Last night one of my dogs emptied her entire food bowl into her water bowl (we feed dogs indoors). To avoid her tipping the food filled water bowl on my floor (I knew this was coming next) I took it outside and tossed it by the back fence. I even thought to myself, the mice will get it tonight. This morning I woke to find a 1 foot deep hole exactly where the food had been dumped. We have a 6 foot wood fence butted to an alley in a semi residental neighborhood. There were no tracks near the hole on the inside of the fence. In the alley, there were a few paw type tracks. I assume whatever it was smelled the food (dumb on me I know) dug under, ate, and scrammed. It def did not go near the coop, the ground is soft there, even the doves and quail leave tracks so I'd had known. I filled in the hole of course. I've never seen a live coyote around here. I hear them, but the only ones I've seen were road kill on the highway and they seem to be about the size of a small dog. So the hole size seems to fit a local coyote. My question is does that sound like a coyote? Dig, grab dog food (it was about 1 cup worth) and run, not even investigate yard? We're in the foothills of Joshua Tree National Forest so I know there are lots of preditors, but up until last night they seemed to leave the backyard alone. Also, is the general idea that once they find food somewhere they will come back, or do they use their noses always, not rely on memory? The run is enclosed, and the coop is in the run with a locking door and solid floor, but I really don't want the challenge. Tomorrow I'm making upgrades. My other thought is fox. I've never seen one, but the park ranger says they come down in the neighborhood. ETA: My dogs (3 labradors) are inside at night, and during the day in a separate yard than the one dug into.