Washington Coyote Nips boy

Someone sent me an article about a boy in Washington that was nipped by a coyote.  Apparently others had been nipped by the same animal. Since this is not typical behavior for a wild coyote my educated guess about this particular animal is that it was raised by a human and was then released when it got to be a problem for the person who had it.  This happens a lot with wildlife and this is exactly why I never release  habituated wildlife.

Every year countless fawns, baby raccoons, baby birds, fox pups , baby squirrels and of course coyotes are found and kidnapped by well meaning persons who don’t understand that  these are not orphans and their mommas are close by.   The person feeds them whatever they think would closely match the diet of this baby animal-  usually cows milk  or  a cheap dog or cat food void of nutrients.  They coddle, take pictures, show everyone and brag.  Most of these animals will die due to stress, complications from the wrong diet or an “accident”.  But many will live to become dysfunctional members of the wild.  Countless coons, foxes,  squirrels, fawns and coyotes will be released by their captors as poorly developed, tame animals with no survival skills .  These animals know nothing about their own species and will seek out humans for food.  I strongly believe that the Washington coyote is a victim of this action.

The Memorial Day holiday weekend has always been what I have termed “fawn weekend” and as always, I will stay close to home to field the many calls from the public finding an “orphaned fawn”.  I will work hard to explain that fawns are left alone by their mothers as a protection.  They must stay perfectly still to avoid predators, and they do avoid predators this way.  But they can’t avoid humans…. And hunters and coyote haters are worried about coyotes taking the fawns??? No,  humans are the greatest predators on fawns. Spend a Memorial Day weekend manning the phones at a wildlife center and you will understand.

More on Fawn Weekend coming in later posts…

Congenital Hydrocephalus in Red and Grey Fox Pups

FoxCongenital Hydrocephalus Hydrocephalus is an accumulation of Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) within the cavities (ventricles) of the brain. Hydrocephalus has been reported in most species of domestic animals and is one of the more common congenital malformations of the canine nervous system. In a recent study, small toy breeds with large skulls (i.e. Maltese, Pomeranian, Chihuahua, Toy poodle) and the brachiocephalic breeds (Boston terrier, Pekinese, English bulldog) were identified as being at high risk. The smaller the adult dog (whether dwarf or miniature in size) the higher the risk of hydrocephalus.

Viral transmission in utero is suspected to be a potential cause in the red fox. Diagnosis of hydrocephalus is based on clinical signs and is confirmed by radiographic demonstration of enlarged lateral ventricles by ventriculography. Plain radiography will often reveal a ground glass appearance throughout the cranial vault. Unfortunately, anesthesia is contraindicated in animals with suspected hydrocephalus. Cranial sutures and/or open fontanels may be evident after normal age for closure and skull ossification. Prognosis is poor. Treatment of animals with congenital hydrocephalus is futile because of the large amount of tissue destruction and atrophy. Shunting is risky and cost-prohibitive. Dexamethasone (0.25mg/kg PO q12h) may be used to temporarily relieve symptoms (not as a treatment. This is thought to primarily affect brain bulk and CSF production, not CSF absorption. USE FLUID THERAPY WITH CAUTION- DO NOT OVERHYDRATE A HYDROCEPHALIC PUP.

Common Intake Scenario: Pup found in an open area with no others around Often in the morning, sometimes after a rain- presumably because momma didn’t want to be trailed? Pup appears to have been left behind Often not near any roads it could have been hit on- though it can be mistaken as hit by car if found by the road. No visible injuries or illness, though they sometimes have Sarcoptic mange Fox pup acts very friendly and either very docile or very excitable May have even run up to people “out of the blue”

Two Age Groups and Scenarios:

