Halloween Horror?

Mange

Wait – What was that animal slinking about in the brush there?  Some kind of dog or was it a Coyote?  Ether must be in terrible pain! There was something really wrong, it had no fur.  Worse yet, its skin was flaky and horrible looking.  A distinct odor settled in as the unfortunate animal ran away, the sores on its body stinking beyond belief!  Could it be an undead creature looking for a life to replace the one it lost?  More and more animals are walking around suffering from mange, a common parasite infestation found mostly on canines.  Only in this case the parasite problem is out of control!  Most canines are born with some parasites.  Puppies are at higher risk of infection though mange during their first year because of an under developed immune system.  However, mange can and does occur later in life in a canine’s life.  There are two types of mange, Sarcoptic and Demodectic.  The first – a result from an out of control parasite while the second form occurs due to changes in the animal’s health.  Most often older canines develop mange but the skin deterioration is also due to hormone imbalances and or cancers.  Either form of manage is a reason to keep your animals on a leash.  Mange can be found in the soil so while a leash can help prevent your animal from coming into contact with a diseased animal it may not totally prevent your pet from walking through contaminated environments.  Oh!  Yes – humans can contract mange if in contact with either a sick animal or exposure to parasite infested areas.  Still sleeping with your pup? 

The cure for manage- keep your pets clean with regular brushing.  Pets may resist but wash them on a regular basis.  Be sure to check every inch of their bodies particularly the folds of skin around ears, shoulders and flanks.  Be sure your pets remain healthy, vets can help spot problems early and treat them as needed.  Should a need arise for topical ointments your vet can guide you in selection and application.  On a parallel thought – As we age we sometimes forget our pets are aging as well, aging pets can’t tell you they hurt.  Older pets are susceptible to manage as much or more so once again it is important to pay attention to their health and any loss of fur.

Old Dog 

Our regular coverage of Coyote attacks:  The Denver area has seen a rise in Coyote attacks against small animals, even over six-foot fences.  One resident lost her Miniature Doberman Pincer, the tall six-foot fence didn’t slow the Coyote down at all.  Meanwhile, another owner watched as her seventeen-year old cat was snatched right off a front porch.  It can never be stressed enough our pets are viable food sources for wild animals.  The sad part is that pets really don’t know the difference between friend and foe until it is too late.  Dogs have been seen playing with Coyotes or at least what was assumed to be play.  In the case of the older cat it may have considered the skulking Coyote just another neighborhood dog roaming through the front yard.  Pet owners need to provide their pets as much oversight as is possible.  In order of importance; Pet feeding bowls cleaned and kept inside at night, all bird seed removed, potential animal dens destroyed and last but not least, keep pets on a leash!  Walk your pets early to mid-day, Coyotes like to feed during evening hours but never assume there isn’t a Coyote nearby!   

 That’s it for October Coyote Fans!  Stay Tuned, there is more to come on the Coyote Cam 

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Pack or Family Hunting Unit?

Do Not Feed_edited-1

It appears someone in Arlington Heights, Ill thinks they need to support their local wildlife – WRONG!  Neighbors are up in arms as one of their own is suspected of feeding “home cooked meals” then leaving said  meal under a nearby tree for the local Coyotes.  What is wrong with these folks? It is not just this Blog warning about the problems with desensitizing Coyotes but many state ordinances do prohibit the feeding of wildlife for that very reason.  The ideal situation is to haze or make the Coyote’s life miserable hoping that it will seek other locations for their feeding and den sites.  Maybe some law abiding citizen in that neighborhood has their home security cameras trained on the tree drop off.  Lets help stop well intended BUT totally misguided folks from doing the wrong thing – Do Not Feed The Wild Life!

Unfortunately, in Northern New Jersey (Saddle River) a woman was out walking her dog one evening this month when confronted by a “pack” of Coyotes.  The article does not describe how many Coyotes were in the pack but suffice it to say the word “pack” suggests there were more then two.  Here in the southwest Coyotes do not normally hunt in packs but rather family groups (four to five) specifically during this time of the Coyote’s life cycle.  Coyote parents are teaching their pups/youngsters to hunt thus their numbers might suggest a pack.  The article does not mention what type of Coyote comprised the “pack.” Another intriguing problem on the east coast is that the standard Coyote there is a good deal heavier then the standard Coyote found here in the southwest.  Add to that larger size an even larger Coyote easterners refer to as a “Coywolf” (65% Coyote, 25% Wolf and 10% Dog) and now the animal becomes very intimidating!  Thus, these two factors, the size and number of animals confronted would cause anyone to be alarmed let alone an older woman walking her small dog at twilight.

