Setting Coyote Traps – Coyote 101

Coyotes can be a worry when you are out camping in the bush, sightseeing on an African safari trail or they might even show up in your backyard. It is, therefore, to your best advantage that you know how to deal with them that they do not spoil your fun, or worse, endanger you and your loved ones while on their path. In addition, the coyote problem can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage to you in the area of your food provision and camping accessories such as the destruction of your new tent and so on. Therefore, taking the right steps to ensure safety should be a top consideration on your part and one way to come out on top when you are out in the shrub is for you to start by setting coyote traps.

How to set the traps

Coyote trapping can take some doing if you are not an experienced, then it may be better to talk to experiences trappers to set traps, foothold traps, bait cages, or snares for you. Even a dirt hole set and a bait station can work for coyote trapping if done properly. Therefore, here are some awesome tips to consider first before getting your traps into place:

 

  • Know the spots where the coyote frequents

 

Instead of just setting traps all over the place, only place them where you know the animals will go. To have knowledge of where the creatures frequently visit, you might have to find a hiding place and keep a sharp lookout for them. However, if you do not have the time to spend hiding in the bush or behind a fence, the next best thing you can do is to carry out a thorough check on the property area where you are staying. If the mammals already visit a spot and caused problems there, you will be bound to see the trouble they leave behind such as turned over pots, a torn tent, and many other signs.

You can also start looking around for tracks and droppings left by the creatures and if you have livestock in the area make sure to check close by for any signs of their presence they might leave behind. Pasture and pen areas are good places to set your traps and chances are in a short time you will be rewarded with a catch. In addition, if the canine animals killed one or a few of your livestock, you can place the trap close by the carcasses since coyotes have been known to return to the kill later on when they get hungry again.

Other great places to set your animal traps are livestock and farm trails, fences intersections, at the edge of a field, and open ground spots. Avoid setting traps in bushes and places where high weeds can be seen because they do not visit such locations. In addition, you should not set traps where humans, dogs, and cats walk.

 

  • Use strong stakes to keep your trap into the ground

 

A weak trap will not keep the animal trapped when sprung. To ensure that your catch is there when you visit the scene, use the right stakes to anchor and keep the trap in the ground. Choose a stake that is strong enough to keep the coyote subdued because a trapped animal can become very irritable and find a way to get free quickly. Most wildlife experts suggest using an Earth Anchor because of its sturdiness. The anchor consists of a strong metal spike, swivel link and a good steel cable measuring 12 inches in length. Once this type of trap is set, no one can remove it unless they use a shovel to dig it out.

 

  • Set your traps on ridge tops and high ground areas

 

The troublesome creatures like to frequent ridge tops and high ground and so these are great places to start laying your traps. Another thing you must do is to set your traps in places where the wind is blowing so that it can carry the scent to the wild animals. If you are not sure which direction the wind is blowing, you can solve the problem by setting multiple traps.

If your dog or cat is with you when setting the traps, you should make sure they are restrained ahead of time before you start getting your traps into place. In fact, dogs and cats will be attracted to the meat bait you placed on the trap and you do not want to hurt them. Therefore, remember safety will always play off so play it safe and avoid being sorry later.

 

  • Cover everything

 

Since you do not want the creatures to see the traps and avoid them, you need to hide them underneath the soil. To camouflage the traps properly in the dirt, you should put the pan cover over the triggers and then sprinkle enough dirt around each edge. The dirt will serve to weight down the traps down into the ground. To blend the traps in with the ground, use a brush to smooth the spot where each trap is situated so that the coyotes will not make them out until it is too late. A skilled coyote will avoid a trap that is too obvious.

Lure the animals into the traps

Once the traps are properly set, you must now lure the animals into them. To lure the animals into the traps, you need to use a complication of meats and things to do so. You can use hog, squirrel, and rabbit meat or just about any type of meat. You can also use things like sheep wool sprayed with some skunk smell to lure the coyotes. The trick is to attract their attention so that they enter the trap zone. You can experiment with different types of baits and lures until you find the one that is most suitable to your cause.

Leave and then return to check if your trap works

For the traps to really work, you will have to leave and go somewhere out of sight. If you live close by, you can return home and stay there for a while before returning. After a few hours, you can return to see if your little surprise work. If the coyote is not caught at that time, you should return the next day. Sometimes the creature may get caught only after a few minutes and other times it takes days. Make sure to check your traps every day until you find a coyote trapped in them. Still, you have to be patient enough to catch them since they can be smart at times.

