Policies on Coyotes?

Readers should know that the majority of material for this blog is gathered from various media then offered up for discussion. This author makes every attempt to cite sources as well in some cases, embed the original document in the blog. Carrying on with this year’s focus on rural Coyotes it seems there are fewer instances of interaction with humans involved in agriculture being reported. No, it is not that there are fewer occurrences. Remember that the agriculture industry looses livestock to predators almost on a daily basis. Therefore, the industry has to allocate resources to either eliminate or diminish those losses to a negligible level. Agricultural loss control mechanisms do not rise to the level of neighborhood pets being taken by predators. Instead, those in the agriculture industry consider the Coyote just another daily chore to be dealt with and entered as an expense item in their financial planning.  The media is not interested in those mundane agricultural chores but does rely on the old adage – “if it bleeds it leads.”

A recent “Idaho State Journal” news article describes a young man loosing his dog and suffering an injury due to cyanide gas exposure from an M44 predator control mechanism. Only the local television station in Idaho Falls carried the story in conjunction with the “Journal.” No other regional or national news media made mention of the story as of the date of this posting. It seems that if any regional or national coverage of predator control comes about is when a certain segment of society deems it so.  What does this say about the news media?

After a few months of watching the evening news this viewer notes that the major networks offer news of the day ending with a warm / feel good story. Intriguing how some ninety percent of network evening news is followed by ten percent or less of feel good stories. An Emu being chased by several good Samaritans or a young bear swimming in some one’s back yard pool – Not that those articles aren’t interesting but who determines what feel good story is to be offered?  Several teams must spend some time in selecting the subjects but what are their guidelines to providing a positive end to their daily presentations?  There are policies which provide guidance to these folks that put together the daily news in its entirety but who wrote the original policies?  Are those policies ever reviewed to ensure they are in conformity with today’s wants or needs?

Coyotes in agriculture or Coyotes in the neighborhood? One thing for sure the Coyote is not wanted in either environment.  How does either of those stories end?  For the Coyote the story will always be stealth and adaptation to elude its stalkers.  For the humans living in the rural countryside the Coyote’s fate is sealed.  For the Coyotes in the city / urban / suburban neighborhoods their fate is determined by how aggressive they become.  What does this say then?  Depending on city ordinances Coyotes are better off living in town then on the farm!  Will the Coyote be the lead story on the evening news or will it be that feel good ending to your day?

 

Stay tuned – there is more to come on the Coyote Cam

A look back

The Coyote Cam started as a lark some few years back but only this year has it evolved into a concerted effort to study Coyotes and their habitats. The following is a simplistic overview of how Coyotes came to be in our neighborhoods. A few things about Coyotes are fact; Coyotes adapt, Coyotes thrive where other animals fail, and Coyotes will always be with us. It is hoped that the sharing of this material will provide some Coyote knowledge to all who follow this blog.  Coyotes are not going away, learning to coexist is a better alternative.

Long before civilization began to intrude on wild life Coyotes had a few predators- mainly wolves, mountain lions and some times, bobcats. Life was good for the Coyote as they would often feast on animals killed by the larger predators. Unfortunately, the Coyote became the next meal when those larger predators returned to reclaim their kills. The Coyotes soon understood that in order to survive they would need to expand their food sources to avoid being eaten themselves. Avoiding those larger predators the Coyote developed stealth or as some call it – shape sifting. Coyotes are stealthy but stealthy only goes so far when you are hungry. The Coyotes were not picky eaters then or now so the smaller game population of rabbits and squirrels provided an alternative to hazardous left over carcasses. Not only were the smaller game less attractive to the wolves, mountain lions and bobcats but the squirrels and rabbits often had larders of seeds and berries. The Coyotes learned that rabbits and squirrels equated to seeds and berries which could be another food source in difficult times.

About the time civilization (farmers & ranchers) showed up Coyotes found that their predators were disappearing. Any time ranchers and farmers lost livestock it wasn’t the lowly little Coyote’s fault, it was the larger predators killing the livestock. If a framer or rancher could shoot anything with four legs it was probably going to be the larger predators – wolves, mountain lions and bobcats.  To put it simply, the Coyote saw and learned that when man showed up it was hiding time.  The Coyote had a long history of being stealthy and it was probably that trait that saved the species for years to come.  As the Coyote’s predators were thinned out by man the Coyotes expanded into new territories and thrived. New and larger hunting areas, better den sites, larger families.  Life was good.

