April 1, 2023

Don’t Buy The Nonsense Being Fed Us About Coyotes

It will never cease. I just don’t understand why the need to spread bad information about any kind of wildlife, except that somebody has or had an agenda and that our education factories are just pumping out graduates who seem to mostly project human emotions and human characteristics onto animals.

In a recent Online article at SeaCoast Online, there were comments made about coyotes that are either simply not true or very misleading.

It was stated that Maine has a population of coyotes numbering 12,000. That is likely double that number but nobody knows for sure. All numbers are a guess and fish and game departments, honest ones anyway, admit they put out estimates very much on the low end of things.

Coyotes are an extremely adaptable animal as was pointed out in this article but to state that predator control is “ineffective” in the “long-term” is simply not an accurate statement. Actually thinking coyote control will be effective by one or two attempts at it is wrong. Coyote control must be consistent over long periods of time. Such actions should become necessary when too many coyotes have taken prey populations to non sustainable levels, such as whitetail deer.

The notion that coyotes “balance” ecosystems by doing “rodent patrol” is nothing more than placing some fanciful human element to a wild dog. Coyotes eat whatever is available at the time and is convenient for them. Packs of coyotes are notorious for completely destroying local populations of prey. When this happens it is mostly likely when neighbor’s pets disappear and coyotes begin rummaging your garbage and being more readily seen by humans.

Romance biologists like to tell people that coyotes are necessary for the ecosystem, to keep it in balance. They love to make people think coyotes only kill the sick and lame of their prey species, like they are really stupid and can only tell when an animal is sick, and yet incapable of recognizing a pregnant doe deer to kill and eat the fetus out of the deer while it is still alive. If coyotes are so necessary to the ecosystem, how did Maine and other states ever survive when coyotes were not around for decades and decades? Again, utter propaganda fantasy and misleading information.

This report said that “a healthy adult deer is too much of a fight for the coyote.” This is misleading at best. Coyotes are simply opportunistic hunters. That means they will eat what is easiest and what is before them. Is it that we think or have been wrongly taught that the only time a coyote or pack will take on a deer for lunch is when it is “sick or weakened” and starve the rest of the time?

There are countless accounts, including photographic and video evidence of two or more coyotes taking down and killing healthy adult male deer. This is mostly done when there is snow on the ground that will hinder the ability of a deer to escape. It doesn’t mean the coyotes pick out only the deer with a limp. I have seen photographic evidence of two coyotes taking down a mature adult male deer when there was only about two inches of snow on the ground.

It is also wrongly described as “curiosity” being a “weakness” of the coyote. This article references that when it said, “As canines, like your average black Labrador, they want to know what’s going on.” To some degree that may be true but unlike your average black Labrador, the coyote is most always looking for the next meal.

The use of the terms “curious” and “pretty leery” are misplaced because they are misunderstood. It is important to know the difference. Coyotes look on humans in much the same way they might look at a deer. The coyote is not stupid. Their intelligence is what makes them so highly adaptable. When coyotes are visible to humans it has meaning. Coyotes study prey and it may come as a shock to most people because of the nonsense they have been taught, but humans to a coyote are prey, especially small children.

Missing from this article are the many accounts of coyotes entering backyards and attacking children at play. The child is a prey species to the coyote and in much the same way as it can recognize a pregnant doe deer, it sizes up humans for the same reasons.

This “curiosity” is a process that all wild canines go through. They study their prey in order to learn how they can attack it if hunger drives them to it. Size does matter. Why would a coyote select a large adult human when small ones are available? But with hunger, we must toss out the rationalization.

During this study process, coyotes will stand at a distance and watch the actions and reactions of the human. After a while the coyote will come closer. Often we hear of coyotes being described around humans as “being almost playful,” sometimes “nipping” at a persons sleeve or pant leg. This may actually be what is called “prey testing.” The coyote makes motions to see how this prey species is going to react. After all, they are trying to figure out how to take it down and if they can.

If driven by hunger long enough – about the only thing that will drive a coyote into your backyard and attack – a coyote will eventually attack a human.

That doesn’t mean we necessarily must fear the animal but why not educate people about this creature with truth and facts instead of some romantic nonsense of how humans and wild animals can live together in perfect harmony?

There is one other issue I would like to address briefly. In this article, there was mention of seeing coyotes of odd or unusual colors, i.e. “snow-white coloring” and “including a black one.” This is more than likely the result of cross-breeding. Yesterday I was reading an article about coyotes in which a so-called expert said that cross breeding by coyotes was an extremely rare thing. It’s not so rare as most might think and the problem is getting worse.

We do know that in Maine most “coyotes” are actually a hybrid mix of an eastern coyotes, wolf and domestic dog. There is scientific evidence to support this. It should be also noted that with the increased presence of coyotes in human-settled landscapes, the odds of hybridization or cross-breeding goe up.

If these romance biologists and promoters of propaganda fantasies are really so much in love with their coyote friends, why aren’t they concerned with the preservation of the species? Cross-breeding will destroy the coyote species. Do we really want a forest and fields full of packs of unpredictable mongrel wild dogs?

This hybridization has other repercussions few know about or care about and they should. An actual coyote has characteristics that are held and passed down from one generation of coyote to the next. With hybridization, those characteristics change and are lost. Over time what some of us learned and understood about the behavior of the coyotes changed because of the increase in the number of coyotes forced onto human-settled landscapes. This is an important reason to encourage coyote control of numbers. Keep coyotes in the wild where they belong not in our backyards.

The truth is, I’m not sure that we can accurately predict what these so-called coyotes are going to do anymore.