View Full Version : Where did the coyotes come from?

February 5, 2012, 10:29 PM
I generaly hunt eastern Virginia including the eastern shore. This past deer season the deer population was down in my neck of the woods. I've heard rumors that the deer population is down because of the coyotes. Yestersay after a rabbit hunt some of the fellows were talking about how the coyotes have decimated most game species across the state. One fellow said the coyotes were trucked in to our state by insurance companies to reduce the deer population thereby reducing the number of deer/auto accidents. Im thinking that sounds a bit far fetched. Anyone have any thoughts on this subject?

February 5, 2012, 10:40 PM
Nobody trucked them in, that's a crock. Coyotes are tough, prolific predators and will expand their territory rapidly. Urbanization means less hunting in semi-rural areas, meaning expanding populations and less game everywhere.

February 5, 2012, 10:45 PM
My guess would be more natural causes. Most likely in my opinion would be search of a food source or hunting pressure caused them to move from the areas they were before. If they are anything like the hogs down here it could have just been a large population growth.

February 6, 2012, 08:18 AM
In Illinois the weather has cause the normal feeding patterns to be totaly disrupted. Therefore, many people have said that the deer population is down. I'm not disputing that, but it could be that the deer are simply not in the areas they once saw them.

I am a sharpshooter for the local Forest Preserve District. Our job is to thin deer herds due to over population. We have suspended the operation for two weeks due to the travel patterns being hosed up. We've found that the deer are still there, they have simply moved to areas were they do not pose a managment issue.

Coyote populations are, indeed, exploding!!!! Friggin' things are moving into populated areas and are seemingly without fear of anything. Pretty soom I suspect that a bounty or something is going to be directed at them.

February 6, 2012, 08:58 AM
When I was young, there were no coyotes here in central Florida. Now there are plenty. I've always felt that the coyotes are just filling the empty niches left by predators which have been removed from the environment, like the red wolf and the panther. It was just a matter of following the interstates and feeding on roadkill.

February 6, 2012, 09:11 AM
I think ODNR re-introduced them in Ohio to reduce deer population. Right now in Ohio the deer population is supposed to be multiples of the population pre-European and it just isn't good for the deer. Farmers take millions in damage also(maybe billions).

February 6, 2012, 09:27 AM
Just introduce some wolves. That got rid of the coyotes on our hunting land.... :rolleyes:

Art Eatman
February 6, 2012, 09:36 AM
Ehhh, John, there has been commentary for a half-century that I know of about the general expansion of coyote range. It's just that now there are enough of them for folks to notice. And, with sites like this on the Internet, there's more chit-chat about them.

Through the 19th century, they were mostly a Plains animal. "Prairie wolves". Since then they've expanded into all the Lower 48, coming long before the deer herds expanded.

But, yes, they definitely impact fawn survival as well as the populations of rabbits and ground-nesting birds.

February 6, 2012, 11:31 AM
When a mommy coyote falls in love with a daddy coyote...............oh wait that's not the question.

I thought that it started with bridges over the Mississippi.

February 6, 2012, 11:56 AM
One fellow said the coyotes were trucked in to our state by insurance companies to reduce the deer population thereby reducing the number of deer/auto accidents. Im thinking that sounds a bit far fetched.
We hear the same thing about why/how cougars are showing up, in some of our Midwest states. Supposedly, the DNR brought them in and for the same reasons you you listed. .... ;)

Be Safe !!!

Old Grump
February 6, 2012, 12:42 PM
If somebody didn't get his deer it must be a conspiracy. After the first 6 pack that is what they come up with. Coyotes are opportunistic and follow the food.

February 6, 2012, 11:15 PM
Coyotes are opportunistic scavengers, and as competition from other predators (wolves, cougar, bears, etc) decreased, hunting decreased (descrease in rural populations), and avenues for expansion increased (railroad rights of way, interstate highways, etc), they expanded their range. Must be a conspiracy.