Fox pupAge Group 1:  3-5 weeks old “fat and fuzzy stage” All the hydrocephalic pups this age that I have gotten in had the very obvious dome shaped skull The base of the skull was very large and wide. They eyes protrude and appear to have bags under them. Visual impairments including blindness, non-reactive pupils. The eyes may remain a bluish color Often the pup can not seem to lift its head and acts as though it has a severe headache. Inappropriate vocalizations (sick puppy cry or cerebral cry) Behavior and condition may come and go. One moment the pup seems down and out, and a half-hour later it is up and around and acting normal, barking for its mother. Be careful not to set a pup that appears immobile on a counter top or in a cardboard box that is not tightly closed – they can suddenly come around and end up taking a dangerous fall The symptoms may be temporarily relieved with a dose of Dexamethosone. Careful examination by a veterinarian may reveal that the fontanels are soft. Soft spots remain at skull sutures or junctions. The swelling in the brain prevents the fontanels from coming together. Hydrocephalus is extremely painful for the animal. The animal is suffering, will continue to suffer and should be euthanized as soon as possible, preferably by injection by a veterinarian.

Fox pupAge Group 2: 6-16 weeks old These animals are often mistaken for being tame. Often they have been in captivity for a few weeks before being turned over to a rehabilitator. The people may say that they found the pup in their front yard or that it ran up to them. In the past I have considered that inadequate diet may be causing the odd symptoms, but after careful observation and the time to correct the diet have found this not to be the case. Pups that are older like this are generally showing more of the behavioral than the physical symptoms. The symptoms will come and go. The dome-shaped skull may not be obvious or even present. The pup may have a completely normal skull with no obvious doming.

Behavioral symptoms may include: Difficulty with sense coordination i.e. can smell the food but can’t seem to find it even when it is right under their nose. It will hear a noise, but not be able to determine from which direction it is coming from Hyperactivity Eyes may appear to have bags under them Excessive panting or respiration rate Unusually intense vocalization “banshee scream” Unusually deep sleeps – you could partially pick up the animal before it wakes. Sounds that would cause a normal fox to wake and lift its head from sleep will not awaken a hydrocephalic pup. This condition comes and goes. The fox runs in circles instead of straight lines. The circling is often in just one direction. Hyperextension of one or both forelegs when moving. This is often noticed during circling. The leg may actually reach as high as to scrape the ear. Unusual intensity of tail wagging and vocalization when excited. Self-mutilation, biting of the tail Inability to see Weakness, easily fatigued Respiratory distress Frequent pacing, circling, gait abnormalities Hind leg paralysis Hypersensitivity to loud sudden noises Sitting with head tilted down as though with a severe headache Seizures after a meal.

Please note that unless you are observing the animal 24 hours a day it may be having seizures without your knowledge. Often a seizure is followed by death. A visit to the vet for a sonogram or radiography and or careful observation over the course of a few days, or even longer may be needed to diagnose hydrocephalus. The condition comes and goes and the symptoms change. This makes euthanasia a very difficult decision to make. Especially when you are observing an animal that may appear cosmetically perfect with no broken limbs, obvious defects. Pressure on the brain is a very painful condition and an animal that is hydrocephalic is suffering. It can not be cured. I have tried holistic methods as well as steroid therapy, also time to try to allow growth. None of these treatments work. If you are a wildlife rehabilitator and you have a fox pup that you need help with, please contact me.

Fox pup

On Deer and Coyotes

A good friend and neighbor, John Merriman wrote this piece and is kindly allowing me to reprint it on my blog.

It was mentioned that “coyotes have no known predator, except man”  What predator species does have a predator? Predators prey on prey, not other predators. Predators are regulated by the availability of food.  The deer population is controlled by availability of food too.  Has an artificially and unnaturally high population of whitetails in the hunting areas raised the browseline so high that now deer must migrate into the suburbs (where there is limited hunting) to browse on gardens, Christmas tree farms and suburban trees and grasses?  Have they had to come into farmers fields for food, and those farmers obtained nuisance permits to kill them?

Coyotes are mousers.  They are a farmers best friend as they prey on rodents and woodchucks and rabbits, not cattle and horses.  How many farmers do you know that would love to have the woodchucks gone?  Hire a coyote.

