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Predator Hunting: Save a Songbird, Thank a Coyote

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February 11, 2013

Predator Hunting: Save a Songbird, Thank a Coyote

By Phil Bourjaily

I ran into one of my writing colleagues at SHOT Show and he invited me coyote hunting. I said thanks but I had never shot a coyote and wasn’t very interested. Coyotes are not made of edible meat and I give them a free pass, I told him.

He said “I don’t. I put them in a hole in the ground where they belong.”

That’s a common attitude, but in truth, coyotes get blamed for all kinds of crimes they don’t commit. I don’t how many times farmers have told me our low pheasant numbers are the work of too many coyotes, when in fact, our pheasant crash is the result of bad weather combined with too much intensive farming.*

There are good reasons to hunt coyotes: it’s challenging. Fur prices are up. In general, it’s good that we kill some to make the rest keep their heads down and so they maintain a healthy fear of man.

Shoot coyotes because you value them as game animals or to keep them away from your livestock or because you don’t like them hanging around your house. Just don’t assume, as so many do, that you are automatically doing A Good Deed for Nature whenever you kill one, especially in light of the recent study outlining the damage feral cats do to bird populations. You know what eats cats? Coyotes. Apparently coyotes see these Trap-Neuter-Release cat colonies as all-you-can-eat buffets.

For the record, I am not a cat hater. Growing up, we always had cats. However, cats belong indoors where they make cute, affectionate pets. Once cats go outside they become destructive, non-native predators. Happily, they also become coyote snacks.

Given that I hunt in farm country where there are never feral cats far away I am less likely now to shoot coyotes than I ever was before.

*When I hunted quail in Texas a few years ago with Dr. Dale Rollins, one of our Heroes of Conservation finalists and a bobwhite biologist, he kept a .30-30 in the quail buggy in case he saw feral pigs which eat up quail cover like Roto-tillers. We surprised a coyote one afternoon and Rollins never reached for the rifle. “When you have coyotes you have lower numbers of foxes and raccoons that are much harder on the quail,” he said.

Comments (50)

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from chadlove wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

You can't see it, Phil, but I'm giving you a standing ovation and throwing you roses right now...

Don't have anything against predator hunting, but I've never understood the animosity some have toward coyotes.

A few mornings ago I was sitting in my living room drinking coffee and watching a coyote scarf down sunflower seeds underneath our backyard feeders. I'm hoping he sticks around and scarfs down a few cats and possums. He's more than welcome around my house.

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from mayoaaron wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

I don't hate one more than the other so I just shoot both

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from VAHunter540 wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Nicely put Phil, great reminder that everything plays a role in keeping a balance in the outdoors. While I do enjoy the challenge of hunting yotes on occasion I do not feel the need to kill them on site either. Many a boring sit in a tree stand has been saved while watching coyotes hunt field mice in a hay field near my stand. And there is something very special about listening to the song dogs when they open up and serenade the moon and stars. I know we might compete from time to time for the same prey but their role in the ecosystem is too important to treat them like trash.

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from clinchknot wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

And too many of the farmers barn cats out hunting the ditches in the Springtime!

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from Roderick K. Purcell wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Well said, Phil. There's nothing wrong with coyote hunting but I'm alarmed at the ignorance out there about predation as a force of nature. It's getting hysterical in some places and leading to some really stupid wildlife management policies. Provide good habitat and 99 times out of a hundred, the prey can take care of itself. Fail the habitat, and everything falls apart.

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from buckhunter wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

My biggest problem with coyotes right now is the giant holes my 22-250 is putting in the hides. Shot a pretty female yesterday, which I waded into an icy swamp to retrieve only to find a fist size hole in the prime part of the pelt. Does anybody have a suggestion on a good 22-250 round?

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

I agree. Hunting coyotes to keep them balanced is okay because in most places they are at the top of the food chain and nothing else to keep them in check but us (though not the case up here where timber wolves are really hell on the few "bush wolves" in the area). But I don't care to kill them and certainly don't shoot them on sight. Two exceptions. In Idaho once in sheep country I shot one with my .357 that was caught between the road and the sheep wire fence. I didn't do a great job of it and feel pretty badly about it to this day. But they are definitely a problem in sheep country. That's just a given. Then this past fall I loaded up a big female and both of her two nearly grown pups with some #5 pheasant loads. They were right in the rancher's cattle including an inordinate number of late-born calves that weren't very big (must have been some range bull got over the fence at the wrong time). Dang things just were not inclined to get out of there so I peppered them even though my dogs were hunting with me. As a rule I DO NOT shoot at anything I'm not hunting when the dogs are along. I really didn't want to but that b*tch just wouldn't leave. Thankfully no trouble getting the dogs back to me. Didn't draw blood in the snow for any of them so I guess they made it okay.

All three places I regularly hunt back in Montana have ample supply of coyotes but the bird population seems to be doing okay. My favorite place went in the toilet this year but I attribute it to the gawdam beavers that have backed the creek up and flooded the entire valley floor end to end. Hopefully those yotes will make a dent in the damned furry loggers. One rancher actually does not want the coyotes shot. Now that is rare. I guess he knows what he's doing. Extremely successful and his family has been at it for about five generations there.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Buckhunter, try some solid copper bullets maybe?

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from Douglas wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

I don't bother hunting coyotes. They are way too smart for me and I just rarely see them. I do have a large population here and some of them are big animals. One took after my brittany when he found the den. That coyote dwarfed him and he weighs 45#.
It would have caught him too, had my son not been there to spook the coyote.
We get hunters here that go after them with hounds. They don't seem to make much of a dent in the population. There aren't many foxes or other predators hereabouts any more. Just coyotes.

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from DSMbirddog wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Good blog, Dave. I shoot a few when the opportunity occurs but only when it is basically a slam dunk shot. They deserve to be killed humanely as well.

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from buckhunter wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Thanks for the suggestion Honker. I was thinking of going to solids but my current bullet is dropping the yotes in their tracks. Will solids do that?

Phil, I'm gonna go against the grain here, just a little. Everything you have said is true. Coyotes are misunderstood and are blamed for more things than they deserve. I think the main reason for this belief is the nearly total unrestricted hunting seasons and bag limits on the animals. It gives the impression the Division of Wildlife wants them gone. Most hunters assume coyotes are bad if the DOW let's you shoot them 24/7 with no bag limit.

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from badsmerf wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Coyote hunting is actually a lot of fun and pretty challenging. Most of the people that I know in Iowa spew the trash about them killing off pheasants, but the ones that actually hunt them do it for enjoyment of the hunt and the fur.