February 7, 2012, 12:31 AM
A coyote was presented to Thomas Jefferson by the Lewis and Clark expidition IIRC. The most important factor in the advance of the yodel dog to the east is actually a man made convience, few think of. The lowly bridge that spanned the great rivers made it possible for the plains animal to migrate east of the Mississippi.

February 7, 2012, 12:37 AM
One fellow said the coyotes were trucked in to our state by insurance companies to reduce the deer population thereby reducing the number of deer/auto accidents. Im thinking that sounds a bit far fetched. Anyone have any thoughts on this subject?

I understand completely. After the hunt, sitting around the campfire consuming beer and spirits, the tales do tend to grow taller as the booze supply gets lower.:D

February 7, 2012, 12:57 AM
An Australian dingo hoped a boat over to America and then met a German shepherd lady, took her for some kibbles and bits. The next thing you know the coyote was born.

February 7, 2012, 07:47 AM
Don't know exactly where they came from but I know what they're doing.

At the risk of being flamed, broiled and BBQ'd...Just maybe it's hunters(or the lack there of) that's contributed to the coyote explosion.

If yotes are going to multiply on an average rate of approx. 4-7 pups a year and in many states have really no natural predators or in states that do have natural coyote predators,not enough of them to affect yote population, we hunters need to take up coyote hunting.

There's an older fella that lives close to me that is, and has been an avid trapper/outdoorsman all his life. We've had many a conversation about the yote explosion. We are in agreement that unless hunters start killing the yotes, the explosion will continue and there will be less and less turkey/deer. Seems that DNR here has no immediate plans of dealing with the problem as of yet. Whether that's due to $ constraints or not, don't know. One thing for sure, the yotes don't care the reason, they just keep multiplying.

There-again, up to us hunters to do our part if we want to help insure quality hunting of other animals.

Just my opinion....as I sit with Flame suit on. :D

February 7, 2012, 08:17 AM
Coyote hunting is incredibly fun, but I don't think it will have a real impact. Maybe at first if they are not used to hunters.

February 7, 2012, 10:13 AM
Coyote hunting is incredibly fun, but I don't think it will have a real impact...

I can kinda see your point rickyrick. But if we can get enough hunters killing enough females spitting out 4-7 pups yearly along with killing the pups when we get the chance, I think we could (not stop) but slow the explosion down a bit. Especially if us hunters could locate dens on the properties we hunt and clear the dens out.

Given the fact that many states have open season on yotes, if just a third of the total hunting populace, on average could kill a yote a year, I think, over time, a dent...or at least a marked slow down could be put in the overall population.

Course, my limited experience in the yote game has taught me, this would have to be a continuous thing as the yotes seem to move in rapidly as long as the food source is there.

One thing I have found is that I can get access to hunt yotes on farms with livestock(esp. sheep) that I can't get permission to hunt on otherwise. These farmers are estatic(sp) for every yote you kill on them.

February 7, 2012, 10:24 AM
I've stuck to the same farm for years and I'm only now getting pretty good at it...I've been thinking about offering my service to others free of charge just for fun and to help others.

February 7, 2012, 10:38 AM
I don't know the total yote populace but U.S. total hunter populace is about 12.5 million. Just think if a third of those hunters were taking a yote a year.

I know it's a stretch but the more yotes that are killed the better overall small, med. and large game hunting will be. Guess we could just call it the same as trying to improve our hunting grounds by planting food plots etc. Thinking about it, even more important then food plots.
No since in planting a food plot for your game animals if there's a bad yote problem cause the yotes know right where to go when they want to kill something. :rolleyes:

I got a call from a sheep farmer I know in Western Ohio. He wanted someone to come in and hunt yotes as there are three sheep farms attaching his and in total, they were loosing one to two heads a week in the summer.

When a friend and I went to the farm, the sign(scat,prints etc) was just incredible in the pastures. We hunted every weekend starting out during daylight hours then went to night hunting. Killed several but the yotes soon moved to mostly the other three farms.
Before it was over, we were hunting all four farms, having a blast and doing a service for the farmers. They even went together and bought a small camper for us to stay in cause the drive was getting to us. Today we go there on a Friday nights and stay till Sunday.

