Wednesday, December 27, 2017


It seems that coyotes are colonizing large population centers.  This, from the New York Times.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Dennis Murphy sniffed the bobcat urine he uses to lure his prey. He checked the silencer on his AR-15 assault rifle and loaded a few snares into his Ford pickup.
“Let’s go kill some coyotes,” he said.
But he wasn’t heading for the wilderness. Mr. Murphy’s stalking ground is on the contentious new frontier where hunters are clashing with conservationists: cities and suburbs.
Coyotes are remarkably adaptive animals, both predator and scavenger and the suburbs are ideally sited to them.  With the suburbs come sprawl, garbage cans, little yapping dogs,  tracts of un-used land, and all of this is suited to animals that, in the past, humans didn't normally tolerate around their homes.

When I lived inn rural America, I knew that I had predators on my land, and I tolerated them.  I know for certain that I had a bobcat who crossed my land, a panther that counted my pasture as part of her territory, and the occasional pack of coyotes.  We had a truce.  The rules were simple.  As long as they chased mice and rabbits, didn't bother the livestock, and respected my right to roam, I'd respect theirs.  If they got too close to the house, or threatened any of the children or livestock, they got a bullet.
Coyotes are largely associated with their ancestral bastions in the wild lands of the American West, but they are highly adaptable, and in recent years they have been colonizing large population centers throughout North America. The hunters have come after them, stalking the predators in settings like strip mall parking lots, housing tract cul-de-sacs, and plazas in the shadow of skyscrapers.
The growing popularity of urban hunting is igniting a fierce debate over the perils and benefits coyotes pose in populated areas, and whether city dwellers ought to adapt to living alongside a cunning predator that has thrived since one of its top adversaries, the gray wolf, has been all but wiped out in much of the continent.
Predators are predators, and we can draw a parallel about the animal predators and the human predators that seem to populate urban centers.  Either we control them, or they control s.  Personally, I believe that controlling predators is a good thing.  Let them adapt to us.

I now live in suburbia, and I occasionally hear a pack of coyotes running the little creek that crosses to the south of the place.  It's not an every-day thing, but often enough that it's not unusual.  But, the rules haven't changed.  If they come up too close to the house, they'll get a bullet.  It's neither mean, nor cruel, nor disrespectful.  It's just the way it is.

4 comments: said...

On campus we're not allowed to do any hunting or trapping of them. There is a young one that came was living in the plots just west of the dorms, but it stayed in the plots and helped take care of the rabbit problem we have. We actually have a bigger problem with dogs coming over and killing the sheep than we do with the coyotes.

Anonymous said...

Sister in law has a plot of land in southern Oregon with bobcats, mountain lions, and coyotes. We treat the wildlife the same way.

That can roam freely to take care of the rodents, threaten the kids, pets or livestock, they get s bullet.

David aka True Blue Sam said...

We have coyotes singing all around us most nights, but they are not much trouble for us. Raccoons, though, are pests that come right up around the house. They carry more disease and parasite risks than the coyotes, and I treat them accordingly.

Anonymous said...

They are common place and hunt in small packs or individually in the city. I have seen them in the heart of downtown. They eat outdoor cats and hunt where people feed feral cats. I have watched them hunt on patrol. People leave signs, but we cats are mostly lunch. Coyotes can leave messes and when people find them, they insist teens tortured a cat or a satanic cult has made sacrifices. They are fearless and follow people with dogs, hoping the people with leave the small dog alone.....