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from nehunter92 wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

The problem that most hunters have with Coyotes is that they will absolutely hammer Whitetails depending on the situation. In the north, Coyotes will hit the deer in mid-winter if there is a lot of snow, limiting the Deer’s mobility and providing the Coyote with an easy meal. Being hounded (pardon the pun) day and night by large packs of coyotes during the winter months put’s a lot of stress on them. The other way Coyotes impact deer is through eating fawns in the spring. Large populations of Coyotes have been shown to absolutely destroy fawn recruitment in some areas. The old belief that coyotes only prey upon sick and aging deer has been pretty much debunked at this point.
That’s not to say that coyotes don’t have their place in nature, everything does. I personally like having coyotes around as they provide exciting hunting opportunities in their own right and in many cases are just simply filling in the void left by the extirpation of wolves and other predator. They can control other predator animals such as foxes through depredation. As with everything, an overabundance of coyotes can lead to a host of problems. Diseases such as rabies and mange can become a real issue, and the predation effects on just about any form of wildlife can be a threat if the coyotes are severely over populated.
Therein lays the issue. Coyotes, like any animal, Coyotes need to be controlled. That is a daunting prospect however. As a few others here have pointed out, hunting Coyotes can be extremely challenging. I have done some Coyote hunting, and I can say in full confidence that Coyotes are that smartest animal I have ever pursued. They are clever, adaptable, and learn quickly. Given their adaptability, and the rate at which they can reproduce, killing enough coyotes through hunting to adequately control their numbers is difficult. This is why the shoot on sight rule is observed in many areas. If you are trying to control the coyote population, then you need to take what few opportunities you are going to have to actually kill one.
PS. Coyote meat is plenty edible, it just that eating canines is taboo in western culture.

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from njschneider wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Why I hunt coyotes
Every year hunters enter the woods mostly for three weeks out of the year and harvest between 200,000 and 250,000 whitetails, here in Iowa annually. After the season is over they hang up there guns and lock the gates to there property. I hunt coyotes because everyone else does not. When I have the opportunity to lay another deer hunter down I do. And this is why. Coyotes and wolves are not efficient hunters given why they hunt in packs. They are successful in hunts less than 30 percent of the time, meaning they burn more calories, hunt more, and kill more. Coyotes kill more deer on your property then you do. Hunters have been taught to plant food plots on every corner of their property taking acres out of CRP and leaving no cover for fawns in the spring and turkeys to nest in. Giving coyotes free range of the most important time of the year for your wildlife. I hunt coyotes to control them and send a thank you letter to every trapper that does it better.

This argument is really about difference in taste because I am not much of a bird hunter and I understand why you dislike cats. But I personally open my arms to the feline predator. Why, because bobcats and mountain lions have been found to be 88% efficient when they are hunting meaning they do not hunt in packs which causes less predators on my property that are far more efficient when they do hunt. And yes I do want predators on my property because I like eating a deer that has truly lived and not just corn fed, bed to food deer, but I want the right ones. I love hunting predators I have shot a bobcat, a mountain lion, and many coyotes. And I will continue to shoot many many more coyotes because no one else does and I think this nation doesn't understand predators and the effects of coyotes on their property. I wish more people would hunt coyotes only to control them because we take thousands of deer but can not do our part and harvest coyotes? Hunting Coyotes is far beyond the house cat population.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Buckhunter, coyotes aren't real tough critters. A solid 22-250 bullet should still take one out even if it does a pass through. Anyway, don't those copper bullets still flatten a bit on impact? Sorry, I have no experience with them. Was just thinking out loud. Or you could try slowing down your loads for lead bullets. Not sure what range you're looking at but that might be an option.

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from mike0714 wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Buckhunter try 40 gr FMJ's they shoot flat and knock down yotes like pop cans.

The reason I hunt yotes is because they do a number on Coues deer of all ages, young mullies, elk, and antelope. Here in AZ we can hunt coyotes every day with no bag limit. Some units have recently been opened up for night hunting to give pronghorns in the areas a fighting chance. In Arizona coyotes account for more antelope fawn deaths than any other factor. Coyotes will actually increase litter sizes where hunted heavily. they are expanding into country that has never been historic ranges. High yote numbers might not effect pheasants much but they sure do effect fawn survival of many game spices.

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from Tim Platt wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

I shot a lot of coyotes when I was a kid because we raised sheep. They are your worst nightmare when lambing season starts. We used to stay up all night hiding in the barn to try to chase them off and they still killed their fair share, they cost us a lot of money. Kill every coyote you see is what we did, and we still got out of the sheep business because of them.

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from larson014 wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

seems like you narrow your concerns to bird hunting, i trap because really nobody else traps in my area, and there is a lot of mange if the population stays unchecked in our area because of mans encroachment. there are also alot of rabbit hunters out there and if you value rabbit hunting it is a good idea to take a few a year, and i think it helps a bit...

not to mention the fawn predation in the spring, maybe i am not making much of a dent but it seems better than the 1k:1 ratio of rabbit hunters to coyote trappers

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Buckhunter,
Go with a FMJ, full metal jacket, or solid, no hollowpoints. Not hard to kill a coyote even with non-expanding bullets. ;) I don't shoot then due to ricochet potential. It' only a mile from my place to the highway and half that to a neighbor's house and stock. I use the Varmint Grenades in .223 or Balistic tips in .257

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from rock rat wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

How many years have you been freeloading out west Phil? I can see being too lazy to go coyote hunting, after all it's cold and the snow can be deep, but I wouldn't say it as a point of pride.

The game cam shows one of the biggest lions I've ever seen in the place I hunt muleys, but I know that cat only takes maybe 20 deer a year, it's the coyotes all over the place that really put a dent in the population.

The females are pregnant right now and any you shoot will probably equal one litter less. You'll never have a permanent affect on populations, but locally coyote hunting can be a great benefit. I certainly don't enjoy shooting coyotes, but then there are a good many things I do that I don't enjoy that need doing.

If you ever talk to a trapper, thank him for improving the deer hunting.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

WAM, thanks for mentioning that. I didn't consider ricochet factor. Definitely more important that size of the hole left in the animal.

In almost every state the deer populations have been out of control for some time. More is not better for the "health of the herd" (whatever that is supposed to mean). Usually the health of the heard is equated with the health of the local economics and really has damned little to do with what's best for deer population. Oh, and the rancher who won't allow coyote hunting does so exactly because coyotes do kill fawns. He raises cattle not deer or antelope.

