Monday, October 18, 2010

Coyote Facts

Today we're gonna talk about what coyotes eat.
Everything. The motherfuckers eat everything. Not only that but they eat as much of it as they can. They eat meat, grasses, fruits, nuts, insects and reptiles. They also indulge in the occasional cat or small dog, especially urban and suburban coyotes. I'm covering town coyotes in a later post.
The main source of meat (at least out west) is ground squirrels, sage grouse, cottontail rabbits and jackrabbits. Carrion account for less than 10% of the stomach contents that were checked. Livestock, contrary to ranchers' claims, was almost undetectable. But then again, I don't know when the study took place. If it was any other season besides lambing, kid and calving season, I could believe that. However, there is a large amount of newborn and young stock lost due to coyote (and probably feral dog) predation during the spring. Ask any sheepman. Tracks don't lie, although it can be hard to tell a dog track from a coyote track at times, especially during a dry or very wet season.
Deer fawns are also in danger of becoming coyote kibble during the spring. A California DFG Ranger that I talked with a month or so ago said that he figures that 1 in 10 fawns are killed by coyotes and approximately 40% are killed by mountain lions - keep that last one in mind when you're using a fawn bleat to call in coyotes up in the mountains this spring. Watch your fucking back.
Examinations of coyote shit by me turn up feces composed of thickly wadded hair and what I originally thought were undigested reddish berries but now think are pine nuts which means they also eat small pine cones. Like I said, they eat anything.
And as a side note, most of the coyote crap I've found have been at a crossing of game trails or roads that they've traveled on. Maybe it's coyote grafitti? A territory marker? Letting his bros know he was passing through?

Okay. My sources are "The World of the Coyote" by Wayne Grady,
"God's Dog" by Hope Ryden,
California Department of Fish and Game,
And observations by myself.


rpm2day said...

Purpose built little fuckers aren't they? There's a certain beauty in that.
But...since they are such pests, I'm gonna set up a short action rifle, get permiso from the local sheep rancher and try to nail a few.

Foodstamps said...

Many of my own stools (and I do check them regularly) consist of nuts and wadded hair.

I gotta stop drinking so much.

wirecutter said...

You live in Elk Grove, right?
Why don't we set up a date after the New Year and we'll make a run over Donner to Mono County and nail some over there in a couple of sweet spots that I know?

wirecutter said...

Stevie, Stevie, Stevie....
Most of the hair gets caught in my teeth.

Ramon said...

Interesting odd facts here, but I about clocked one Saturday morning on my bike. Mostly don't work Saturdays, but there was no one else to push this job off on as most of the crew is @ KSC where they are supposed to be working. (I suspect they are really loafing @ the Hilton on the Beach instead.) Anyway, Saturday, 6:30AM, lightly used access road, me on my '05 Harley FLHTCUI and this fat coyote comes ripping up out of the ditch like he was being chased by the devil. Why he didn't hear my bike I don't know, but when he saw me about five feet from his head he does a complete flip snd heads back into the ditch wherever he came from. All told I saw him for about 10 seconds as he left for parts unknown.

SunShine said...

Out here in Sonoran desert country they also eat prickly pear fruit. From what I understand, you are correct in your assumption about scat marking...its on trail exits here, on roads and occasionally for the dickweed that puts his garbage out too soon, right in front of the house.


Foodstamps said...

I usually take my teeth out before I get to work.

Tattoo Jim said...

Small dogs and cats you say???? Hmmm... and just how would I go about keeping one near my little abode here at the OBX??? We seem to be over run by lap dogs and the like... yappy little motherfuckers... seems like everyone who moves in around me has those little fuckers and they yip and yap 24/7!!! What I wouldn't give to have a pair of coyote's right about now... then, later on, I could have some fun with my Ruger MarkIII Hunter...