February 7, 2012, 11:00 AM
Well a lot of hunters are Hung up on not wanting to kill for no meat. The same issue happens with pigs, many will hunt them till the ice box is full, then it becomes immoral to kill them.

If you want to make a dent in any trouble population, you have to be willing to throw some animals in the bone yard.

You can get a few guys to do it, but once they get their trophy pelt and a few pictures they will be done with hunting till next vacation.

February 7, 2012, 11:29 AM
Simple solution, get the wolves back, no more coyote problem.

February 7, 2012, 12:06 PM
I agree that hunting the coyotes will draw down the numbers, but only if you make it attractive to hunters, either by making the pelts valuable or putting a bounty on them. Casual hunting does little to draw down populations. The way we nearly wiped out grizzly bears, wolves, and cougars 100 years ago was to have professional hunters that would go after them full time. I hunted coyotes for pelts back in the 1980s, when prime pelts would fetch $70-$100 pretty easy. I was a starving student with a shooting hobby, so in order to pay for it I hunted for pelts. Over a 3-year period I harvested over 250 coyotes. When the price of pelts dropped (thanks a lot, tree huggers), it was no longer financially feasible to chase the coyotes, so I found other things to do that paid more. There were a lot of coyotes back then, but nowhere near what I see now. Back then, if a coyote saw you they headed for cover; nowadays if a coyote sees a human he might sit and watch them for a while to see if they drop a half-eaten burger or candy bar. We teach them bad habits, then complain that they are a nuisance. Oh well!:rolleyes:

February 7, 2012, 12:10 PM
Simple solution, get the wolves back...

Thats ok mapsjan,
Thanks, but you keep the wolves out there with you.

I know what you mean ricky,

If they could only realize how much of a better chance of getting a trophy game animal would be during its season if the yote population was down sized year-round. The yotes kill game animals year-round.

I'm glad many of the guys around here have taken to yote hunting. We are starting to see a turn-around of the rabbit, turkey population that was hit rather hard about five years ago. The yotes would literally wake us up at night howling. Well, they would get our house dogs going then I'd be up shooting out the windows.:rolleyes:
Neighbor couldn't seem to keep chickens. I'd usually find their remnants up in the top field. I'd call him and he'd tell me he knew it was yotes rather then domestic dogs due to the fact there would be no mess at the leghold of the chicken. Just a foot laying there. He said yotes hit the chicken almost at a full run leaving very little mess and go elsewhere with their meal. A domestic dog usually tears chicken up badly right there.

He's killed several in his yard. Over four years,here at the house,I've killed five in the yard. A female, very big male and three half grown pups. Again that many in the woods. Also found and gassed two dens killing a female as she ran out below me in the ravine. Was hoping the pups ran out but if they were in the den, I doubt they made it out. ;)

February 7, 2012, 12:18 PM
I couldn't help but laugh at the idea of insurance companies trucking them in!!
That's great, I wouldn't put it past them, and I'm sure they would if they could for the very reason theorized about (deer have cost my insurance company about 8k in the past five years, with 3 different vehicles) but I'm pretty sure there would be some kind of regulations on transporting predatory species of animals across state lines, of course with requirements for transporting said animals for a purpose, and I very much doubt that they could or would go through all the hassle.

February 7, 2012, 02:03 PM
My ex-father in law, claims he killed a coyote that had an odnr tattoo on its tongue.

I generally considered him a honest man, but..... that one is kinda hard to swallow.

But the coyote population has exploded here in Ohio these last few years for sure.

Whether the odnr has anything to do with that, I do not know.

February 7, 2012, 02:13 PM
I have heard that fox hunters here in SC have brought yotes in as they are much cheaper than foxes.


