Wednesday, November 12, 2008

No Regrets Coyote

We just come from such different sets of circumstance.

A friend of mine is fully retired and gets to hunt every day. He has prime property to hunt that’s only ten minutes away. He has arrowed three does so far this year. He stuck one on Sunday and called me to help him drag it out of the bush making me miss the Bears pregame show. My pleasure. Tuesday he called about noon and asked if I would take some photos of a coyote he stuck that morning. No problem. A few more and he will have a fine coat.

Since he has arthritis and is 70 years old he qualifies for a crossbow permit. No ordinary crossbow, his is equipped with a scope. He rarely misses.

I’ve encountered these critters a few times. On a hunting trip one of the dogs went on point. One such nasty critter bolted out of the cover when we got close enough. When you approach what you think is a bird in the cover a surprise experience like that can load your pants. Other times I have seen them running along or across the road while driving in the middle of the day. At first they look like a stray dog, someone’s mutt. I believe many folks have seen them and never gave it a second thought.

Coyotes are rampant in most suburbs, exurbs and last year one even entered a Quiznos sub shop on Wells St. in the west loop area of Chicago. They brought in the dog catcher while the police scanner reports drew the local news crew. They got it all on film, details at ten.

A few coyotes have been spotted in my neighborhood. One retired neighbor had two of them timed as regular intruders violating the property daily at 7am. I know my dog gets freaky every now and then when she smells them. Speck’s a bird dog and not much spooks her while on a hunt but walking doen the street on a leash is another thing. A household pet such as a furry poodle or bejan lap dog unleashed would be easy prey for a hungry predator like this.

The reason coyotes are so prolific is due to the plentiful prey available. Rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks and when working in a pack they prey on the abundance of whitetail deer. Poultry farmers and cattlemen also have cause for concern. At one local hunt club I remember the owner proudly displayed a coyote pelt in the clubhouse. That one was shot by a bird hunter after two coyotes had cornered his dog. Lucky for him and his dog he and a buddy were nearby and armed.

Local authorities and the state DNR have no plan for coyote eradication. If some landowner calls to report a terrier disappearance they come by and set a live trap or two, otherwise no action is taken. It’s up to hunters to thin the coyote herd since nobody else gives a dang. They prey on natural habitat, your cats and dogs and even a small child if the opportunity presents itself.

Coyotes have no natural predators besides the wolf and where wolves are absent coyotes thrive.

Coyotes fill a natural void.

So do hunters.


Dan from Madison said...

Coyote is also on the menu of cougars.

We have them around here, I see them once in a while driving around. Very easy to distinguish from a dog if you know what you are looking for. They are on the rise in Wisco, but nothing is close to the deer problem. Please come up here and shoot many.

I was very impressed by the animal control guy - he handled that coyote like a champ, he must deal with angry dogs all day long. Very professional. That guy should get a raise and all of the paper pushers in cook county (most of which probably don't even push papers) should get paycuts.

Carl from Chicago said...

One of my in laws relatives hunts coyotes in the off season. He has a dog with a transmitter on him that doesn't attack the coyote, just follows it. Then he closes in and shoots the coyote and upstate NY pays him for the pelt to limit their stock.

I think he said he killed a couple hundred of them in one season. He also said that they were extremely mean if cornered and dangerous.

James R. Rummel said...

Good post.


TCO said...

Wolves, coyotes, and dogs are all same animal.