Although setting coyote traps can be a daunting task at times, still with enough perseverance on your part you can free your property or campsite of them. With your traps set and ready to snap, most of your troubles will be over and you can enjoy your days stress-free as well as without any more hassle from them.

Coyote Sounds – Listen To The Coyote

Like other wild animals, coyotes produce different sounds to signal an individual message. However, active listening to the sounds of a coyote is slightly difficult as foxes and wolves make almost identical sounds. For a person who has never heard any sound from a coyote, it would be difficult to differentiate the sound made by a coyote and that made by a fox. The sounds are almost similar, and one requires a set of skills and experience to differentiate the two sounds.

Besides, one will need to distinguish the sound made an alpha male from that made a juvenile who is looking to conquer a territory or pack of his own. While experience is the ultimate teacher in learning how to differentiate sounds made other animals and that of a coyote, one can get a few insights which will ultimately fast track the whole process.

One distinct feature of coyote calls is that they are high pitched compared to that of foxes and wolves. Among the three wolves have sounds with the least pitch. Coyote yelps, barks, and yips will sound more like the sounds of a batch of small terriers when playing. The short mi-pitched sound of a coyote especially their barks sounds exactly like that if terrier but will often sound like a short scream or a pitched laugh.

Coyotes will do a lot of barking compared to foxes and wolves, with most of the barking associated with territory marking or response to agitation. A coyote will always bark at a dog to warn it off especially if it’s alone. It’s a way of intimidating the intruder first especially if it’s alone.

Coyotes will howl mostly as a pack. However, if the howling is not one high note is a call to assemble the pack. Scholars say howling is a social call, where coyotes have smaller packs compared to foxes and wolves. Hence, a coyote howl is not as loud as compared to that of wolves. As such, you learn to listen to the coyote howls by first identifying their low volume and high pitch. Ordinarily, only half a dozen will join the howling.

Coyotes just like dogs, wolves, and foxes will bark, whine, and growl when they are anxious or in need of something. When a coyote’s whines become high pitched, it means the predator is highly anxious is ready to attack and should back off. Hence, if you are learning the sounds out in the jungle get warned and retreat from your position.

Coyotes can sustain the longest barks compared to wolves and foxes. Hence if you get to hear long barks going to up to 20 minutes that is a coyote. However, if the barking stops immediately listen carefully to the pitch of the bark and it’s a high pitched bark, that is a coyote barking.

The next sound to learn about coyotes is their growing sound which is common among puppies. However, among the adults, the sounds are low pitched and could be friendly or challenging calls. The intensity and length of the growls tell you whether they are challenging or friendly. Friendly growls are usually short and have a low pitch as opposed to challenging growls which have a high pitch and last longer.

Howls are usually social calls by mostly the alpha pair where other members in a pack of coyotes respond by producing similar sounds. However, one distinguishing feature of coyote howls from other animals such as wolves is that they are not as loud. A coyote pack will consist of half a dozen coyotes. Howling is among the coyotes is done to by harmonizing the sound of the alpha pair. As a result, one can mistake the sound for the sound of a huge number of animals.

Howls are also used by coyotes to warn any wanderer into their territories to keep away. However, lower ranking members are not allowed to join in the howling. It is important to note this so that if you are observing the coyotes howling, you are not surprised to find some of them not joining in the howling. Any coyote wondering that does not respond to such territorial warning is often killed by the entire pack to maintain their pack. Consequently, as you learn about the different sounds made by coyotes, it is important to learn their response to avoid getting injured while learning.

7 Most Common Traits of Coyotes

Coyotes are known as the aloof, magical, furry spies of the forest. Their size, speed, and stealth allow them to stay hidden from human sight most of the time, but not from our curiosity. They are truly remarkable creatures with a unique mix of traits both physical and behavioral. I have listed seven of their most interesting behavioral traits and how they use them to their advantage to not only survive, but to thrive.

Stealth

Coyotes are known for being sneaky, clever, and aloof. Most often, they will see you long before you see them. They accomplish this level of stealth with a few strategies. They naturally have profound senses of smell and eyesight. As they approach an area, they carefully scan it for unfamiliar sights and smells before proceeding. Then, in case there is something they missed, they walk on their tiptoes to reduce the amount of noise they make when walking. This allows them to slip by a hunter that may have even gone undetected by the coyote itself.

Shyness

Coyotes seem like quite dominant creatures who would not fear many others. However, they are shy animals who do not approach danger or potential danger willingly. Unless another animal looks like dinner, it is unlikely that a coyote will bother it in any way. Likewise, coyotes steer clear of humans as much as possible. Urban sprawl has brought people closer to them, but they truly pose little threat to humans, children, or pets in most cases. Unless you have young or weak small livestock such as sheep, coyotes are not likely to be a problem for you. Instead, you will likely find that they are handy, behind the scenes, hunters of true pests such as rodents and snakes.

