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Old 01-05-2020, 04:50 PM
  #40  
hubby11
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Clifton, VA
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Thanks for the additional info. I put together a little info page for my hunting group, taking some information from some state DFG sites, from some online articles, and this thread. Some of the interesting facts:

The eastern coyote, Canis latrans var., is found throughout the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada. Recent research shows the eastern coyote is an immigrant, the origin of which likely involved interbreeding between coyotes and gray wolves. New genetic tests show that all eastern coyotes are actually a mix of three species: coyote, wolf and dog. The percentages vary, dependent upon exactly which test is applied and the geographic location of the canine.

Coyotes in the Northeast are mostly (60%-84%) coyote, with lesser amounts of wolf (8%-25%) and dog (8%-11%). Start moving south or east and this mixture slowly changes. Virginia animals average more dog than wolf (85%:2%:13% coyote:wolf:dog) while coyotes from the Deep South had just a dash of wolf and dog genes mixed in (91%:4%:5% coyote:wolf:dog). Tests show that there are no animals that are just coyote and wolf (that is, a coywolf), and some eastern coyotes that have almost no wolf at all. Other studies indicate that the eastern coyote is intermediate in size and shape between gray wolves and western coyotes. Coyotes are so resilient that killing them, even in great numbers, just doesn't have much effect. Decades ago, several Western states tried to reduce coyote numbers through poisoning, trapping, and bounty hunting. But wildlife officials found that 70 percent of the entire population had to be killed every year to make a dent in the numbers almost an impossible target. Coyotes also have a biological mechanism that triggers larger litters whenever their numbers drop. So as soon as any type of bounty ends, the population jumps right back.


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Today my hunting group went to our property to check the area for coyote sign. We believe we found two dens; one higher on the rocky ridge-line of the property, another in some thick stuff a bit further down. Both were cleverly set up - good drainage and hard to spot until you were right on top of them. We messed up the dens a bit and left some of our own personal "sign." One of my hunters has taken 5-7 from of the pack including likely at least one from the alpha pair. I doubt that will have any long term effect on the population, but hopefully we have busted up the pack enough to ensure they have a healthy fear of humans. Our situation with this property is somewhat unusual give our primary responsibility is deer population control - it's a vineyard - so despite our dislike of the 'yotes, we have to admit that a few of them are beneficial in culling some fawns in the spring. As long as they don't pose a danger to humans we can tolerate them.
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