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Old 08-22-2017, 11:08 AM
Location: WMHT
3,486 posts, read 3,456,804 times
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Originally Posted by fisheye View Post
Our coyotes on the East Coast are larger than the ones on the West Coast.
Correct -- the "eastern coyote" is a distinct species, behaves differently from the ones found out west. Our coyotes get up to 50+ pounds and can be aggressive pack hunters.

Mostly dogs get attacked in territory disputes, attacks on humans are usually diseased animals -- along with the more common rabies, MA/NH have seen a recent spike in distemper in wild coyotes, fox, etc.

Never had to shoot one yet, but we've been "stalked" while walking a (+70 lb, working breed) dog.

Originally Posted by ContraPagan View Post
What's wrong is that the human population keeps encroaching on wildlife habitats, to the point where they have little choice but to enter more urban areas.
Even without habitat destruction, some species (including coyotes and red fox) are adapting to living in suburban and urban environments.

In Northern New England, eastern coyotes are a non-native invasive hybrid, and are moving into areas where no coyotes have existed since approximately then end of the last ice age. This movement into populated areas (and increased conflict with humans) is less about destruction of traditional habitat than it is about extirpation of their biggest competitors, primarily the eastern wolf and Cougar (eastern mountain lion). Since it wouldn't be politically viable to bring back wolves to Northern New England, we have an open season on coyote.

Last edited by Nonesuch; 08-22-2017 at 11:30 AM..
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Old 08-22-2017, 11:14 AM
Location: East of the Sun, West of the Moon
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NB: the following describes my experience with healthy, non-stressed coyote populations in New Mexico and may not apply to starving, dehydrated, displaced coyote populations.

I have dealt with coyote encounters dozens of times in both urban (civilized areas to include suburban and exurban) and wilderness areas (areas where wildlife has little opportunity to become familiar with humans or human development including buildings or roads).

My experience is that coming across a coyote (or two) is not like coming across stray or feral dogs. Coyotes are instinctively afraid of humans whereas dogs are not, thus coyotes are not as big of a threat as dogs.

Also, coyotes in urban areas do not tend to be in larger groups seemingly having split off from their packs to scout the edged of human territory. In wilderness areas, coyotes are also often encountered lone or in pairs, but can also be found in larger groups, and this is really the only case that makes me wary, especially if I have a dog with me, because they do seem to be inordinately interested in other canines (and judging by my dog's reaction, the feeling is mutual).

But in urban areas, I usually approach coyotes, if for no other reason than to get a good look. Coyotes like to watch you. Curiosity and their own safety being the presumed reason for their interest, but they always run off once I get within about 30-50 yards.
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Old 08-22-2017, 11:19 AM
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
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We encounter coyotes all the time, I see them in the morning on the way to work, and they even pass by the local school at times. They seem to be afraid of humans and will run away, though they sometimes stare for a few seconds. For me running into a bear on a trail is more disconcerting, and that has happened a couple of times. On our major public trails, usually when someone sees a bear they report it and the state/county will post a warning sign. We still go, but are a bit more wary.
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Old 08-22-2017, 11:30 AM
Location: British Columbia ~🌄 ☀️ ♥ 🍁 ♥ ☀️🌄~
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There are a lot of different kinds of wild animals living in or on the fringes of the cities here and they have all learned how to adapt to humans and urban living. Coyotes, raccoons, skunks, minks, otters, rabbits, deer, owls, hawks, eagles, and there are plenty of bears, bobcats and cougars that come daily out of the woods to visit residential neighbourhoods to scrounge for food.

The coyotes are smart, they observe people and traffic and learn to mimic human behaviours and to copy or take advantage of the same kinds of daily patterns of activities that humans have. To give you an example, the coyotes in town here have even learned to stop on sidewalks at street intersections and wait for the traffic lights or pedestrian walk signals to change to green so they can cross the street. They keep their distance but don't concern themselves with other pedestrians on the sidewalks or crossing the street with them. Lately I have heard reports of city coyotes exhibiting similarly learned human behaviours in other cities in far away locations so I know it's not something that only the coyotes here will do.

Eastern Coyotes are more dangerous, more intelligent and larger and more likely to pack up than western coyotes. That is because eastern coyotes are a sub-species, they are part coyote and part eastern red wolf and they are called coy-wolves. The young woman who was killed while walking alone in a park in New Brunswick a few years ago was killed by a small pack of eastern coy-wolves. They attacked her even though there were other hikers nearby, and when more hikers came to her assistance and tried to beat off those coy-wolves the coy-wolves resisted and fought back.

