My Blog List

Friday, January 28, 2011

Thoughts About Coyotes

This issue has torn me up one side and down the other. I have east coast coyotes in my outback. These animals are part wolf, so they're bigger and stronger than what you guys out west have to deal with.  Here's what they've done. My fox, Roxie is dead. My raccoons, Hughie, Dewie and Louie are dead. The little fawn I was trying to keep alive is dead.  My cats, who can climb trees have had vet bills totaling at least $300 a piece because they've  had their rear ends torn up while they were climbing up trees to stay alive.  It is so easy when it's not personal to go, "how could any body want to do that." You can get real evil when it's personal.

Here's my dilemma. I don't own a gun. I could, I suppose run out there with a a shovel with a real evil point and hurt them.  But here's what I think, if I can't kill them cleanly, I won't make them suffer. But while I twist on the wind about this, they continue to hurt and kill the animals that I love.

There is no easy answer for this. But this is a problem that keeps me up at  night.


  1. Man- what a dilemma! I wouldn't go out and get as close to one of those coyote hi-breds with a shovel fer damn sure! How about a high powered air gun- they can make an animal jump and run from a distance, and they don't ( usually ) kill it.
    Good luck and I'm sorry about all the critters.

  2. Maia, I'm right there with you, I live in central Massachusetts. While I hope I never have to shoot one, I'm going to get my FID card and a thirty ought-six so I can. My friend had a 5 yr old, 16.2 hand horse killed in November. I am building a 5-foot fence for my dog yard, to replace my current 3-foot one. (I have 5 pomeranians, the perfect coyote snack). I won't get a cat because I know it wouldn't last very long. I work long days and built my dogs a completely enclosed kennel, 6 feet high, with a wire roof too, and a doggie door so they can go in and out safely.

    Talk to your neighbors to make sure that no-one is feeding them, even inadvertently. If anyone is feeding cats or dogs outdoors, you are feeding the coyotes. People who feed feral/barn cats should build feed platforms at least 6 feet high, so the cats can get to it but the coyotes can't. If there is an easy food source, the pack will abandon their wider territory and hang around the human supply. Then another pack will take over the abandoned territory and you'll have twice the problem. There is a great online article about this, if I can find it again I will post the link.

    Shooting them won't help in the long run, as when they are being hunted they have bigger litters, and may even have a 2nd litter each year if need be. So shooting isn't a permanent solution.

  3. The last thing you should ever do is get that close (shovel length) to any wild animal and put it on the defense...Their instinct is survival, and they won't think twice about taking you down. If Cowboy and Bella Jo hadn't have been there to distract those two coyotes away from Cindy Sue, I would have had to watch them devour her. I would NEVER have gotten in and tried to stop them...I could have very easily lost my own life.

    If you Google coyote attacks, you will find all too many accounts of coyotes mauling and/or killing humans.

    There is the law of nature...who eats who...but, it can get out of balance until nature takes it course again and they run out of food and die. In our area, there are government trappers that fly over and shoot coyotes to keep their populations down...sounds cruel, but last year within a 2 mile radius of a large sheep producer, 50 coyotes were shot and killed. Something had to be done with the over population.

    Back to your dilemma, it's a hard choice on that 'personal' level. But, what's the difference of a coyote being shot and suffering vs your cat or dog and all the pain and suffering they will go through...if they survive the attack?