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Wed Dec 17, 2014, 02:04 PM

Just saw a coyote out in our lower pasture - in broad daylight

Big, full grown, healthy looking coyote - not something you want to see on a farm with livestock. Or in a location surrounded by residential properties where people have lots of pets. I went out on the porch and yelled at it, but since it was way down in the bottom pasture, about 300 yards away, it just looked around and ignored me.

Damn. I hate having to do this but I called the father of the family that is taking care of the farm. Last time we had coyotes hanging around he staked out the area where we'd been seeing them and took out one of them. The other one was shot in the backyard of one of the homeowners to the east of us, on the other side of the swamp.

We have prime wildlife habitat on our 60 acres. The bottom 30 acres is in woods and wetlands with a protected wildlife corridor for the wetlands that extends north and south from our east border. To the north a neighbor has 50 acres of mixed hardwoods, pine and wetlands. East and south of us are subdivisions with "ranchettes" between 3 and 7 acres - not big enough for keeping livestock so a lot of the lots have undisturbed woods. Across the highway to the north are 10-14 acre parcels, many of which have not sold and most of which have not been cleared - those used to be a hunting plantation, as is the land to the northeast.

There have been black bears spotted in the woods to the east of us. Back when we first bought here, the county forester came by for a timber assessment - on his way here he saw a large cat jump across the highway. He was sure it was a panther since it had a long tail and cleared the road in two bounds. We've seen alligators, otters and bobcats on the farm and welcome the red and gray foxes that live here. Birds - we have a wide variety, too many to list.

But a coyote bold enough to be out in the daylight that doesn't spook at the sound of a human voice - that is NOT welcome. I'm glad I don't have any foals due this spring.

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Reply Just saw a coyote out in our lower pasture - in broad daylight (Original post)
csziggy Dec 2014 OP
hlthe2b Dec 2014 #1
csziggy Dec 2014 #2
hlthe2b Dec 2014 #3
csziggy Dec 2014 #4
Kali Dec 2014 #5
csziggy Dec 2014 #6
Major Nikon Dec 2014 #7
csziggy Dec 2014 #10
Major Nikon Dec 2014 #12
hedgehog Dec 2014 #8
csziggy Dec 2014 #9
The Velveteen Ocelot Dec 2014 #11
lenrely Dec 2014 #13
riderinthestorm Dec 2014 #14
csziggy Dec 2014 #15
UTUSN Dec 2014 #16
olddots Dec 2014 #17
csziggy Dec 2014 #18

Response to csziggy (Original post)

Wed Dec 17, 2014, 02:16 PM

1. Increasingly common... Many areas of southern and western Denver suburbs have large numbers that are

very accustomed to humans and have no real fear. Unfortunately, ignorant McMansion owners are feeding them. Coyotes, like fox, can do very well in urban areas, that have not wised up to the need for both population control initiatives and eduction/punitive measures toward humans that encourage them--just as we do with those who fail to secure their garbage from bears.

It would be illegal in most areas to kill them however without prior state wildlife permission/permit--even in mountain communities and more rural areas. Same as with skunks and many other wildlife. Perhaps your area is less regulated?

I hate to see people jumping on killing them unless they are an imminent threat--particularly since their presence is often (and sometimes solely) the fault of people encouraging or failing to treat them as the wildlife that they are. Not saying that is the case in your area, but it surely is in many.


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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 17, 2014, 02:31 PM

2. We're just outside Tallahassee Florida

No one on our farm puts food for carnivores outside. The barn cat gets fed first thing in the morning, in the barn, in a stall she can climb in and out of. Of course, that doesn't mean the people in the surrounding developments don't feed the wildlife but I can't control what they do.

I think a lot of our problem is that I no longer own dogs. We put our last dog to sleep 15 years ago and because of my health problems I never adopted another one. And the horses I have now are not canine aggressive the way their dams, granddams and grandsire were - back when we had those horses, any canine took a risk going out in the pastures. My stallion once took a hunk out of a dog let loose on the farm without my permission, and some of my mares would run down dogs or foxes. I never saw coyotes back then, even though they were in the region. They probably figured they'd stick to safer territory.

Here we can shoot coyotes if they are a danger to our livestock or pets. There is no closed season on coyotes in Florida but you have to have special permits to use traps - which I would not allow on my property anyway.