Monogamy

Coyotes mate for life. After their first breeding season, they typically only mate with the same coyote for subsequent years. That is, unless one of them dies or in the case of an alpha growing impatient with his mate’s estrous cycle. Since female coyotes are monoestrous, they are only available for breeding for ten days out of the year. However, breeding season lasts about three months for the entire population. So, if an alpha male grows impatient waiting for his mate to come into estrus, he may wander to find an available female in estrus with whom to breed. He will still return to his original mate, though, and breed with her for the year as well.

Family Oriented

As afore mentioned, coyotes are monogamous. With these stable relationships come others, and packs are formed. Usually led by an alpha male and female, these family groups live, hunt, and raise young together. Older siblings usually aid in the raising of their new siblings along with their own young and help to provide food for the entire family while the pups are being weaned. Once pups reach adulthood, they may choose to stay in their pack or to form their own, but few will become transient. Most likely, if a coyote become transient, and does not find residence in a pack, it will only be until the following breeding season. Once breeding resumes, the lone coyote will likely find a mate and take residence with a pack.

Packs are useful for hunting as well. Groups of two to four will split off from the pack to harvest a larger mammal such as a deer for the pack to enjoy. Rather than chasing the deer from behind, these coyote hunting convoys approach it head on. Enveloping the deer in an attack from the front prevents its escape and speeds up the kill. This method is very effective for the pack, and provides food for the family in one killing. This is especially useful when there are small pups around who may still be nursing.

Territory

Coyotes are quite territorial. The area in which their pack hunts, lives, and plays is essential, and overcrowding will hinder their quality of life. As a result, alphas will occasionally scuffle and fight for more land or to protect what land they have claimed for their pack. This territorial instinct is heightened during breeding season when dens are made and preparations are made for the new pups to arrive. Expectant coyote parents work tirelessly to ward off predators from the new den and surrounding areas so that when the pups arrive, those animals will be deterred from returning.

Chatty Kathy

Coyotes are shy, but they are very vocal when necessary. A wide range of howls, yips, barks, and other sounds are packed into the coyote’s communication arsenal, and he uses them to communicate across long distances to other coyotes both friend and foe.

Long howls let pack members know the coyote’s location. Short barks warn of danger, and yips are welcoming. Growls can establish dominance, whines and whimpers establish female bonds, and high pitched barks summon the little ones!

Nocturnal

Coyotes are adaptable. They are fully-functional in the daytime. However, when in locations that are close in proximity to humans, they may assume a more nocturnal schedule. In these cases, humans may encounter or see them in the late evenings or early mornings, but certainly not during the daytime. Due to human activity, coyotes avoid much movement or activity that would draw attention to themselves during the daytime when they are near humans.

However, in more remote regions, they likely will assume a more natural schedule of activity during the daytime.
Overall, the coyote is an exciting creature with several tricks in his den. The shy, sneaky, and spectacular coyote is one animal that piques the curiosity of many humans and seems to never lose its luster as a mythological figure. These seven traits are just a few of the many that make this animal so important to the ecosystems it inhabits and the cultures it influences.

What Does a Coyote Eat to Survive?

What does a coyote eat to survive? Roadrunners, of course! Well, maybe. Probably, if he can catch him. Coyotes eat anything they can get their paws on that will give them a decent serving of protein along with some other nutrients sprinkled in. If they are really hard pressed for food, they will eat some fruits, just so that their belly won’t growl at them. Honestly, they eat what a lot of people do. They like all the meats!

Opportunity Awaits

Coyotes are truly opportunistic eaters and their diets vary by region. This non-pickiness has been one of the keys to the coyote’s success across North America and is what has allowed them to adapt to changing landscapes and environments with little to no detriment. Pretty much if it swims, flies, crawls, or runs, a coyote will find it delicious. These adventurous eaters would be the best food bloggers if they had Instagram and WordPress. #delish

Snacks, Snacks, Snack

So, what animals fill a coyote’s belly? Mainly smaller things like rabbits, rodents, birds, etc. These are all animals that a coyote can easily pounce on, kill, and eat on its own. Solo hunting enables a coyote to keep a low profile and not attract a lot of attention to itself especially if it is feasting in the daytime. These smaller treats pack in quite a bit of protein for their size and keep the coyote full for a while. Plus, they are readily available in most coyote’s habitats and have a relationship with coyotes that creates a dynamic balance within their ecosystems that makes the coyote a valuable player in every eco-community.