Great PyreneesA good guard dog will protect your livestock.  Try a Great Pyrenees — they will protect your sheep, goats and alpacas  from stray domestic dogs (the real threat)  and curious coyotes. While coyotes  do take some deer, they are mostly compromised, young and infirm.  How many deer wind up with slugs and broadheads lodged in their spines after hunting season?  I have personally seen more than a few that are succumbing to the gangrene and infection during and after the season. How many deer are hit by cars, and while they appear to bound off looking well are actually mortally wounded with internal injuries or fractured pelvises?  People who claim to have seen coyotes taking healthy deer don’t really know that the deer was healthy and not injured or starting a disease process that was not visible to the human eye.  Did they frighten the coyotes away, do a complete necropsy, send tissue and organ samples, x-rays and determine “yes, this was a perfectly healthy deer”  I think not.

There is nothing wrong with coyotes taking down those injured , ill, dying and dead deer.  That is what a predator does.

What about turkeys?  One virus can wipe out an entire flock.  Do we want the “slow one” removed from the flock to protect flock integrity and guard against disease in the flock?  You bet we do. Coyotes will weed out the slow one that is possibly beginning a disease process. Turkey’s are smart, they are designed to avoid predators. The rest of the flock will fly to safety, and be the wiser.

Ask some people, they will tell you there are too many deer – So which is it? I know several tree farmers who were brought to their knees by deer browsing their stock. Ask anyone who has hit a deer with their car, some people have already been killed in such accidents. Ask the automobile insurance agents how they feel about the deer population. Have we bred a smarter deer through natural selection- shooting the ones that walk into the sights of our guns, and not shooting the ones that are more wary, travel to protected lands or adopt a more nocturnal lifestyle once hunting season begins?

Have we bred a lazier hunter through instant gratification in other areas of our lives, where patience and time are limited?  How many hunters actually have the time to spend out scouting, sighting in their guns, sitting for hours in a tree stand? Not if you have a full time job and a family these days. Life is faster in 2006 than it was in 1980, 1970, 1960 and so forth. How many of the “no deer” complainers have spent  the time to really hunt their deer – sitting in the same tree stand year after year, do these guy’s realize that deer move to find  new food sources?   Have their woods changed over time with natural succession and are their stands really where there are deer anymore?

While there are genuinely good hunters out there who practice their shooting, do the scouting, spend the time watching, even selecting their specific deer,  there are more than a few who do none of this. They take opening day off to go  and then blame  and point fingers at everyone and everything when they don’t bring a deer home to their family.  Are the coyotes to blame? Of course not.

Now, Coyote Control? Certainly not by hunting and trapping and otherwise killing them.  Again, biological fact is that this actually stimulates the population.  Coyotes under pressure from hunting and trapping increase their litter size, the viability of the pups is much greater and the survivability of the pups is astounding. Coyotes with larger litters and stronger pups will  need more and larger prey to feed those larger litters. When the alpha female is killed, instead of her being the only breeding female in a territory,  all of the subordinate females who were behaviorally sterile before can and will now breed.   Where there would have been only one litter, now there are four.  Hmmm…. so killing creates more. Will killing coyotes result in more deer? Not according to study after study and history.

In keeping with the finger-pointing theory that “coyotes are killing all the deer”, it will actually result in less deer as larger litters and more viable pups will need “more fawns” to raise them. Ask anyone who hunts coyotes, they will tell you that they get the same numbers of coyotes year after year in the same places.  Nature abhors a vacuum and more coyotes take their place.  If killing them actually worked, why can these guys hunt the same areas year after year and take the same numbers of coyotes.  Wouldn’t the population of coyotes in that area disappear, thanks to their hard work? In conclusion, there are many reasons why deer hunters aren’t getting their deer, coyotes being only the most minor factor.  If you want more deer and less coyotes, leave the coyotes alone and plant trees and food plots for the deer.

