It was a special scarecrow designed to scare away coyotes.
It was invented by John S. Barnes of Idaho, a farmer whose sheep and chickens were always being eaten by local coyotes. The scarecoyote wore a suit of farmer’s clothes but had a special surprise for all the coyotes in the area.
Just before sundown (coyotes like to do their nasty work at night), the farmer would walk out to the scarecoyote and wind up a device located just under its shirt. The farmer would then return home for dinner.
Shortly afterward, the scarecoyote would begin to fire a series of blank cartridges, one every fifteen minutes. This noise was guaranteed to scare away any and all coyotes. Early in the morning, the farmer would return and shut off the firing mechanism.
It’s not clear how anyone was expected to get a good night’s sleep with all that nighttime blasting.