So how do we get rid of Coyotes?

Nature pits the Coyote against humans and the Coyote are winning.  However, a story coming out of San Francisco California suggests a different perspective on that relationship.  This is an interesting comment about the Coyote’s ability to thrive in an urban environment based on the local newspaper’s other entertainment value.  Coyotes have learned over the years that survival depends on its ability to blend into its surroundings.  In the above story the newspaper carrier simply wants to end having to re-deliver papers.  His solution only serves to reinforce to a Coyote, humans are not to be feared!  As this blog has pointed out lo these many month, Coyotes do very well in municipal settings Thank You very much!  But why do Coyotes do as well as they do when everyone hates them?  The secret is that not every one hates the Coyote (nuisance animals in general).  The National Park Service reports on a regular basis that even with signs reading, DO NOT FEED THE WILDLIFE – their Rangers still find piles of pet food left along trails.  People have been cited for illegally feeding wild animals yet the practice continues.  Now, we have a paper carrier encouraging a Coyote to retrieve and play with substitute newspapers.   These misguided but well meaning folks do not understand that feeding / playing with the wildlife diminishes the fear of humans.  Not only will the wildlife lose their fear of humans they will forgo their natural hunting instincts to dine at the local neighborhood garbage can or backyard pet food bowl.

 

There are a lot of stories these days about Coyotes stalking family pets and carrying those pets off while the owner’s watch in horror.

https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2018/06/04/dogs-coyotes-metro-detroit-attacks/655705002/

Yes, some pets do survive the initial attack only to suffer until death takes their pain away.  Pets that do live through their injuries are fortunate though often traumatized to the point of not being able to do their business without looking over their shoulders!  Here is the point that falls through many of the “attack stories,” wild life offers other ways to kill then just aggressive attacks.

K9 Parvo, Distemper and Rabies are all carried by wild life not just Coyotes.

(https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/common-conditions/parvo-in-dogs/),

However, this blog’s focus is on Coyotes living among us so it is important to understand that these days one is just as likely to encounter a Coyote as any other wild life.  Remember it isn’t just the physical presence of a Coyote transferring diseases during an assault it is also shedding and their fecal matter we must be concerned with.  All animals primarily experience their world through sounds, smell and taste.  As we walk through the neighborhood we pick up all sorts of unseen debris on our shoes and clothes.  Just our walk through the neighborhood can infect our pets.  The pets use their sense of smell and taste to see their world during those walks.  Who hasn’t walked into their homes only to have the family pet come wagging their tails and beg for a pet on their head?  We bring all kinds of infectious diseases into our homes without ever realizing it.  Keeping the pet food bowls picked up and the garbage can lids secure are only the first lines of defense against Coyotes.  It is important to know what has passed this way and what we step in!

So what do we do to avoid Coyotes in our neighborhoods?  If you haven’t encountered a Coyote you soon will.  Between now and that first time take the following preparations;

  1. Make sure your pets are on a leash.  Some folks believe their dogs are just too big to be taken by a Coyote.  Maybe – but do you really want to take the chance?
  2. “Carry a big stick” and not just because President Theodore Roosevelt said so.  A walking stick or golf club will work
  3. Carry a sound device such as a gym whistle or even a soda can with rocks.
  4. Clean up around your home – put away empty pet food bowls.  Water bowls catch debris or left over food particles from your pets food bowl!
  5. Use secure lids for garbage cans or trash receptacles.  Eliminate food smells!
  6. Around the house be sure wood piles do not provide dens for Coyotes.  Storing a wheel barrow upside down?  Be sure nothing can get under it.
  7. Watch fall out from bird feeders – seed on the ground will draw mice / rats which in turn will draw cats.
  8. In the neighborhood check out any medians with shrubs or sunken areas – all make great dens for Coyotes.
  9. Make sure you have your local legal authorities on speed dial, see a problem call it in!
  10. Make sure your local municipal / city / county aggressively pursues animal control policies and procedures!  If they don’t get involved!

 

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

 

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Do you hunt?

