I haven't heard any coyotes since sometime in midwinter here in
southwestern New Mexico. Other people are remarking on this too, so I
don't think it's usual; does anybody have a plausible explanation?
I've heard only one rumor regarding this, that some ranchers have been
leaving out food for the coyotes laced with some kind of sterilization
drug; and I got that rumor third-hand.
It could just be that this year's babies are still too young to go out
hunting, so the mamas are home in the den and only the older males are
fetching the food... but would that explain no yelping at all? And the
rodent population, especially that of rabbits, seems way larger than
Any insights appreciated -- jc
There haven't been any outbreaks of mange or distemper reported have
there? Our fox population was decimated years ago by this. Has
"Sarcoptic mange occurs in coyote populations throughout Nebraska.
Mange outbreaks occasionally become severe and can seriously reduce
coyote populations over large areas for a number of years. Other
important diseases and parasites that effect coyotes include canine
distemper, canine hepatitis and heartworm. Surprisingly, rabies is not
an important disease in coyotes, although they are susceptible to that
Animals cycle. If you don't have many coyotes this year, you'll have a lot
of other animals, ie: rabbits, etc. Next year you will have a lot of
whatever feeds on the animals that didn't have enough natural predators
Understood. I'd like to get some idea what caused the downtrend this
year. There just aren't any other predators I know of which could take
the coyote's place in the local ecosystem, especially with regard to
rabbits. Until my crossbow skills improve, I'm afraid the jackrabbits
and cottontails are just going to proliferate until every green thing
is turned into pellets.
May I suggest an alternative to your crossbow? Gets good results for
Air Rifle...with scope if desired. I've a .177 Gamo. Muzzle velocity
of 1200 fps, rifled barrel, quiet, extremely accurate, and great for
rabbits the cat can't handle. Cheap to shoot. Safe in areas that
require extra caution.
Air rifles are used extensively in Europe for hunting and pest control.
Kinda pricey, but we're not talkin' Daisy here. These are real tools.
Prey and predator cycles are interrelated. We get a big boom of
bunnies every seven years here in Alaska. Bunnies boom, then the
predators boom. Then they all crap out while populations rebuild.
Coyotes and wolves will control the number of pups born in a
particular year, depending on the level of their food source.
If the food source (protein base) is really low, the alpha bitch in
a wolf pack may only have two pups. In a fat year, she'll have a half
dozen or more.
Everything is connected to everything else. Pull on one thread and
you pull on the whole system.
Jan in Alaska
beef cattle rancher
PS: The only predators on our ranch that kill our calves are the
neighbor gal's dogs. The wolves, coyotes, black bears, brown bears
and various raptors & corvids (except for magpies) don't bother our
calves. We keep a .25-06 hanging in the barn for dogs.
Ah, since this is the gardening group, my brassicas are enjoying
our hot weather. It was 78F. here yesterday. Insufferably hot.
We're hoping for better weather soon. And a little rain.
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