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from Sarge01 wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Here in the mountains of WV the coyotes are death on fawns in the spring and deer in the winter when the snow is deep. Every coyote den that I have found is littered with fawn feet around it. They also are hard on turkeys. I called one up with my turkey call bent on having turkey dinner 2 springs ago but all she got was a 45 grain hollow point from my .22 Hornet. We don't have to depend on them to take care of ferel cats we do that ourself.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

BTW, the varmint Grenade ususlly does not exit.

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from Mark-1 wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Coyotes are deer fawn killers for sure.

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from MidnightBanjo wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

I've been in the woods too many times at the "Magic hour" and had the woods go silent only to have a coyote come trotting through and spook everything to let them have a pass. Once had one come out dragging a deer's hind leg. It was too late to save that deer, but not to late to put the '06 to work.

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from Chris Pohlson wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Phil, I take it you're not from South Dakota?

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from Ncarl wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

I would like to do a coyote hunt someday. Watching distress calls work sounds pretty cool. Although when Im deer hunting i dont shoot coyotes. My hunting time is to precious to go blasting a coyote when there could be a deer heading my way. I dont shoot them with a bow either, Ive had plenty of opportunities but I hear they smell bad and if they die close to your stand that can ruin a deer hunt too. That and every time I let an arrow go its like a $20 bill flying through the air.

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from Safado wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Coyotes are a real problem in the west in general and Southern California in particular.
Buckhunter,
I use Barnes Banded Solids in my 22-250 usually resulting in a tiny entry hole and about a nickel or quarter sized exit hole.

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from 357 wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

i shoot them occasionally but honestly i have no issue with them. i also have no issue with lions and wolves eating their share either. predators are cool, smart, and fun to hunt i wish them no ill.

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from Longbeard wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Twoof my favorite things to hunt are turkey and deer, and coyotes can be hard on both. Studies have shown the drastic effect on fawn recruitment 'yotes can have, particularly in the south where lenthy and multiple rut periods in close proximity are common. And they can be tough on grown turkeys, much less young poults. I too have had song dogs come trotting through my turkey setups. But you have a point, Phil, regarding pigs and other smaller predators when it comes to bird eggs in ground nests (turkey, quail, pheasant, ducks, etc). I've never killed a coyote (got excited and missed one trotting along a power line easement when deer hunting) but I shoot hogs whenever I can. Saw a small group Sunday feeding near our best turkey roost, but didn't have a gun. My Lab scared them off, but I'm sure they returned as soon as we left. Maybe I should start a small predator hunt at the home club.

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from Drew McClure wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

As an active deer club assistant manager I will shoot feral dogs, coyotes, racoons, armadillos, bobcats, but my biggest concern is a mountain lion that is federally protected. With a growing wild turkey, quail, and snipe population I hope my Ol' Mans plantation continues to support a variety of game. To bag a coyote in this holler you need to be stealthy and lucky, those dogs are really keen.

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from Tom-Tom wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Here in central Missouri, most of us in the country raise cattle, grow grain, grow grass for hay, or some combination thereof. Two critters that most of us would shoot on sight are any stray dog(s) running our cattle, and any feral cat out in the field. Thankfully, we haven't had any feral hogs reported within 50 miles of us. If we see a skunk or 'coon out and about at mid-day, they may be rabid and should be treated accordingly. As long as coyotes keep their distance from the house and barn, they pose no real problem most of the time. People that claim to have a problem with coyotes usually raise sheep or more often, poultry; however, the real problem could be a host of other predators that also love poultry.

Lone coyotes are usually no problem but are more likely to cause a problem if and when they join with others in a group, but then again, so do people.

If you hunt them for the challenge or the sport, what do you do with your kill? If you hunt during the recognized trapping season when the fur is at its best, do you skin it out for the hide or do you trash it? To me it makes a difference because of how I was raised and again, to me, it says alot about you.

Another good post, Phil. Keep 'em coming.

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from Baileymade wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Thank you Phil! I don't have a problem with predator hunting but I'm tired of those that believe all coyotes/wolves/mountain lions etc need to be killed. That thinking leads to arguments that are not sound and could hurt hunting in general. Those that get on the "wolves are bad for elk" or "coyotes kill deer" bandwagon to support predator control to anti-hunters need to be careful. The argument could easily be turned around...

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from larson014 wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

"If you hunt during the recognized trapping season when the fur is at its best, do you skin it out for the hide or do you trash it?"

yes, i case skin it, flesh and then board it, just like everyone else that i know..

there is simply not enough predator hunters where i am at to even closely hurt the population, plus it is not as easy as you think, we are hunting predators not prey... it is a whole different game...

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from philbourjaily wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Even in areas where coyotes eat a lot of fawns - and they do - it's not clear they always harm deer populations. Some studies show that mortality is compensatory, and coyotes are taking the surplus.

When I was growing up in Iowa if you saw a deer you told people about it and we never saw coyotes. Now we have tons of both and our deer herd would keep growing if it weren't for the special anterless hunting seasons intended to reduce their numbers.

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from vasportsman wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

I generally won't shoot a coyote if I am after something else, but if it is an easy shot I will take it. I agree partially with Sarge and partially with Phil; Coyotes do compete directly with me for game animals such as turkey and deer, so on that point I do not like them. However, along with what Phil says where I hunt is still open to archery antlerless deer hunting until the end of February due to the large numbers and I have seen more turkey this year than any. So it is a mixed bag, I don't hate them, think of them as my competition and will get a leg up on them if I can.

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from Bioguy01 wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Depending on where you live and what you are trying to manage for, some may want to reconsider their opinion of coyotes and take a more active role in their management. Although coyotes have a fairly variable diet, recent studies in the south show that during fawning season 50% or more of a coyotes diet may consist of fawns. This change in diet also contributes to a change in recruitment rates, which has been shown to decrease deer populations, especially if hunters fail to adjust their doe harvest to account for reduced recruitment.

Just as an example, my GF worked on a fawn survival study last year in NC. Out of 42 fawns that were birthed, only 4 were alive at the end of the summer. I don't know the exact break-down of the cause of death, but somewhere between 10-15 starved to death, and the rest were killed by predators (mostly coyotes). Take predators out of the equation and about 25-30 fawns would have likely survived to see the end of summer, but with predators in the equation, recruitment rates at that study site have been extremely low for the past several years.

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from Bioguy01 wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

philbourjaily - Coyote predation can be compensatory, but that's usually in areas where hunting is either not allowed or not an effective management strategy. In areas that receive moderate to high hunting pressure, deer herds get a "double whammy." Coyotes kill the fawns and hunters kill the does. Hammering on does is OK if you know you have high recruitment rates, but if recruitment rates are minimal, you're best off either killing some coyotes, or not killing does.