Incentives Not To kill Coyotes

By Guest Author, Robert Ward of East Otto, New York

I read a lot of complaining about coyotes from deer hunters that think coyotes are killing all their deer. Not so.  One big reason that our deer are not in the woods is because they are in farmers fields eating crops and in suburban back yards eating  ornamental shrubbery  because the browse line is too high in the woods. The browse line is too high  because of unnaturally high deer populations for many past years.  Hunters wanted lots of deer and they got lots of deer for many years, and now must pay the price.  Do you want more deer?  Don’t shoot coyotes, plant food plots.

Coyotes are primarily rodent eaters.  They will also scavenge the rich supply of deer carcasses produced by year round auto collisions and  gun and arrow injuries sustained during hunting season. Small thin deer that can’t reach the browse line may also be taken by coyotes  before or after they die – but these weak and injured  deer are going to die anyway, something called compensatory mortality.   Deer Biologist Ken Koerth is quoted in North American Whitetail Magazine April 2005 as saying “Coyotes normally can’t control deer numbers on their own”

If you want to control coyote numbers the last thing you want to do is hunt or trap coyotes.  Billions of dollars, many years of history and  biological studies show that coyotes respond to killing by increasing their populations. Killing them causes  more females to breed in a territory, breeding females to produce larger litters and more viable pups.  Studies also showed that when left alone, coyote numbers declined naturally on their own.  It is the people hunting and trapping them that are creating higher coyote numbers.  Trying to control coyotes by killing them is like trying to put out a fire with gasoline.   Breaking down the social structure of a group of coyotes  through the loss of a dominant male or female causes subordinate pairs to breed, where normally they would remain behaviorally sterile.  More breeding pairs and breeding by younger members of the group create more and larger litters. Larger litters need larger prey (such as deer)  to feed them.

As far as killing fawns, coyotes hunt primarily by movement. Fawns (and nesting turkeys!) stay absolutely still and quiet – this is their natural defense to predation.  Any predator must literally stumble on them to get them.  However, triplet fawns, ill fawns or those  orphaned when the doe is hit by a car or shot with a nuisance permit will be taken because they walk about bleating.  These fawns are doomed and is it necessarily bad if they are used by coyotes as food rather than rot on the ground?

Deer hunters , do you want more deer? Leave the coyotes alone. Plant a food plot.

Are You Seeing Foxes Suddenly? This is Fox Pup Season

The phone calls and e-mails are rolling in- it is fox pup time and a lot of people are seeing adult foxes near their homes and becoming alarmed. What they don’t realize is that foxes are coming in close to people to raise their families because coyotes are in the further out areas.  If a coyote finds a fox den, it may dig up the den and kill all the young.  Foxes know this so they choose what they believe to be the lesser of two evils and come in closer to humans and away from the coyotes to have their litters. Please be kind and “rent” out your space to momma fox.  You will be glad you did.

People tell me “My gardens were never better!”

And “Thank you for talking to me about the fox family.  We watched them instead of TV. They were so wonderful!”

And “We hope they come back next year!”

Foxes may have a den under your shed, porch, barn or in the back yard in a hill.   The family will likely be moved in a few weeks to a new place.   When the pups are older (July, August) they will start to be seen less and less.  By September, the fox family will be gone and everything will be back to normal.  Red foxes will not live in a den year round.  They only den to raise their families.  Out of a litter of 6, it is likely that only two or three foxes will live to see September.

People are often alarmed, thinking their family pets and children are being stalked.  Stalked by a 10 pound fox? I don’t think so.  In fact, foxes do not want to kill or eat your child, cat or dog, no matter how small .  They eat primarily mice, rats, rabbits and woodchucks.  They may certainly watch your pets with concern, bark at them and may even chase your cat back into your yard if it goes near the den- Of course good cat owners realize that they shouldn’t let their cats roam free.  Your 16 pound kitty will be able to hold his ow her own against the fox.  Remember, it is the outdoors and the fox belongs there.

