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Thread: Eastern Coyotes

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    Pat
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    Eastern Coyotes

    I think we had a discussion some time ago about the possible threat that eastern coyotes (Canis latrans) may pose to humans.

    Now, coyotes are small predators and generally go after small rodents, rabbits and other small game. Two coyotes (a pair) may cooperate in hunting but humans would be far too large for them to handle. I thought that it was highly unlikely that coyotes posed any threat what so ever and said so.

    A little while ago, I came across an interesting article. Many eastern coyotes are very large for coyotes. There is convincing genetic evidence that the coyote has mated with Canis lupis (the timber wolf). Since, much of the eastern US has had a white tailed deer population explosion, being able to take on larger prey would be a huge advantage for coyotes. Also, being larger and with more powerful jaws than normal coyotes, these hybrids may actually pose a risk to humans especially small humans.

    Of course, there is an advantage in that the hybrids may curb the pesky white tail populations. The downside is that coyotes are extremely resilient and are nearly impossible to eradicate. The upside is that I do not think that they pose much of a threat as long as people take reasonable precautions. Of course, since when have people taken "reasonable precautions"?

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    So what *** would have the reaonable fire power needed to kill one of those hybred coyotes yet be small and light weight enough for cycling?
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    Senior Member seemunkee's Avatar
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    There was an article in Outside magazine a few months ago about a women that wa killed by coyotes. Maybe the article you are talking about
    http://outsideonline.com/outside/cul...attacks-1.html

    I saw one in my neighborhood in suburban MD. Neighbor behind us saw one in his yard and we both have small dogs.
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    I saw that same story, I think. We live in a suburbanizing rural area a few miles west of Reno, and we hear coyotes nearly every night. They come down into the yards, really more around the tract houses than in our older, 1-2 acre lots. More garbage cans and dog food, I guess. We've been here 30 years, since it was pretty much out in the country, and occasionally had mountain lions and bears in the neighborhood, but the coyotes are a constant--I've seen them many times, usually trotting off with a cat or half a pizza in their mouths, and when I did more mountain biking, they'd sometimes dart across the trails ahead of us, particularly in the early mornings.
    A neighbor of mine is a biologist for the state Wildlife Dept, and he pretty much dismisses our local 'yotes as threats to humans. They rarely weigh more than 35 pounds, and my impression is that they usually hunt solo or in pairs--I've never seen more than two together, except for females with pups. We have mountain lions in the hills within a couple of miles, and the coyotes will scavenge their kills or take a fawn now and then, but normally, as you said, they go for rodents. I've never thought of them as dangerous to people, and I love hearing them at night. People around here generally don't even think of them, but they're hard on outdoor pets. We have a 17-year-old cat who's been indoors all his life, and our vet said the average life of an outdoor cat in our neighborhood is 2-3 years. They're hard on small dogs, too--as the population here has grown, the post office bulletin board has filled up with signs from people looking for missing chihuahuas and pomeranians. Periodically they get fired up and demand an eradication program, but so far we've managed to fight them off.
    FWIW, we used to live in Santa Monica, just a couple of blocks from downtown, and two or three times in the '70s we saw coyotes on Wilshire and Pico boulevards. Suckers are pretty cool.

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    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    I looked through the Wiki for some background on coyotes. I had an encounter severl months ago with a dog or perhaps a coy-dog. It was pretty aggressive and since I was climbing a hill at the time I decided to dismount and face him (he could have easily caught me if I continued to ride). He approached me as if he meant business and whenhe was about a car length away I squirted my water bottle at him. I didn't hit him but I puzzled him. He sat down and started barking at me and I slowly moved away until I felt safe to remount the bike and continue on my way.

    My first thought is that it was a German shepherd, but when it got close it didn't really have a shepherd face; it was more like the classic coyote pictures you see.

    I changed my commuting route and haven't seen him since.
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    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    I've never been afraid of coyotes, I guess because I grew up around them.

    However, the raccoons in my neighborhood are ferocious -- a threat to man, beast, and rugged plastic garbage containers.

    I'd be happy to import some coyotes just to keep the raccoons at bay.

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    Pat, When my younger daughter adopted, what we later learned was a female wolf (avoiding the censor thing) I did a lot of research. Seems that the problem for humans is really in the offspring of a mating between a domestic dog and a wild dog. They are more aggressive than either parent in many cases.

    I kept the dog for a few months as my daughter lived in an apartment and found her to be one of my favorite pets of all time. I would have kept her, but she and my female Dalmation had a serious alpha female difference of opinion. She now lives on a ranch.

    I'm in an old, once rural neighborhood and we've always had plenty of game to support the coyote and bob cat population, but as suburbia has crept in there have been problems with domestic pets vanishing. It's only natural that the predators become more aggressive under these conditions, but so far they still run from humans.