Coywolf PNG

– Coywolf –

Just to remind everyone reading this issue – be prepared when you go out for a walk with or without your pet. Even if you don’t require a cane to walk get into the habit of carrying a big stick for those daily/evening walks!  Most animals met on the street (with the exception of the two-legged variety) are frightened by something larger then they are – waive your “big stick” and arms in the air, yell “go away.”  Keep yelling and waiving your arms pretty soon the animal will retreat or run off plus you stand a fair chance of attracting other humans to your predicament.  Anything that makes a lot of noise is good thing too, some one mentioned canned-air horns!  A coach’s whistle will work and may be a tad less expensive in the long run.  Believe it or not a soda can filled with rocks makes a great rattle noise and has been used to scare off Coyotes.

That brings this week’s edition of the Coyote Cam to a close. Be sure to look for the upcoming edition of the Coyote Cam when we look into recent sightings of “Zombie Dogs.”  Yes, ghosts and hobgoblins are not scheduled until later during Halloween but apparently these apparitions are making an early appearance!

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

What was that brown blur?

Summer is on its way out though there is a bit more warm weather remaining. The calendar says we are midway through August yet September looks to be a carbon copy of these past few day’s temperatures.  Fortunately, this area has began receiving moisture as “Monsoon” type rain which uplifts the dry hot desert making it more livable for humans. The amazing New Mexico pale orange / purple / rust colored sunsets are growing shorter and the cooler evenings more enjoyable making an evening libation shared with friends taste all the better.  The high desert flora; mesquite, cactus, and ocotillo are past their maximum  bloom but still manage to draw honey bees and hummingbirds looking for nature’s sweet offerings.  The Coyotes, less timid now, make frequent trips past my back gate in their daily quest for food.  On this day one pauses to see if any bothersome humans are nearby.  Accustomed to these regular forays I cast a quick glance to the gate and catch the Coyote checking on us.  He is on his way before I can call out his presence to the group, slinking off through the underbrush beyond the little hill and down into the arroyo.  The lone Coyote is gone, nothing but a surreal image blending into the rays of the setting sun.  However, not before my trail camera has captured his photograph.  telephoto-cropped

Reports of Coyote encounters continue from coast to coast and border to border, sightings occurring round the clock. Some reports even contain cell phone photographs of the offending Coyote. Many of the reports from journalist are only looking to help fill space while others do their research and offer their readers legitimate insight into the life of a Coyote. What is missing are the reported sightings from ranchers and farmers – why don’t they have the same level of Coyote nuisance as their urban counterparts?  Ranchers and farmers don’t complain about these problems, they fix the problem and I don’t mean neutering either!  Urban dwellers typically don’t have the flexibility their rural cousins can exert toward Coyote resolution.  Most media guidance suggest residents follow the normal routines for varmint control, keep a clean yard in and around the home.  When confronted by a Coyote attempt to scare them off says many of the reports being submitted by the national and local media.  The reports that provide sound guidance are usually the ones that include an interview with a local government wildlife agency, the experts know how to prevent varmint encounters and resultant interactions.  What continues to happen and which will defeat all attempts toward peaceful varmint eradication are those well meaning but misguided individuals that feed the wildlife.  Coyote sightings / encounters will continue thanks in large part to those who drop a handful of dog food on trails while hiking or encourage Coyotes to drink from their golf course water cups.  Encouraging wild life to accept close proximity to humans is detrimental to all concerned be it Coyotes or Grizzly Bears!

An interesting side note here – In today’s email there appeared a notice from the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish detailing their upcoming public meeting to be held in Albuquerque.  The first item on the agenda is “Wildlife Complaints.”  Coyotes are not the only urban problem!  More and more feral hogs are ripping through farms and home owner lawns lying adjacent to the Rio Grande River. Depending on the reader’s locality determines which species (or all) of wildlife is wreaking havoc with the reader’s environment.  Every one is a stakeholder in this endeavor!  Each and every one has a responsibility to pay attention to their surroundings.