February 7, 2012, 03:57 PM
thats what they did in NC they put them in the fox pins in a couple counties and thats wheir they started showing up.Now they r in all 100 counties

February 7, 2012, 05:24 PM
Love to shoot those coyotes.they are what kepts me sane in the off season.HOGSHOOTER

February 7, 2012, 07:34 PM
Population expand I think, I would'nt complain near as much if the blame things would eat pigs instead of Deer would you?

February 8, 2012, 12:41 AM
Coyote hunting is incredibly fun, but I don't think it will have a real impact. Maybe at first if they are not used to hunters.

Correct. Coyote populations are cyclic and tend to coincide with upward trends in rabbit populations. Nothing wrong with hunting them, but it isn't likely to reduce their populations unless temporarily. Reduce their populations and nature has given them the ability to reproduce even faster.

Populations tend to regulate themselves. The only thing that really reduced them was government trapping using cyanide traps on public land. No telling how many hunting dogs were also lost, as well as other wildlife, as well.

Irish B
February 8, 2012, 03:41 PM
Coyotes were not shipped in. Its a response to the lack of apex predator in the area. Wolves control coyote populations. Without wolves we have massive coyote over populations. The population will continue to increase too. People whine and moan about how bad wolves are for the environment and they kill all the livestock so we need to get rid of wolves but then they dont stop and think how that will affect the ecosystem. As soon as you get rid of wolves you're going to have a coyote problem. The difference is packs of coyotes don't have the same natural fear of people that packs of wolves do. Not only that but wolves will not adapt to live in urban environments like coyotes will. Coyotes are NOT destroying deer populations. Its very rare for a coyote or even a pack of coyotes to hunt a healthy deer. They usually take sick or weak animals and most of the time they hunt small pest game. Also coyotes only live in packs the first 2 to 3 years of there life, after which they move on to either a solitary lifestyle or pair up with a mate and the two separate from the pack for good. A lot of places, especially out here in colorado, coyotes are shot as pests. Most people go out and will shoot them just for target practice. They dont eat the meat neither do they use any part of the animal. Usually they just leave them there right where they shot them. The problem with killing every possible coyote in sight is that 98% of the coyotes diet are pest animals. Rats, mice, rabbits, etc. When we see a decline in coyote populations we see an incline in rodent populations and also an incline in diseases that are associated with rodents such as hantavirus, plague, tularemia, lepto, etc.

If they could only realize how much of a better chance of getting a trophy game animal would be during its season if the yote population was down sized year-round. The yotes kill game animals year-round.

You're joking if you think coyote populations are directly affecting trophy game populations. It is extremely rare for a pack of coyotes to take down a healthy strong trophy buck. Like I said above these animals hunt the sick and the weak. Only a starving pack of coyotes would go after a trophy buck. Here in my little slice of Colorado we have no more wolves and we have not a lot of coyotes. Because of this we have deer EVERYWHERE. We have to rely on bear and lion to control the deer population. On any given day you may see 10 to 20 deer in town just hanging out. The lions wont hunt the deer close to town and the bears have gotten so lazy that they just dumpster dive and we usually go after the trophy bucks or does so the deer populations are at an all time high around here. They're practically pets. Back when I used to work as a medic in the er a few years ago we had a lady come in who was attacked by a buck who tried to wander it's way into her house. To sum all this up coyotes do have an impact on deer population but not directly to trophy buck populations and certainly not to the scale of wiping out deer population. I'm an avid hunter and gun enthusiast but i'm also a wildlife veterinary and environmental biology student so I get to see both sides of the story.

February 8, 2012, 04:12 PM
While it would be nice to be able to shoot coyotes on sight, that scenario rarely presents itself. For the most part where I live coyote shooting requires some effort.

You can occasionally have a gun in your hand and a coyote crosses your path.
I have long advocated the fact that coyotes are not the most damaging animals out there, they do have to be dealt with.

When you find an animal that you reared from birth with its guts strewn about the place, you tend to wanna have someone deal with it. You can keep problem animals excluded from certain areas just by killing a few of them.