Please allow the mother fox to raise her pups in peace. Do not hire someone to “relocate the family” this will not work!  The most that will happen is that one or two pups will be caught (and surely killed by the hired person) and the mother will get scared and move her family.   Most states have laws that state captured wildlife must be killed.  Be patient, enjoy the fox family.  it is a lot of fun to watch the pups scampering and tumbling with each other.  In fact, it is a lot better entertainment than most TV shows on these days.  Enjoy the breath of fresh air and the beauty in your back yard- it may be a once in a life time event for you.

Many people are afraid they can’t let their animals out to go potty now.  keep in mind that before you realize the family was there, you let your pets out and everything was OK.

Inform your neighbors not to shoot the foxes they see crossing the yards during the day .  Red foxes are Not nocturnal! Momma works very hard to feed her family.  She will work all day and night catching rodents, snatching roadkill and bringing it back to her growing babies.  Foxes also eat a great deal of grasses and insects too.  They are omnivores.

If you really can’t have a fox family in your yard, you may place an object such as a chair or a bucket near the den, but not too close as to scare momma away from grabbing her pups and moving them away from the scary object.  About 10 feet from the den should be enough to concern her.  Think about this though, momma felt safe enough in your yard to have her pups there.  Where else will she be able to move those pups where they will be safe?

Please, appreciate this gift of nature.

Nursing fox

A Sad Start to the Spring Baby Season

I am saddened to write that the first two young fox pups that were brought to Fox Wood this spring had to be euthanized.  Their Momma and a dead litter mate were found in a den by a concerned farmer.  The two hungry  pups, along with the deceased mom and pup were brought to us Sunday night April 9th.  Monday morning I submitted the deceased adult and pup to the County Health department for rabies testing. The adult came back positive.  Because of the fact that momma probably licked and cared for her pups before she died, the chances that they would also come down with rabies is very good.  Wednesday evening the remaining two pups were humanely put down by a local vet.  They will also be submitted for rabies testing.  Rabies in Western New York Red foxes is not nearly as common as it is in Raccoons.  Some folks will be needing their rabies post exposure shots for sure.  Rabies is a horrible disease and not worth taking chances with.  I will keep  posting when results for these two come back.

Cougars in New York- Truth or Fiction?

Another winter has passed and no cougar tracks in the snow, yet some people claim to have seen them and believe that they are living among us.  There are many legends of local Western New York cougars.  I first heard about them when a neighbor had a rifle by his door.  Curious, I asked  “why the rifle?”  He responded “Well, didn’t you hear?  A farmer down the road shot a cougar.  It killed one of his cows, so he staked it out the next night and two came back.  He shot one and the other one got away. It had a DEC tag in its ear.  The DEC was going to fine him, but then they realized that it had been killing the farmers cows, so they just told him not to say anything.  The DEC guy told him that they released several breeding pairs in the area”.

“Now why would they do that?  I asked, curious.

“To control the deer population”  He responded.

Since then I have many variations on that theme, varying from  “50 pairs of cougars released”  and “to control the coyote population” being the reason they were released.

Sightings of the cougars always come in the summer- never the winter.  No hunters ever report seeing the cougars while out hunting deer, and certainly none have shot one.  No tracks in the snow either.  Wouldn’t there be tracks? Do cougars migrate south with the birds or  Is there another reason they don’t leave tracks in the snow?

Why aren’t typical “cougar kills” ever found?  They must be eating something .

Where do all of these cougar sightings originate?  What are people really seeing?  Any ideas?  I think they are seeing deer, domestic cats, and coyotes.  One lady thought she had one in her barn laying in her hay. She is a pretty astute animal person and she insisted she had seen it up close and it hissed at her and then ran in big bounds.  Intrigued, I checked it out and found it to be a coyote with Sarcoptic mange.

Could cougars control coyotes?  Nope.

Would they control deer?


Could it be just another folklore story that is fun to tell?


Most likely.