    Brad

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    Quote Originally Posted by Allegheny Jet View Post
    So what *** would have the reaonable fire power needed to kill one of those hybred coyotes yet be small and light weight enough for cycling?
    Do you really want to carry another 3-4lbs of iron? A .22, hi velocity hollow points would probably do the trick. I don't think one would keep coming after a hit. Like a more territorial animal - grizzly.

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    I read in the paper that we have had 28 recorded attacks on humans by coyotes in the Denver metro area this past year. In an attempt to control coyotes, 29 have been killed. That doesn't seem to slow things a bit. Also, the coyotes soon figure out loud noises, paint guns and the like - eventually futile attempts to make humans and their pets less desirable.

    I believe that as we encroach more and more, the coyotes will get more aggressive.
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    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Electric eels and sharks are a danger too . . . stay away from water?!
    Heck we've got coyotes, rattlers, cougars, bobcat and javeliinas . . . and airplanes and cars in our area.
    Lock the doors and stay home?!
    Humans are more of danger to fellow humans than coyotes.
    Get on whith your life . . .

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    Senior Member GeneO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    I read in the paper that we have had 28 recorded attacks on humans by coyotes in the Denver metro area this past year. In an attempt to control coyotes, 29 have been killed. That doesn't seem to slow things a bit. Also, the coyotes soon figure out loud noises, paint guns and the like - eventually futile attempts to make humans and their pets less desirable.

    I believe that as we encroach more and more, the coyotes will get more aggressive.
    I find that hard to believe. I beleive there has only been one recorded case in recent history. Anywhere.

    Reference?

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    One thing some of our western members are missing is the Eastern Coyote topic and I only mention it as the eastern coyote is a different animal in some respects then those found west of the Mississippi.

    WiKi has a very good article on them and brings up the problem of having a larger Coyote, with some wolf like tendencies,. including being larger, yet having all of the boldness of coyotes everywhere in not being afraid much of humans.

    As well as the hiker killed on Cape Breton, in Nova Scotia,, there were a number of instances in the metropolitan NY City area of coyotes being very aggressive towards humans, including 2 children being bitten this past summer, in Rye, NY, which is all of maybe 15 miles north of NYC. That's essentially urban/semi-suburban territory. The coyote they believe attacked the 2 children subsequently proved to be a rabid female, but the bottom line is that the Eastern Coyote is moving into urban territories and into conflict with humans at a very rapid rate.

    Makes me re-think those solo hikes.

    SB

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    I find that hard to believe. I beleive there has only been one recorded case in recent history. Anywhere.
    You've got to watch me. I spread falsehoods regularly. However,

    That exact article does not appear to be on the web yet, when it does, I will post, but here are a couple of older articles - one of which references 21 human attacks.. - Also, provide me with YOUR reference about only 1 attack in history.

    http://www.dailycamera.com/state-west-news/ci_16223632

    Front Range coyote populations are adapting to urban environments, resulting in increased numbers of clashes between humans and wild canines and a push by wildlife managers to resolve the conflict without killing the animals.

    Federal records show more than 3,500 coyote-incident reports have been logged in the metro area since 2003. Most were mere sightings, but the records also show about 400 coyote attacks on pets and 21 attacks on people.

    "Coyotes' goal is to carve out a place where they can make a living and reproduce," said Stewart Breck, a biologist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Wildlife Research Center in Fort Collins. "Just by the sheer number of large cities that now have coyotes, they are very successful."

    At least 31 coyotes have been euthanized by state and contract sharpshooters in the Denver area over the past 20 months, even as some experts warn that killing coyotes has never worked.

    For the full story, visit denverpost.com.


    And an article from back in February.

    DENVER -- State wildlife officials said coyotes attacked a 51-year-old Denver woman walking her dog on Saturday evening.

    Jacque Levitch was walking her Labrador retriever Taz when she was surrounded by three coyotes near her home on the 3900 block of South Oneida Street.

    "I almost felt like they wanted to dismember me or something," she said

    Levitch said two of the animals attacked Taz. When she tried to protect her pet, one of the coyotes scratched and bit her.

    "They bit my leg and they bit his arm and his leg and then one of them sort of got me on the hip," Levitch said. "I was yelling and flailing and I was elbowing and fisting and just beating on them."

    The coyotes scattered. Levitch was left with bite marks and puncture wounds on her neck, leg, hip and hands. Taz was bitten on his legs.

    Levitch was treated at Swedish Medical Center and released the same evening after getting a rabies shot. She took Taz to a veterinary hospital.

    Colorado Division of Wildlife officers were unable to track down the coyotes. But the agency said it will keep looking for the animals and will kill them if they're found.

