View Full Version : How big of a nuisance are coyotes?

March 20, 2007, 02:59 PM
I've never been anything more than a bird hunter, but I'm moving down to a big plot of land in rural south Texas, where coyotes are everywhere. We saw a pack of three cross our land the other night when we were down there. We haven't re-located our horses from Austin yet though.

Are they a threat to livestock, or just small critters like chickens and such? I'd really hate to drop something that looks like my dog, but then again, we have some expensive quarter horses, dogs, and some other livestock(miniature goats, two longhorns, and an alpaca) that will be in pasture at times.

Do I have anything to worry about, or should I view yotes as a threat? And a dumb question- What do I do with one after I put it down? Burry it?

March 20, 2007, 03:37 PM
They can be hell on the smaller livestock, little dogs and cats. My family owns a ranch in eastern Colorado and we rarely loose any animals to coyotes. We have a ton of them as well right now, we have had problems in the past with them killing our 4-H lambs and some of our lager sheep in the winter. I won't say that we haven't lost a calf or two to coyotes but most of time they just eat the livestock that died of sickness or hard birth.

For the most part though the coyotes will leave the larger animals alone. I'm not saying that if food isn't scarce that they won't go after something larger, but they aren't like wolves and hunt in packs all the time so they rarely attack anything larger than they are. Your horses and longhorns should be just fine as they are quiet a bit larger than the average 30 lbs coyote watch out for the little goats but if they stay near the bigger animals they should be fine.

Capt. Charlie
March 20, 2007, 03:40 PM
They're opportunists; they'll take anything they can overpower, but they're not stupid, either. They know what critters to avoid.

I've seen coyotes move through a herd of free-ranging horses, and they both pretty much ignored each other. Those song doggies know that a horse will stomp them into hamburger. A newborn foal, however, would be easy pickin's unless mom intervenes (which she usually does).

Mini-goats would be a light snack. I'm not sure about alpacas, but we do keep llamas in pasture with the ranch's sheep solely as coyote protection, and they do one heck of a job. Llamas will kill a coyote in a heartbeat, and the ranch hasn't lost a lamb to coyotes since we got them.

March 20, 2007, 04:03 PM
I guess they grow bigger by you guys because my dogs play with the coyotes by me.
Cats and small dogs dissappear in my area but the bigger dogs often run and play (?) with them.

March 20, 2007, 07:45 PM
I hope you don't like the dogs playing with the coyotes too much. A coyote can and will kill a dog much larger than itself. Why? Because that's what they do. Dogs are about posture and attitude. Coyotes are about life and death. There is no way I would let my dogs "play" with coyotes. If nothing else, I don't need the hassle of potential diseases that my dogs might contract.

I think you (and your dogs) are playing with fire, and it is just a matter of time.


Fat White Boy
March 20, 2007, 07:47 PM
In Nevada where I hunt, The ranchers hate them almost as much as wild horses. They hang the dead coyotes on fences...In Wyoming, the sheep guys hate them even more...

March 20, 2007, 07:59 PM
Coyote is a survivor he will eat just about anything. I have watched them eat apples more then once, have heard they will eat grasshoppers if times are hard.
Yep they will eat cats we lost several to them, and small dogs. I have heard a cat be taken, cat squalled a couple of times and you just found fur in the morning.
When I was kid out hunting with my Shepard mix pooch he would run the heck out of a coyote if he found one, which was not that rare of a occurrence. They would always go out of sight and the first time or two I was concerned but my dog always came back.
Last place I had we had mid sized dogs, 25 to 35 lbs or so, 3 of them that ran free. You could hear the song dogs at night but the dogs were never bothered.

I used to know guys that had Greyhounds that would go out at night spotlighting for coyotes and turn the dogs loose when one was found. The Greyhounds would kill the coyotes.

I doubt they eat many dogs except small ones and maybe in a city situation such as the hills around LA.

Most ranchers seem to hate em but one guy I know with only cattle says they eat mostly mice etc and doesn't want them shot. I know other ones that keep a rifle in the pickup for coyotes.

