Now THAT is a creative idea! And I appreciate you and @TheNiceGuy, who had some very practical suggestions- I'm going to try chicken wire. The problem with the dancing air guy is that 1) I have to way to get electricity out there in my melon patch and 2) they always strike in complete darkness so I'm not sure they'd be able to see it enough to do any good. But again, I appreciate your out-of-the-box thinking.
BTW, @Barkslip (Dax) I wasn't clear on what your opinion was of the Cream of Saskatchewan. It sounded like you really enjoyed it, is that the case? If so, that's great but certainly hasn't been my experience. I've grown 3 varieties of "white" watermelons and all 3 tasted about the same- and for me none were very good. They weren't terrible, its just that they had very little sweetness at all. Just wondered how you felt about yours?
@Ztom- I definitely think you are onto something in terms of using the "shine" of a melon to determine ripeness. But I'd have said the opposite of what you've found. My melons tend to actually loose a tiny bit of shine when they are ripe. I definitely DO agree that there is a point on many melons when it looses a little of the "dusty bloom" at one stage and when that happens it does appear a little more shinny after that dusty look goes away. But then several weeks later when the melon is actually ready to pick, I find that mine actually loose a very very slight amount of sheen. It's so slight that I normally wouldn't suggest it as a way for new growers to determine ripeness, but ripeness does involve such a change. You are very observant to notice the change in "shine".
Thanks to @rayrose and @Antmary as well. You guys are among my favorite folks here so just knowing you all empathize with me and my plight really helps. It looks like I am going to have to do some kind of fencing. Bobwire would indeed be one of the cheapest ways to fence, but a man I know about 2 miles has lost a lot of sheep to coyotes and says they go right through his barbed wire fence. I'm thinking another fairly cheap and easy method would be to run just one strand of electric fence around my garden. I was thinking I'd put it about 18 inches high. I know they could jump over that if they learn about it, but maybe that first big jolt would be enough to keep them away?
Its so strange that I've grown melons here for 5 years and each year before this I'd only loose maybe 5-7 melons all year. I just don't know why this year is so dramatically different?
Thanks again for everyone's interest and concern.