Well as some of you know I lost my older Maremma LGD early in the spring. He got into a turf dispute with a bear sow that had twin cubs and I backed him up in running her off the property line a few times but he took her on one day I was at work and I never saw him again. It's only a guess really but some of the tracks lead me to belive that's what happened. Anyway I had his help raising a Maremma pup (my avatar) until she was almost 5 months but sadly she now has to figure the real work out herself. I have been looking for another adult but not finding one. We have had coyote losses starting about a month after Scarchi was gone and have shot a couple. That seems to stop the losses for the time. The pup has had to be confined as she would wander without the big guy to socialize with, and had also played too hard with a chicken, not meaning to kill it but accomplished it none the less. I have been doing drag training with her in the days while I'm home and on leash or off leash work while I'm outside. It's been fine, working great, she is learning, growing and the chickens have been safe for months. Last night the tide turned however, the noise from coyotes was way too close and I went out of the house to see them surrounding the pup (now 10 months) where she was tied outside the barn. This is the first night I had closed the barn up tight as I have a batch of meat bird chicks just new and it was clear and cold with a stiff breeze. I snuck out with a rifle to try and get behind the dog for a safe shot but of course coyotes are too quick for that, but I did see them leave, and know the trail they used, it's a deer trail just off our side gate. I let them go without firing a shot so they might feel comfortable coming back. There was at least 3 of them, and one trapper of the area thinks that is the way we lost the big dog, that a bear would not bother, but as I said I saw new tracks so I'm not so sure. So I'm going to spend some serious time today getting the leg hold traps set up on that trail and the side property line. I had gotten ready for this season by ordering in new lures and more traps. Season is not open for a few more days on public lands but here we can trap problem critters on our own private land anytime, so it starts today. We have a overpopulation of hungry mangy coyotes here this year and last. The big hayfields in the valley had been unmanged for years and rodents abound so the coyotes had been up in numbers but had lots to eat. Then that land changed hands and got good management including gopher population control so now we have hungry coyotes. And as much as she hates it I think the dog has to get kept in the barn till I'm thinking she will be safe. At 10 months and on a tie she is sitting bait. Wish me luck, I really need to get this under control.