Feast!

However, if pups have recently been born, or a few coyotes are due for a heftier meal, that is when the bigger hunts take place. Teams of two to three coyotes will work together to chase and exhaust an animal such a deer to the point at which they can attack it from the front and make the kill. These deer or sometimes elk provide larger amounts of food at one time and can be shared within the pack. Occasionally, the need for a larger food source such as this is what leads many farmers to despise coyotes. Small, young, or weak livestock can provide adequate food supplies when animals like deer are unavailable or coyote populations are high enough that hunting has become difficult. These animals easily fall prey to the coyotes as they are in an enclosed environment where they are conditioned to feel safe, and do not normally feel as if they are in danger. As a result, some livestock become coyote dinner at the expense of the farmer. Nevertheless, livestock and large wild game alike provide copious amounts meat from which coyotes and their young can gain protein, carbohydrates, and vitamins that will sustain them for long periods of time.

Desert Delights

What about coyotes who live in the desert? They don’t have deer or many small mammals around. What do they eat? As mentioned before, coyotes are not picky eaters. Many coyotes will happily dine on any snakes, lizards, or birds that they can get their paws on as well. If they have water sources that have fish in them available, those fish are fair game for mealtime, too. In the desert areas, many coyotes may migrate toward mountainous terrains to hunt for larger mammals that survive at higher altitudes. These desert dwellers also have a knack for speed much like their cousins and often dine on jackrabbits when they are lucky enough to catch one. Regardless of the terrain, the coyote will always find a meal.

Insects, Fruits, and More

What if all else fails, the coyote is weak, and hunting is not going well at all, what then? Then, the coyote’s true adaptability shines. It is in times like these when the coyotes will use their senses of smell to guide them to safe treats of the insect and fruit persuasion. Grubs, crickets, berries, and anything else the coyote can find that is not poisonous is fair game until the coyote can regain its strength or find a higher food source. However, things do not always have to be this extreme for a coyote to consume these organisms. Occasionally, the coyote will pick these insects and fruits up along the way as a supplement to their diet or for a snack between hunts.

Even Better, It’s Already Dead

While searching for live food to dine on, a coyote may also happen upon some carrion that they might find tasty- tasty enough anyway if they are hungry. As stated earlier, coyotes are opportunistic. They won’t turn up their nose to some food just because something else killed it. Coyotes are not above eating roadkill or someone else’s leftovers. An opportunity for a meal is a meal in the eyes of a coyote.

Eat All the Food!

So, what do coyotes eat to survive? Anything they can get their paws on. As long as it won’t hurt them to eat it, a coyote will likely eat anything that does not eat them first. Feathers, scales, and fur alike all attract the coyote’s palate, but in a pinch, so will multitudes of legs or even a certain post-mortem odor.

Infant Coyotes – Coyote Pup Sounds

Just like their adult counterparts, you are coyote pups make different calls and sound to communicate emotions and threat to their parent or other pulps. For instance, when hungry the pups will call out to their parents, when threatened they will call for help and when happy playing, they all also make sounds to communicate that.

Challenge Calls

Just like mature male Coyotes, you will get challenging calls from young pups when there is a need. The Coyotes have their clear, challenging calls which one should pay attention to as it could translate to the presence of an entire pack in the neighborhood. It is important to note that when coyotes make such, sounds they have a different agenda in their mind as opposed to when a deer or an elk is making the same sound.

Pups will make the challenge call when they to be left alone and do not to ignite a fight. The sound in most cases communicates all is well to the parents. Pups are making the challenge call usually tell off other pups to keep off their territories. It is a form of communication among the pups. Usually, pups are very playful. However, when the biggest baby coyote is full, they want to be left alone as they sleep and all they want is to have their peace. As a result, they will make the challenge calls to keep off other pups.

Distress Pup Call

Pups will most likely make the calls when under threat from intruding coyotes or humans. As such, the calls by pups are meant to call for protection or backup from their parents. Ordinary, adult coyotes do not wander off from their territories to ensure they can easily respond to such calls swiftly. Hence, if you are a hunter, you need to master the pups distress calls as coyotes will respond to the call with lots of aggression.

Weather, a coyote, has a young or not you can be sure they will come to investigate the source of the calls for various reasons. Roaming males respond to the calls to ensure they kill the pups to make their mother fertile and mate. It is a way of securing the genres of the dominant male are eliminated from the jungle. Hence, keep track of the distress call from pups, and you are likely to encounter more coyotes.