February 8, 2012, 04:27 PM
Your joking if you think coyote populations are directly affecting trophy game population....

I understand coyotes won't jump on a mature buck but I have seen first hand cases in which yotes will separate a doe and her fawn only to kill the fawn. In one recent case, last summer watched three yotes separate a doe and her twins. By the time I got back to where they were, the yotes had already downed the fawn. Fawn was making an awful sound. Ended up shooting one of the yotes the others got away.

No, the yotes won't jump on that mature trophy buck but they will kill fawns that can turn into those trophy bucks. Let the yotes over populate and the deer herd will thin out affecting deer herd down the road. They will also tag-team a full grown healthy doe, running her to exhaustion.

Too, if not controlled, they can/will devastate a turkey population.

Yotes do kill rodents, the weak and sick but they are predators/opportunity killers and will kill healthy animals as well when given the opportunity. Just ask any farmer with livestock.

Fact is, here in Ohio, there are no natural predators for them and they are affecting game animals in this state. They are over-populated and running in larger and larger packs making them bolder and bolder...to the point they are often seen in the suburbs. I understand the yotes roll in the wild but I also know what they can do if there's no check and balance for controlling them.

February 8, 2012, 05:06 PM
Well, lets cut the talkin, and get with the squakkin. :D jd


February 8, 2012, 05:59 PM

You are 'the wind beneath my wings'! :D

February 8, 2012, 07:29 PM
Early in the bow season, it was just barely light enough to see, I was walking to my stand. Heard a hell of a racket coming down the ravine to my right. Flew down the hill, crossed the crick, and started coming up the other side straight at me.

A nice buck ran past me at about 15 feet:O The coyote chasing it stopped about 5 feet from me lol. When I tried to get an arrow out of my hip quiver, it saw me and bolted:(

First time I ever saw a coyote chasing a mature buck. It was much more intense than I can bescribe here.

I killed that coyote about a month later while sitting in my stand. Big female with the dirtiest, matted up pelt I ever saw.

Old girl had some kahunas lol.

February 10, 2012, 02:15 AM
I have seen 'yotes running fawns, often, especially early in bow season.
Hunting in bunches, some running the fawn, others flanking and circling, hoping to blindside bambi.

I have run up on fawns recently killed, that almost had to have been takenmoments before, that I attribute to 'yotes.

And I have seen more than one family bunch of deer skidaddle right back into the thick stuff at dusk, upon hearing 'yotes in the distance.

I've killed several coming into turkey calls, and bumped another as it manuevered on a gobbling tom (I was doing same!) An acquaintance has had 'yotes roll his turkey decoys.

On a prime night, w/ 2-3 or more bunches howlng, I wonder, "Just how many am I hearing.?"

Heck of a predator, and now very common.
Heck of a predator.

February 12, 2012, 01:42 PM
Here in Maine the theory is that they came from Canada, and cross-bred with wolves during that migration. That's why Eastern Coyotes are bigger than those you find out west. I've seen a couple that could have, in terms of size, passed for German Shepherds here in Maine. The ones that I've seen out west were smaller.

Personally I think that they filled a gap that was created by the elimination of apex predators on the East Coast. I think that they spread in areas south of Maine by moving south, and by moving east. And I suspect that in twenty years we'll be able to track the very same behavior in cougars, without the wolf cross-breeding. I really don't want to be an old man facing a Crowlf in the back yard.

February 15, 2012, 11:56 AM
We have them in Alaska and their range has been constantly expanding. Two have been seen down here on the AKPEN since 2005. One I saw myself.

Our learned biologist monkeys at ADF&G speculate that they basically started migrating up through Canada during construction of the ALCAN Hwy back in the early 40s. Others speculate that they crossed over the border from Canada pre-ALCAN along the SE panhandle and expanded north.

Considering they don't recognize lines on a map or the AK-Canada border and just go wherever they wish, either theory is possible and likely.

ADF&G manages them as furbearers so we don't have open seasons on them like a lot of L48 states do.

