The coyote, usually found only in the
northwest corner of the
Coyotes have sharp pointed ears which
never drop, a sharp pointed nose, and long bushy tails. They range anywhere from
15-50 pounds; with a lifespan of nearly 15 years very similar to that of the
house dog. A coyote can get to be nearly
five feet long including the tail. Smaller coyotes found in desserts and low
lying areas get to be about 20 pounds, unlike the mountain coyote who can range
up to 50 pounds. These coyotes are in more danger because they are hunted for
their darker and thicker furs.
Coyote Life Cycle
Coyotes reach sexual maturity within
one to two years, with a gestation period of 58-65 days. Their litters range
from 2-6 pups. Mating season ranges from January through March and early April.
Very few coyote pups survive through their first year.
Only about 5-20% of the pups make it to adulthood. Coyotes have also been
known to breed with domestic dogs which bring in the term “coydog”.
Coyote Range and Diet
Coyotes have a very broad range of
adaptation. They are seen traveling alone, in pairs, and in packs. Their very
broad diet allows them to survive in many different territories. At the present
times coyotes are more afraid of humans then we are of them. Some cases have
shown coyotes becoming more brave and aggressive towards humans. Cases such as
people feeding these animals give the coyote a sense of trust that through
adaptation will be bad in the future. They
have been known to become less afraid and more aggressive toward humans. Coyotes
use urine to mark their territories and have a variety of calls which help
defend their territory as well as strengthen bonds and communication.
Coyotes have a keen sense of sight,
smell, and hearing, which allow them to survive in many different areas. Food is
what makes the coyote’s habitat. Wherever the food is, is where the coyote
needs to be. They can occupy a range of up to twelve miles. Although coyotes dig
their own dens, they have been known to burrow out small fox and badger holes. They
are also found in small mountain crevices. These
dens are only used for tending to the young the rest of the year these dens are
A coyotes’ main diet consists of
mice, rats, insects, rabbits, etc. They are known to hunt day and night, either
alone or in packs. Coyotes will occasionally hunt larger animals but not alone.
They have also been known to eat out of open garbage cans and whatever
humans feed them. So keep your garbage cans covered and do not encourage
them with food.
There are a few things that can help
prevent coyote occurrences. First of
all keep all pets and pet food and their water indoors or in a secured kennel if
you live in an area that is suspected of or is known to be in this wild
animal’s foraging range. Try to
avoid feeding wild cats as they are part of the diet of a coyote as well as the
food you feed the cats. Minimize your ground cover of vegetation and pick up any
fallen fruit from fruit trees within the area.
On many occasions
Coyote populations have been blamed for damage that was caused by other
animals. If livestock, for example, have been attacked or killed yet no
one has actually seen the culprit, look for signs which can be clues. Not
every hunting animal attacks and eats its prey in the same manner. Large
birds, dogs, coyote, fox and wolves all leave different clues on or nearby their
Coyote or Dog?
One example of tells is the track and prints of a four legged
attacker. Dogs are fond of wandering around and inspecting objects (tree,
shrub, log, etc.) in wide open areas or fields. The coyote, however, tends
to walk in a straight line through open areas. They are concerned more
about their safety than they are curious of objects. Dogs love to
investigate, getting a real kick out of being in the field. Coyotes are
more likely to be all business and have a good idea of where they are going -
and what to do when they get there.
Coyote Trapping Tips
Check your local and state laws before trapping, eliminating or re-locating any wildlife, including coyote.
*Efforts to control and or exterminate
these animals have resulted in an extremely alert and wary predator.
Do it right the first time.