Courtesy Flickr user, marya (emdot) Courtesy Flickr user, marya (emdot)

A Guide to Coyote Management

From River Teeth 11.2, Spring 2010. Nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Excerpt below.

Coyote can be detrimental to any number of natural resources, including livestock, watermelons, pets, and the economy. He is known to tiptoe about places he shouldn’t, like airport runways and Wal-Mart parking lots.

Occasionally Coyote takes larger prey, small ungulates such as fawns, lambs, calves, and foals. The concern of this document, however, is primarily with domesticates; Bambi—another of the First People—is on his own.

Let’s keep in mind that Coyote warrants management in part because he feeds on calves by eating into the anus or enteric region. The coprophagic son-of-a-bitch absolutely loves it. He can’t wait to do it again. “Up yours!” says Coyote—his mantra.

If you find a dead lamb, calf, or foal, and suspect Coyote, first examine the neck and throat for subcutaneous hemorrhaging. Typically, bites to a dead animal do not cause hemorrhaging, although this diagnostic is unreliable if the carcass is old or widely scattered.

Among animal tracks, Coyote’s are smaller than wolf, smaller than large dog, larger than fox, smaller than yours.  His footprint tends to be more ovular and compact than dog or human; his step is light and regular, and always just ahead, or just behind. Quiet, he is near.

By law you are allowed to kill Coyote year-round, if you have a hunting license. But as a gentle reminder, night-shooting Coyote with a spotlight is illegal in most states. Wait for a full moon, when he’ll come creeping along like the mailman, drunk on cheap beer, pissing morning glory, looking to sleep with your daughter and your dog.

Before we go any further, remember: the focus of managing Coyote should be damage prevention and control. Termination of Coyote and his legacy is not the goal. Coyote was here!

Read more via Project Muse, if you have access.