Pups Whine Call

Pups will whine and yelp to indicate different kinds of distress they are experiencing. As a result, the whine calls are more precise depending on the level of threat among the pups. However, since pups have clearly mastered the art of making various distress calls, only their parents can get exactly what each call means.

Whine calls usually are used to attract attention from other pack members when the pups are in danger. With adult coyotes, a whining cal could be used to draw a whole pack leading to a meeting of a sort, mostly for social reasons. For the pups, the distress calls will result to maternal instincts. Pulp distress calls usually draw attention from their mothers and will respond to full aggression to defend their young ones.

Pups Non-Aggressive Howl Call

However, not all the distress calls result in urgent responses from their parents. A deeper study into the various calls made by pulps indicates not all calls are urgent. Hence, such calls will lead to lead to delayed responses from their parents.

However, a long low pitched call from a pup though might not be heard for miles in the jungle, and it draws the attention from all manner of coyotes. The response will be from the alpha males top in the hierarchy list to the least the most submissive ones. Hence, if you are looking forward to making your hunting successive you are ought to get such a howl in your arsenal as you are almost sure of encountering a coyote responding to your call.

The nonaggressive calls even among the adult coyotes are a very compelling call to master as it must draw attention from the predators. Although the calls do not travel for long distance in the forest where the sound waves are absorbed by trees and other vegetation, the response is almost instant with most coyotes coming to investigate the source.

Learning What Sound A Coyote Makes

Learning what sound a coyote is likely to make in a given situation can be a fairly simply task. In spite of their elusive nature, one can get a breakthrough into studying their inner way of life by studying their different sounds and possible reasons as to why they make the sounds.

The first step towards learning how to identify different sounds made by a coyote involves listing down all the possible sounds to man. However, sounds used by hunters are categorized into two. The first is the distress calls made by prey, and the second consists of different vocalizations made by coyotes. Distress calls by coyotes are usually sounds made either by a wounded or a dying animal. Since rabbits are their favorite meals, hunters often use rabbit distress sounds.

On the other hand, coyote vocalizations include howls, which may vary yips, barks, yelps and pup distress calls among others. However, the most common of the vocalization is the interrogation howls, which are used to attract other coyotes.

After listing all the sounds made by coyotes, the next step involves producing realistic sounds identical to their prey or coyotes. Technology has made this task easy beyond your imagination since there devices that hold hundred of different sounds in a single device. However, some devices come pre-programmed with only a few sounds, but with the window of recording more coyote sounds.

While the electronic devices provide temporal relief from learning how to make the calls yourself, you will need to read and practice on how to use each sound efficiently. However, it is important to not all callers produce sounds with enough volume to match the volume of the real animal hence the need to shop for the best electronic device.

In spite of the few challenges that come with calls, they are an economical and efficient option for your natural voice can fail you when you need it most. Therefore, what is left if you are getting to learn the meaning of each call in your device and the likely response you are to get. Most of the electronic calling gadgets will come with a written of how to use it and the meaning of each sound. However, the best to place to learn is in the wilderness where you meet the real animals, and you get to hear the actual sounds.

Experience gives you first-hand experience and sharpens your listening and sound producing skills. Nonetheless, it is always important you get to have a backup, which in most cases is yourself. Get to know how to produce nearly all coyote sounds by mimicking sounds produced the electric gadget. By doing this, you ensure you do not rely on the electric device for all the sounds since it’s prone to failures.

The third step towards learning coyote sounds is making a complete hunting set. Most seasoned hunters will tell you that a Coyote can be hunted with a rabbit distress calls and coyote howls. However, learning the basics of the coyote howls and other sounds could be equally important in hunting the predators.

To learn the sounds while in the wilderness it important, you approach the calling areas in absolute silence. Minimize any form of noise as much as possible; one can optimize on this by having soft-soled boots and hunting in damp conditions. First, make the sounds with your electronic gadget and observe the reaction, then make a similar sound with your mouth. It is one sure way of testing your knowledge and expertise in the art of calling.

If you get similar results when calling with your mouth as when using the electronic device, it could be an indicator that you have done good job in mastering the art of calling coyotes and you have mastered their sounds. Although this does not involve the coyote sound, always observe the direction of the wind while you are on your way to the calling area as that could lead to different results. In the event coyotes pick your scent, they are not likely to give you the desired response. Instead,  they will likely produce sounds warning other coyotes of danger. After such a call is put out, any coyote is unlikely to respond to any call you put out, distress call or otherwise.

