran for the spot, but quickly stopped when my brother pointed out that whatever had dragged those calf legs onto the road, might still be over there.
Right. Good point.
So, we all dashed back to the house for a gun and then went about searching the pasture for the body of the poor victim.
We never found the body. Only a small pool of blood and a few bloody bones.

You can see where something heavy had smooshed the grass down, we're thinking at some point the body had to be lying here.

 No trace of a body.
That led us to thinking. It isn't normal for coyotes to chase down a good sized calf and kill it. Wolves yes, coyotes no. Coyotes are more the scavengers, eating up leftover carcasses, roadkill, etc. 
If that is the case, and these coyotes were just cleaning up a carcass...what killed it?
The only thing we have around here big enough to carry off/kill a calf is mountain lions. 
So we began searching the pastures again, looking for a place that a big cat might have buried their kill. Still nothing.
I'll admit, it was pretty terrifying walking around the pastures trying to find a dead calf, while the killer was no doubt still lurking nearby. I'm getting chill bumps right now just thinking about it!
We were never able to the body, or determine for sure what killed it. It could have been several things.
We had a large storm the night before with lightning, hail, high winds and rain. It's possible that the calf could have died during the storm, and the coyotes were just eating the body.
Or the coyotes could have killed the calf.
Or something else might have killed the calf, and the coyotes happened upon the kill.
Who knows?
Either way, we are on high alert here and any cow or calf mooing outside, sends me flying out the door in panic.
We have so many newborn calves up here by the house, that I've been a mess of worry ever since the incident.
But, that's part of the ranch/farm life. Nobody promised that it would be all sunshine and flowers all the time. No sir. There are real life consequences and events that are none too pleasant, that can and do happen. It makes you stop and appreciate what you have.

And with that, I'll say Amen.

Love and Rich Blessings - 

~ Aspen


  1. Replies
    1. Yes, one that we haven't been able to solve wholly. I'm still on the lookout for mountain lions, and Mom told me that on the ranch neighboring us, someone let a black bear loose. *gulp*

      Blessings -

      ~ Aspen

    2. I have a friend who has black bears all around the property and I cant even imagine what it would be like to run up to one accidentally by yourself. Ahhhh!!!

      I love the country but I dont think I could do it on my own, lol.

    3. Oh my! That is quite scary! And yes, I get a little nervous sometimes when I'm home by myself and have to wander around in the pasture looking for our milk cows or goats. Country life isn't the easiest lifestyle out there, I'm not gonna lie; but it is worth every bit of work and heartache. And trust me, doing this on your own is hard-doable but not easy.

      Blessings -

      ~ Aspen