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Dangers from Coyotes?

Old 02-26-19, 09:02 PM
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Dangers from Coyotes?

I'm camping on a tour right now. It's 8:01 PM, and there are coyotes howling and yelping. They don't sound too far away. They must know I'm here. I'm wondering how often they can be a problem. I'm in the Sonoran desert. There doesn't seem to be a very good supply of food for them.

What, if anything, are they known to do that is potentially concerning? What are recommended countermeasures and safety precautions?

There seem to be at least four voices.
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Old 02-26-19, 09:15 PM
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They will calm down.

When they do, you'll fall asleep. Seriously. They sound freaky, but that will be the extent of it.
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Old 02-26-19, 09:17 PM
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They make me a little nervous when I hear them like that and they are not out far in the distance somewhere. Surely they must at least 'consider' doing something. Survival is very real for them, and a real driving force.
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Old 02-26-19, 09:21 PM
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They're always around in the Sonoran desert. Except for the noise, they don't bother anyone.
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Old 02-26-19, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
They're always around in the Sonoran desert. Except for the noise, they don't bother anyone.
Ditto this. Lots of coyotes in the hills around my home. I often see them walking around.

Not once has one bothered me.

It is abit unnerving to hear them howling...something primordial about that sound.
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Old 02-26-19, 09:28 PM
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Coyote attacks are rare. Serious attacks are almost unheard of. Seems like most common is when they are urban coyotes who have become accustomed to humans. And often they are after people’s pets. A grown person is much larger than a coyote, and even in a pack they don’t want to mess with one. I’m sure it sounds eerie, though. It would freak me out as well.
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Old 02-26-19, 09:31 PM
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I hear they taste like chicken......

I'd be more worried about a rattlesnake looking for a warm place for the night

Wait till you see a pack of Javelina staring back at you at night while taking a leak.....

Last edited by Booger1; 02-26-19 at 09:38 PM.
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Old 02-26-19, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Booger1 View Post
I hear they taste like chicken......)
I've heard coyotes often claim that of cyclists
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Old 02-26-19, 09:58 PM
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They can get you. Be aware.

A 19-year-old folk singer from Toronto has died after being attacked by two coyotes in Cape Breton Highlands National Park.

Taylor Josephine Stephanie Luciow, who went by the stage name Taylor Mitchell, died overnight at the QEII Health Sciences Centre in Halifax. She had been on tour in the Maritimes.Mitchell was hiking on the Skyline Trail when she was attacked Tuesday afternoon. She was taken to the hospital in Cheticamp, then airlifted to Halifax in critical condition.
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Old 02-27-19, 12:35 AM
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I was camped in Yellowstone one night when a big pack of coyotes came through camp. Their howling woke me up as they came through. A little creepy, but mostly I felt lucky for the experience. It helps that they didn't try to eat me.

Where I live now (not Yellowstone) there are coyotes around, and I sometimes take long walks at night, so I've thought about what could happen.
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Old 02-27-19, 04:09 AM
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I'm usually pretty comfortable in the wilderness. But there's something primal about being surrounded and watched. Especially at night. Surrounded and watched by clever predators, with sharpened senses, who engage in teamwork nocturnal hunting activities. And are somewhat aggressive and unpredictable.

I'm keeping the bear spray close at hand.

Last edited by Bikesplendor; 02-27-19 at 04:55 AM.
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Old 02-27-19, 06:33 AM
  #12  
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Eastern coyotes can be a concern, not so much the western cousins.

Eastern version are typically larger, have a greater degree of wolf DNA and have been know to hunt in packs, which is what happened when the women on Cape Breton Island was attacked. That's ever been know to happen in the western US, thus I wouldn't worry about it.
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Old 02-27-19, 06:53 AM
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I heard that if you keep your food in your tent they leave you alone. Try that.

BTW...There must be great connectivity in your "wilderness." Can't wait for the next thread.

Last edited by indyfabz; 02-27-19 at 06:57 AM.
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Old 02-27-19, 07:33 AM
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Strangely enough, it's becoming more popular among backpackers. They keep their food with them, sometimes under or as their pillow at night. The idea is that the bears won't go that far.

They might use odor blocking bags just to make it extra safe.

Reception is spotty. Where I am now it cycles between zero, one, and two bars. Sometimes I have to copy and save and try again up higher.

I am a little surprised at getting spooked. I usually enjoy hearing them, off at a distance. But twice now they've been too close for comfort. And they seem quite aware that I am here.

I'm not overly worried, just a little on edge when they're too close.
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Old 02-27-19, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by willibrord View Post
In the US there have been 3 recorded deaths in about 100 years, if I read correctly. In the long list of possible causes of death, that must make one of the least likely scenarios imaginable.

But I'm glad the OP is still posting in the morning. Of course it's likely still dark there, so if the OP is posting, maybe they didn't have great night's sleep. I'm sure I wouldn't enjoy my first night falling asleep to the sound of howling coyotes. At least not with just some fabric between me and the world.
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Old 02-27-19, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Bikesplendor View Post
Strangely enough, it's becoming more popular among backpackers. They keep their food with them, sometimes under or as their pillow at night. The idea is that the bears won't go that far.
Ahh..not sure where that is coming from..possibly from backpacking newbs. That's just asking for a problem..and if it does occur the person risks injury & possible death, while the animal, if it's tracked down, will certainly die. Rather a dumb practice on all levels.