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from Hassan Abdul-Wahid wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Nice post, Mr. Bourjaily! I'm not against predator hunting in the abstract but I personally find it distasteful. Here's a short story to illustrate my position: I was on a guided pig hunt with a bunch of guys (first guided hunt of any type ever for me and I've been hunting for almost 30 years). We were being driven around on ATVs and chasing pigs and generally having a blast. At one point one of our guys got out of an ATV and made an admittedly nice shot on a coyote that had broken cover behind us. He then got back in the ATV and we drove off, leaving the dead coyote in the corner of a freshly plowed field. I was shocked as I thought he was going to go over and retrieve the coyote. I didn't say anything, no one did, and it still doesn't sit right with me that that coyote died and was treated with so little respect. If you're going to kill something you should at least honor it by retrieving the animal. Seems to me that far too many people shoot coyotes and other predators just to shoot something. Dishonoring an animal that you've killed just isn't how I was raised.

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from MReeder wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

This is one I've got to straddle. Personally, I've never shot a coyote and probably never will, because no matter how hard I try to convince myself otherwise I would still feel like I'm shooting a dog -- and I love dogs. I freely admit there is no rationality involved, which is all the more reason I can't overcome my personal hesitation. If it was a matter of logic I would be lining the walls with their hides. That's why I'm glad other people shoot coyotes. Undoubtedly coyotes, like other predators, have their place in nature (feral cats do NOT), and maybe it's true as Phil suggests that their predation on deer is compensatory. But at least here in South Texas, coyotes do major damage to deer herds and unless someone was thinning their numbers they would outnumber cows. I live just outside the San Antonio city limits within a mile of a major highway. But every night I can stand in the backyard and listen to a serenade that must involve at least two or three dozen yodelers. When the sun starts to slip down on the Chaparral WMA a couple of hours south of here it sounds like the worlds' biggest lunatic asylum just started up a choir. If you didn't kill some of them they would take over the world. In fact, when this planet is a dying ember I suspect coyotes and roaches will be the last creatures around -- and they'll probably be thriving.
However, as much as some percentage of coyotes need killing, I don't approve of anything being taken if its allowed to go to waste. So if you're not going to keep it as a personal trophy or sell it to the fur buyer, do like I do and let somebody else thin their numbers.

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from shane wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

We have more deer here than ever. This coincides with more coyotes than ever. The population of both is going up. What we do have less of is hawks. They're not scarce, but not in the big numbers they once were. Coyotes and Buteo hawks compete for a lot of the same prey.

I wish the coyotes would move in in better numbers near me. Songbird numbers and diversity is way down, coinciding with more feral cats than ever. Could use some coyote help here; I can't wage all out war on the cats because some of the neighbors feed them and are well within eye and earshot. How cute. Too bad they've wrecked the backyard ecosystem. Not the kind of people that would understand that, though.

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from amoor983 wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Phil for bringing this up. But… you didn’t mention “They estimate that free-ranging domestic cats kill 1.4-3.7 billion birds and 6.9-20.7 billion mammals annually in the U.S…” – Loss, Will, Marra. Nature Communications. 2013.
That is billion with a “B”. Forget the coyotes, kill some cats. It would help if there was a fur market for cats. They are soft and fluffy.

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from Anhinga wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

In my youth, growing up in good wild quail country in the south, my pointer did on several occasions, point feral cats, in close proximity to coveys of quail. On one occasion the birds flushed and the cat scampered up a tree. We dropped a couple of birds and eliminated the cat. Being a budding biologist, I opened the cat's gut to see what it had recently consumed. The feathers present indicated a quail and a cardinal had recently been eaten along with some sort of rodent (mouse most probably). In my opinion feral animals; cats, dogs, pigs, burrows, horses and any others that are not native game or non-game or introduced game animals, should be controlled by appropriate means. Those feral animals either prey on native birds and mammals, or take up niches of 'natives' in a particular area. Hogs may be the most offensive. They are shot on sight. I live in the country. I and the folks around here do shoot coyotes. But actually hunting them is not extensively practiced.

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from FARMBOY wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

My farm is in southwest Georgia. During fawning season {approx July) I have noticed the coyote scat suddenly changes to deer hair, little teeth, and little deer hooves. I have resisted hunting them but my recruitment rate is abyssmal. I have plenty of hiding cover so that is not an issue. I now am taking every coyote I can but I still hear them every night when the train goes by. I hope it helps...

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from Bioguy01 wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Farmboy - Sounds like you need to do some trapping. Hunting is a rather unsuccessful endeavor, and shooting the occasional coyote you see probably isn't doing much in terms of managing the resident population all that much. Lay some steel, or hire someone to do it for you and get some of those critters out of there just prior to the fawning season.

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from philbourjaily wrote 1 year 8 weeks ago

Bioguy01 -- you kind of make my point for me, which is that shooting a coyote and feeling like you have done something worthwhile isn't necessarily the case. Serious predator management through trapping as you recommend is very different and can undoubtedly increase fawn survival. I would be curious to know if lowering coyote numbers enough to meaningfully increase fawn survival had other unintended consequences, and also how many of those 25 fawns survive would survive to adulthood. I am willing to be convinced that predator management works, but I also suspect that any time you take a lot of something out of an ecosystem something else goes out of whack.

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from deadeyedick wrote 1 year 8 weeks ago

Coyotes, now there's something I can sink my teeth into. Around this neck of the woods they now have a firm population and as near as I can tell there has been a definite impact on deer, rabbits, turkey, squirrel, and other animals. (Coyotes will east pretty much anything)they are not a major problem YET. Trappers around here are doing better here in Ohio than hunters and I think it is mostly due to the fact that coyotes have become mostly nocturnal hunters I spend a great many days afield every year and I have not seen all that many, but if I prowl around after dark I can hear them howling and yipping in many areas. Some of my friends have been training packs of dogs and are having great success. I understand that the price of fur has been rising which makes them a lot more desirable to trappers and hunters. I even saw that China was the driving force behind the rise in pelt prices so maybe we can eliminate the trade defiecit Ha. At any rate they are shootable year-round and I spend many an enjoyable evening trying to call the in

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from woodsdog wrote 1 year 8 weeks ago

I love to trap and hunt them along with any other furbearer but I agree with you Phil to the extent that I see them as a game animal that should be regulated, not as vermin. This year I trapped a couple of red fox out of any area where the year before I trapped two coyotes out of the same sets. Both are existing together in some capacity so I'm not sure I've made up my mind on the effect on each other. I do know that back in the 80's when I first started trapping, the largest predators here were fox. I personally find them exhilirating to hunt and trap and feel that they are way smarter than most whitetail bucks. I have a very difficult time trying to intentionally hunt them here in the east. I also agree that the feral cats are huge problem as well.