In a similar parallel – two footed predators prey on those whose headphones prevent the wearer from hearing the approaching attack. Folks just walking down the street while watching a video have been killed as they blindly walk into traffic.  Lack of attention is not an excuse! Where is this going you might ask? Walking out the front door look around the yard or street.  What do you see?  Same old stuff that has been lying around for awhile?  Was that hamburger bag laying on the street chewed up this morning?  New folks showing up in the neighborhood?  If the flower bed has been torn up what caused it? What was that critter darting around the corner just now?  Know your surroundings, get to know your neighbors and finally –  pick up anything that might represent food to paws, claws and talons.  Take off the headphones, put the cell-phone in your pocket and enjoy your surroundings.  You might just catch a glimpse of a Coyote!

I appreciate your stopping by to read about Coyotes and other things. Have a great week and remember –

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


“Its a Great Life”

Injured Coyote given aid by Arizona golfer?  What’s wrong with this picture? EVERYTHING!  It is good to render aid to sick and injured animals but there must be a point where the professionals are called.  The Coyote pictured does not appear to be injured.  In the above story nothing is said by those on the site of the Coyote encounter about calling the authorities for help.  The Coyote in the video is obviously not afraid of humans.  The golfers attempt to give the Coyote a drink of water.  But wait folks, this encounter with the Coyote takes place on a golf course!  SO – how much water is used on a golf course?  A lot, a whole lot of water is required to keep golf courses lush and green!  How many golf courses contain water hazards? Most every golf course I have been fortunate enough to play has had a water hazard.  Granted, many courses in the southwestern United States only have water hazards when it rains.  None-the-less, golf course water sprinklers provide moisture to birds / animals living on a golf course with far more water then those located in urban or rural lands!  Yes, that includes those golf courses using re-cycled sewage water as well.  What is the significance of a close encounter with a Coyote by two golfers at mid-day?

It is not just a close encounter with a Coyote on a golf course, it is the multiple reports of close encounters with Coyotes at all times of the day through out the United States!  From Auburn Hills Michigan to San Francisco California Coyotes are growing bolder by the day!  Coyotes do not typically approach humans, they are by nature shy and reserved only coming out to hunt for food or water.  That is until Coyotes encounter charitable, well meaning but badly misguided humans such as the hiker in San Francisco. This author has read and examined interactions between humans and wild life in excess of twenty plus years. In almost every case human intervention with wildlife ends badly!  In many cases wildlife suffers more often then humans during and following interventions.  Many cases of humans finding “lost” fawns or bear cubs end with the young animal having to be placed in captivity or at the very worst and as in many cases, euthanized.  Regardless, imagine the plight of the mother having lost its child.  Wildlife mothers find very quickly that loosing infants is a part of their environment- that is the way of nature.  Feeding an animal is worse on so many levels – processed food is not part of any animals diet.  Leaving food out is akin to entrapment.  The animal soon becomes accustomed to having its food provided and looses its desire to fend.  Why work if the food is there every day and its free?

Coyotes learned a long time ago to be stealthy in order to survive other predators. Coyotes used to fear humans and stayed out of sight using stealth to its advantage.  Now the Coyote no longer relies on stealth around humans. The Coyote’s survival instincts have been altered, they no longer have to fear humans – they have become emboldened by humans providing food! Automobiles are just another stampede to circumvent. Coyotes have learned to cross busy roads to obtain the free food left out by humans.  Is it a great life or what?

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

Today and always

This weekend started out like most Saturday’s do, turn on the coffee maker and retrieve the paper from our front drive.  Only this morning was a bit different. While opening the paper and looking down the hill I spotted a Coyote.  Spotting a Coyote around here is not uncommon but to see one not skulking along the fence line or amongst the tall weeds is different.  There is a game trail just off our back fence where the Coyote Cam sets specifically to photograph the coyotes (other critters as well).  Now to be honest, there have not been many Coyote (let alone other animals) being photographed in the last few months.

Coyotes were only found in the southwest early on in our country’s history.  Today, Coyotes are found from coast to coast and as far north as Alaska and as far south as Honduras in Central America.  Their territories have expanded because of the animal’s ability to thrive in adverse conditions!  No other predator has expanded its territory like the Coyote.  Their dens have been found under stadium parking lots, they have been photographed crossing busy intersections and walking across frozen bays. coyote crossing frozen bay

How does the Coyote survive in these conditions? Why was a Coyote spotted out in the open just down the hill from my home?