I put coyotes on the farm in the same category as rattlesnakes. As long as they are out of sight, not where I have to work, and don't disturb me or my animals I'll leave them alone. Otherwise they are subject to be shot. In the 36 years we've owned this farm, I've shot two rattlesnakes and there was one coyote shot here by my friend. So we're not indiscriminate about killing them, just trying to discourage them from getting too bold.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #2)

Wed Dec 17, 2014, 02:36 PM

3. I have a lot of open fields nearby and used to see the occasional coyote in the wee hours of the AM

We have such incredible populations of cottontail rabbits living near houses in all the neighorhoods (or at least until Tularemia ran through them last spring) that I thought that alone would keep them coming... But, as you say, the large dog populations (who seem to have a protective bent towards the rabbits) are probably the deterrent.

Coyotes can be quite the pests, I agree, and can on occasion pose a threat to even larger dogs and their owners... But, as you say, i think we can achieve "detente" with them if people respect them as wildlife.

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #3)

Wed Dec 17, 2014, 02:56 PM

4. Coyotes are really smart so I hope they will learn to respect our area

But in reality our farm is very quiet during the day now that the kids in the family that is running the farm are grown up. Their son used to be out here all day since he was taking online classes to finish high school and he'd bring their dogs out to let them run.

Now he's got a career - farrier and working at a feed store - and he's not here much. During the day there is no one around here at the farm or in the neighborhoods surrounding it. I can't physically handle working with the horses or even outdoors much anymore - and what I can do, I don't like to try when I am totally alone. I don't dare take a chance something will happen when I am alone and without any way to get help (since my cell phone doesn't get a signal on this side of the farm).

My husband is retiring at the end of the year so I hope when he's home we can go hiking together and start working around the yard. Having human activity will probably do as much to discourage the coyotes as shooting them.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Wed Dec 17, 2014, 03:00 PM

5. well, they are hard to see in the dark ;-)

last one around here took a hen in broad daylight about a month ago. it got stung with a .22 at a long distance and hasn't been back (at least not in daylight for chickens)

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Response to Kali (Reply #5)

Wed Dec 17, 2014, 03:55 PM

6. I don't have anything that could shoot at a distance

All I have is a High Standard .22 revolver - bought to shoot snakes at close range. Since both shoulders have been worked on, I don't dare take up a rifle - never learned when I was young and have no desire to stress my shoulders now.

The husband of the family that is running the farm has the right equipment to shoot coyotes and to make it count. He told me about the high velocity rounds he uses, but I'm not terribly interested so don't remember the details from the last time he had to take one out here. It's been four or five years since we've actually seen one.

You know, that was about the last time we had a good crop of turkeys - I bet their cycles are synchronized. This year I saw a nice flock of 13 turkeys - several adults and 9 poults - that were coming by the house every evening. Plus, since the family has taken a few deer out, the deer population is healthier and we had more fawns this year than we've had in a while. So the hunting was good this year and I bet the coyote population is up so they are exploring more territory.

Oh, and this coyote wasn't all that easy to see in the daylight! What I actually spotted was his shadow. His coat color blended perfectly into the dead grass but I saw some strange dark shape down in the open. If it'd been cloudy like it is now, I wouldn't have noticed him. I got out the binoculars and until he stood up - he'd been rolling on the ground, maybe in some horse poop - I wasn't sure what I was seeing. It wasn't until he strolled up the hill and was in silhouette against some dark bushes I got a clear enough look at him to be sure it was a coyote and not a dog.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Wed Dec 17, 2014, 06:22 PM

7. I've seen them in my residential neighborhood, day and night

They have a habit of eating the neighborhood cats.

I'm not sure why anyone would shoot them. They don't take much livestock. Domestic dogs are far worse.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #7)

Wed Dec 17, 2014, 06:44 PM

10. If we breed our horses again, I ca't afford to even lose one foal

And I worry when the wildlife does not act normally - this coyote seemed too bold, too unafraid. I don't want to be out here alone and have an overly aggressive one come after me. I had some incidents with people aggressive dogs a few years ago and it scared me. I am just not mobile enough to get away from a determined predator, even a medium sized one like a coyote.

It used to be when we had aggressive dogs in the neighborhood, we still had horses that were canine aggressive. It was a danger to the dogs to enter the pastures. My stallion took a hunk out of one dog's back. And one day I watched two of my mares chase a Rottweiller for fifteen minutes before it could get away and out of their pasture. Then two of the colts in that next pasture decided to emulate their mamas and they chased the dog for a good amount of time before it ran for home.

But the mares I still have grew up in a period where there were few canines in the neighborhood and they never watched their dams going after dogs, foxes or coyotes. Today they all ignored the coyote. That could change if they had foals at their sides, but I'd prefer to not take a chance!