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from woodsdog wrote 1 year 8 weeks ago

I meant the coyotes were smarter than whitetail bucks, not redfox. That was NOT clear in my previous post.

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from Woodsman001 wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

You (and thousands of others) are WRONG about coyotes keeping these invasive-species cat populations in check. NO native predators will keep these man-made-cats in check, anywhere on the planet. Just as the government of Australia sadly learned when they thought they could control cats by increasing Dingo populations. Conclusion: ZERO EFFECT.

Read this post to explain something I discovered during my own cat-eradication experiments:

neighbors.denverpost.com/viewtopic.php?source=phpbb_art_viewall&t=22154584#p2781776

It will completely explain how and why native predators cannot, do not, and will not keep man-made invasive species cat populations under control. They might pick off a few, dying in the process from all the deadly diseases that cats are spreading to wildlife today, but ultimately you will still be left with cats destroying all the native wildlife -- from smallest of prey up to the top predators that are starved-to-death.

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from chadlove wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

You can't see it, Phil, but I'm giving you a standing ovation and throwing you roses right now...

Don't have anything against predator hunting, but I've never understood the animosity some have toward coyotes.

A few mornings ago I was sitting in my living room drinking coffee and watching a coyote scarf down sunflower seeds underneath our backyard feeders. I'm hoping he sticks around and scarfs down a few cats and possums. He's more than welcome around my house.

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from nehunter92 wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

The problem that most hunters have with Coyotes is that they will absolutely hammer Whitetails depending on the situation. In the north, Coyotes will hit the deer in mid-winter if there is a lot of snow, limiting the Deer’s mobility and providing the Coyote with an easy meal. Being hounded (pardon the pun) day and night by large packs of coyotes during the winter months put’s a lot of stress on them. The other way Coyotes impact deer is through eating fawns in the spring. Large populations of Coyotes have been shown to absolutely destroy fawn recruitment in some areas. The old belief that coyotes only prey upon sick and aging deer has been pretty much debunked at this point.
That’s not to say that coyotes don’t have their place in nature, everything does. I personally like having coyotes around as they provide exciting hunting opportunities in their own right and in many cases are just simply filling in the void left by the extirpation of wolves and other predator. They can control other predator animals such as foxes through depredation. As with everything, an overabundance of coyotes can lead to a host of problems. Diseases such as rabies and mange can become a real issue, and the predation effects on just about any form of wildlife can be a threat if the coyotes are severely over populated.
Therein lays the issue. Coyotes, like any animal, Coyotes need to be controlled. That is a daunting prospect however. As a few others here have pointed out, hunting Coyotes can be extremely challenging. I have done some Coyote hunting, and I can say in full confidence that Coyotes are that smartest animal I have ever pursued. They are clever, adaptable, and learn quickly. Given their adaptability, and the rate at which they can reproduce, killing enough coyotes through hunting to adequately control their numbers is difficult. This is why the shoot on sight rule is observed in many areas. If you are trying to control the coyote population, then you need to take what few opportunities you are going to have to actually kill one.
PS. Coyote meat is plenty edible, it just that eating canines is taboo in western culture.

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from philbourjaily wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Even in areas where coyotes eat a lot of fawns - and they do - it's not clear they always harm deer populations. Some studies show that mortality is compensatory, and coyotes are taking the surplus.

When I was growing up in Iowa if you saw a deer you told people about it and we never saw coyotes. Now we have tons of both and our deer herd would keep growing if it weren't for the special anterless hunting seasons intended to reduce their numbers.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Buckhunter,
Go with a FMJ, full metal jacket, or solid, no hollowpoints. Not hard to kill a coyote even with non-expanding bullets. ;) I don't shoot then due to ricochet potential. It' only a mile from my place to the highway and half that to a neighbor's house and stock. I use the Varmint Grenades in .223 or Balistic tips in .257

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from VAHunter540 wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Nicely put Phil, great reminder that everything plays a role in keeping a balance in the outdoors. While I do enjoy the challenge of hunting yotes on occasion I do not feel the need to kill them on site either. Many a boring sit in a tree stand has been saved while watching coyotes hunt field mice in a hay field near my stand. And there is something very special about listening to the song dogs when they open up and serenade the moon and stars. I know we might compete from time to time for the same prey but their role in the ecosystem is too important to treat them like trash.

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from Roderick K. Purcell wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Well said, Phil. There's nothing wrong with coyote hunting but I'm alarmed at the ignorance out there about predation as a force of nature. It's getting hysterical in some places and leading to some really stupid wildlife management policies. Provide good habitat and 99 times out of a hundred, the prey can take care of itself. Fail the habitat, and everything falls apart.

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from larson014 wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

"If you hunt during the recognized trapping season when the fur is at its best, do you skin it out for the hide or do you trash it?"

yes, i case skin it, flesh and then board it, just like everyone else that i know..

there is simply not enough predator hunters where i am at to even closely hurt the population, plus it is not as easy as you think, we are hunting predators not prey... it is a whole different game...

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

BTW, the varmint Grenade ususlly does not exit.

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from buckhunter wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

My biggest problem with coyotes right now is the giant holes my 22-250 is putting in the hides. Shot a pretty female yesterday, which I waded into an icy swamp to retrieve only to find a fist size hole in the prime part of the pelt. Does anybody have a suggestion on a good 22-250 round?

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from Anhinga wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

In my youth, growing up in good wild quail country in the south, my pointer did on several occasions, point feral cats, in close proximity to coveys of quail. On one occasion the birds flushed and the cat scampered up a tree. We dropped a couple of birds and eliminated the cat. Being a budding biologist, I opened the cat's gut to see what it had recently consumed. The feathers present indicated a quail and a cardinal had recently been eaten along with some sort of rodent (mouse most probably). In my opinion feral animals; cats, dogs, pigs, burrows, horses and any others that are not native game or non-game or introduced game animals, should be controlled by appropriate means. Those feral animals either prey on native birds and mammals, or take up niches of 'natives' in a particular area. Hogs may be the most offensive. They are shot on sight. I live in the country. I and the folks around here do shoot coyotes. But actually hunting them is not extensively practiced.

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from Tom-Tom wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Here in central Missouri, most of us in the country raise cattle, grow grain, grow grass for hay, or some combination thereof. Two critters that most of us would shoot on sight are any stray dog(s) running our cattle, and any feral cat out in the field. Thankfully, we haven't had any feral hogs reported within 50 miles of us. If we see a skunk or 'coon out and about at mid-day, they may be rabid and should be treated accordingly. As long as coyotes keep their distance from the house and barn, they pose no real problem most of the time. People that claim to have a problem with coyotes usually raise sheep or more often, poultry; however, the real problem could be a host of other predators that also love poultry.

