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Old 03-31-2009, 04:09 AM
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What a change in one years time. Last year the coyote hunters could not hunt because of the really deep snow and got only 3 coyotes on this farm. The deer kill was like 33%!

This year the weather conditions were ideal for hunting and they were able to kill 30 coyotes. A trapper killed another 40 taking the count up to 70 in the last 4-5 months time on this farm. Of course I am sure they were not all existing on the 1600 acres here, but its still a fairly large number in such a small area I would think. They managed to track one last Saturday near my home, but they said it was getting harder and harder for the dogs to even hit on a coyote track now.

I am not convinced this is a good thing. Obviously coyotes can take out my sheep, but I would think some sort of balance would need to be in order. Does anyone know what the stocking rate for a coyote per acre should be. I am not opposed to hunting or trapping, but after taking 70 coyotes...maybe its time to ease up on the hunting around here? What do you guys think?

As a side note: I have a Donkey coming soon which will protect the sheep so I won't be quite so worried about coyotes.
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Old 03-31-2009, 02:37 PM
Location: Minnesota
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suks to be a Coyote in your neighborhood, or at least it used to....

What State are you in? I'm ok with the hunting aspect but I'll take a pass on the Trapping.
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Old 03-31-2009, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by BrokenTap View Post
but I would think some sort of balance would need to be in order. Does anyone know what the stocking rate for a coyote per acre should be.
I don't think there is an answer because it's going to be 100% dependent on the other end of the equation - i.e. amount of coyote food sources? This is going to vary hugely by area.

But yes, you do need a balance. Coyotes have a purpose in the food chain and they have their "good" uses.

Donkeys are good, but with sheep, I'd say a LGD is better.
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Old 03-31-2009, 08:41 PM
Location: Oklahoma(formerly SoCalif) Originally Mich,
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Originally Posted by slamont61 View Post
suks to be a Coyote in your neighborhood, or at least it used to....

What State are you in? I'm ok with the hunting aspect but I'll take a pass on the Trapping.
BrokenTap is located in Maine..........
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Old 04-01-2009, 06:49 AM
Location: Nebraska
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'Round here, we take a dim view of coyotes.
There is a LOT of wide open prairie, dotted with cattle, and the coyotes pretty much have free reign. My neighbor here in town raises greyhounds to hunt and kill them; they are very efficient. Nevertheless, one can hear the coyotes near town at night. They will lure a dog out into the open spaces where the pack attacks and kills it. The cattle pretty much protect themselves; bulls in with the herds and such, but there is still an overabundance of the coyote. There are literally thousands of antelope, deer, and turkey in this area, on which these creature can and do feed. It is nothing to see a wild herd of turkeys wandering through town, and in the mornings and evenings, herds of antelope and deer cross the roads and wander through the fields like lost tourists.

Where I used to live in SC, we had them too, but they were more sneaky. I was laying on a hammock in my back yard (I lived on the edge of a town of 3000, 5 miles N of Savannah, GA) and rolled over, and looked directly into the eyes of a single coyote. He was simply sitting there, about 50 yards away, watching me. After about 10 minutes he got up very casually and left.

I don't like them, I don't trust them - when we lived in NM they would come up on the front porches and punch in the foil caps on the milk bottles with their noses and drink the milk. While I am not in favor of eradicating any creature (with the possible exception of fire ants and wasps) I think that a balance is very hard to reach, because in most cases humans have no idea of what the real population of any species in the wild truly is. The wild creatures are smart enough to change their hunting grounds temporarily, or to alter their behavior, thereby becoming to the humans 'invisible' or even 'endangered'. Basically, my attitude is - anything that eats meat would eat ME, and therefore is NOT welcome on my property.
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Old 04-01-2009, 09:29 AM
Location: The Woods
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If you aren't finding any odds are it's time to stop hunting or trapping them in that location for this season. The area should be filled in with more by next season.
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Old 04-01-2009, 12:42 PM
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All good replies...

Last year my Uncle stepped out from the milking parlor and looked up over the hill and saw this cow circling very slowly. For a minute he felt it was a cow with Mad Cow Disease, but when he looked in the binoculars he saw it was a coyote. The cow had just calved out and the cow had put herself between the coyote and the calf. They were doing this slow dance since coyotes will not attack a full grown cow...but a calf is a different story.

He grabbed his rifle anyway and went up the hill and was able to get a good shot off as the coyote was distracted with the calf. The cow did well defending her offspring, but ultimately the nimble nature of the coyote would have won out.

As for the LGD...no thank you. I have 2 dogs and I do not relish the idea of trying to keep them in a fence all the time or keeping another animal registered and all that. All in all, the benefits of having a dog do not match that of a Donkey fiscally the way I figure it.

A donkey has a 40-50 year lifespan, while a dog has maybe 10 at best. Even then the first year it is a pup and useless for protection. After 6-7 years age creeps up on the dog and they cannot chase very well with aging bones. That gives you 7 years at best for a 900 dollar LGD. A 300 dollar donkey can get you 40 years plus of sheep protection and that is without figuring in the extra feeding costs of buying dog food where as a Donkey eats the same food as sheep (hay).
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Old 04-01-2009, 02:09 PM
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a couple of observations ...