Life was good as long as agriculture was the core industry of the Coyote’s environment.  Alas, the world was evolving. Agriculture was giving way to manufacturing – the new industry! Some ranchers and farmers found that they could sell off some of their acreage to developers and acquire more land further away from cities.  As more and more land was being converted to home sites there was less and less agriculture, man was moving into the Coyote’s neighborhood.  Barely a hundred years has passed and man is living in what used to be the Coyotes backyard, a few generations later and man is now the Coyote’s next door neighbor.  Wait a minute here – man is at the hierarchy of life so why is it that man is considered the new entity on the Coyote’s block?  Current media reports that Coyotes are appearing in our neighborhoods so how is it that Man is considered “the new guy on the Coyote’s block?”  At first this new arrival was more deadly then the Coyote’s former predators.  Hunting territory was cut into fenced off lots, vegetation which provided concealment for the Coyote was cut down and replaced by roads. Vehicles that traveled the roads killed Coyotes (and their prey) in large numbers.  Coyotes are resilient, they remembered what it was like to be hunted. The Coyote retreated into the background but they did not go away!  Their numbers were fewer because both their hunting territories and available den sites were being reduced as humans built ever larger homes.

Ah – but the humans brought with them pets and backyard feeders. In addition to those pet and backyard feeders Coyotes found that many humans threw out uneaten foods – garbage? By golly these humans are good neighbors after all, they build city parks around their homes! The trees in the park grow old, the old trees have hollows and cavities good for dens.  Some previous Coyote hunting grounds were being converted into human entertainment, baseball parks, football stadiums and best of all – huge parking lots like the one at Solder Stadium in Chicago. The Coyote Cam reader will remember that Soldier Stadium is also home to a family of Coyotes.  Looks like the good times have returned if you are a Coyote.

Get out there and enjoy a walk this Spring!

Stay tuned, there is more to come on the Coyote Cam.

Damned if you do, Damned if you don’t!

The number of family run American farm and ranch numbers are dwindling being replaced in large part by corporate commercial operations. Every year sees another farmer or rancher taking a second job to augment their agriculture careers.  In addition, financially they are being forced to sell off land as it becomes more valuable as a sub-development rather then for growing crops or raising livestock.  Other factors to consider are the stigma of not only trying to protect ones animals against predators but the harvesting of agriculture animals.  More and more animal protection groups only see suffering animals in rural America, no comments about the need for production of protein products!  Meanwhile, consumers only complain when their grocery store / market prices increase.

Through out American history farmers and ranchers have tried several methods to eliminate predation

  bear-trap

Most “leg traps” were used by trappers in order to preserve as much of the animal pelt as was possible. Farmers and ranchers knew that the leg traps could be used very effectively against large predators as well and additionally, the pelt provided another source of revenue.  However, the leg traps could and did trap livestock.  It wasn’t until later that poisons were used though there were as many negative side effects as there were positive ones!

Livestock Protection Collar
Predator Control Device

First came the neck strap packet of poison. Most predators attack their victims by clamping their jaws on the victim’s neck.  The action of clamping down on the neck strap released a poison into the attacker’s mouths.  Unfortunately, the animal wearing the neck strap most always died or was severely injured!  Loosing livestock is not a good thing so another delivery system that did not kill or maim the livestock was needed.

  M44 diagram

The ground delivery system as its name implies is buried in the ground with the top “bait” portion exposed.  The “bait” is treated with a predator attractant.  The system is powered to thrust the bait and poison  into the animal’s mouth and throat when it is clamped down on and tugged.  No livestock are harmed and the predator is eliminated.  However, the unintended consequences of poisons is that it doesn’t stop with the intended recipient.  Most of the poisons used were supposed to be fast acting but many factors did not make it so.  The varmints would devour their meal then wonder off and die.  The poisoned predator would eventually be consumed by (vultures) other carnivores who in turn were poisoned by the tainted predator, the poison kept on working through multiple exposures!

Several media comments and or “Letters to the Editor” espouse support for hunting but then oppose trapping or the use of “mechanical calling techniques.” The “conflicted hunters” then make a scary statement about the “carnage” resulting from Coyote Hunting Contests often including pictures of multiple dead coyotes. The one thing the contest opponents fail to mention is that the system far out weighs what had gone on before. Ever watch a poisoned animal die?  A shooter can and does discriminate targets making the coyote the only animal that is eliminated!  As long as his livestock are not shot few ranchers / farmers are too concerned about the sudden decline in the number of four legged predators.