    Saturday's attack marks the third time since December a coyote has bitten a person in the Denver area.

    "The DOW takes injuries to humans very seriously," said Liza Hunholz, Area Wildlife Manager for Denver. "We will continue to work with Denver and all other Front Range communities to ensure that all citizens are aware of the presence of coyotes and know how to protect themselves and their pets. Likewise, we will continue to support cities and towns in developing a management plan that meets the needs of their constituents, such as Greenwood Village and Lakewood have done."

    Division of Wildlife spokeswoman Jennifer Churchill said increasingly, urban coyotes are getting too comfortable with humans and targeting people and their pets.

    "Coyotes can see their pets as prey, something to eat, a possible mate for themselves, or they can see them as a threat to their young," Churchill said.

    Churchill said between February and March, which is mating season for coyotes, attacks can sometimes increase.

    "We need these coyotes to be fearful of people again," said Churchill.

    Churchill said when humans feed coyotes, it gives them a positive association with humans and a reason to come closer to them.

    “Don’t feed them,” Churchill said.

    She also urged dog owners to keep an eye on their dogs and keep them leashed and under control.

    Churchill advised who people come into contact with coyotes to scare them off, by clapping, yelling or throwing things at them, even if the animals are not bothering them.

    Last week the DOW hosted city leaders and decision makers at a coyote symposium in Jefferson County to discuss the coyote issue and train representatives on biology, outreach methods, and laws and regulations pertaining to coyotes. Cities and towns across the Front Range were encouraged to work with the DOW to create coyote management plans that meet the needs of their constituents.

    http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news...15/detail.html
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 10-05-10 at 06:52 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allegheny Jet View Post
    So what *** would have the reaonable fire power needed to kill one of those hybred coyotes yet be small and light weight enough for cycling?
    Airweight 38 revolver loaded with +P hollowpoints. Should be well under 2 pounds, loaded.

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    Coyotes are numerous here in the Southwest. This past month I have had a unique encounter. I was on a road bike the first time on the River Mountain Loop by Lake Mead. I caught a small (30-35 pounds) coyote on my right side about 20 yards behind and 10 yards off the MUP. Then a rabbit flushed in front of me and went right in the path of the coyote and the chase was on. The dude was using me to flush rabbits. Same thing on my mountain bike last Sunday morning.
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    Senior Member GeneO's Avatar
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    I live in an area that has a lot of eastern coyotes in the Chicagoland area. My property butts up against forest preserve and I see coyotes every day and hear them yipping at night. I run across coyotes all of the time biking and up close doing wildlife photography (see attached photos).

    There has recently been some hysteria about them by a vocal few in the area when they intruded on a couple of properties that butted against forest preserve. The result was a knee-jerk response by the forest preserve district to cull some of the Coyotes. The results of autopsies on the coyotes revealed that they had been fed by humans. What a waste.

    I find it hard reconciling the contradictory statements that you quoted and the statistics that don;t agree with national statistics coyote attacks on humans, though an increase is not a surprise as we are giving the animals less space to roam and less food to hunt.

    It would be very unlikely that a coyote would attack an adult human, let alone seriously injure you. You should enjoy the wildlife while it still exists - they will soon be exterminated by us. You know, you risk your life more every time you drive your car or ride your bike on the streets. Ya gonna start culling car drivers?

    http://tchester.org/sgm/lists/coyote_attacks.html


    http://hawkman.smugmug.com/keyword/c...83377768_Jb5yT




    Last edited by GeneO; 10-05-10 at 09:23 PM.

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    GenO, Nice pics of beautiful animals. Thanks.

    Brad

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    Magnificent animal. Beautiful photographs.

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    Pat
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    Very good photos Gene. We have coyotes in Central Florida but from what I have heard except for a marked fondness for cats, they are not a problem.

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    Sounds as if there may be a burgeoning market for bike holsters.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allegheny Jet View Post
    So what *** would have the reaonable fire power needed to kill one of those hybred coyotes yet be small and light weight enough for cycling?
    Depends on the range. Cops have been successfully killing problem animals for years with .38s, 9mms and .380s. .22lr would definitely work, you just have to be a better shot. Any of those are available in models small enough to be easily carried and are in fact designed for that purpose.
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    I intend to read up on the Coyote subspecies. Anecdotally, having grown up in San Diego, and now living in Phoenix, the Arizona desert coyotes seem much smaller than those in the coastal mountains of SoCal, some of which you could initially think was a wolf. Phoenix is full of "urban coyotes" that are very good at culling the cat and small dog population. We've had a coyote on our front porch, looking through a fence at our cat, who never realized what peril she was really in, as few fences will stop a coyote. They are much smarter and more athletic than domestic dogs and cats. Our next door neighbors got a donkey to protect their sheep, and when they still lost a lamb, got an Anatolian Shepherd. Given the presence of coyotes, I chose a medium sized dog, just big enough that he wouldn't be prey for anything but a pack. Interestingly, his breed is believed to have coyote (or some say wolf) in its origins.