1) coyotes will attack a full grown cow. I've seen the results when a pack attacks and starts eating on the hindquarters of a cow ... if it survives the attack, you'll still be putting it down because just about everything in the hind end has been eaten or shredded away. That cow will certainly not ever be bred again, or carry a calf, or be resistant to infections and other attacks from birds or insects on the raw flesh hanging out back there

2) Having owned 3 donkeys, including a very noisy Mediterranean Mini (given to us as a pet at 6 months age), that had "free roaming" of our ag and pasture land for years ... I never saw them have any effect upon the coyote population around our place. In fact, we lost a two year old ram to a coyote attack in a log fence corral while two donkeys were in the next corral ... the corrals were 50' x 50' ... and the donkeys didn't even bray or make any noises which might have alerted us 100' away that night.

3) I see coyotes every year in my alfalfa fields when I'm raking or baling, and the ground is mostly clear so I can see them without the cover of the forage. Some will curl up and watch my passes with the equipment, watching over all like they own the place. I now carry a firearm in my tractor cab so that I can drive up to a fairly close shot ... perhaps 40' away ... and they don't even budge when I stop the tractor to take the shot. The donkeys used to graze this, too, and the coyotes didn't seem to be bothered by them.

4) The coyotes eat a lot of raccoons, field mice, birds, gophers, and other rodents. If they would confine themselves to eating those items, we'd be OK ... and wish they'd eat the skunks, too (they don't). But they still attack or stalk our sheep and poultry, so that's why we do everything we can to eliminate the coyotes around our place.

5) Our best solution to the coyote predation was to get LGD's. We tried several different varieties until we came across Akbash dogs. Now, with a pair, we haven't had another coyote loss of our livestock on the place. It does take awhile to get the dogs to know their patrol territory, and there is some training involved. At this point, I've spent a lot less on the dogs and their keep then I lost in livestock every year. For the most part, the dogs are quiet ... they don't sound an alarm unless they've got something located or suspect something in the area ... and they're a lot quieter than the donkeys. FWIW, we also have LLamas, and they were never effective at keeping coyotes away. If anything, the llamas avoided the coyote denning areas along the creek on our property ... if I see the llamas down there now, it's because they are comfortable with their senses telling them that there's no coyote threat down there anymore.

We are surrounded by many hundreds of sections of dryland wheat fields and dryland grazing ... which give a constant supply of wild creatures for the coyotes to live on. I'm not seeking to eliminate them from those areas where it's no factor, but on my ranch ... with my livestock ... no coyote is acceptable.

Around here, we pay fees from our livestock inspections for coyote/predator control. In our corner of the state, they don't apparently raise enough money to do that in our area and the adjacent counties ... so we get to pay for the state trapping/hunting in other areas, but we get no benefit locally. It puts all the pressure on us to do it ourselves ... at our own cost, in addition to what we pay to the state. We've been forced to find the most cost effective means of coyote control ... and the dogs are it, for us.

Last edited by sunsprit; 04-01-2009 at 02:17 PM..
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Old 04-01-2009, 04:37 PM
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I raise deer. Coyotes are not welcome, no. We're high fenced, but every blue moon they'll dig in underneath - interestingly, they don't stay but cross my land and exit the other side. It doesn't happen frequently, but it does happen.

We lost one fawn last summer - cause unknown. We lost a small doe more recently, but that was down to bobcat we think. My neighbor - who also raises deer - lost an entire crop, bar one, of fawns this past summer (must be at least double the total number of fawns we had). I put the difference down to two things: a) my dogs and b) the fact we spent the money and got our wild hog population eradicated.

Coyotes avoid our property and yet they're all around us. I have no empirical proof, but I believe it has to do with the fact I patrol the perimeter once a day with three dogs... my perimeter reeks of dog. My dogs are all trained to be species specific and coyotes are on the hit-list. Coyotes cross the property in front of ours regularly - my dogs let me know when they're there. I can tell how close or far they are by the dogs' reactions - close enough and the dogs get let out. Coyotes are far from stupid - why bother with a property with three royally pissed-off dogs (and all of a good big size, a lot bigger than our local coyotes) when they can go slightly further afield and hunt in peace?

Due to the very nature of raising deer, LGDs aren't possible unfortunately. If they were, I'd have them in a heartbeat.

We had alpacas. Where we were, we didn't have coyotes, but foxes were the problem. Alpacas were supposed to go after fox. Uh-huh. I don't know, maybe we got six alpacas who hadn't read the manual .. but they could not have cared less about fox. My dogs felt rather differently.
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Old 04-02-2009, 09:48 AM
Location: Lake Coeur D’Alene
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We have two Great Pyrenees (LGD's) guarding our sheep and horses here in wolf, cougar, bear and coyote country and they do a fantastic job.

They don't have to chase. Just the fact of them being there has kept the predators away looking for better prospects. The predators started staying away when the dogs were pups marking their territory and kenneled at night.
They do wander. We have no close neighbors and are surrounded by national forest so we have no problems with their wandering.
They also bark at night. A lot. Not good for relationships with nearby neighbors.
We've never lost a lamb or any other animal here to predation because of the LGD's.
5 Horses: How come you can't keep LGD's with deer? If brought up with them, LGD's will usually guard anything.
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