Stay tuned there is more to come on the Coyote Cam.

On the other hand, Coyote Hunting

For some time this blog has been dedicated to urban interaction with Coyotes.  A few readers asked why not look at the Coyote from the other side?  The urban Coyote has a comfortable life compared to the suburbs or worse yet, rural lands.  For the remainder of this year (2017) we will shift our focus to Coyote survival in rural areas.  The farmer’s and rancher’s lively hood is at stake every day with weather as the primary detriment and livestock predation a close second.  The USDA-National Agricultural Statistics Service is referenced for this and other articles. Sheep and lamb mortality can be as high as 80 percent in some cases almost entirely due to Coyote predation.  Cattle are much larger and hence their size poses a problem for Coyotes but not one that can’t be over come.  The young and sick have always been targets for predators and cattle are no exception.  Cattle ranchers constantly struggle with predation and calving operations are extremely vulnerable to the coyote when mom and dad coyote are teaching their pups!  When the average size livestock loss is running over $50,000 per year something has to be done.  Fare warning here, the following material may not be suitable for all readers.

 

 When Buffalo roamed the American prairies the Wolf, for many years, reigned supreme as the canine alpha predator!  The lowly Coyote learned to survive using stealth and cunning to evade the Wolf as well other predators.  Alas, as the human migration pushed ever westward the Wolf was hunted to the verge of extinction.  Trappers and commercial hunters severely reduced wild life populations (think buffalo) but it was the settlers who had the most detrimental impact on the alpha predator population!  Farmers and ranchers saw the Wolf, Mountain Lion and Bear as the primary reason for livestock losses!  As a result the Coyote’s primary nemesis was eliminated and the Coyote’s hunting territory expanded as well as his reproductive activity.  Interestingly, many studies have shown that Coyotes live about six to eight years in the wild.  Conversely, in captivity Coyotes can live twelve plus years.  Other studies found that during the least stressful periods wild Coyote pups survival averages around one or two pups out of six.  Amazingly, when external pressures exist (hunting or higher level predators) pup survival can be 100 percent.  In the case of elevated pressures suggestions are that with the removal of the adult Coyotes the pups have more on which to survive.

 

 

Coyote hunting contests have been around for years although on a smaller scale following the demise of the Coyote’s predators. 

early-coyote-hunting
Early Coyote Hunting

The agriculture community would come together to hunt the Coyotes as needed.  Returning home to the Southwest part of the country in the late 60s a few ex-helicopter pilots found new jobs shooting Coyotes with a shotgun from their low flying helicopters.

helicoyotehunting
Helicopter Coyote Shooter

The Coyote Cam reader has probably heard of the “Duck Call,” “Goose Call,” and a “Turkey Call,”  The next advance in Coyote Hunting came with the mechanical Coyote Call.  Coyote Calling has become big business as there are no licenses required to hunt the Coyote. 

coyote-call-results
Coyote Caller and Results

Today, Coyote Hunting has become a contest to see who can harvest the maximum numbers of Coyotes over a given weekend with a trophy or reward given out.  Several gun shops around the southwest, in conjunction with a few farmers and ranchers, have devised an annual Coyote Hunting Contest.  What is interesting is that even after these events the next season’s Coyote population shows little, if any, reduction in numbers.

 

 

 

Stay tuned, there is more to come on the Coyote Cam.

 

Happy New Year

Good bye 2016 and Hello 2017! Time for a change but human nature changes very slowly.  Coyote news reports from across the country remain consistent, people ignore the laws of nature and pets (especially small pets) suffer.  Sad to say another family pet was lost in Chicago and what was worse is that it happened on Christmas Day.  The tragic story involves three specific traits; Coyote numbers are on the rise, People think it is ok to feed wildlife, People think that just because their pets were safe last week the pets will be safe this week too.  Combine all three of these traits and a recipe for disaster is set in motion. Even though the number of reported Coyote incidents has risen dramatically many more go unreported.  There have been more pets lost this year then in any other year and that number will continue to rise.

