Open Season on Coyotes?

To implement an open season on coyotes to control their populations would be like trying to put out a fire with kerosene.

According to Coyote Biologist Robert Crabtree, widespread control increases immigration, reproduction and survival of remaining coyotes.  Reduction causes coyote population structure to be remain in a colonizing state. This creates larger litters, higher pup survival rates and a general population skewed toward the younger, more inexperienced coyotes, which are usually the ones that prey on pets and livestock. Females with larger litters will need larger prey to feed them.

Sustained reduction of coyote numbers can only be accomplished if over 70% of the individuals are removed on a continual basis.  This would be  impossible, especially since not everyone sees coyotes as a problem.   Many people see coyotes as essential to the balance of nature, free rodent control, and as scavengers that clean up weak or injured deer.

Thanks to coyotes, the turkey populations in New York are thriving.  It is normal for a coyote to examine a turkey decoy or to be called in by a persistent turkey call – they are investigating an “abnormal bird”.  The slow and weak are removed from the populations this way, thus saving the rest of the flock.

The only way coyote numbers will decrease is if we let them manage their own populations in response to available food. Studies show that when left alone, coyote numbers drop faster than when control efforts are implemented.  Cars, owls, and angry neighbors cause far more domestic  pet deaths than do coyotes. Let’s leave the coyotes alone and use common sense when it comes to letting our livestock and pets roam freely.

Coyote pup