I used to shoot them but have kinda grown fond of 'Ol Wylie E over the years and it is rare now days for me to kill one. They are quite the animal once you get to know them.

March 20, 2007, 08:06 PM
They eat prickly pears around where I hunt. The seeds are in the scat. They will take ANY easily available meal. Gut piles don't last long, but they have to fight the hogs. If I haven't seen a deer all morning I will gladly draw a bead on a 'yote. I'll admit they are beautiful in a darwinistic way, but 'yotes, skunks and 'dillos have hurt the local quail pop. The drought has hurt it worse.

March 20, 2007, 08:13 PM
No I dont like my dogs playing with coyotes and I dont let them.
However my dogs are excape artist and when they get out thats what they like to do.
I am taking down my wooden fence and building a brick wall , I dont want any trouble.
My dogs are twice the size of any coyote Ive seen.

March 20, 2007, 08:35 PM
I used to know guys that had Greyhounds that would go out at night spotlighting for coyotes and turn the dogs loose when one was found. The Greyhounds would kill the coyotes.
Wow, really? That's pretty incredible. All the greys I've ever handled/played with at the HeartofTexasGreyHounds meets have been extremely docile and small pet-friendly.

If I let my greys loose, I'd imagine I'd never see them again. I have been dying to let Rudy(pictured below)stretch his legs on the 40 acre hay pasture, but I'm afraid he may jump the fence or worse, get his leg caught in a rabbit hole.

March 20, 2007, 08:50 PM
Unless he won't come when called I think I'd take that dog out and let him run like he was made to do. I have lived out so to say most of my life and we always had dogs running free. Never have I had one get his foot caught in a hole.
Good looking dog BTW.

March 20, 2007, 09:05 PM
Around where I hunt they've hit the wild turkey population pretty hard. During this past deer season I found several feather piles with yote scat and tracks nearby. I popped two with my muzzleloader this past year and one with the 12 ga. The year before I took one with an '06. I hunt a dairy farm and the landowner has given unequivocal instruction to anyone hunting his land to take every one he sees. The landowner has also lost a few barn cats and is pretty sure that's what's happened. He's seen a few yotes near his calf barn too which has made him a bit nervous.

March 20, 2007, 09:22 PM
yup, they get the turkeys too; bastids.

Man fried wild turkey is good. Favorite game to eat. Drink ain't bad either.

March 20, 2007, 10:14 PM
Dangerous. Ask the parents of a toddler that was in the back yard crying here in S. Ca a few years ago. Dead. Yes, opportunists. I have a nice picture of my Brittany with a stiched up face where she was attached by a [hungry?] coyote while we were chukar hunting. I held her collar and point blanked the coyote with a 12g .. bbl on hair. Exciting day. Coyotes do keep the stray (and not so stray) cat population down and this helps the birds. About 10 years ago F&G estimated San Diego county had 500,000 coyotes. I extrapolated that ajoining Imperial and W Riverside and San Bernadino Counties then had over a million each. I was heavy into varminting at the time and did not doubt the F&G. Almost as many bobcas. The ones you see are no indication of population. My neighbor has Mastifs to protect his Alpacas.

March 20, 2007, 10:19 PM
Greyhounds are AWESOME 'yote dogs. Two or three hounds can put a serious whippin' on a large amount of coyotes. One of the most impressive things I've ever seen. I recommend that any hunting dog people ought to see that at least once in their lives. People who keep greyhounds (or any dogs) as coyote dogs learn to carry lots of medical supplies, and not get too attached (kind of like hog dogs.) But it is an incredible experience watching those dogs work.

They kick some serious gludimous maximous (sp?)

March 21, 2007, 06:30 AM
Lost a couple cats and a dog to coyotes so now I have an AR w/ NVD. I got a dead cow carcass from a local dairy farmer and set up a motion sensor to sound in the house. It is very productive.

March 21, 2007, 03:09 PM
How big of a nuisance are coyotes?
That depends on whether you are seen by them as prey or predator. Ask a sheep rancher and you'll get a different answer than from a wheat farmer.