What is the Coyote Color

Coyotes can have a pretty standard appearance that makes them easy to identify.  While coyotes can sometimes be mistaken for dogs or wolves from a distance, there are some tell-tell ways to decipher if you are actually looking at a coyote.  Some of the features that help in identifying coyotes are pointed upright ears, a long snout, a bushy tail that hangs low, and their coat color.  Coyotes are larger than most dogs and foxes but smaller than wolves, so by looking at these characteristics you should be able to recognize a coyote.  But what color are coyotes?

Coyote Fur

Most coyotes appear larger than their typical weight (30-45 pounds) and length (approximately three feet) thanks in part to their fluffy fur coat that helps to insulate them against the weather and climate.  While a coyotes coat is not super thick, the fur is rather long and can add to the appearance of a larger body.  Coyote coat colors can range in color from gray to reddish brown and even sometimes black.  The coyote’s belly is usually covered in a whitish color of fur.  The legs, ears, and face of a coyote can sometimes have a more red or tawny tint to them.  Coyotes have longer guard hairs that are black or darker in color.  This helps break up their coat color and is a reason they are such masters at camouflaging themselves.

Regional Colors

The eastern coyote, or tweed wolf, can be found in the northeast parts of the United States and Canada.  This coyote is actually a mix between the eastern wolf and coyote and is only found in this region, unlike the smaller western coyote.  The only recognizable differences between the eastern and western coyotes is that the eastern coyote has longer legs and can weigh 10 – 20 pounds more than the western coyote.  Their fur color is also an indication of their differences.  Eastern coyotes have a variety of coat colors ranging from a blonde color to gray-blonde and dark tan.  Their coats are usually broken up by washes of black.  They will also have white chins and throats as well as white bellies.  These coyotes tend to endure harsher winters and will have coarser fur.

Coyotes originated in the western portions of North America and have since migrated in every direction.  These western coyotes live in the southern and western regions of the United States, Canada, and parts of Mexico.  The typical coat colors for the western coyote are tan, blonde, and red-ish orange color, as well as gray.  They will have white fur on their belly that is either all white or a mix of white and tan.  Their bushy tails are tipped with a long black fur.  Because the climate is typically milder in these regions, the western coyote will not have as heavy a coat of fur as the eastern coyote.  This will make the western coyote appear smaller or lankier in size than their eastern relatives.

Seasonal Changes

When the seasons change, the coyote will shed or grow his coat to adapt to the environment.  When the temperature is colder in fall and winter months, the coyote will grow a thicker heavier coat to protect himself from winter elements.  Their hair is generally longer in length but will grow up to five inches in the cold winter months.  This longer coat can also protect the coyote from freezing rains that would otherwise reach his skin and cause him to freeze to death.  The coyote’s fluffy winter under coat is their true protection from the cold, and the longer coarse hairs grow past it to protect the under layers.

In warmer months starting in the spring, the coyote will start shedding his coarse winter coat.  To help the process of shedding, coyotes will scratch themselves or rub up against objects like trees in order to remove the fluff from their coat.  This shed will only occur once a year.  The begging stages of the shedding period will begin in late spring after the breeding season and will continue into summer.  It is not uncommon to see a coyote during this time that from a distance may appear to be mangy.  This is just an unflattering symptom of the shedding process, and the coyote’s coat will return to normal consistency.

Coyotes that live in the desert and other arid dry places will have the shortest coats of fur and will be somewhat blondish tan in color with more distinctive red patterns on their faces and feet.  The desert coyote’s coat is very important to their survival.  With less cover to hide from predators and from prey while hunting, this western coyote has to be very well hidden and quick to camouflage himself.

Where to Find a Coyote Den

If you asked a coyote, “where would you look to find a human’s house? Where do they keep their babies? Where do they sleep?” They would know. They might say, “oh, that’s easy. Just look for all the big brick and wood things that are next to each other in big clumps with a hard surface running between them. Most of them are all gone at the same time during the day, but they all come back around the same time, too.” We are predictable that way. But, what about coyotes? Do we know where they live, sleep, and keep their little ones? They are a little sneakier than us, but I bet we can find them.

Protect the Little Ones

Coyotes mostly use their dens for the purpose of housing and protecting their pups and not much else. For this reason, they need to be able to be built quickly as pups arrive only nine weeks after conception. They also need to be stable and inconspicuous. Deciding on a den location is something that a coyote mating pair does with great care and cleverness. Once the location is decided upon, the pair will likely return to this den year after year unless it is completely compromised. The conservation of these dens is only aided by the monogamy of coyotes. The pairs maintain their packs and territories that contain the dens year-round. When breeding season hits again, little maintenance will be needed to have the den ready for pups again. As a result, avid hunters can use any and all information they have on dens to their advantage year after year.

