Eastern Coyote with Sarcoptic Mange gets a Second Chance

This sweetheart was found in Orchard Park, NY, dying from a nasty skin infection brought on by Sarcoptic Mange mites.  She was treated for the infection with a long-acting antibiotic, given life-saving fluids and mange medicine was applied.  She is presently being cared for at Fox Wood, and is a model patient – compliant and gentle.  Because the Mange and infection creates a situation where they are also starving, she is being fed small amounts of easily digested food many times a day.  Please check out our wishlist on Amazon.com if you would like to contribute to her care.  We are also accepting donations through PayPal (foxladye@yahoo.com).   We are hoping to be able to release her in Spring .

Coyotes Enjoying The Snow in Their Pen

Little Boy and Little Girl love their big exercise pen and the first big snow of the year is lots of fun to play in!  Please consider donating to Fox Wood to help support us so we can continue to provide our unreleasable animals with a high quality of life.   Donations can be made via the “Tip Jar” on the upper right -hand area of the home page, or via the United Way through your employer.  We also can accept Paypal donations to “foxladye@yahoo.com”.  Have a wonderful holiday season!

Little Boy

Little Boy

More reasons Why There Are Coyotes in Your Neighborhood

Another reason why there are coyotes in your neighborhood is because people are feeding them. Where I live, people are feeding them the deer carcasses that they threw out in the woods and ditches during deer season. The two across the street from my house and the  three directly behind my property line, are indicative how how many more there must be scattered  across the country side. It is not legal to dispose of deer carcasses in the weekly garbage pickup, so people dump them in the woods and on the sides of the road.

There were so many gunshots behind my property this winter it sounded like a war zone.  Undoubtedly many of those shots either landed, missed or more likely, wounded either permanently or fatally many deer. The lost and wounded deer become coyote food. Where there is food, there will be coyotes. Gut piles, deer hit by cars and killed or wounded add to the available food for coyotes.

People in the suburbs often toss out food scraps for the deer, squirrels, raccoons- whatever might be trotting by.  Many of them don’t realize that coyotes are also enjoying the handouts.  Coyotes love goodies like vegetables, fruits, pumpkins, birthday cake, cookies, pizza crust, etc…  though they may not to be intending to attract coyotes, they are.

Why are There Coyotes in Our Neighborhood?

CoyoteAs a Wildlife Rehabilitator who has three captive  coyotes  and deals with coyote issues on a regular basis, I am often the victim of accusations by neighbors.   Whenever a coyote is seen or heard in my neighborhood (which is rural), some of  my neighbors  accuse me of releasing it there!  Of course, this is pure speculation on their part and whether they really think this or not or are just posturing or making conversation  I am not sure.  An interesting note is that these accusations are never made directly to me, I will only hear them second or third-hand.  Because of the work that I do with wildlife I am often a target for false accusations.  I accept this as a part of the good work that I do with wildlife and people.

I have not released any wildlife of any kind off of my own property in many years. Of course, released wildlife never stays where it is released anyway, often traveling hundreds of miles in search of a territory. My release sites are kept secret to protect the animals in their slow-release pens, but they include thousands of acres where I have exclusive permission to release these animals and have erected pens for this purpose. There are absolutely no human dwellings or domestic animals for many miles.  I do this to protect the released animals  while they are adjusting to life back in the wild, as well as to protect any domestic animals, poultry or livestock.  But, my neighbors will see a wild animal and instantly think that I put it there! They forget that coyotes and foxes are everywhere in New York in healthy numbers and certainly don’t need me to put them there.

Logging is one big reason why coyotes might suddenly seem to be in an area where they previously had been scarce.  After many years of studying coyotes, I have consistently found that when a resident or neighbor logs their land, coyotes are guaranteed to proliferate there the following year.Why does this happen?    Because suddenly sunlight can reach the forest floor, creating new cover and underbrush for small mammals – the food of coyotes. Tree tops left behind are food and cover for small mammals as well. I guarantee that if you or your neighbor logs, there WILL be coyotes  denning there next year and the following year as well.  Of course the most vocal neighbors are the ones who either logged or their neighbors logged.