Many citizens attend public meetings seeking information to eliminating the “Coyote” problem every week. During each of those meetings an authority will advise the attendees there are multiple issues needing correction before the Coyote threat can be reduced.  Some of those discussions will reflect that the process of eliminating the Coyote threat carries unintended consequences such as possible injuries to pets and humans.  Prior issues of the Coyote Cam speaks to poisons and leg traps for those not familiar with the unintended consequences of attempting to eliminate Coyotes.  Most authorities advise that Coyotes are often seen well before they become a nuisance and that is the best time to be proactive in Coyote elimination!  As soon as the first Coyote is seen in the immediate area residents should look for the attractant that drew the Coyote to them.  This is a great time to introduce yourself to your neighbors if you haven’t done so already!  Many neighborhoods have “Crime Watch” organizations and those folks bring a lot of eyes so why not watch for Coyotes as well as bad guys.  Some of you might put the Coyote and bad guys in the same bag but they are different, one is a creature of nature while the other is a creature with only bad intentions.  Pooling the resources of neighborhood watch associations can be the first line of defense against Coyote problems!

One of your neighbors is stand offish and not the joining type. I can hear the murmurings of readers growing louder!  In the case of a Neighborhood Watch Organization this is not really  a problem as others can be relied on to augment the nonconformist.  However, when it comes to yard maintenance and picking up after pets the nonconformist becomes the focal point for Coyotes.  There will always be a nonconforming individual in the neighborhood crowd, someone who is not reasonable or responsible.  This is where the local health or code enforcement authorities will make a difference, one call to those authorities and the nonconformist can rely on random checks through out the year.  Some communities with strong health / code enforcement agencies establish a list as they realize nonconforming individuals need the proper motivation to clean up their home and lawns.  Yeah that first call to health / code enforcement can be tough but the positive outcome could result in a nicer neighborhood and one free of Coyotes.  The object is to encourage the Coyotes to go elsewhere and that is one of the goals of this blog, helping to better understand Coyotes and their habitats.

City and suburban areas are fairly easy to protect once one knows what to look for but the urban and agricultural areas will most certainly have an ongoing Coyote issue. A Coyote problem requiring sterner means of control, proactive here means terminating the critters.  Unfortunately, this is where Coyote experts have learned that termination is not one hundred percent certain!  Over the years Coyotes have learned to not only survive but thrive in impossible situations.  In almost each and every case where Coyotes have been killed the following season sees an uptick in numbers.  Mother nature abhors a vacuum and the Coyote validates that theory.  Once the Coyote has established a territory they instinctively increase their numbers when ever the current numbers decrease.  The final point in conjunction with the afore mentioned concepts is that once a Coyote has established its territory there is little to no chance of eliminating its progeny!  Act when the first Coyote is seen and the eventual elimination is a tad more efficient!

Changing the story line here – This past Christmas the Coyote Cam was active, four Coyotes (alright – three full figures and a portion of a fourth) were recorded. The timing is interesting in that the Coyote Cam was a Christmas present some four years ago and the very first time it was put into use it recorded several Coyotes.  The time in between then and now saw only a few Coyotes but the realty was that two cameras had to be replaced.  Down time between camera replacements were lengthy which would account for the lower number of Coyote photographs.  Following this edition readers will note the latest photographs of the local Coyote family, they do seem healthy this year!  Why would the Coyotes hang around when so many of the neighbors take stringent precautions?  Bureau of Land Management is not proactive in critter control until the animals involved become a problem.  As noted above several pets are killed but few are ever officially reported as killed but simply as missing.  The lands adjacent to this neighborhood are managed(?) by BLM and until missing pets are denoted as killed by Coyotes BLM will not take any action to eliminate the Coyotes running through BLM property.

Thank You for allowing this writer time off for Christmas and New Year. I sincerely hope you and your family are healthy and looking forward to the coming year.

Stay tuned – there is more to come on the Coyote Cam!

Something is a foot

Perspective is every thing! A new camera and a different angle of view makes a lot of difference when trying to photograph Coyotes.

M2E3L1-1R350B320

OH – and the bait as well.

M2E1L0-1R350B320

In the past this blog has stressed what not to do such as leaving bird feeders unattended, letting debris and litter stack up on the ground. It draws bait – er . . I mean rodents and small game such as the rabbit pictured above.  As it turns out there are also plants that have seed and seed pods left over from the past summer.  This author has discovered that these seed sources not only draw small four legged game but birds as well.  Unfortunately, the birds draw household cats (pets maybe).  The trail camera kept recording cats but those random pictures just did not seem appropriate for a blog about Coyotes.  Talk about the wrong perspective!  Several articles presented here reflect that cats, along with small dogs are often Coyote fodder. But that is a story for another edition.  Back to the pictured rabbit.  Seems the Coyote was hot on the scent of the rabbit!  Several pictures show the rabbit then a few minutes later, the Coyote shows up with his nose to the ground as seen in the above picture.  Yes, one photo is dated several days before giving the impression the Coyote was a bit early.  Let us just say that they did cross paths and there is now one less rabbit in the neighborhood.  Last evening several Coyotes were howling away down by the river.  Maybe, it was because there is a newcomer to the Coyotes, an owl.