Human acceptance of the Coyote in our environment has made the Coyote unafraid of us. As our country expanded from the colonies to where it is today, we have built up to and into previous rural and undeveloped lands.  The desire to go from point a to point b requires that we build four (maybe six) lane highways to get us ever more quickly to our destinations.  Wild life is being forced into an ever decreasing areas with limited food sources.  Wild life has found that humans are not necessarily good neighbors and all but the Coyote continues to flee in the face of the onslaught.  Back when the Coyote was found only in the southwest it was not the alpha predator.  Wolves were the primary canines.  For clarity here it should be noted that Wolves are strictly carnivores whereas Coyotes vary their diets relying on small animals for their protein substituting berries and seeds at other times.  Wolves prayed on Coyotes when ever large game were not readily available.  Mountain Lions hunted the Coyote and bears would kill the unwary Coyote whenever the opportunity arose.  The Coyote soon acquired stealth as part of their survival techniques.  These days and with the large predator’s numbers greatly reduced the Coyote has no enemies and less reason to remain unseen.  Humans supply food and shelter and the Coyotes take advantage of the freebies!  Is life good or what?

Drawing to a close this issue will again repeat the mantra of a Coyote free neighborhood.

  1. If you feed your pets outside make sure to clean up. No food bowls left outside! Food debris is picked up and placed in garbage containers.
  2. Garbage containers are securely latched!
  3. Bird feeders are checked daily removing any seed from the ground. Fallen seed draws mice, rats and squirrels which in turn is the magic buffet Coyotes enjoy!
  4. Check the wood pile to ensure there aren’t rodents or Coyotes living inside.
  5. Get rid of any structure that might provide a Coyote den.
  6. Check the neighborhood and eliminate any draw a Coyote would find useable! That median in the middle of the street can house Coyotes given ample foliage like trees and shrubs.

Stay tuned – There is more to come on the Coyote Cam.

As the summer gets hot

Vacation went a lot longer then expected, glad to be home! We will get back on track this month hopefully.  However, a review of the past two months Coyote news seems relatively quiet.  A few articles from random community news outlets continue to report chance encounters on the urban front and thankfully, none reported attacks on humans.  On the other hand, pets continue to be victims of Coyotes.  It would appear small pets are more likely to be attacked then their larger cousins.

On the rural side of the fence recent Coyote studies are producing some pretty astounding data. Common knowledge of Coyotes suggest they roam frequently and widely but one study revealed a Coyote had traveled 80 plus miles possibly in search of new territory.  The following link talks about the Coyote whose nickname is the “Interstate Traveler.”  The article includes all the “Dos” and Don’ts” found in this and past issues of the Coyote Cam.  The well written article also reinforces the fact that Coyotes originated in the southwest of the United States and what we see today are the progeny of those original predators.  I highly encourage all to a take a look at that article.

Recent construction projects directly next door and in the streets has apparently scared away many of the nightly denizens, haven’t seen a trace of Coyote in several weeks.  The Rio Grande River is at its highest 10 year levels so vegetation is growing nicely holding small game and water fowl to that immediate vicinity. Rabbits are no longer as plentiful around the neighborhood as they used to be so that Coyote draw is no longer active.  Water, food and shelter are at the top of the Coyote’s list which may be the reason they are staying closer to the river instead of nearby neighborhoods.  However, one never knows when the Coyote is going to be active as was demonstrated this past weekend.  A local realtor likes to put on neighborhood yard sales this time each year so my wife and I decided it would be a good time to see our neighbors.  As we walked past an arroyo/street crossing we knew something had darted behind us but didn’t stop to investigate.  An oncoming family pointed to a large bush we had just passed and said they had seen a Coyote run out of the bush just as we passed it.  That was interesting in that a Coyote would be this close with all the commotion of the construction and elevated amount of traffic due to the yard sales going on.  One never knows!

Well here we are folks more then half way through 2017, still a lot of hot weather ahead of us across the country. Sadly the wild fires are eating up the countryside and along with the loss of animals is the destruction of homes.  Take some time to look at your surroundings to know which way to escape should fire come your way.

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

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M2E1L0-0R350B320

Coyotes are every where

It seems that rural folks have predators while urban residents have nuisances.

