Those Cunning Coyotes

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In case you have not heard, one of the biggest and most thrilling hunting markets is predators with coyotes topping the list. Call manufacturers, rifle builders, and hunting gear sources are generating a lot of new gear to meet this growing demand. Now found from coast to coast, and in fields and forests near you, coyotes have become public enemy No. 1 in many areas.

Most hunters and nature observers know coyotes as small dog-like animals (they are in the canine family) that are grey to reddish in color, weigh about 30 pounds, and can be seen trotting along trails or the edges of open areas. In Latin, the word coyote means “barking dog.” Coyotes stand about 30 inches tall at the shoulder. When fleeing, coyotes can run about 40 miles-per-hour and jump about 12 feet high. Young coyotes are generally born in early spring in a den. The pups are fed by both parents until they are old enough to hunt with the pack.

Coyotes are well known for being crafty, as one Ohio hunter discovered when he trapped a coyote in a huge steel box trap. That hunter went to get a gun for dispatching, and when he returned a short time later the “secured” coyote had opened the cage’s heavy metal slide-up door and fled.

Coyotes have become more common in urban areas where they steal house pets and sometimes bite small children. One study in California discovered that coyotes relied heavily on house pets as a primary food source. Two reported human deaths have been attributed to coyote attacks.

Coyotes most often make their famous “song” or sharp, high-pitched howls and yips at dusk, but these song dogs can be heard howling most any time of the day.

Most states permit, or encourage, coyote hunting. In some states, like Wyoming, a hunting license is not required to hunt coyotes. In other states, the licenses are inexpensive and can be purchased over the counter.