This morning I again stalked the dead cow. I sat and called as the morning light came. After about 45 minutes I moved down to swap the trail camera card. I was pleased to see that something had begun to feed on the carcass; the rear end had been partially eaten out. It looked like the work of pigs, but hopefully the trail camera would tell all. My phone was switched to silent and I felt it buzz in my pocket. It could wait until I got home in ten minutes.
Over coffee, I reviewed the trail camera photos and videos. A big old boar that I remembered well had made a lengthy visit to the carcass during the night, arriving first at 10PM. He was a distinctive, pie-bald feral pig that I could have identified from any number of his usual kind. I have a great many photos and video of him over the last few years, mostly taken at night. He is rarely about in the daylight. Below is a bit of video taken as he began his excavations on the dead cow. Later clips are much more graphic, showing him with his whole head in there, pulling out entrails to gustily munch on.
There was no sign of the wild dogs. The boar had monopolised the carcass for most of the night. However, now that he had torn open the body to expose the juicy and tender bits, the wild dogs would most likely take advantage of that at the first opportunity. It should be an interesting few days for the trail camera.
Belatedly, I checked my phone. The missed call was from another farmer who had left a message telling me that the neighbour had suffered a wild dog attack on a cow early this morning. He had seen the dogs move in on a sick cow that was down with three-day fever. He raced down on his ATV and scattered the four dogs, but they were initially reluctant to leave their victim.
I paid those folks a visit this afternoon. The farmer had just watered and rolled the cow over. With hydration and regular movements of its body, the cow should recover from the three day illness. It had a good selection of bites on its hind quarters, which did nothing to help its current dilemma and would most likely turn septic and life-threatening. It would remain pretty much where it lay for another day or two. It was a perfect spot for a stake-out. The prevailing breeze was ideal and I had good visibility to see any approaching dogs from a long way off. A big gate post would provide a comfortable spot and effectively hide me well. Tomorrow I will be there ate first light with high expectations.