Wile E. Is Getting Too Bold

I’m licensed to carry concealed firearms, and it is a given that I always go armed if it is legal for me to do so. There certainly is no question that I am packing when I take my dogs on their evening walk every night.

Last year the pack and I came across a coyote that was gorging on trash, a fairly sizable wild predator in the heart of a modern city that was miles from any wilderness area. Although I was certainly ready to put it down if it was rabid and attacked, I let it go without hindrance when it turned tail and ran. Besides the fact that I’m not about to fire a gun unless I need to protect myself, coyotes aren’t enough of a threat to merit hunting them down in the city.

That might just change.

Click on that last link and see how coyotes in southern California have attacked small children in three separate incidents in a five day period. It was only because of the timely intervention of adults that none of the children were killed. Killed and eaten.

And it isn’t as if the children in question were mere babies, either. It seems that the coyotes are trying to snatch toddlers from playgrounds and front yards. Think of a 2-year-old with their face in the sharp grip of a coyote’s jaws.

This news article discusses how the experts are puzzled by how predation on humans on SoCal is on the rise, even though it mentions how one of the coyotes which attacked a little girl was limping as it approached the child. Seems to me that you don’t need to be an expert to realize that humans are easy meals for animals unless they are properly equipped to resist something with natural weaponry.

Added to that is the hippy-drippy “Nature is our cuddly friend!” attitude that dominates in that area of the country. If you have people who actually delight in having wild predators live in close proximity to human children, then there is going to be tragedy some time down the road. Where is the big mystery?

There is no real chance that a predator will be able to prevail over me, or that one will harm a child in my care. But that is because no one in their right mind would ever be able to describe me as a hippy.

My esteemed colleague Dan From Madison wrote a well received series of posts concerning how cougars are losing their fear of humans. It is no surprise that the big cats generate more concern because they are certainly more dangerous, and they have easily killed adult humans. I think that, unless attitudes change, there is going to be an incident where a child is killed by a coyote some time in the not-so-distant future.

And then the hunt will be on, hippies be damned.

24 thoughts on “Wile E. Is Getting Too Bold”

  1. Guns are not effective against coyotes. More effective techniques include canyon cliffs, anvils, defective novelty items and non-newtonian physics.

    Who says you can’t learn from TV?

  2. I think that, unless attitudes change, there is going to be an incident where a child is killed by a coyote some time in the not-so-distant future.

    And then the hunt will be on, hippies be damned. /

    If you mean coyotes generally, rather than the attacking coyotes specifically, I disagree.
    1.) Fox News says a child was killed by a coyote mauling in 1981.
    2.) I seem to remember that a woman was killed in California a while back (a cougar, maybe?), and the donations for her children were something like a tenth of the donations for the cubs of the animal that killed her.
    3.) There was that lady in Oz whose baby was taken by dingoes. They refused to believe it was possible and jailed her for murder.

    For “hippies”, people are bad and cute animals are good. I don’t see why you think one more death would change this attitude. Perhaps you would explain?

    There is no real chance that a predator will be able to prevail over me /

    Your protection is far more their instincts than your ability.

  3. In my Seattle suburb (Kirkland), coyotes routinely kill cats and small dogs.

    If I recall correctly, the people who lost the toddler in LA decades ago had been feeding the coyote. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were others in the areas of these recent attacks who are doing the same thing.

  4. If it weren’t for FDR’s full employment act for displaced revenuers aka the National Firearms Act, we could easily be like the rest of the civilized world and have suppressed firearms. As it is, if I want a suppressed Ruger 10-22 .22LR carbine to deal with coyotes and other varmints, I’d have to pay a $200 tax, go through an extensive background check, be fingerprinted, etc. I still think it would be an excellent way for urban and suburban dwellers to deal with no longer fearful of humans coyotes.

  5. Something analogous is politicians losing fear of their voters-I’m thinking of Labour promising a referendum on the EU’s new constitution and reneging,or EU member states ratifying without public approval. In Europe and the UK the political class has contempt for the public and the feelings are returned. In the UK the politicians lie much more shamelessly than in the past,or so I hear.
    Here,Republicans are in trouble because they act like Democrats (corrupt and profligate with pork);they don’t seem to understand that what is tolerated by Dem constituencies, is not accepted by Repub voters.The point is that the political animals are losing their fear and are acting more shamelessly. I don’t think that is good,in the long run, for the animals,political or otherwise. And it certainly isn’t good for the public.

  6. Jim:

    Unless your dogs are small or are de-natured show dogs then you don’t need a gun to deal with the occasional coyote. Just let them loose if it appears to be a threat and you will have one dead coyote.

    I encountered a lone coyote in an Arlington, Virginia Park last winter while walking my Coonhound. She didn’t go bananas like she does with a fox but she was ready to defend her “packmate.” I suspect if I was walking with one of my friends who has two Plott Hounds they all would have been raring to go at it with the unfortunate coyote. As it was, confronted with a dog of similar size the coyote made off in a different direction.

    Unless you live in the country where there are large coyote packs, a large dog will be enough to send a coyote packing. Predators aren’t interested in replaying “the thrilla in Manila” scenario. Winning ugly ultimately results in starvation or death from infection.

  7. I have a nice Marlin .22 with a 4X scope and a legal suppressor attached. With .22 Stinger or Yellow Jacket hollow points it’s a very effective anti-coyote weapon at up to a hundred yards or so.

    If you’re thinking of getting a suppressor (silencer) be prepared for a 4-6 months wait, ATF does not place a high priority on issuing these tax stamps.

    Coyotes are a very common sight and night sound in the nearby Great Smoky Mountains National Park where I enjoy backcountry camping and also where one is not allowed to legally carry firearms for any reason.

