View Full Version : Coyote question

December 27, 2004, 04:13 PM
I heard that if you kill too many coyotes, then the groundhogs and such become rampant, which causes the cows to break their legs, etc. Isn't it a good thing to leave most of the coyotes in place, for rodentia control? If so, how do you know when to stop hunting them? (since the regs usually allow unlimited). My understanding is that if there's no sheep around, the livestock is pretty safe - cows and such are rarely attacked by coyotes. Nature's balance needs tweaking sometimes, but usually not a major overhaul. Just wondering - I've never shot at a coyote myself. Plus I heard that if you eliminate them or all but eliminate them in a certain area, this will backfire on you, since when they inevitably rebound a few years later, their numbers will be overwhelming.

Rich Lucibella
December 27, 2004, 04:55 PM
From what I've heard:

Attempts to eradicate Canis latrans from areas of the North American continent have been completely fruitless. They just keep growing in numbers, given the eradication of natural competitors and predators.....think about it: what hunts Coyote?

Still, I don't hunt them during denning season. Not because it's unfair; not because of game management. Just because it's cruel to the young....for me. YMMV and I'll not argue the point.

I've repeatedly had Coyote attempt to pack the best Aussie Shepherd I've ever seen (Yes, he was mine). I've seen one shot off the back of a day old dropped calf. I've no problem with hunting them as the uncontrolled predators they are.

But kill "too many" of 'em? This may well be possible. I've never seen or heard of it done.

December 27, 2004, 05:49 PM
I read a study about coyote populations a few years ago, can't quote the data but what I recall from it is that coyotes will regulate their reproduction based on the available food supply. They have small litters when food is scarce and large litters when food is plentiful. Plentiful food can be caused by a reduction in the coyote's numbers by hunting, which triggers the remaining coyotes to produce larger litters, thereby raising the population. Also, there was an attempt to eliminate coyotes totally from a study area which was several square miles but fenced with coyote-proof chain link fencing. According to the article, even without any restriction on method (poison was also used) coyotes adapted rapidly and were never completely eradicated.

bill k
December 27, 2004, 06:27 PM
In California as well as in New Mexico and Arizona the government put a bounty on coyotes. In California the bounty went untill the early seventies, I'm not sure when the other states ended the bounties. It did a really good job of thinning the coyote population. In Arizona it did too good of a job.

They found that the rodent population skyrocketed which had an adverse effect on the (sorry about the spelling) soraro cactus. Throughout the state they found relatively few cactus that didn't have borrowing holes in them from the rodents. They realized if the rodent population wasn't controlled the catus would become extinct. The coyote is what kept the rodent population in check.

You need to have a balance between the species. The sportsman is now the one that maintains the balance.

December 28, 2004, 11:29 PM
Quote: "coyote-proof chain link fencing". :D And just how deep would that have to be buried to be "coyote-proof". ;)

I'm confident that coyotes will be continue to be "survivors" long after the rest of us are pushing up daisies.

December 29, 2004, 09:54 AM
Like that old Ian Tyson song says! :D

December 29, 2004, 10:34 AM
I live in coyote country. I hear them every night - its really neat to hear the young ones yelping. Sure has an impact on my dog and cats.
What I have noticed is that the population seems to be cyclical. One of the best indicators is the number of rabbits that I see. The mange had a big impact on the population about 5 years ago. Currently I am seeing lots of coyotes and the number of rabbits is down so I am expected fewer coyotes in the future.
We also have a lot of bobcats in the area so I am not worried about too many rodents. Nature has a way of balancing itself as long as we don't go overboard.

December 29, 2004, 10:52 AM
But this raises an interesting (to me) question, not living in a rural setting and hunting only for meat - how do you decide if you should hunt coyotes or not?

December 29, 2004, 11:10 AM
If you own chickens you coyote hunt :D

December 29, 2004, 11:11 PM
If you live in a suburban setting (lake Cottage) and they become so bold they start nosing around the neighbors place you hunt coyote, unless you want to lose your wifes lapdog.

December 30, 2004, 09:46 AM
I only go after them if they show up in my yard. I have no desire to kill any animal unless it is for food or to protect my own animals (cattle, horses, dogs, goats, and cats). Lately, I have even been known to shoot skunks with .22 birdshot. They ususally don't show up again.

December 30, 2004, 12:36 PM
Coyotes are real survivors - they aren't going anywhere. I hunt them whenever I feel like it. :cool:

December 30, 2004, 03:34 PM
I heard a while back that it would take a reduction of at least 75% in population in a given year to effect the population in the next. I don't know how accurate it is, but sounds pretty reasonable considering the resourcefulness of the coyote. I rarely go out and hunt them, they are just a target of opportunity for me. I live in a rural area and the in-laws have cows, chickens, goats, sheep, and horses. We've lost a few chickens and a lot of ducks and geese (forgot about those) to the coyotes around us, so if I'm out on the property I'll have a rifle with me.

As far as whether you should hunt them or not when you don't own livestock. Why not? It's fun, very challenging, and a good reason for another rifle.

January 3, 2005, 07:41 PM
I live in Saskatchewan and i hunt coyotes, at the moment with a .270 winchester but thats not important they are incredibly smart animals they are cautious and sneaky they are opportunistic and dont do anything to endanger themselves the population can take hunting because they are smart i dont care how good you are your not going to get them all

January 6, 2005, 10:11 AM
Where I hunt deer, (out on the Caprock) the herds are noticably declining. I will be out there this spring and summer and early fall killin' coyotes. This will need to be done for the next two to three years as they will reproduce rather prolifically then the deer will increase and I will back off for 4 or 5 years. I will kill them when their full of pups, when their denin' when their young and learnin'. I don't care for killin' just to be killin' but coyotes will literally eat you out of house and home IF you let them. The "balance of nature" is a nice thought but that was before man put his hand on it. It's done now. We are in direct compitition with them, and I like vinison too well to let it become dog food. And I have seen coyotes kill just to eat the hind quarters and then leave. They WILL get after cattle, (ever seen a bob tailed herford? I have.) livestock, family pets, kids (yes yours!). A coyote will eat any thing he can get his mouth around.

Eradicate them? Nope, can't be done.