The Coyote hunting season never ends in New Mexico, hunting these predators here doesn’t require a license either.  As a matter of fact a number of western states maintain open season on Coyotes and for good reason, these predators cause livestock losses.  Lose your livestock and you will not be in business as a farmer or rancher for very long.  A banker’s cold heart makes anti hunting protesters seem quite tame when those land payments come due. Meanwhile in town – these days it is interesting that just about every call a municipal animal control agency receives is in relation to a pet attacked by a Coyote.  The loss of a pet (family member-right?) is devastating enough but to see that pet lying in the back lawn torn apart . . .well it doesn’t get any worse then that!  The common problem here is the Coyote!  What to do?

The agricultural folks will protect their industry at gun point while the folks in town are restricted in their control processes. However, both are hounded by animal rights activists.  Generally speaking – folks on one side want the predator gone while the folks on the other side want the predator left alone.  So which side is right?  Both actually! Coyote diets rely on available food sources but as has been proven they can survive on any combination of food sources.  Outside of the city limits gophers and rabbits are reliable food sources meanwhile, the city offers up rats and mice.  Unfortunately, live stock augments the Coyote’s food sources while dogs and cats often end up as a city delicacy.  The Coyote always prefers the food source which is the easiest to gather, they are not hard workers.

Coyotes have always been here but in the past they were the hunted. Wolves were the alpha canines and along with the other top predators such as the cougar and bear, Coyote populations were under constant pressure.  Wolves hunt in packs where as the Coyote hunted alone unless raising their pups.  Cougars are a lot faster in short runs then is the Coyote and the big cats far more agile hence the Coyote was badly out classed physically.  What can you say about bears, their size is formidable! How can a 35 to 45 pound Coyote contend with a 200 pound plus black bear?  There were no advocates for the Coyote back in those days.  Times have changed for the good as far as the Coyote is concerned.  At least in town there are no guns and not many traps.  Plus, food and shelter are easy to find for the Coyote.  Let us see – if you were a Coyote were would you want to live?

The Coyote has been evolving – on this every one can agree! Coyote populations are being shot on ranches and farms while the only problem a Coyote runs into in town might be a trap.  Which population is going to continue to increase?  That is right – the city bred Coyote!  Those Coyotes living outside the city limits learn that their city cousins have a better life and soon decide that city life is a vast improvement over living on a farm or ranch.  More so, when some one decides it is time for a “Coyote Hunting Contest.” The contest does not segregate males or females, they are both fair game!  On the positive side a well run hunting contest depletes a specific population and provides revenue not commonly in place.  There are a number of positive things that happen during these events, more on that in another posting.  Perhaps the one big negative is the disposal of the carcasses.  Coyote meat is not a well accepted form of protein!  In a lot of cases and is done with other harvested waste and miscellaneous parts – scavengers are relied on to clean up.  Other instances of unwanted hunting by-products are put into biologically safe trenches / holes.  At least the latter does remove all indications of a hunting contest.

A stated in previous postings this author is a hunter and I see no problem with hunting contests. Varmints make for good target practice but burying materials not taken for consumption is a good practice.  Where do you stand?

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

There is a season –

Hi - Im just passing throughFirst, a disclaimer is required here. This writer has always been an outdoor sportsman which includes hunting and fishing.  In conjunction with being an outdoor sportsman we all need to recognize that predators come in all sorts of packages; fin, fowl and animal (both the two legged and four legged varieties).  It is my belief that good stewardship includes land as well as wildlife!  A well maintained wildlife environment provides a shelter against encroaching humans and conversely, predators from wondering neighborhoods.

The end of 2017 saw an uptick in the number of Coyote attacks, a lot of those attacks were fatal to family pets. This blog has long talked about the number of Coyotes being encountered in usually non-wildlife areas (think neighborhoods here).  This blog has recounted the number of state, county and city agencies discouraging folks from feeding wild life yet a few people still see mangy Coyotes as hungry and in need of feeding.  Television and newspapers note with regularity the number of Coyote and human pet interactions in gruesome details.  One would think the Coyote is right up there with national enemy number 1.