    I love having coyotes around, even if it means people lose a pet now and then. And the thing about predators is that they cannot afford to be injured. If a predator is injured, it usually means its death, as it is then unable to hunt. A predator only attacks something it considers a risk to itself out of desperation. These coyotes that are attacking people either don't consider the people a risk, or are desperate enough to take the risk in order to get to the pet/prey they are after. Probably the former in the case of the woman. They likely wanted the dog, and were nipping at both the dog and its owner to separate them and get the dog to follow them. That's a favorite technique of coyotes: one will get a dog to chase it back to where the rest of the pack is waiting. Never let your dog chase a Coyote.
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    GeneO, +1 magnificent pictures! Most of the responders here are from the west, and as I understand it the Eastern Coyote is not the same as the Western. I have also heard that there is timber wolf in the Eastern Coyote's genetics. Having lived in suburban Hartford, CT for the past 30 years, I can tell you that there are plenty of them around here. I used to listen to a pair howling a duet in perfect 3rds (for you musical minded riders out there) at exactly the same time every night (11:26pm). I've seen them on many occasions, but any time I've come close, they've run off. I've never felt any threat from them whatsoever. They are one of the only predators to the deer population here other than black bears, and YES we have black bears-I've seen them and they have an active tag and track program in the area. I haven't heard of any attacks by Coyotes in the area. It doesn't mean it hasn't happened, just means I don't know of them. However, in my experience I can only imagine an attack being the result of an animal being taunted by a human, or a rabid animal whose days are numbered.

    I personally find the black bears around here more intimidating. The local policy is if they are in your suburban yard, causing trouble, they will come out, dart them and carry them off to a nature preserve about 15 miles from here. Those living near the nature preserve often have the bears in their trash and need to keep their eyes on small children. However, mainly, the bears avoid people as well. I've been on rides where I've had cars or other bikers warn me of a bear that they've spotted, but I've never had any trouble and don't expect any. I have to admit, that when you see one, it can take your breath away!

    One last thing that I think would make me think twice is that we've had some unconfirmed reports of cougars coming back into the area. I was under the impression that they were extinct around here, but the stories that I've heard are that they are Catamount cats that have drifted down from Vermont. I was also under the impression that Catamount cats were extinct, but I guess I was wrong. Again, no reports of attacks on humans locally, but a cougar is a cougar and I've heard many stories about attacks in the west. I'll cross my fingers.

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    I actually like the coyotes we have here in Utah. They are as smart as any dog, probably smarter.

    I saw a pair hunting a long rick of railed juniper trees, one going down one side bumping into the trees and making a lot of noise, the other moving quietly down the other side, ready for any rabbits the first one scared out. I only got to watch for a minute or less, as they spotted me and took off running.

    When I was a kid, back in the dark ages, the locals would have a rabbit hunt every few years, killing hundreds of jack rabbits, then a year or so later they would raise the bounty on coyotes because they were raiding sheep herds and chicken coops. Then the rabbit population would grow to nuisance levels again, triggering another rabbit hunt. Rinse and repeat, ad infinitum. I don't think that generation ever learned.

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    For years and years I have hiked and ridden in the presence of coyotes. One special moment while hiking a coyote joined me on the trail, about 3 feet in front and she and I just tagged along for a mile or so and she finally peeled off. In several areas I mountain bike, there are active coyote, bobcat and mountain lion communities. I most often see coyotes. Bobcats are also common and on special occasions I have run into lions.

    Never once, ever, was I threathened by these animals. I have a healthy respect for what they are capable of doing but I also know that they know I am on the top of the food chain and should be left alone. If I were threatened I know what to do.

    I would hate for people to think these animals need to be killed, destroyed or removed from their habitate and mine. They belong there as much as I and make my areas I hike and ride in particularly special. I know people complain about losing "Fluffy" or "Chico" but people keep your animals inside if you live near wild areas. To a coyote your cat or rat dog is just a big rabbit.

    As you know there is a well documented lion attack several years ago where I live. That was an unusual situation. The young male lion had lost his mother when he was younger (hit by car) and never learned how to properly hunt for himself. He was starving and "food" presented itself (Mark Reynolds, a lean, small man was bent over his bike making repairs out in the brush at dusk. To the lion he looked like deer). Anyway the only wild animal people should fear, other than man is a grizzly/brown bear and thank goodness we have none of those in my area.
    Last edited by Pamestique; 10-06-10 at 11:45 AM.
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