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Living with coyotes

By Bett Wilson Foley
Posted Thursday, November 10, 2011

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Pittsboro, NC - I have read recent posts about coyotes and thought I'd share what I learned from living with them for several years in rural Colorado. First of all, they are one of the most misunderstood mammals in North America. They are very shy and rarely attack people. You are much more likely to be bitten by a domesticated dog. They will go to great pains to a avoid you (unless a human feeds them).

We used to go for sunset strolls in the mountains amidst their loud chorus of howls and yips and I never once felt threatened. Coyotes mostly dine on small rodents and insects and rarely attack full grown livestock or deer. They often get blamed for killing animals that died by other means.

Theyare opportunists and will make a meal off of any carrion they find. With that said, it is probably a good idea to put your cats in at night and to enclose your fowl and young animals after dark. As I said, they are opportunists. I have heard that in some areas they are breeding with wolves and will sometimes hunt in packs but this is not the norm. They are mostly solitary hunters.

Coyotes are intriguing animals. They mate for life and enjoy a family structure much like ours. Attempts to eradicate them have failed, as they just produce more young. They are survivalists and have learned to thrive in a wide range of habitats across the country - even in cities. I grew to respect them and to enjoy their complex evening calls.

Whether you like them or not, they are most likely here to stay. We all need to learn to live with them and to do what we can to keep them in the wild where they belong (see article and website below).

I hope this post helps alleviate some fears.

Also "God's Dog" is a great read.

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Living with coyotes

Related info:
Project Coyote

Facinating Coyotes

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