    Donkeys and burros are also natural enemies of coyotes and lots of east Tennessee farmers and cattlemen are adding them to their herds for protection. Coyotes are capable of bringing down and killing young calves and horses.

    A burro will stomp a coyote to death with its sharp hooves and almost never loses a fight with them. Not surprisingly coyotes are afraid of them like they used to be of humans.

  8. A coyote attacked the 6-year-old son of an acquaintance of mine about a year ago. His older sister eventually scared the animal off. (The kid needed a lot of stitches on his scalp but as far as I know recovered without permanent injury.) This was in suburban New Jersey. The comments section of the local newspaper’s online article about the incident was full of comments from environmentalist jerks who blamed the kid or otherwise thought it was their duty to take the side of wild animals against people.

  9. Perusing the wiki on coyotes, it seems that 60% of the 224,000 sheep deaths due to predation in 2004 were caused by coyotes. I had no idea. I am beginning to think that allowing these pests to not be scared of humans may be as bad as allowing cougars to do the same thing.

  10. Put up a PA system on your patio and play RAP music at concert level. The coyotes won’t stop until they’re in the next county.

  11. A comment and a question: coyotes are about the only native critter to have increased in range and territory since our colonial period. Once almost exclusively western they are now gound coast to coast. The question: is anyone sure that these crittes are pure coyotes and not hybrid coydogs? I remember reading reports years ago about feral dog-coyote mixtures that were considered to combine the worst attribute of both.

  12. Eastern Coyotes have more dog in them which makes them larger (The mate with bigger dogs and eat the small ones) and less afriad of humans those out west

  13. On the east coast coyotes have been increasing and they do breed with dogs. I have heard of fox hunts that have picked up coyote instead of fox in NY and PA. There are packs of hounds that hunt coyotes and they do adopt fox like tactics when hunted.

    Unless a large dog is taken by a pack of coyotes, dogs can protect themselves. Cats have been killed by dogs and humans for a long time. Cats should be able to hide and avoid coyote unless they have been too conditioned and too friendly.

    California and Washington states I beleive have made illegal the hunting of cougar and other game animals with pack dogs. If they really want to lessen the numbers just OK a few dog hunts who will track and flush the predators.

  14. RAH – hunting with a pack of dogs with an experienced handler is the only real way to hunt a cougar. I say experienced handler because the cougar needs to be tracked for a little while until you get to know its pattern, then you have a good place to start with the dogs (cougars roam large areas on a regular basis). I think this type of hunting will be made legal in more places – and more necessary – when more attacks of humans begin, which seem inevitable. These animals such as coyote and cougars being allowed to condition themselves to humans and the human environs is a recipe for disaster.

  15. Dan from Madison,

    I have been reading upon the cougar problem on the west coast and have notice that the rangers or wildlife officers generally do take hounds to track cougars in attack incidents. Not always sucessfully. I may have been wrong on the laws about using hounds for hunting. I guess the problem is getting bad in British Columbia, Washington. Oregon, California and Colorado. I am not sure the laws there,but I agree the most effective hunting method is with hounds. It also may train cougars to run from humans and dogs instead of thinking them easy dinner.I expect as parents get scared of coyote and cougar attacks on their kids that laws will be changed. That may be the reason that wildife officials have downplayed the incidents.

  16. RAH – I would agree that hunting laws will be relaxed as more people get attacked. But what needs to be done more than anything is to outlaw people feeding and coddling these vicious animals, and their prey. Just read The Beast in the Garden. You will learn more from that book than I could ever think about putting in a comment section. Although the book is about cougars, the lessons learned apply to coyotes, wolves (which we have larger amounts of now in Northern Wisconsin) and other animals.

  17. Very interesting. We have a large coyote population here in rural upstate NY, but I have never heard of an attack. Quite the contrary — it’s quite common to see one at a distance, but all you have to do is take a step or two in its direction and it’s gone. Are all the attacks being reported in suburbs, as opposed to rural areas? I wonder if there’s something going on in more built-up areas that affects their behavior.

  18. When I was a newlywed back in the early ’70s coyote hides were fairly valuable. Money was tight and I got my luxuries by hunting, skinning, curing and selling coyote hides. My hunting dogs were fed mostly coyotes and jackrabbits. Then the bottom fell out of the fur prices.
    It isn’t that coyotes act different in cities, people act different. Out here if there is a coyote sighted someone will peg a shot at it. About half the houses around have calves, sheep or goats, foals in season or chickens, geese and ducks. Most of us have a rifle or shotgun loaded and ready “ahint the door”.
    Here you can still see a boy on a bike with a .22 across the handlebars with a dog running alongside. And nobody calls the SWAT teams. Well, it is different these days, sometimes it’s a girl now.

  19. We’ve got coyotes right here in Providence on College Hill. These recent news reports got me looking into the local situation, summarized and linked here. Seems that humans feeding coyotes are the reason behind their proliferation here. Some of it is inadvertent (unburied road kill, garbage left uncovered), but I was shocked to find out how many people are deliberately feeding the critters.

  20. Put up a PA system on your patio and play RAP music at concert level. The coyotes won’t stop until they’re in the next county.

    That would be good advice, if only it didn’t have the same effect on most human beings. :P

  21. My parents live in a very rural part of Northern San Diego County, where you expect to have coytotes around. They are doing their best to keep their current cat indoors all the time, since they have lost nearly half a dozen cats to coyotes over the years. Having an outdoors cat where they live is basically a death-sentance for the cat, even if the cat never goes very far from the house. I am not the least bit surprised to hear of them attacking children.

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