Lone coyotes are usually no problem but are more likely to cause a problem if and when they join with others in a group, but then again, so do people.

If you hunt them for the challenge or the sport, what do you do with your kill? If you hunt during the recognized trapping season when the fur is at its best, do you skin it out for the hide or do you trash it? To me it makes a difference because of how I was raised and again, to me, it says alot about you.

Another good post, Phil. Keep 'em coming.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Buckhunter, try some solid copper bullets maybe?

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from Sarge01 wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Here in the mountains of WV the coyotes are death on fawns in the spring and deer in the winter when the snow is deep. Every coyote den that I have found is littered with fawn feet around it. They also are hard on turkeys. I called one up with my turkey call bent on having turkey dinner 2 springs ago but all she got was a 45 grain hollow point from my .22 Hornet. We don't have to depend on them to take care of ferel cats we do that ourself.

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from rock rat wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

How many years have you been freeloading out west Phil? I can see being too lazy to go coyote hunting, after all it's cold and the snow can be deep, but I wouldn't say it as a point of pride.

The game cam shows one of the biggest lions I've ever seen in the place I hunt muleys, but I know that cat only takes maybe 20 deer a year, it's the coyotes all over the place that really put a dent in the population.

The females are pregnant right now and any you shoot will probably equal one litter less. You'll never have a permanent affect on populations, but locally coyote hunting can be a great benefit. I certainly don't enjoy shooting coyotes, but then there are a good many things I do that I don't enjoy that need doing.

If you ever talk to a trapper, thank him for improving the deer hunting.

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from njschneider wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Why I hunt coyotes
Every year hunters enter the woods mostly for three weeks out of the year and harvest between 200,000 and 250,000 whitetails, here in Iowa annually. After the season is over they hang up there guns and lock the gates to there property. I hunt coyotes because everyone else does not. When I have the opportunity to lay another deer hunter down I do. And this is why. Coyotes and wolves are not efficient hunters given why they hunt in packs. They are successful in hunts less than 30 percent of the time, meaning they burn more calories, hunt more, and kill more. Coyotes kill more deer on your property then you do. Hunters have been taught to plant food plots on every corner of their property taking acres out of CRP and leaving no cover for fawns in the spring and turkeys to nest in. Giving coyotes free range of the most important time of the year for your wildlife. I hunt coyotes to control them and send a thank you letter to every trapper that does it better.

This argument is really about difference in taste because I am not much of a bird hunter and I understand why you dislike cats. But I personally open my arms to the feline predator. Why, because bobcats and mountain lions have been found to be 88% efficient when they are hunting meaning they do not hunt in packs which causes less predators on my property that are far more efficient when they do hunt. And yes I do want predators on my property because I like eating a deer that has truly lived and not just corn fed, bed to food deer, but I want the right ones. I love hunting predators I have shot a bobcat, a mountain lion, and many coyotes. And I will continue to shoot many many more coyotes because no one else does and I think this nation doesn't understand predators and the effects of coyotes on their property. I wish more people would hunt coyotes only to control them because we take thousands of deer but can not do our part and harvest coyotes? Hunting Coyotes is far beyond the house cat population.

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from DSMbirddog wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Good blog, Dave. I shoot a few when the opportunity occurs but only when it is basically a slam dunk shot. They deserve to be killed humanely as well.

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from larson014 wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

seems like you narrow your concerns to bird hunting, i trap because really nobody else traps in my area, and there is a lot of mange if the population stays unchecked in our area because of mans encroachment. there are also alot of rabbit hunters out there and if you value rabbit hunting it is a good idea to take a few a year, and i think it helps a bit...

not to mention the fawn predation in the spring, maybe i am not making much of a dent but it seems better than the 1k:1 ratio of rabbit hunters to coyote trappers

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from Bioguy01 wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Depending on where you live and what you are trying to manage for, some may want to reconsider their opinion of coyotes and take a more active role in their management. Although coyotes have a fairly variable diet, recent studies in the south show that during fawning season 50% or more of a coyotes diet may consist of fawns. This change in diet also contributes to a change in recruitment rates, which has been shown to decrease deer populations, especially if hunters fail to adjust their doe harvest to account for reduced recruitment.

Just as an example, my GF worked on a fawn survival study last year in NC. Out of 42 fawns that were birthed, only 4 were alive at the end of the summer. I don't know the exact break-down of the cause of death, but somewhere between 10-15 starved to death, and the rest were killed by predators (mostly coyotes). Take predators out of the equation and about 25-30 fawns would have likely survived to see the end of summer, but with predators in the equation, recruitment rates at that study site have been extremely low for the past several years.

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from Bioguy01 wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

philbourjaily - Coyote predation can be compensatory, but that's usually in areas where hunting is either not allowed or not an effective management strategy. In areas that receive moderate to high hunting pressure, deer herds get a "double whammy." Coyotes kill the fawns and hunters kill the does. Hammering on does is OK if you know you have high recruitment rates, but if recruitment rates are minimal, you're best off either killing some coyotes, or not killing does.

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from Baileymade wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Thank you Phil! I don't have a problem with predator hunting but I'm tired of those that believe all coyotes/wolves/mountain lions etc need to be killed. That thinking leads to arguments that are not sound and could hurt hunting in general. Those that get on the "wolves are bad for elk" or "coyotes kill deer" bandwagon to support predator control to anti-hunters need to be careful. The argument could easily be turned around...

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from 357 wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

i shoot them occasionally but honestly i have no issue with them. i also have no issue with lions and wolves eating their share either. predators are cool, smart, and fun to hunt i wish them no ill.

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from mayoaaron wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

I don't hate one more than the other so I just shoot both

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from amoor983 wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Phil for bringing this up. But… you didn’t mention “They estimate that free-ranging domestic cats kill 1.4-3.7 billion birds and 6.9-20.7 billion mammals annually in the U.S…” – Loss, Will, Marra. Nature Communications. 2013.
That is billion with a “B”. Forget the coyotes, kill some cats. It would help if there was a fur market for cats. They are soft and fluffy.

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from philbourjaily wrote 1 year 8 weeks ago

Bioguy01 -- you kind of make my point for me, which is that shooting a coyote and feeling like you have done something worthwhile isn't necessarily the case. Serious predator management through trapping as you recommend is very different and can undoubtedly increase fawn survival. I would be curious to know if lowering coyote numbers enough to meaningfully increase fawn survival had other unintended consequences, and also how many of those 25 fawns survive would survive to adulthood. I am willing to be convinced that predator management works, but I also suspect that any time you take a lot of something out of an ecosystem something else goes out of whack.

