I was just surprised, just now, tonight to hear a small pack of coyote with something cornered just a few houses away here in Cabot, Arkansas. I didn't take time to ponder it because my first thought was of Black Jack, my Manx. He spends most nights out hunting mice and moles either across the street in a vacant lot, or across the fence over in BrierWood. Tonight I think he was on the menu himself.

When I went out the front door and started calling him the coyote stopped their excited yip yipping and broke off to the North West. Jack came running from that direction. His fur wasn't wet or any other sign of mauling so he was probably safely holed up under a neighbors tool shed.

Having a family of fat raccoons, and random possums come up to the back deck to steal pet food didn't surprise me. They're opportunists and not very shy or afraid. The coyote though usually give houses a wide berth unless it's deep into winter and most game is holed up and hard to find. They have to be hungry and desperate. The wetlands and headwaters of Bayou Des Arc and Cypress Bayou should have plenty of game.

As many dogs chained or penned outside as there are around here you'd think they would raise hell and keep the wildlife at bay. I suspect that the dogs know they wouldn't have a chance against a pack of coyote chained up that way though. None were barking at the coyote. They probably didn't want to give their positions away. When I call for Jack to come in they usually bark. They didn't tonight.

In Scott County we've listened while a pack cornered and took down some unlucky dog. At first the dog barks and growls mean and threatening trying to fight back. They're usually bigger than the coyote and could take on two or three in a direct fight. The technique is about numbers though, and coordination. It don't take the pack long to change the dogs tune to pitiful yelps and squeals. The silence afterward us eerie.

The coyote pack hunts just like the orca and wolves to bring down prey larger than themselves. Circling and feinting in to draw the prey's attention while others strike from the back and sides. Hitting and veering quickly away. Turning to confront the one drawing a little blood just lets a different pair or trio close in. They go for tendons and veins to immobilize the prey.