Forever Blue in your original post you asked WWYD about future walking where there are coyotes. There's really only one answer to that (aside from women taking extra precautions or simply not hiking in wilderness when they have their periods because the smell of menstrual blood does attract carnivores and stinging insects) - don't walk alone if possible, and always carry some pepper spray and have it ready to use at all times, and carry a good sturdy walking stick. You will maybe sight other coyotes but they're more afraid of you than you are of them and I think you will never, ever have to use your pepper spray or walking stick against any of them. Solitary coyotes are shy and cautious of people and unlikely to approach, but coyotes in packs are more confident and may be aggressive. Fortunately coyote packs in cities are not as common as solitary coyotes.

Somebody else mentioned that you have more to worry about from other humans than you do from coyotes and I totally agree with that. If you ever have to use your pepper spray the chances are it will have to be against another human, not some wildlife just trying to avoid humans and get on with their own business of surviving.

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Old 08-22-2017, 11:30 AM
Location: Kalamalka Lake, B.C.
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The Edmonton Olympic event for us boys back in grade 5 was to catch Richardson ground squirrels with our bare hands. I caught a coyote pup just off Edmtn. Trail south. I won.

I still have the scar on my eye 55 years later to prove it.
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Old 08-22-2017, 12:09 PM
Location: Watervliet, NY
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Originally Posted by coschristi View Post
Coyotes didn't used to approach humans unless they were sick but that has changed because they are losing their natural instincts to be afraid of us. Our position at the top of the food chain is now being challenged because we don't defend ourselves anymore. Coyotes have always been problematic for ranchers & farmers & in the past, if you saw one you shot it. My BIL & SIL (early 70's) remember their mom walking them to school every morning with a loaded shotgun in rural Kansas due to Coyotes.
Humans have never actually been "at the top of the food chain" because we utilize invented weapons rather than the physical characteristics we were born with, like every other animal does. It's the weapons and the ability to completely destroy habitats that has put us there, not relying on any natural physical ability to defend ourselves and overpower other species. Take all that away and we are actually very far down the list as compared to the true apex predators.
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Old 08-22-2017, 12:59 PM
Location: Swiftwater, PA
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Originally Posted by Nonesuch View Post
Never had to shoot one yet, but we've been "stalked" while walking a (+70 lb, working breed) dog.
I have killed two animals with guns that attacked me in the wild. One raccoon and one muskrat. They could have been rabid; I don't know and it was a mile in the deep woods at both times. On the raccoon; I shot my last ammo bringing down a duck on a very successful hunting trip. The duck fell into tall swamp grass and I went over to retrieve it. The grass was moving and I reached down to grab the duck when teeth came up to great my hand - which I immediately removed. Since I did not have any ammunition I had a chance to practice my combat training from the military with my Model 12 - it still has a scar in the stock from forty years ago! For the muskrat I still had ammunition in my Zabala double barrel 10 gauge for goose hunting and it did not feel a thing.

The raccoon was out in the middle of the day. The muskrat made a bee line for me; also in the middle of the day - maybe it was protecting it's young but it was in the Fall. These were both separate occasions and years apart.

I also spotted a baby raccoon acting sick in the middle of the day by my small pond. Since it was not moving I called my Game Commission and asked them if they wanted to come out and test it. They asked me if I could euthanize the raccoon? I told them, yes, and they told me to put it down, pour Clorox over the carcass and then wrap it in plastic and put it in the garbage. I always fanaticized that my government would quickly come out and test sick animals to see if we had a problem in our area - so much for fantasies! That raccoon could have fallen out a tree or had distemper; but I will never know.
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Old 08-22-2017, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Nonesuch View Post
Since it wouldn't be politically viable to bring back wolves to Northern New England, we have an open season on coyote.
It's not open season in Massachusetts but October 14 to March 8 with no bag limit. In my town, anybody with a farm shoots any they see and the town doesn't pay attention to enforcing the hunting season. Massive overpopulation. They range into the high density suburban parts of town.

I see a solo one all the time. There are also a ton of foxes.
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Old 08-22-2017, 03:34 PM
Location: Cody, WY
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There is a great book on coyotes. It's based on actual field work. Take a look at the reviews and read the except.

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Old 08-22-2017, 04:03 PM
Location: Littleton, CO
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Inside of a city and around your home and neighborhood you should haze the coyotes so the continue to be scared of humans.

Check out this humane society guide.

As for mountain lions, if you live in their habitat you may or may not see them, but I can guarantee that they've seen you. It is highly unlikely a mountain lion will attack an adult unless it is protecting its young. Same can be said about bears.
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