As for the eastern attack/death of the hiker. The coyote was actually a "coy-wolf". Coyote/wolf hybrid. In years past they would never mate..for some reason they are beginning to. The result is a more aggressive coyote. That attack, I think, is the only documented case of a "coyote" attacking a human. Coywolfs are limited to eastern North America for the moment.
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Old 02-27-19, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by fishboat View Post
Ahh..not sure where that is coming from..possibly from backpacking newbs. That's just asking for a problem..and if it does occur the person risks injury & possible death, while the animal, if it's tracked down, will certainly die. Rather a dumb practice on all levels.

As for the eastern attack/death of the hiker. The coyote was actually a "coy-wolf". Coyote/wolf hybrid. In years past they would never mate..for some reason they are beginning to. The result is a more aggressive coyote. That attack, I think, is the only documented case of a "coyote" attacking a human. Coywolfs are limited to eastern North America for the moment.
The animal that attacked Taylor Mitchell was a coyote not coyote/wolf hybrid. It does appear to have been pack behaviour.

There was speculation by wildlife experts that Mitchell might have initiated contact by trying to feed coyotes or by disturbing a den with young.[8] Various other proposed explanations were the coyotes might have been wolf crosses, rabid, immature, starving or protecting a carcass.[8] None of these suggestions were subsequently borne out, causing a reassessment of potential risk to humans from coyote attacks. It was also thought by experts that Mitchell may have inadvertently provoked a predation behaviour by running away, though a coyote may have been behind her when she was confronted by the oncoming ones.[8][14][17][18]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taylor_Mitchell



This idea about sleeping with your food in bear country is nuts. Please do not promote.
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Old 02-27-19, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Rob_E View Post
I'm sure I wouldn't enjoy my first night falling asleep to the sound of howling coyotes. At least not with just some fabric between me and the world.
Seriously? If I had $100 for every time I have heard them howling I would have a lot more money. When camping, they are nothing more than a nuisance, and only from a sound perspective. Different story when residential neighborhoods and pets are at issues.

If I can come face to face at about 25' with a 500+ lb. black bear and walk away, like I did back in 2017, you can survive coyote howls.
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Old 02-27-19, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by skookum View Post
The animal that attacked Taylor Mitchell was a coyote not coyote/wolf hybrid. It does appear to have been pack behaviour.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taylor_Mitchell



This idea about sleeping with your food in bear country is nuts. Please do not promote.
My apologies..I read an article some time back, not too long after the event happened(10 yrs ago), where it was thought the attack was from a coywolf.

Sleeping with your food in bear country continues to be the practice of folks seeking a Darwin Award.
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Old 02-27-19, 09:33 AM
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Four coyotes might actually be one or two, when they howl they try to sound like more than they actually are.

Over most of the privately owned West coyotes are hunted and shot as vermin, those without a proper fear of people are eliminated from the gene pool.

Interesting to contemplate back in historical days the amount of food around an American Indian camp, yet one doesn't read of invasions by marauding coyotes, wolves or even black and grizzly bears as we fear today. I would expect back then an encounter between an unwanted predator around camp and the Indians in that camp would almost invariably end up fatal for the predator. Heck, in the case of grizzly bears the Indians even went on the offensive, young men seeking out the bears to kill them in hand to hand combat as proof of their courage, a thing which had about a 50% mortality rate for the guy involved.

Now, we get reports from modern hunters of grizzlies coming running to the sound of gunfire, looking to take possession of at least the gut pile left from dressing game. Didn't happen back then.
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Old 02-27-19, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Sharpshin View Post
Heck, in the case of grizzly bears the Indians even went on the offensive, young men seeking out the bears to kill them in hand to hand combat as proof of their courage, a thing which had about a 50% mortality rate for the guy involved.
Interesting reads:

Bears on the Lewis and Clark Expedition

Grizzlies in the Journals | Discovering Lewis & Clark ®
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Old 02-27-19, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Seriously? If I had $100 for every time I have heard them howling I would have a lot more money. When camping, they are nothing more than a nuisance, and only from a sound perspective. Different story when residential neighborhoods and pets are at issues.

If I can come face to face at about 25' with a 500+ lb. black bear and walk away, like I did back in 2017, you can survive coyote howls.
And if I had $100 for every night I lay in a tent and listened to coyote howls, I would have zero dollars. It would be a new experience, and it would be an adjustment. At no point did I imply that I wouldn't expect to survive it. I also didn't sleep well my first night in bear territory. Doesn't mean I didn't expect to see morning, and doesn't mean I never camped in bear territory again.
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Old 02-27-19, 09:46 AM
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Just to be clear, I am not promoting that practice. Although I understand the thinking behind it. These are thru-hikers. And the bears are black bears.

Grizzlies are one animal I single out (in North America at least) as deserving an extra level (or several extra levels) of respect. Perhaps it has something to do with hearing the tape of the guy (I don't remember his name at the moment, maybe somebody has it) who was eaten alive. That part of it is not easily forgotten.

As for black bears, I've had many encounters, and could say a lot about them and the discussions I've had with several experts, but can't right now.

I will say, though, in the interests of promoting caution, that there have been fatalities, as well as a much larger number of maulings. Their claws are sharper and longer than usually appreciated, and they have ways of using them skillfully and effectively. Their teeth are very stout, thick, and strong. And their musculature is quite a bit more powerful than any body builder's, wrestler's, or raccoon's. Also, they can move fast when adrenalin takes over.

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Old 02-27-19, 09:47 AM
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Oooooh, love to hear the song dogs at night! Along with the Milky Way hanging in an inky black sky, it's part of the spiritual recharge I get when camping.
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Old 02-27-19, 09:51 AM
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I enjoy the seranade too. Just not when they get too close.
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