Coyotes will eat just about anything, living or dead. They will figure out how to get at anything they are interested in, whether they have to climb walls or tunnel to get to it. They can be ferocious or playful. They can be very intelligent, often studying situations and patterns until they understand them. They are apex predators, and as such have to kill to survive, so the dumb ones get selected out pretty early in life. For these same reasons, they can be a lot of trouble.

Like almost all predators, people do not like them because they can and do harm their livelihood. Someone once told me (regarding bears) that no one likes to see their children wind up as dinner, and it applies to coyotes, too.

March 21, 2007, 04:00 PM
Coyotes a critters of opportunity, theyll eat anything that they can get their mouth around.

Especially if you have seen them in a pack they can be quite dangerous. One will come into the yard and get a dog to chase it then lead the dog right back to the pack and youll never see that dog again.

Shoot em every time you see one trust me, theyre nasty critters if they wanna be.

Coyotes are odd critters because they can be quite friendly with dogs or kill them its hard to know. We had a dog that got taken after by three coyotes once but our neighbours had a black lab and there were some big black coyotes running around the country for a few years. Figure that one out.

March 21, 2007, 04:22 PM
One will come into the yard and get a dog to chase it then lead the dog right back to the pack and youll never see that dog again.

I watched some PBS show about a pack of coyotes living near a large suburban area in AZ. A bitch in heat from the pack would go into the fringe areas of suburbia and lure male dogs out for a "night on the town." As soon as they got out into the desert the pack would make short work of the poor sucker dog. Facinating stuff really. They are such smart animals.

March 21, 2007, 05:03 PM
Same up here in Wa they are pests and cause problems. Farmers absolutely hate them and sometimes look for volunteers to come hunt them out and thin them down.

Fat White Boy
March 21, 2007, 08:18 PM
I saw a video where a guy had trained two dogs to draw coyotes in close enough to shoot. The dogs would chase the coyotes for a while then head back to their owner. The Coyotes would follow the dogs and get blasted by the hunters...It worked really well.

March 21, 2007, 09:58 PM
once but our neighbours had a black lab and there were some big black coyotes running around the country for a few years. Figure that one out.

I'd say he showed them who's their daddy! That's some amazing stuff, fisherman - too smart! Reminds me of the fishing birds that would come and steal bread off the pond surface (thrown by humans for the ducks), then carry the bread to a safe location, put bread in water, wait for fish to come up to eat bread, then eat fish.

March 26, 2007, 12:02 PM
I have a small place in Young county, Texas outside of Graham. We have coyotes al over the place and they often come in very close. My neighbors who are local boar goat farmers hate them with a passion. I have seen two of them try to get into a dumpster right down the road. They are smart, crafty and very adaptable. They drive my dog (Catahoula Lab mix) crazy with all the howling and yipping they do at sunset. My Henry .22 hasn't been very effective. That is why I now have my AR15A3 w/ 3x9 scope.

LM...Ft. Worth, Tx.
SFC US Army (ret. 1996)

March 26, 2007, 12:09 PM
I've popped a few in Young and Throckmorton (Graham and Bryson) county. Mangy, scrawny mongrels...

March 26, 2007, 01:37 PM
My neighbor runs cattle for beef and he does not like them at all. The pups often chase the beefers for fun, and they die from the exertion and shock or heart attack. We don't think they were actually hunting the steer, but they ended up dead anyway.

His biggest fear is that if they start figuring out that they can kill them this way they will keep doing it. He does lose some calves every once in a while. He wants them shot whenever they are seen.

March 28, 2007, 08:43 PM
coyotes are hard on cattle around here. My family runs about 60 head of cattle and average about 2 calves a year. If they catch a cow having a calf they can kill both. Plus a coyote seems to be much tougher than stray dogs. I don't hold the cattle losses against them, at lest they will eat what they kill a dog will do it for fun.

Fat White Boy
April 5, 2007, 11:13 PM
Coyotes in Illinois seem to have a preference for the Prime Rib Sandwich at Quizno's...