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Response to csziggy (Reply #10)

Wed Dec 17, 2014, 07:02 PM

12. I was raised on a farm and we had very little trouble with coyotes

They would take the occasional chicken or two, but other than that they weren't much of a problem and I don't remember any of the surrounding farms with horses and cows having problems with them either. Dogs are a different story. They will run livestock to death just for the fun of it and kill every chicken on the place if they can without eating any of them. That's not to say other people haven't had problems with coyotes if they are in a desperate situation, but in my experience coyotes just don't go after larger game. If you have a concern, keeping a foal inside a barn at night should solve any potential problem.

One potential benefit to coyotes is they may actually keep stray dogs away which are going to be a bigger threat. They are also a native species important to the ecosystem and may also prevent other problems.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Wed Dec 17, 2014, 06:27 PM

8. I don't mind them as long as they keep their distance from the chickens and cats

(our cats have negotiated territories with foxes for years.) The one coyote I have seen hustled through well away from the house, just passing from the woods to the river.

I'd prefer to have people-shy coyotes in our woods over large cats that aren't afraid of anything. I figure with all the deer, it's going to be one or the other.

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Response to hedgehog (Reply #8)

Wed Dec 17, 2014, 06:36 PM

9. What's worrisome is he did not seem to be afraid when I yelled at him

Other times, the coyotes have taken off as soon as they heard the door or heard human voices. This one was strolling towards the house and didn't stop or seem wary when he heard me yelling.

The Florida panthers are not supposed to live in this area - there have been no official sightings in a hundred years. Ted Turner had a cougar get loose from his plantation in the neighboring county but it was caught pretty quickly.

Having had some incidents with people aggressive dogs, I don't want to worry about coyotes with no respect for people.

Otherwise, I'll let them have some territory so long as they let me have mine.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Wed Dec 17, 2014, 06:46 PM

11. They are common in the Minneapolis-St. Paul suburbs.

Saw a whole pack of 5 of them behind our office building parking lot a few years ago. One was seen on one of the Minneapolis city lakes just the other day.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Wed Dec 17, 2014, 07:29 PM

13. Re:

So unusual, but clearly there is a thriving ecosystem probably thanks to you.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Wed Dec 17, 2014, 07:39 PM

14. The coyotes on my farm regularly come within 100 feet of the house and barns

 

Totally unafraid.

I'm surrounded by horse farms, huge corn/soybean operations, and farmettes and back up to a forest preserve so shooting is impossible - there's just too much open space for more to come by. I've never given them a second thought honestly. I've got a Jack Russell terrier and several barn cats that would be a tasty meal, plus we've had 6 foals here over the years without any trouble.

The coyotes here just aren't "big" enough maybe? They're the size of a German shepherd and I can't see them being successful taking on anything larger than a cat or maybe the JRT (of which she'd give as good as she got imho. In fact SHE'S the biggest predator on the farm - when she catches a rabbit or squirrel and shreds it alive, its enough to make you weep...).

In 25 years here, and with them coming so close, I've never had any bad experiences with a coyote.



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Response to riderinthestorm (Reply #14)

Wed Dec 17, 2014, 07:48 PM

15. When I let them take a coyote on the farm we'd seen several dead fawns

During the fall, so they weren't tiny young fawns. We had two mares due to foal the next spring so I didn't want to take any chances, especially since one of the mares was a first time mom.

One coyote was shot on the farm, another in the development behind us - that one was shot by a guy who had been raising turkeys for his holiday meals and the coyotes got all of them.

I know we won't affect the population seriously - there are thousands of acres of plantation to the north and east of us and between the plantations and us there are hundreds of acres of relatively undisturbed land in low density developments. I just want to get rid of the individuals that seem to have no fear.

Maybe it's from reading Trickster legends as a kid, but I don't trust coyotes at all.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Wed Dec 17, 2014, 10:09 PM

16. Well, we all got a right. My Chihuahua would digest me if I were dead enough. n/t

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Thu Dec 18, 2014, 12:04 AM

17. there is a new species called Coy wolves

 

Watched a documentary about them and they will probably outlive us humans because they can addapt to so much .

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Response to olddots (Reply #17)

Thu Dec 18, 2014, 12:16 AM

18. Pretty sure they wouldn't be around here

No wolves anywhere near North Florida.

I bet there are going to be some new species developing - like the grizzly polar bear hybrids they're finding up north as the grizzly range extends further north and the polar bears have to range south for food.

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