Hmm – OK!  During this past May several stories detailing Coyote and human interactions from Rhode Island to Orange County California continue to reinforce that the Coyote is here to stay.  Interestingly, Colorado has started testing a new method to control the interaction between Denver residents and their nuisances.  Basically, the plan is to eliminate Coyotes exhibiting bold or overly aggressive characteristics thus “weeding out” that part of the Coyote gene pool. Those Coyotes that run when confronted are allowed to escape into the background. The article posted in the Denver Post has drawn some negative feedback from residents who question the validity of the methodology’s supporting detail.  If you have a moment read the Denver article and leave your feedback here.  Comments will be discussed during the July Coyote Cam postings.

The Coyote Cam camera was placed on our driveway this past month. Two Coyotes were there but only one was visible, the other appeared to be a ghost. Seems the rabbit population was decreased shortly thereafter as a carcass / remains was found up the street during my morning walk.   Coyotes – one, rabbits – 0.  Unfortunately, the camera was blowing around in the late evening wind and the picture was not real sharp.

M2E3L1-1R350B320

Speaking of which it seems there will be less scenery available in the very near future. A local contractor intends to build a home on the vacant lot east of us. The loss of scenery will be hard to accept but then new neighbors should help to fill in some blank spots along the street.  Not sure the construction noise will be accepted by the Coyotes though.  However, the Coyotes wont be gone for long if history is any indication.

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

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 Tragic Loss

Some of you may have heard about an incident in Idaho wherein a 14 year old boy was injured and the family pet killed by an M44 or Cyanide Bomb in March of this year.  As is reflected in the Coyote Cam many predator control methodologies have been in place since the early 1930s here in the United States.  However, some of those predator control mechanisms have one problem, they are indiscriminate.  Many iterations of the M44 have evolved but the basic mechanism is still in use.  The M44 currently used by the Wildlife Service utilizes spring launched sodium cyanide with an orange marker while other users in the US contain yellow markers.  The Australian government has requested the device for use there though they asked for sodium fluoroacetate poison.  That request did not identify a specific marker for the Australian devices.  Regardless of which device or where it is in use it is supposed to be obviously signed in order to prevent human exposure!

In the above case of the teenager and his dog, the investigation conducted by the local sheriff and reported on by local media does not reflect warning signage was in use. The orange marked powder dusted both the teen and dog which suggests the device was a Wild Life Service authorized deterrent.  The M44 tripping or trigger assembly is designed to prevent exposure to non-canines, it must be bitten and tugged / pulled upward to activate the spring launched contents.  The M44 is designed to project the cyanide powder upward into the mouth of the predator where upon the moisture inside the recipient’s mouth causes the formation of cyanide gas.  The article describing the pet loss suggests the Labrador ingested cyanide gas but implications were that the dust was wind born.  However and somewhat in contradiction to above published M44 guidelines, the area adjacent to the M44 may have been coated with the cyanide dust which required decontamination as happened to the victims and first responders.  Every thing that was used to respond to the incident had to be decontaminated though no one has told the family how to deal with the teen’s clothes.  On another point, the teenager told reporters that his Labrador was “frothing from his muzzle while issuing guttural sounds.” His dog went into seizures then lay still said the youngster.  Not quite what the M44 published guideline’s describes as a quick, painless death.  The state of Idaho and certain other states have discontinued the use of M44s for predator control as of this posting.

The M44 is an efficient though not necessarily inexpensive solution to the larger problem of livestock predation. Used properly the M44 has a good record doing the job it was designed for.  National Geographic states, “In recent disclosure forms Wildlife Services reported that out of 76,963 coyotes killed in 2016 for livestock protection, 12,511 were felled with M-44s. Another 30,000 were gunned down by sharpshooters from fixed-wing planes and helicopters, and 15,000 more died in choking neck snares.” How important is predation to just the cattle industry?  If only half of the recorded number of coyotes killed (76963 / 2 = 38,481) killed one weaned calf costing $1,035.00 (2015 prices) each the cost to the cattle industry alone would be $39,828,352.00.  No matter which industry is considered $39.8 Million is a staggering loss!  Some states have legislated against “Coyote Hunting Contests” but when compared to the costs of allowing hunters to terminate predators as opposed to using mechanical devices.  The hunters appear to have a lower overall cost per coyote exterminated and  . . less likely to indiscriminately kill a family pet.

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

* http://idahostatejournal.com/news/local/pocatello-boy-watches-family-dog-die-after-cyanide-bomb-explodes/article_d0003a2f-6b7f-5d31-b427-68db03d3b93a.html

**https://www.aphis.usda.gov/publications/wildlife_damage/content/printable_version/fs_m44_device.pdf

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.