owl-on-the-roof

This bad boy (girl?) stood about two feet high and in flight, appeared to have a six foot wing span. The lighting was not what is pictured, it was actually late sunset / early evening. Very limited lighting at best.  For you photographers out there – Canon Rebel T3i, F 3.5, telephoto lens at 200mm and shutter speed around 125.  Post processing to clean up noise and finally, cropped to the subject.  OK – it was not the trail camera but who said wildlife was going to be on the trail camera only?  The Coyote Cam is attempting an improved photography mode in the coming months.  The advanced mode should drastically improve quality.

How was your Thanksgiving?

I hope it was a good one!

Stay tuned – there is more to come from the Coyote Cam.

Pumpkins and Autumn Leaves

Where has the time gone? In the last column this author noted that Halloween marks the beginning of a new episode in the life cycle of Coyotes.  Many of you will recall the cartoon character Wiley E. Coyote.  Born under the pen of Chuck Jones, Warner Brother’s Animation Department in 1948 Wiley Coyote celebrates his 68th birthday this year.  This blogger recalls his childhood days watching many ill fated chase scenes wherein the Coyote was this close to catching his arch nemesis the Roadrunner.  Unlike his real life counterpart Wiley E. Coyote resorted to all kinds of notorious means to catch the Roadrunner but frequently found himself blown-up and face down in the dirt!  It seems we may have a bit of Wiley E. Coyote in the Coyote Cam.  The original camera departed this earth several years ago and was replaced by Coyote Camera II.  Coyote Camera II crashed for unknown reasons this past summer and it too, was replaced.  Coyote Camera III started operating independently and was sent in for repairs as was briefly mentioned in a prior posting.  Coyote Camera III is now reported as missing in transit.  Apparently, Coyote Camera III was being shipped home along with someone’s New Year’s Fireworks Show when disaster struck. The shipping company reports the shipping trailer blew up following a wreck.  Local reporters said the inferno put on quite a show and that there was an extensive debris field surrounding the crater where the truck and trailer exploded.

One of the regular followers of the Coyote Cam sent the following link, give it a look.  “Coyote” by Don Williams.  Really expresses the true state of our favorite four legged varmint.  The Coyote has been around the United States for a long time, it has not only survived its prairie peers, it has thrived.  Many followers know that the Coyote began its life in the west central part of the continental United States and expanded its territory from coast to coast and as far north as Alaska and south into Central America.  This blog attempts to capture stories related to Coyotes and over the years of watching the internet has seen a rise in Coyote and human interactions.  Many city dwellers seem horrified when a Coyote is seen walking down a city street while urbanites tend to be less emotional, at least that is the perspective this author perceives.  It is not that urbanites are less attuned to the Coyote’s proximity but that they and rural citizens know it is easier to maintain a balance, the Coyote population will adjust to its environment.  More food, more Coyotes.  Less food, fewer Coyotes!  But it is not just the food that makes it easy or hard for Coyote survival, it is the presence of a habitat.  Food can be scouted out as long as there is a den for family life not far away.  Hard life has taught the Coyote many lessons and Mother Nature has provided the Coyote an innate sense of reproduction.

Oh Yeah – the latest Coyote Cam arrived (number IV), I am some what concerned as there are burn marks on one edge! At any rate, it was put up today, Friday the 11th of November.  There may or may not be pictures for the bi-weekly publication of the blog due out the 15th.  We will see, my bet is that a Coyote will show up and the camera will not catch it.  Kind of a reversal on Wiley E. Coyote if you catch the inference?

Stay tuned, there is more to come on the Coyote Cam – maybe.

Every one have a Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Has the year gone by already??

It’s Halloween and you are out with the little goblins and witches, what are you thinking? It seems like we were just enjoying summer yet here is the prelude to the holidays – Halloween.  It is still some time to the beginning of Winter which arrives December 21st.  Coyotes will likely be in hiding with all the noise and commotion of the day so why worry. Halloween is the day for candy wrappers to be flying in the wind, happy ghosts will be running ahead and not paying attention to where their feet will land. Kiddos eh?  Mom and Dad Coyote are actually breathing a sigh of relief much as does the human folks when school starts.  Halloween marks that time of the year when the Coyote offspring are preparing to go out on their own.

