Coyotes in the Yard

We knew we had coyotes coming into our yard, especially at night. We didn’t know what all they were up to, and it looks like they’re up to no good.

In this video we can see a bit of behavior that most consider down right rude, but normal for most species. They’re marking their territory on the deer’s hay. They probably marked their spot to let other stray coyotes know this was their hunting spot, no intruders allowed. Once it was marked, though, the deer wouldn’t eat it. That problem has been solved by building a raised feeder.

A few days later they run through the flock of turkeys. It’s hard to tell if they actually were after one or just abandoned the hunt after the turkeys took off.

The turkeys on the other hand, probably could have used a bit more caution. They came back about 5 minutes later. No more coyotes showed up that day, but I would have thought the turkeys would stay away for at least the rest of the day, just to be safe.

Coyotes travel in packs. A large pack roams the back of the property, a mix of adults and pups. They may or may not all be from the same family, however, as sometimes individuals will join a pack for a hunt. The pack is usually led by a female, and will mate for life.
One of the main problems with coyotes is they seem to have little fear of humans and will readily enter a built up area in search of food.

Coyote running

Coyotes will eat just about anything, including garbage and pets. These habits mean it’s just a matter of time before they run into trouble. Humans and coyotes just don’t mix well.
Coyotes will also make a habit of taking livestock if the opportunity presents itself. Chickens, lambs and young calves are easy pickings and they’ll return for more if nothing is done to keep the livestock safe. This doesn’t go over well with owners and usually ends in the coyote getting shot.

But coyotes aren’t all bad, they serve a purpose like any living thing. They help keep the wild population of many species from exploding into unmanageable numbers. While we don’t like to think about a gosling or duckling being eaten, or the eggs for that matter, keeping the numbers down can be important to the eco system.

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