The Criteria

  1. Secure
  2. Several entrances and exits
  3. Dry
  4. Warm
  5. Deep
  6. Hidden
  7. Reusable

This’ll Do

Coyotes love cover and privacy. But, like with their food preferences, they are not too picky about what their homes exactly consist of. Other animals like foxes and badgers make den-like holes that can easily be converted into coyote dens with some digging and careful limb placement. Rock clefts, mountainsides, and caves provide plenty of cover and are sturdy enough for long term use. Hollow trees can provide plenty of room for a coyote family if its volume is grand enough. Truly, even a simple hole that is dug by the coyote themselves can provide the necessary security for the young pups when covered with foliage and guarded by the parents. Any of these options, among others, can serve as the home for a coyote family if the parents choose it.

Scout it Out

So, where does a hunter begin in his or her search for a den? Begin with basic scouting. Look for scat, tracks, etc. Get a feel for where the coyotes are spending a majority of their time and narrow it to a concentrated area. If possible, look for signs of a kill that can provide a trail from the kill spot back to the den. Following this trail will likely take a long period of time, but will most likely lead to a den or at least a main meeting area. These clues will lead you to a general gathering area that is likely near the dens of several coyote families within a pack.

Spies in the Field

Once a concentrated area has been identified, begin to think like a spy. If you were to come under fire, where would you hide? What areas can you identify that would provide the most cover to you? Check those. Think like the coyote. If you had your children with you and needed to keep them safe and dry, where would you put them? Look there. If nothing else, kick around any and all leaves, sticks, and branches. You may find a hole that is an entrance to a den. If you find one, look for more. Most dens have several entrances and exits. In this way, coyotes are much like spies. They always have an exit strategy if their cover is blown.

Think Like a Coyote. Be a Coyote.

Check any sloping landscapes that a coyote could dig a den into the side of. Check uprooted or hollowed trees and rock formations. Any structure that provides cover and has a few small entrances will do. For these reasons, these dens will not be obvious to the human eye, but once in the frame of mind of a coyote, the hunt for the den can become more fun than frustrating. Imagine you only weigh thirty-five pounds and have six little ones you need to hide for about two months. Where will you go? Go there.

Coyote Houseguests

Overall, the best way to find a coyote den is to put yourself in the mindset of a coyote. Identify their main hub for pack activity, and scout for tracks and scat. Then, imagine the needs they have and the best places to put their young. Look there. Most of all, know that coyotes are not picky and are clever critters who think outside of the box. To find their home, you must do the same and be prepared for whatever you may find when you eventually find their home- where you may or may not be welcome.

Sign of Coyote Presence – Coyote Scat

Coyotes will often advertise their presence with scats and howling being the two main ways of humans being able to identify the company of a coyote or a pack in the area. Coyotes are some of the most intelligent animals you will ever come across as studies reveal the animal can identify the number of animals in a group call. Besides, Coyotes can identify specific group animals in a group call.

Howling is also regarded as a way of social bonding within a pack. However, it is not possible to understand all the reason why Coyotes do all these things. Besides some coyotes will howl because it feels good other than announcing their presence in a given territory. Hence, if you are looking forward to checking out the presence of coyotes, you need first to study their art of howling before getting to understand anything else.

Coyotes will produce different sounds depending on the occasion. Some will bark at something especially intruders, while some will whine. Some study into the howling has led to the discovery that coyotes hardly howl while in the urban setting while those in the country setting will be howl more. As such, one needs to have a keen study of the animal’s sounds and what each sound means to clearly understand its presence. Besides, coyote groups howl in response to sirens from emergency calls. Coyotes who reside near fire stations will often have more howling than any other urban coyote.

Although howls indicate the presence of coyotes, it does not mean they are nearby; one needs to study more their scat as it indicates they are nearby. Scats are coyote droppings mostly deposited in areas from where they feed on. The droppings usually are in the form of threadlike and are full of bones and hair. Hence, unlike the droppings from other animals, coyote dropping is easy to identify. Besides, one can clearly see the number of animals you are tracking just by looking at the dropping since you will be able to tell scat from different animals especially due to color and how they appear.

Coyotes will also use their scat to communicate different messages and drop their scat along their trails or near borders to mark their territories. Often it is used as a sign of telling other coyotes to keep off. As such, if you have been following coyote leads based on their poop there you have it is a sign of marking territories.