Conversely, there are a number of groups through out the United States that advocate saving the Coyote.  Just this past Sunday in the Albuquerque Journal a column entitled Coyote-killing contest riles some might suggest that stopping cruel and insensitive Coyote killing contests ought to be the law as it is in some other states.  OK, lets not paint all citizens with one brush.  We are not all trying to save the Coyote – ask any pet owner who has witnessed their family (member) pet being killed by a Coyote.  The majority of those folks see a need to eradicate the neighborhood Coyotes.  Leave the city limits and there will be another person that has no need of the Coyote, those in the agricultural industry.  Farmers and ranchers not only loose family pets to Coyotes but they loose a part of their income to Coyote predation.  Cattle and sheep fare the worse loses due to Coyote attacks because currently, there are few other predators other wise – losses would be far greater! As any veterinarian can attest, Coyote attacks are often expensive to treat.  A sheep or cow being much larger becomes even more expensive to treat.

Why has the Coyote become so infamous – in one word, humans. An ever growing population of humans is forcing wildlife into smaller and smaller parcels of land.  Humans have paved roads into the lands once dominated only by wildlife.  These roads create a quasi type of wildlife fence, cross it at the wrong moment and death is instantaneous.  Those lands parceled by roads are also drained thereby eliminating sources of drinking water for wildlife as well the environment of water fowl.  Wetlands, once home to water fowl are fast becoming construction sites.  Say what you will, we humans are the ones encroaching on wildlife!  OK, the point of no return has not been reached . . . yet!  There are still areas where wild life abounds but that area is diminishing in size every day.  The last place a Coyote wants to be is out on a ranch or farm, their life spans are limited out there!  Much safer are the city neighborhoods where humans provide food that doesn’t have to be hunted and shelter that doesn’t require preparation or maintenance.  Go ahead and leave those pet food bowls outside, be sure the backyard fountains are running and by all means don’t bother covering those garbage cans.  Birdfeeders should be filled to over flowing so not only birds but squirrels come to visit.

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Your bird feeder is empty but you want have to worry about the cat

Thanks for your readership!

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

Coyotes Across The Borders

Nosing around the trail.

This photo is the result of having moved the trail camera from a low perspective to one higher up on the fence line.  One of the most recent photos from early March reminds us that Coyotes are constantly hunting, the time was a few minutes before 5pm.  The are several tracks in the ground under the Coyote’s nose.  Wonder what scents he / she has found?  One thing is for sure it may very well be the next meal.

Cold, miserable morning
Cold, miserable morning

This photo was taken from the old location.  The only problem is that being closer to the ground the camera batteries were constantly draining during the cold spells.  That produced poor quality photos which were trashed.  Originally, I had abandoned this shot but it seemed more appropriate as I gathered more and more Coyote stories.

 

 

This author attempts to gather Coyote news when ever and where ever he finds it. The pursuit of Coyote news sometimes takes us out of the English speaking countries so the story becomes fraught with translation issues.  Therefore, I will provide the link to the latest news following this brief introduction.  An interesting story out of Quebec, Canada this week should remind us all that the Coyote is never far away.  Seems “The Siver Times” (an internet news source) is reporting several Coyote sightings recently.  In fact a local biologist has been tracking the Coyote population in that community for several years.  The biologist’s findings suggest that the Coyote population has grown substantially!  Most of the article goes into detail about why and where Coyote sightings are most common in an effort to allay fears.  Nonetheless, this contributor advises that while the Coyote may not be overtly aggressive it will pursue any and all opportunities.  At home make your yard unattractive to wild life of all kinds: do not leave pet foods out, clean up rubbish and secure all garbage containers.  When out walking be aware of your surroundings, walk all pets on a leash and if confronted by Coyotes, raise your arms making your body bigger all the while yelling at the attacking Coyote.  Hopefully the attacking Coyote is not rabid but know that sick animals and more especially those infected by rabies, will exhibit erratic behavior.  A non-infected animal will abandon the attack when a stand is taken while the infected animal will continue its aggressive behavior.  If you suspect rabies do not hesitate to take what ever defensive capabilities are at your disposal.  Regardless, aggressive animals should be reported to authorities as soon as is possible!   Now, the “The Siver Times” link.

Stay tuned, there is more to come on the Coyote Cam. Thanks for visiting!