I don’t believe a State  can just re-introduce a species like this, there are way too many hoops to jump through.  Look at all they are going through just trying to reintroduce wolves into other areas of the country. There are lots of public meetings, etc.  Cougars aren’t free either  and one would think a “cougar stocking ” program would be quite expensive.  What would New York want to do something like this for?  There is an Internet hoax that shows a fellow with a huge dead cougar in his garage.  The text in the e-mail says it was a “friend of a friend” who shot the cougar locally- it describes the cougar stalking a neighbors cows, etc..  This is a real photo, but the story is fabricated.  The cougar was actually taken out west.  Another photo that has been circulated shows a cougar on someones deck.  The the photo is real, but it was taken out west, not in Steuben county as described in the e-mail.  That particular photo has actually circulated for years and was seen in several other states before it circulated in New York.    They even go on to say that the sighting was confirmed by a “DEC guy”   Yet, no legitimate names ever surface.

Lets see how many cougar stories crop up this summer.  It will most likely be the same story that involves a cow farmer and a cougar that was shot with a tag in its ear,  just a  different county.

Cougar Cougar

Motion Camera Records Coyote Activity- Is It Real Or A Hoax?

New Yorkers  have often been referring to “a guy” who  set up a camera near a coyote den and supposedly recorded a female coyote bringing an obscene number of fawns to the den during a certain time period.  The story varies on  a number of facts, depending on who is telling it and their audience.

The facts that vary include: The location of the den, the number of fawns supposedly dragged to the den,  the number of weeks the camera recorded the supposed activity and  the relation of the camera-man to the story teller. The relationship however never gets closer than “a friend of a friend” or “My Uncle”. One variation of the story even listed “The DEC” as the camera folks.    An interesting fact though is that no such alleged photos ever surface.  It is a fun story to tell, I am sure, as the listeners are sure to be very interested and probably say “Wow”!  and then scoff and say “See, we KNEW the coyotes were killing all the deer!”    Sometimes the story varies even more and it becomes “a friend of a friend found a coyote den while he was hunting and it was stuffed with fawn heads!” This is how a hoax is perpetuated.   Fun, amazing stories to tell and the coyote is once again the bad guy.  I would be fascinated to see authenticated, real photos of a coyote den stuffed with fawn heads, or authenticated photos of a mother coyote bringing back this obscene number of dead fawns to the den .  Yet, no one can come up with a real name, a real location or any proof that this ever happened.   I am hoping that some day some one can bring me to an active den site so that I can set up a camera and records activity such  as this – without momma coyote moving her pups as soon as she smells the human presence.

I suspect this whole story is concocted by hunters and coyote haters that are trying to pressure lawmakers into implementing a year round season on coyotes.  Please folks, don’t believe everything you hear.   Be sure to tune into tomorrows blog.

A Tale of Two Sheep Farmers

This is a true story about two sheep Farmers in the Western New York area.  The original report was on WKBW News  (Channel 7) about 5 years ago.

The first farmer raised lambs for market until , he claims, “the coyotes put me out of business”.  He called the news and they made a big story of how the coyotes ate all of his lambs, and ewes too.  Poor old guy had to go on welfare or something like that.

The second farmer had one of the largest sheep operations in the area.  He had not lost a single sheep to coyotes, domestic dogs or any other predation in many years – well, since he had purchased his Livestock Guardian dogs, to be exact.

Hmmm…   I just happen to know the first farmers place by heart, as I like to drive the back roads.  In fact, I drove by it again today, which is what prompted this post.   I was reminded of the place when there were sheep (before the “coyotes killt -em all…”).  The sheep were out in the pasture on this very rural road, with no house or barn in sight.  In fact, the nearest house or barn is at least 3/4 mile away.  The sheep were in a twisted wire fence that was falling down, and it was surrounded by woods on all sides.  I never once saw anyone tending those sheep.  I never saw the sheep being brought in at night.. they were always out.  I happen to know a little about sheep and this particular farmer.  He was an old-timer that didn’t believe in “feed and stuff like that”.  Feed was a waste of money as he figured they had plenty of pasture to eat.  Bringing in the ewes during lambing was too much work for him and they had their lambs outside in the field- in all weather.  Wet, cold- you name it, they were out there lambing.  Anyone who knows sheep farming knows that ewes should be brought in to lamb, and the sheep should be brought in at night too.  A good farmer also knows that  good nutrition and parasite control are essential to sheep farming success.  This old fellow practiced none of that.  He also never guarded the sheep, never had any guardian animals, such as dogs, llamas or donkeys out with them either. They were basically out there to survive all on their own.  Yet he blamed the coyotes for the deaths of the sheep and the demise of his business.  I blame the farmer  for the demise of his own business.  The good sheep farmer  practiced good farming methods and fed his sheep well and guarded them well with those dogs. His ewes had strong healthy lambs and they had steady rates of weight gain.  He is still in the sheep business, and doing quite well.