The cycle of Coyote life generally has the pups hunting with their parents about this time of the year. Nature is encouraging the pups to soon leave their den. Coyotes are seen with regularity at this time of the year because the pups are leaving the den to learn about life.  Maybe that is why the Coyote population always seems to increase at this time of the year.  More and more animal control offices are reporting growing numbers of Coyotes these days.  Winter is coming and the once dependent pups now young adult Coyotes are nature bound to find their own den and food for the cold and scarce months ahead.  No – not just yet, there is much to be learned over the coming fall months as each day grows shorter and the nights long and cold.  The immediate future will reinforce hunting skills although most of them will not survive these times.  Those Coyotes that do survive will be stronger then their parents because each generation will have improved their survival capabilities.

The Coyote Pups watch as their parents hunt and then stalk needed food for the families. The pups watch the parents fade into the background in order to avoid larger predators or to sneak up on their prey. The parents move ever so slowly so as not to draw attention which is the same skill needed to overcome unsuspecting prey and avoid humans.

The stealthy skill needed to avoid humans and predators is the same used to gather food. Halloween lives on for small game but for the human children it is only a single night of fright. This is the day that marks the beginning of the end for many young Coyotes.  The Coyote pups are gathering knowledge for the coming days when they will be out on their own and have to survive or die.

Stay tuned – there is more to come on the Coyote Cam. Thanks for your time.

Going for a walk?

In the last posting this blog reviewed a Los Angeles Times article describing a Coyote “attack” where-in three people were being treated for the possibility of rabies. This week,  another Coyote attack occurred but this time the Coyote tested positive for rabies and in of all places – Rhode Island.  The readers that follow this blog regularly can validate the multiple comments repeated through out that Coyotes are losing their fear of humans. Coyotes are becoming habituated.  Wildlife in a natural setting up close is most always a beautiful thing!  However, one should determine if the approaching animal has a strong curiosity or is sick.  A habituated animal can be confused with  an other wise sick animal, it is important to understand there is a  difference between the two.

If the animal appears to be struggling (awkward) without any obvious external injuries it is safe to assume that animal is probably sick and should be avoided. In any case the “sick” animal should be reported to authorities at the earliest convenience!  On the other hand, just because the approaching animal does not appear sick contact should always be discouraged.  Humans have differing attitudes in their relationships with wild life and unfortunately for the wild life not all humans have wild life’s best interest in mind.

In, The need for modern conservation efforts, an article written for New Mexico Wildlife.  The author, Zen Mocarski writes, “In the last 100 years, development has boomed, cities have grown and the connections people have with the outdoors has been replaced by the internet, shopping malls, movie theaters and home entertainment.”  What was once wilderness is fast being converted to undeveloped land meaning it is being viewed for investing purposes.  What was once wilderness will soon be either an urban housing project or industrial location.  The wild life that used to call that piece of land home may very well become homeless.  Coyotes (wild life), it is safe to say, have been pushed out of their homes by encroaching human developments.  Not only have we (you & I) made critters homeless we have contributed to their early demise.  How, you ask?  Providing access to our jobs and malls are highways which divide what was once wildlife’s home.  The fences that limit road crossings by animals traps the animals preventing escape from their predators.  Additionally, what few animals that make it past the fences become road kill and those numbers are climbing as the number of vehicles increases.  Don’t like seeing Coyotes in your neighborhood?  Then it is time to look around the country and see about better land management to prevent the loss of wildlife habitat!  Keep wildlife in the wilderness.

At the beginning of this post Coyotes were noted to have attacked humans inside neighborhoods or what should have been a safe place. Those attacks may not have been prevented but had precautions been taken, the severity of those attacks would have been reduced. Hiking in the back country, going for a walk around the block or just taking a stroll it is a good idea to be aware of the surroundings and carry something to discourage unwanted advances.  Serious thought should be given to using a walking stick because it not only provides stability it will provide a defense against unruly varmints (think Coyote here).  This blog does not endorse any products but offers the following for those who are unfamiliar with the concept of a walking stick as opposed to using a cane.  Walking sticks can be as decretive (expensive) as the heart desires depending on the craftsmanship involved!  The object is to have a sturdy walking stick for any occasion that arises.  The internet offers many sources of the walking stick priced from less then $20.00 to more then $80.00.  You are welcome.

Stay tuned, there is more to come on the Coyote Cam.

Video of an attack?

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