February 15, 2012, 12:02 PM
In SW Oklahoma coyotes kill at least one third of the fawns born every year. Kill those coyotes.

February 15, 2012, 12:25 PM
The coyote was orginally a marginal desert predator. They operated in the area were the wolf was not present.

When we eliminated the wolf they moved in to fill the void. For years the Miss. River served as a barrier to their expansion. When they learned to use the bridges, expanded dramatically.

To understand the impact on the deer population one must look at the effect they have had on the antelope population in AZ and Idaho.

Their hunting technique is to identify a Doe who is ready to drop her calf. They follow her and have been video taped by Idaho game management biologist literally pulling the calf out of the Doe. This hunting practice is devastating on the Antelope population.

The Antelope herd in the area were I live is about 50 animals. My neighbors and I counted only 2 fawns from the 2011 crop. AZ Fish and game has opened coyotes to night hunting in certain Antelope Management areas in order to increase the Antelope population.

Additionally, they are scavangers and have learned to live in close quarters with humans. In addition to the garbage and handouts generated by humans, they found that domestic animals, cats and dogs, are tasty.

I apologize if I used improper terms for Antelope. I still have not learned the correct terminology.

February 15, 2012, 01:17 PM
posted by Itc444:

Their hunting technique is to identify a Doe who is ready to drop her calf. They follow her and have been video taped by Idaho game management biologist literally pulling the calf out of the Doe.

Well said Itc444

Yotes also regularly use this technique on cows, sheep and other domestic livestock. To the point that if there's a herd of cows in the pasture and a birthing cow is down, the herd has learned if yotes show up, the other cows will form a circle around the birthing cow trying to protect her.
Some times it works...sometimes not.

February 15, 2012, 02:19 PM
Speaking of which, if the cows are accustomed to your presence pay attention when you call, they are pretty good at knowing where they are. Donkeys even better, with those radar dish ears

February 15, 2012, 04:55 PM
Coyotes have no natural predators in most of the country which is why they are such a problem.

February 15, 2012, 05:39 PM
I spent my youth in rural areas near Toronto Canada and 40 years ago if someone said they saw a Coyote they were laughed at and told to learn the difference between a Coyote and a Shepard. There were no real Coyote sighting for almost 100 years in our area. Today they are every where. They became a problem in the late 1990's but a mange wiped out the majority of them and now they are back again with a vengeance and right in the middle of town. My old hunting grounds are now all developed into expensive housing and there are miles of wooded ravines and hiking and biking trails that run right behind million $$ homes. A young girl was bitten here recently by a Coyote on a trail. He was tracked and shot. That was the first bite recorded but there are many reporting of small dogs taken right of of leashes and posters of missing cats are common near the ravines. They no longer fear humans here and I have seen a Coyote crossing a busy 4lane road and carefully watching for traffic then wander up to a bus shelter, stick his head in to look at the 3 people inside then wander away in to the bush trails. He had no fear of people at all. Dogs are not always that smart. Coyotes are often solitary hunters but also pack up for hunting bigger game and they are precision pack hunters that can bring down much bigger game than you would expect due to the precision and perfectly coordinated attacks. Where did they come from after disappearing for a 100 years ?? Damned if I know.

February 15, 2012, 05:43 PM
A previous post mentioned donkeys!! In western Canada many farmers with sheep have bought Donkeys because for some strange reason, Donkeys have a natural hatred of Coyotes and attack them on site. Strange but true. Donkeys are the watch dogs for the sheep.

February 15, 2012, 06:21 PM
I believe Llama's are also a natural hater of yotes and are used by many farmers to protect their livestock.

February 15, 2012, 06:25 PM
Llamas will sometimes open a can of whoop @** on humans and pets for no apparent reason. So I steer clear of llamas.

February 16, 2012, 08:25 PM
Contributed to protecting the Antelope population in Apache County today.

Popped a Coyote at 75 yds with my wifes 9mm. Am going to start carrying a long gun in the PU. Miss my rifle rack of yesterday.