Some neighbors start rumors that “my” coyotes have been killing neighbors dogs and cats. They conveniently forget that owls, cars, other neighbors with guns, and neighbors more aggressive free roaming dogs are the more likely culprits.  I am a much easier target. However, as assistant dog control and working closely with the governing authorities in the area, It is interesting that there have been no reports of missing or killed dogs or cats in this area in as long as I have been here.  Yet, the stories are perpetuated by the same individuals – usually in a tavern atmosphere where alcohol is involved.  It occurs to me that perhaps these people need a hobby of their own and maybe if they had the guts, they could talk to me directly about their concerns.

The fact is, people make up stories and point fingers when they want to be the focus of attention or when they simply don’t have a logical explanation for something.  Sometimes people are just being catty because they are jealous or angry about something else.  I have learned to accept this as a result of the commitment that I have made toward helping animals.  The Federal Government and the State of New York are on my side and they are the recipients of the detailed log of my activities every year. They and the USDA have free access to inspect my property and operation  whenever they wish.  My  neighbors are also welcome to discuss their concerns with me at any time.  I will listen and show them anything at any time.


Coyotes Not Responsible for low Hunting License Sales in New York

A reader of a popular New York outdoor magazine  recently blamed coyotes for the drop in hunting license sales in an editorial. He said that no one buys hunting licenses because the hunting is so poor in New York, and the cause of that is eastern coyotes. The writer said that he was an avid hunter since 1945, and in 1945 there was plenty of open land and lots of small game, but now in 2008 the coyotes have eaten all of the small and much of the large game.  A lot has changed since 1945, and in 63 years a lot of the open land that small game once flourished in is gone.  Asian Ring Necked Pheasants, which are an introduced species, were doomed long before coyotes entered the scene.  Pheasants and other small game species need vast tracts of open and undisturbed land to successfully propagate.  There are not enough large tracts of land any more that are undisturbed.  Most large fields are cut up to three times a year for hay and those cuttings destroy the nests and young.  Most other open land is farmed, and fertilizer and pesticides are no friend  to ground nesting animals . Houses, developments, businesses, big box stores and roads  now cut through areas where species such as pheasants and varying hare once flourished.

Thanks to logging and a high browse line, the deer have traveled into the suburbs where food and cover are plentiful.   Studies have shown time and time again that coyotes have little overall effect on deer populations, and while they may take some fawns, there are many other mortality factors for fawns such as bear predation, disease,  cars and domestic dogs.

A lot has changed since 1945 and habitat loss, not coyotes is to blame for many things, including the loss of game species.  One can also explore human lifestyle changes since 1945 to answer some questions regarding hunting license sales, but that is another blog.

Was it Really Feral Dogs and Not Coyotes?

Coyotes are blamed for a lot of things that they do not do, that is a fact.  Recently a local New York farmer believed that coyotes attacked calves in his barn at night.  Due to the fact that the calves were bitten all over and not actually eaten or dragged away and devoured, leads experts to believe that it was actually free roaming dogs.  Dogs bite and chase and will go after multiple animals.  Dogs chase and kill for fun.  A coyote “MO” is different.  They take one and eat what they kill- either right there or by dragging it off.

Some late-breaking news on the case of the Chautauqua County Fred J. Cusimano Westside Overland Trail regarding the  two dogs that were killed while running  free while their owner snowshoed on a remote wildlife trail… I am currently investigating a reliable report that these were not coyotes that attacked the labs and killed them, but rather a pack  feral dogs that had been causing problems in the area for a period of time.  I will be investigating this and if I find out that it was indeed wild dogs, I will be sure to contact the media and make sure they do a factual report on this new information.  I will either confirm or deny this report after some research.