I live in the country for a reason, and that reason has never been more apparent than last week.

Actually, my experiences began Saturday. I had turned my beagle Daisy loose behind the barn while I did some yard work. She quickly got on a hot rabbit trail. At dusk, the bawl of a hound was replaced with the howl of a coyote, also coming from the field out back.

I ran towards the coyotes to scare them off, but then heard Daisy open up in Gary’s briar patch down the road.

With leash in hand, I hurried to my hound. By the time, I reached the briars, she barked further back in the woods. When I got in the timber, Daisy yelped from another neighbor's weed patch. Finally, I caught up with her well after dark.

After putting Daisy in the kennel, I opened the garage door. My truck was gone. I kicked off my boots and went into the house for my shoes.

“Think this through before you call the sheriff,” I thought.

A thief would not bother to close the garage door. Then it dawned on me.

I had driven my truck and parked it in Gary’s drive. I snapped the leash on Daisy next door and walked the drive over to the road while talking on the cell phone.

Sunday, three flocks of sandhill cranes flew over. Hard telling how many of these high-flyers I missed.

I’ve lived in South Madison County for 18 years and have always had a few quail. Early December, I jumped a covey of about eight. Daisy and I flushed three individual birds from my fencerow Monday.

I have been caring for my neighbor's fainting goat but had never seen him faint until Tuesday. Billy was sleeping in my barn when I took him something to eat. I must have startled him. He rolled over and kicked like he was dying. This lasted but a few seconds. A funny sight to see.

My daughter, Jourdan, living near San Francisco, misses the wildlife of Indiana. It was with some excitement that she called to tell me a pair of mallards have taken up residency in the complex pool. She lives on the third floor and feeds them from the balcony.

Like the squirrels at IU, these ducks will soon be eating out of her hand.

Jourdan is in grad school studying to be a marriage and family counselor. You can see a recent picture of her and learn about a mission trip she is taking this summer at www.gofundme.com/jourdansmission.

Jerry Davis of Coyote, Inc. is licensed by the Indiana DNR to deal with nuisance animals. A lot of his work involves trapping raccoons, coyotes, and beaver.

Davis informed me that people get frustrated trying to go through law enforcement or the DNR. Eventually, they will get in touch with him, but the simple thing to do is call Davis first or look him up online. This may be a good number to keep, 617-4946.

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