Major Howard Egan Family Foundation

Sailor Rope Maker Captain in Nauvoo Legion Bodyguard to Joseph Smith Mormon Battalion Envoy Captain of the 9th 10 of the original 1847 Pioneer Vanguard Company Gold Rush Trading Post Owner Trail Blazer Cattle Drover Major in Utah War Pony Express Rider & Superintendent of Line from Salt Lake to California Stage Station Owner Friend & Missionary to Indians Salt Lake City Policeman Bodyguard to Brigham Young
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Egan Experiences: “Coyote in the Chicken House”

Egan Experiences: “Coyote in Chicken House”


At Deep Creek we had a large chicken house built of logs, the door of which faced the kitchen door, and about forty feet from it, and on the west side of the yard that was formed, which was about sixty feet square. The stables were on the south side, the bunk-house on the east, the row of buildings (double row), the whole length of the north line. The west room was the telegraph office, and in which the operator slept. About sixteen feet west of the office was the northeast comer of a field, and in this corner was our garden fenced off along the road, and from the corner down back of the hen house.

imgresIt was just at dusk as Father came out of the stable, he saw a coyote enter the hen house, the door of which had not yet been closed for the night. He ran as fast as he could and pulled the door shut; he then ran to the telegraph office for the shotgun that most always could be found there. “Ed (the operator’s name), hand me the shotgun, quick!”  ‘”What is it?”  “Oh, only a coyote in the hen house.”

In place of handing out the gun he came out with it, and excited, ran for the hen house, but seeing the door shut, he said, “Where is the coyote?” “Inside,” said Father; “give me the gun and I will get him.” “No, let me shoot him. Open the door.” The door was opened, but it was so dark inside that they could not see very plain. But finally Ed said, “I see him” and he fired. There was a terrible commotion in that hen house, for there were about one hundred chickens and a coyote very badly scared.

The coyote was trying to escape by way of the roosts, knocking the chickens to the floor, but it was not chicken he wanted just then. Father said, “No use to shoot again till we get a lantern so we can see the thief. Stay in the door till I get a light” “Alright, hurry up.” When a light was finally turned into that house, there squatted the coyote in one corner watching for a chance to spring out of the door, and the chickens fairly climbing all over him.

After getting the light in the best position to show up the coyote, Ed fired again, causing another outburst of squacks and cacklings. When the smoke cleared away, Father dragged the coyote outside and then picked up five or six large chickens that Ed had shot. He said, “See here, young man, what you have done, and on purpose, too, I believe.”

SOURCE:  Major Howard Egan events, told by his son, Howard R. Egan.  Pioneering the West, pg. 223.


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