Most, if not all, of these postings warn that Coyotes are all around us. This author set up a trail camera (affectionately dubbed the “Coyote Cam”) over a game trail just outside of our back fence. After recovering several photographs of this game trail the most traveled animal turned out to be the Coyote. Photographs of the Coyotes appear at all times of the day even though this predator is more nocturnal in its comings and goings. A disclaimer here is that our family enjoys bird feeders and a large gurgling water fountain in our back yard. Unfortunately these items do draw any animals walking the game trail mentioned above. Cleaning the area is a must to minimize predators hanging around! The water fountain is turned off at sun down. Then, a lot of time is expanded in removing seeds dropped from the feeders to the ground to reduce the number of mice, squirrels and rodents (the favorite foods of Coyotes)! Nonetheless, Coyotes are not specifically meat eaters. Coyotes are opportunistic and will eat what ever is available including any missed seeds from the bird feeders. The things in nature we enjoy are also the things that entice predators. This is the core message of this blog – remove any enticements and make the predators unwelcome!!
If there is little to no food available for the Coyote they will look next for shelter. Having a dry comfortable den close to a food source is a good thing for a Coyote. Hazing or being an objectionable host deters the Coyote and they will seek other areas! Now . . . there are some humans out there that have too much time on their hands with nothing to do. Remember the old adage, “idle hands are the Devil’s workshop?” Baiting Coyotes, or any animal / bird is nothing new but video taping the act . . . well – lets just say its questionable at best. Having said that the following link is a video of a “Coyote Attack?” from several years back. The video is a good review of what NOT TO DO. Tease / bait a Coyote. Coyotes will remember where they had an interesting time.
YouTube has some great Coyote footage but be warned it can be a bit gruesome for the faint of heart. It is interesting that over the last few years readers and viewers have taken up the Coyote’s cause. However, there does not seem to be a middle ground of affection for the Coyote. You either hate / fear this predator or leave it alone to make a home in your midst. Better still, are the folks who figure the Coyote is not going anywhere and rather then having their live stock eaten will provide the Coyotes an alternative food supply. This alternative food supply works up to the point when it is not present. With that in mind the Coyote will always go with Plan B, the live stock! The feasibility of providing an alternative food source is still under review.
Have you seen Coyotes in your neighborhood? If so what have you done on a personal level to get rid of the offending Coyote? The next time you see a Coyote call your local animal control agency (along side of the police and fire department’s emergency numbers insert the local animal control telephone number), most do not have an after hour’s number so you will probably be redirected to the police department. Keep a note of where, when and if the animal exhibited any strange behaviors (walking wobbly or appeared to have been injured). Injured animals will more readily use their teeth if they can not retreat! While you are out walking be alert, carry a stick or golf club, a loud whistle and be prepared to stand your ground. Coyotes can be persistent as was seen in the above link.
That is it for this edition – if you have any questions please feel free to post.
Stay tuned, there is more to come on the Coyote Cam