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from Douglas wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

I don't bother hunting coyotes. They are way too smart for me and I just rarely see them. I do have a large population here and some of them are big animals. One took after my brittany when he found the den. That coyote dwarfed him and he weighs 45#.
It would have caught him too, had my son not been there to spook the coyote.
We get hunters here that go after them with hounds. They don't seem to make much of a dent in the population. There aren't many foxes or other predators hereabouts any more. Just coyotes.

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from Tim Platt wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

I shot a lot of coyotes when I was a kid because we raised sheep. They are your worst nightmare when lambing season starts. We used to stay up all night hiding in the barn to try to chase them off and they still killed their fair share, they cost us a lot of money. Kill every coyote you see is what we did, and we still got out of the sheep business because of them.

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from Mark-1 wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Coyotes are deer fawn killers for sure.

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from buckhunter wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Thanks for the suggestion Honker. I was thinking of going to solids but my current bullet is dropping the yotes in their tracks. Will solids do that?

Phil, I'm gonna go against the grain here, just a little. Everything you have said is true. Coyotes are misunderstood and are blamed for more things than they deserve. I think the main reason for this belief is the nearly total unrestricted hunting seasons and bag limits on the animals. It gives the impression the Division of Wildlife wants them gone. Most hunters assume coyotes are bad if the DOW let's you shoot them 24/7 with no bag limit.

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from MidnightBanjo wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

I've been in the woods too many times at the "Magic hour" and had the woods go silent only to have a coyote come trotting through and spook everything to let them have a pass. Once had one come out dragging a deer's hind leg. It was too late to save that deer, but not to late to put the '06 to work.

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from shane wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

We have more deer here than ever. This coincides with more coyotes than ever. The population of both is going up. What we do have less of is hawks. They're not scarce, but not in the big numbers they once were. Coyotes and Buteo hawks compete for a lot of the same prey.

I wish the coyotes would move in in better numbers near me. Songbird numbers and diversity is way down, coinciding with more feral cats than ever. Could use some coyote help here; I can't wage all out war on the cats because some of the neighbors feed them and are well within eye and earshot. How cute. Too bad they've wrecked the backyard ecosystem. Not the kind of people that would understand that, though.

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from Hassan Abdul-Wahid wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Nice post, Mr. Bourjaily! I'm not against predator hunting in the abstract but I personally find it distasteful. Here's a short story to illustrate my position: I was on a guided pig hunt with a bunch of guys (first guided hunt of any type ever for me and I've been hunting for almost 30 years). We were being driven around on ATVs and chasing pigs and generally having a blast. At one point one of our guys got out of an ATV and made an admittedly nice shot on a coyote that had broken cover behind us. He then got back in the ATV and we drove off, leaving the dead coyote in the corner of a freshly plowed field. I was shocked as I thought he was going to go over and retrieve the coyote. I didn't say anything, no one did, and it still doesn't sit right with me that that coyote died and was treated with so little respect. If you're going to kill something you should at least honor it by retrieving the animal. Seems to me that far too many people shoot coyotes and other predators just to shoot something. Dishonoring an animal that you've killed just isn't how I was raised.

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from Drew McClure wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

As an active deer club assistant manager I will shoot feral dogs, coyotes, racoons, armadillos, bobcats, but my biggest concern is a mountain lion that is federally protected. With a growing wild turkey, quail, and snipe population I hope my Ol' Mans plantation continues to support a variety of game. To bag a coyote in this holler you need to be stealthy and lucky, those dogs are really keen.

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from deadeyedick wrote 1 year 8 weeks ago

Coyotes, now there's something I can sink my teeth into. Around this neck of the woods they now have a firm population and as near as I can tell there has been a definite impact on deer, rabbits, turkey, squirrel, and other animals. (Coyotes will east pretty much anything)they are not a major problem YET. Trappers around here are doing better here in Ohio than hunters and I think it is mostly due to the fact that coyotes have become mostly nocturnal hunters I spend a great many days afield every year and I have not seen all that many, but if I prowl around after dark I can hear them howling and yipping in many areas. Some of my friends have been training packs of dogs and are having great success. I understand that the price of fur has been rising which makes them a lot more desirable to trappers and hunters. I even saw that China was the driving force behind the rise in pelt prices so maybe we can eliminate the trade defiecit Ha. At any rate they are shootable year-round and I spend many an enjoyable evening trying to call the in

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

I agree. Hunting coyotes to keep them balanced is okay because in most places they are at the top of the food chain and nothing else to keep them in check but us (though not the case up here where timber wolves are really hell on the few "bush wolves" in the area). But I don't care to kill them and certainly don't shoot them on sight. Two exceptions. In Idaho once in sheep country I shot one with my .357 that was caught between the road and the sheep wire fence. I didn't do a great job of it and feel pretty badly about it to this day. But they are definitely a problem in sheep country. That's just a given. Then this past fall I loaded up a big female and both of her two nearly grown pups with some #5 pheasant loads. They were right in the rancher's cattle including an inordinate number of late-born calves that weren't very big (must have been some range bull got over the fence at the wrong time). Dang things just were not inclined to get out of there so I peppered them even though my dogs were hunting with me. As a rule I DO NOT shoot at anything I'm not hunting when the dogs are along. I really didn't want to but that b*tch just wouldn't leave. Thankfully no trouble getting the dogs back to me. Didn't draw blood in the snow for any of them so I guess they made it okay.

All three places I regularly hunt back in Montana have ample supply of coyotes but the bird population seems to be doing okay. My favorite place went in the toilet this year but I attribute it to the gawdam beavers that have backed the creek up and flooded the entire valley floor end to end. Hopefully those yotes will make a dent in the damned furry loggers. One rancher actually does not want the coyotes shot. Now that is rare. I guess he knows what he's doing. Extremely successful and his family has been at it for about five generations there.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Buckhunter, coyotes aren't real tough critters. A solid 22-250 bullet should still take one out even if it does a pass through. Anyway, don't those copper bullets still flatten a bit on impact? Sorry, I have no experience with them. Was just thinking out loud. Or you could try slowing down your loads for lead bullets. Not sure what range you're looking at but that might be an option.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

WAM, thanks for mentioning that. I didn't consider ricochet factor. Definitely more important that size of the hole left in the animal.

In almost every state the deer populations have been out of control for some time. More is not better for the "health of the herd" (whatever that is supposed to mean). Usually the health of the heard is equated with the health of the local economics and really has damned little to do with what's best for deer population. Oh, and the rancher who won't allow coyote hunting does so exactly because coyotes do kill fawns. He raises cattle not deer or antelope.

