Hungry coyotes are a problem


To The Editor:
I am writing this letter to raise the awareness of the over population of coyotes in the Catskills.
The coyote, also known as the American Jackal or prairie wolf, was originally an inhabitant of the western plains of the United States but now thrives across the entire U.S. and Canada.

Coyotes are monogamous, the male and female usually maintain pair bonds for several years. Breeding season is January through March with a gestation period of about 63 days. Pups are born in the spring and litters range from one to 12 pups. Both parents care for pups, which are weaned at six to eight weeks. Pups begin hunting and foraging for foods when they are eight to 13 weeks old.

A typical coyote resembles a small, lanky German Sheppard but several characteristics distinguish it from a dog. Coyotes tend to be more slender and have pointed ears, a long tapered muzzle, yellow eyes, slender legs, small feet and a straight bushy tail, which is carried low to the ground. The pelage (fur) is usually a grizzled gray color with a cream or white underside but color varies with individuals having blonde, reddish and charcoal coats. Color does not vary between males and female.

The eastern coyote is larger than the western. Most adults are 48 to 60 inches long from nose to tail and weigh 30 to 60 pounds.

The coyote’s diet consists of mice, birds, woodchucks, rabbits, squirrels, small dogs, cats, deer and some fruit. Some will prey on livestock, ducks, chickens, sheep and goats and anything less than 25 pounds and, of course, human garbage.

Coyotes can run 25 to 30 MPH, but can run 35 to 40 MPH when pursued or in pursuit. They are also strong swimmers.

Coyotes use a variety of vocalizations to communicate with one another. Howls, yelps, and high-pitched cries are best known but they also bark, work, wail and squeal.

If you listen at night you will surely hear a pack or two sounding off as they hunt. They also howl at the moon or a fire siren.

So when you are outside and have that feeling of being watched, you probably are, by a coyote or two or more.

Hunters, please do your part and humanely cut the population of coyotes before something terrible happens.

The hungry coyote can be much more dangerous than any black bear.
Take care of your livestock and pets. Lock them up at night. I say this because a lot of people have lost their beloved pets, myself included. RIP, Tom-Tom.
Hungry coyotes do not belong in town.

Debby Haynes,