What can be learned from this true story ?

There is no substitute for a good livestock guardian dog, and good nutrition and good husbandry practices are essential to successful farming.  Good strong fences and  bringing livestock and poultry in at night are a necessity.   Coyotes are a non-issue where good farming practices are used.

Are Hunting Dogs Chasing Your Wildlife Too?

Are we being scammed and our property violated by the people who say they hunt coyotes with dogs to keep their populations in check?  Should we really be thanking these guys?  They think we should…

Radio collars are placed on  their hunting dogs and then the dogs are set loose by  their owners (or sometimes “dog renters”)  into the woods to chase and kill coyotes, and on the way, foxes, opossums, deer- anything that is unlucky enough to be in their path. Usually this activity begins on a neighboring property where the hunters are allowed to conduct this activity.  However, as the prey scatters and the dogs hone in on one unlucky victim, the dogs run amok through your property, my property and everyone else’s property. At first, you may not be completely aware what is going on.  Your only clue may be the pickup trucks with dog compartments, or a cap and a few men with antennas (and guns in the trucks) standing along the road, tracking the course of the barbaric chase.  The goal is to wear out the intended victim with successive releases of fresh dogs.  The coyote is the target, and the animal will either be chased until it collapses with exhaustion and the hunter can walk right up to it and put a bullet in it, or the coyote is torn to bits by the dogs.

Is there not a more constructive hobby that these men  can find?  Did they ever think of taking up skiing, or photography, woodworking or something else constructive  or gee, spending time with their familes? I have trouble using the word “Sport” here, as they call it.  Killing our coyotes for sport is just plain creepy.   The coyotes are ours too. I don’t want mine killed, do you?

I don’t want them on MY land. Are they using yours?   If you confront these folks and say “get your dogs off my land, it is posted” Be prepared for this common response “Well, our dogs can’t READ.. Ha ha ha, yuk, yuk, yuk!”  As their dogs race through chasing the terrorized coyote –  it is impossible for you  to catch them and they know it.  You need to call the State Police or a Conservation Officer right then -Do it fast, and take down license plate numbers and vehicle descriptions.  Chances are your State Police will respond much faster than the Conservation Officer, as their jobs are more geared for emergency-type calls.  Just because their dogs can’t read, does not make it OK.  Dog’s that can’t read should be on leashes, that way, they can be well aware of property lines.

POST YOUR PROPERTY!!!  Also, be aware that even if your property is not posted, the State Police will tell you that if it is your property and if you don’t want someone, or their dogs on it, posted or not, they are trespassing.

By the way, these guys are pushing the lawmakers to allow this and other forms of Coyote hunting year round.  So rather than ending March 26th, these guys can do this right through summer and into fall and so on.  They will terrorize our wildlife in the woods and fields all the time.  Young will be orphaned, all species will be chased – dogs can’t read, remember?  Be sure to be aware of pending laws like this at voting time- there are groups that watch this kind of thing and ask you to vote (League of Humane Voters) .  Don’t let this law slip through because you weren’t aware it was on the ballot.

As far as reducing coyote populations, that is not true at all. Coyotes respond differently to killing than other wildlife.  Their populations actually increase when under pressure from hunting and killing.  It is a difficult concept for most people to understand.  I will go into more detail in further posts, but I will leave you with this analogy…

“Trying to reduce coyote populations by killing them  is like trying to put out a fire with kerosene”