|One of our beautiful coyotes, photographed during the summer|
|The most typical view of a coyote -- running away at top speed|
|Another brief look at a coyote, before he turns and runs away|
|A very rare sight -- a coyote kit, seen here crossing a log over a creek|
|A mother Coyote with her kits|
We are currently in the midst of the rifle season for deer, and so we are being treated to a glut of camouflage clad hunters swarming all over our neighbor’s lands, trying their best to kill something or other. Each year I patrol our well-posted nature preserve to make sure no one is turning our land into the killing fields –and believe me, they would if someone wasn't watching them. A few days ago, as I was going through one of our gates, I heard a loud rifle shot from the land just beyond the property border. I then heard a terrible agonizing scream –which lasted for about a minute. I thought for a moment that some hunter had shot himself, but then I realized that it was a coyote that was the source of the cry. Evidently, the coyote had wandered too close to a tree stand were some brave sniper was perched. Judging by some subsequent barking sounds I heard, the coyote wasn't alone, but had a companion –probably a relative that was with him at the time of the atrocious act. Some low barks of sympathy from a friend were probably the last thing the unfortunate wild dog heard.
|A nervous mother bounces up and down in a the field to try to see an intruder over the tall grass|
One of the most popular arguments in favor of deer hunting is the idea that the population of nuisance deer are kept low, but then if they all believe that coyotes are thinning the deer herd already, then aren't they undermining their own justification? In areas where deer are regularly taken by coyotes, farmers and land owners should be made aware that when they allow deer hunters to shoot coyotes on their land, they are in effect cancelling out all of the deer population control implemented by those coyotes. In other words, those hunter guys aren't doing you any favors, Farmer John.
|Even in areas where coyotes take deer, the chances of them taking down an adult buck are slim to nil|
Once our region had a much greater diversity of mammalian predators; we had Black Bear, Gray Wolves, Cougar, Wolverine and more. In the colonial period, all of them were exterminated based on fairy-tail ideas of the threats they posed to people. Well those fantasies were wild exaggerations then and they are especially not true now in regards to coyotes, so please tell your New York State legislators that our coyotes should be allowed to live in peace, and to rescind the DEC's outrageous extermination policy.