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from FARMBOY wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

My farm is in southwest Georgia. During fawning season {approx July) I have noticed the coyote scat suddenly changes to deer hair, little teeth, and little deer hooves. I have resisted hunting them but my recruitment rate is abyssmal. I have plenty of hiding cover so that is not an issue. I now am taking every coyote I can but I still hear them every night when the train goes by. I hope it helps...

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from MReeder wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

This is one I've got to straddle. Personally, I've never shot a coyote and probably never will, because no matter how hard I try to convince myself otherwise I would still feel like I'm shooting a dog -- and I love dogs. I freely admit there is no rationality involved, which is all the more reason I can't overcome my personal hesitation. If it was a matter of logic I would be lining the walls with their hides. That's why I'm glad other people shoot coyotes. Undoubtedly coyotes, like other predators, have their place in nature (feral cats do NOT), and maybe it's true as Phil suggests that their predation on deer is compensatory. But at least here in South Texas, coyotes do major damage to deer herds and unless someone was thinning their numbers they would outnumber cows. I live just outside the San Antonio city limits within a mile of a major highway. But every night I can stand in the backyard and listen to a serenade that must involve at least two or three dozen yodelers. When the sun starts to slip down on the Chaparral WMA a couple of hours south of here it sounds like the worlds' biggest lunatic asylum just started up a choir. If you didn't kill some of them they would take over the world. In fact, when this planet is a dying ember I suspect coyotes and roaches will be the last creatures around -- and they'll probably be thriving.
However, as much as some percentage of coyotes need killing, I don't approve of anything being taken if its allowed to go to waste. So if you're not going to keep it as a personal trophy or sell it to the fur buyer, do like I do and let somebody else thin their numbers.

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from Longbeard wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Twoof my favorite things to hunt are turkey and deer, and coyotes can be hard on both. Studies have shown the drastic effect on fawn recruitment 'yotes can have, particularly in the south where lenthy and multiple rut periods in close proximity are common. And they can be tough on grown turkeys, much less young poults. I too have had song dogs come trotting through my turkey setups. But you have a point, Phil, regarding pigs and other smaller predators when it comes to bird eggs in ground nests (turkey, quail, pheasant, ducks, etc). I've never killed a coyote (got excited and missed one trotting along a power line easement when deer hunting) but I shoot hogs whenever I can. Saw a small group Sunday feeding near our best turkey roost, but didn't have a gun. My Lab scared them off, but I'm sure they returned as soon as we left. Maybe I should start a small predator hunt at the home club.

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from vasportsman wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

I generally won't shoot a coyote if I am after something else, but if it is an easy shot I will take it. I agree partially with Sarge and partially with Phil; Coyotes do compete directly with me for game animals such as turkey and deer, so on that point I do not like them. However, along with what Phil says where I hunt is still open to archery antlerless deer hunting until the end of February due to the large numbers and I have seen more turkey this year than any. So it is a mixed bag, I don't hate them, think of them as my competition and will get a leg up on them if I can.

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from woodsdog wrote 1 year 8 weeks ago

I love to trap and hunt them along with any other furbearer but I agree with you Phil to the extent that I see them as a game animal that should be regulated, not as vermin. This year I trapped a couple of red fox out of any area where the year before I trapped two coyotes out of the same sets. Both are existing together in some capacity so I'm not sure I've made up my mind on the effect on each other. I do know that back in the 80's when I first started trapping, the largest predators here were fox. I personally find them exhilirating to hunt and trap and feel that they are way smarter than most whitetail bucks. I have a very difficult time trying to intentionally hunt them here in the east. I also agree that the feral cats are huge problem as well.

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from woodsdog wrote 1 year 8 weeks ago

I meant the coyotes were smarter than whitetail bucks, not redfox. That was NOT clear in my previous post.

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from badsmerf wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Coyote hunting is actually a lot of fun and pretty challenging. Most of the people that I know in Iowa spew the trash about them killing off pheasants, but the ones that actually hunt them do it for enjoyment of the hunt and the fur.

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from Chris Pohlson wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Phil, I take it you're not from South Dakota?

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from Bioguy01 wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Farmboy - Sounds like you need to do some trapping. Hunting is a rather unsuccessful endeavor, and shooting the occasional coyote you see probably isn't doing much in terms of managing the resident population all that much. Lay some steel, or hire someone to do it for you and get some of those critters out of there just prior to the fawning season.

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from Woodsman001 wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

You (and thousands of others) are WRONG about coyotes keeping these invasive-species cat populations in check. NO native predators will keep these man-made-cats in check, anywhere on the planet. Just as the government of Australia sadly learned when they thought they could control cats by increasing Dingo populations. Conclusion: ZERO EFFECT.

Read this post to explain something I discovered during my own cat-eradication experiments:

neighbors.denverpost.com/viewtopic.php?source=phpbb_art_viewall&t=22154584#p2781776

It will completely explain how and why native predators cannot, do not, and will not keep man-made invasive species cat populations under control. They might pick off a few, dying in the process from all the deadly diseases that cats are spreading to wildlife today, but ultimately you will still be left with cats destroying all the native wildlife -- from smallest of prey up to the top predators that are starved-to-death.

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from clinchknot wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

And too many of the farmers barn cats out hunting the ditches in the Springtime!

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from Ncarl wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

I would like to do a coyote hunt someday. Watching distress calls work sounds pretty cool. Although when Im deer hunting i dont shoot coyotes. My hunting time is to precious to go blasting a coyote when there could be a deer heading my way. I dont shoot them with a bow either, Ive had plenty of opportunities but I hear they smell bad and if they die close to your stand that can ruin a deer hunt too. That and every time I let an arrow go its like a $20 bill flying through the air.

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from Safado wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Coyotes are a real problem in the west in general and Southern California in particular.
Buckhunter,
I use Barnes Banded Solids in my 22-250 usually resulting in a tiny entry hole and about a nickel or quarter sized exit hole.

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from mike0714 wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Buckhunter try 40 gr FMJ's they shoot flat and knock down yotes like pop cans.

The reason I hunt yotes is because they do a number on Coues deer of all ages, young mullies, elk, and antelope. Here in AZ we can hunt coyotes every day with no bag limit. Some units have recently been opened up for night hunting to give pronghorns in the areas a fighting chance. In Arizona coyotes account for more antelope fawn deaths than any other factor. Coyotes will actually increase litter sizes where hunted heavily. they are expanding into country that has never been historic ranges. High yote numbers might not effect pheasants much but they sure do effect fawn survival of many game spices.

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