Additionally, when studying coyote scat, you will observe coyote the scat gives an indication of what the animal have been consuming, its genetics, and its general health. Hence, when checking out for the scat get to check the animal’s diet. By checking this, you can tell when the Coyotes are likely to be out hunting. For instance, when studying the scat, you will see what the animals have been hunting; coyotes feeding on rabbits will have different hunting strategies as those consuming deer.

Hence, the poop will tell you when you are likely to see a coyote in the field hunting by just studying its poop. Additionally, scat that contains blood indicates the animal is not in good health and probably will not travel far. In most cases, unhealthy animals often scavenge on the left over’s or dead animals giving you are early on just how to capture or track the animal.

You are likely to get a lead on the possible coyote age by studying their scat as young animals often feed on left soft meat provided by the parent’s pups below three months will not go for hunting. As a result, their scat is likely to be smoother free from bones. The genetics of the animal cannot be determined by just mere observing you will need to get to the lab for screening.

However, you are likely to get a little insight into the life of a coyote if you get the scat scattered in a field as you can hardly observe any behavior from the random scats. Hence, get to track the dropping along with their tracks and territories, and you can estimate their actual numbers and possibly pinpoint their den. You will also find lots of coyote scat in their dens especially pup scat. Consequently, next time you are looking for coyote sign, keep you eyes peeled for their scat as it will not only identify coyote presence, but it will give you more insights.

About Young Coyotes – Baby Coyote

What could be cuter than a tiny baby coyote playing around and practicing how to howl with his litter mate brothers and sisters?  Well these babies won’t stay tiny very long and they have much to learn if they are to survive into adulthood in the wild. A baby coyote is also known as a coyote pup.   The chances of a coyote pup surviving the summer into adulthood is actually pretty low.  Between the many coyote and deer hunters out there trying to keep coyote populations down, the odds of being struck by a vehicle, and larger predators looking for food, the coyote pup has to adapt to their surroundings quickly and watch and learn from their parents if they want to make it past their first year.

First Few Months of Life

Coyotes will breed in the cooler months, particularly late December through early spring with February and March being the prime time months.  Once the alpha male and alpha female have successfully mated, the female has a gestation period of approximately 63 days.  During this time she will find a den to claim that will be where she will have her pups and keep them until they are old enough.  While the mother stays in her den, the male coyote will hunt for food and will return to the den with meals for the female to keep her fed and healthy.  This behavior will continue once the female has her pups.  The male will not enter the den, but leave food for the mother and litter outside the entrance.

Coyote litters can range from one pup to nineteen pups.  The average litter size is four to six pups, and litter size will depend on various factors from available diet and food sources to the concentration of coyote population in the area.  When the coyote pups are born they are temporarily blind for about ten days.  Their ears are also floppy like a dog’s ear.  For these first ten days, the coyote pups will be dependent on their mother for milk to survive.  The male coyote will continue to bring the mother food so she can produce milk long enough to support her litter.  When they become weaned from their mother’s milk, the male and now the female will feed them regurgitated food until they can eat whole food on their own.

Becoming Adults

Once the coyote pups are weaned from their mother, the coyote pack will abandon the den.  This an important time in a coyote pup’s life where they will first encounter the world they will live in.  They must adjust and catch on quickly to avoid being an easy meal for larger predators like cougars or wolves.  The mother coyote will carefully teach her pups how to hunt and feed themselves.  The male and female coyote will protect their pups tirelessly while they are still young.  Coyote pups will practice their hunting skills to entertain themselves as well as fight with their littermates to establish the pack hierarchy.  They will help their parents patrol the territory until they are grown.

Coyote pups are almost fully grown in size at about nine months from birth.  This is usually sometime in the fall to coincide with the breeding season in late winter/ early spring.  During the time from when they are born to the following breeding season, they will be members of their parents pack.  When fall arrives, the alpha male coyote will force the male offspring to leave the pack.  From there they will move on to either establish their own territory or find an estrous female to breed.  The female offspring will usually stay with their mother and remain members of the pack.

Discovering a Pup

Although they look cute and harmless, it can be very dangerous to approach a coyote pup.  For one, the pup may be curious enough to let you get too close, then panic and sound off an alarm call to his mother or father that is most likely close by.  Coyotes are fiercely protective of their young, even against humans.  While a coyote attack on humans is extremely rare, they will do whatever necessary to stop a threat to their pups.  If you come across a coyote den or pup, you should do the following:

  1. Back away quickly or take an additional route away from the den
  2. Do not make a motion toward the pup to touch or pet
  3. Try to make a loud noise to scare the pup away