Urban Hunters Kill Invading Coyotes, New York Times Hardest Hit

As coyotes move into populated areas, urban hunters get busy

courtesy Maddie McGarvey and The New York Times

The New York Times on the growing problem of urban areas being invaded by dangerous wild animals . . . Coyotes Are Colonizing Cities. Step Forward the Urban Hunter.

Dennis Murphy sniffed the bobcat urine he uses to lure his prey. He checked the silencer on his AR-15 assault rifle and loaded a few snares into his Ford pickup.

“Let’s go kill some coyotes,” he said.

But he wasn’t heading for the wilderness. Mr. Murphy’s stalking ground is on the contentious new frontier where hunters are clashing with conservationists: cities and suburbs.

Predictably, animal rights types and hunting haters claim that people, rather than invasive species, are the real problem.

…The hunters have come after them, stalking the predators in settings like strip mall parking lots, housing tract cul-de-sacs, and plazas in the shadow of skyscrapers.

The growing popularity of urban hunting is igniting a fierce debate over the perils and benefits coyotes pose in populated areas, and whether city dwellers ought to adapt to living alongside a cunning predator that has thrived since one of its top adversaries, the gray wolf, has been all but wiped out in much of the continent.

And while hunting coyotes is actually legal in some populated areas, The Times makes sure to include examples of the inevitable problems.

Coyotes can be hunted legally in many built-up areas, but it sometimes leads to tragic mishaps. In New York State, a hunter in the upstate town of Sweden said he thought he was aiming his rifle at a coyote in February when he mistakenly shot a man in the abdomen. The hunter was charged with second-degree assault.

A licensed crossbow hunter in Readington Township, N.J., killed a family’s Alaskan shepherd after mistaking the dog for a coyote. A hunt in Pocatello, Idaho, went awry in March when an M-44 device, designed to propel a cyanide capsule into a coyote’s mouth, instead sprayed cyanide onto a 14-year-old boy, injuring him and killing his family’s dog.

Gahanna, Ohio police chief Dennis Murphy

Leave aside the documented instances of coyotes mauling and killing humans, we must remember that coyotes are people, too.

“Coyotes are complex sentient beings with individual personalities,” said Camilla H. Fox, the founder and executive director of Project Coyote, a conservation group. “This doesn’t mean that aggressive coyotes don’t exist, but we need to learn how to minimize conflicts in our cities, instead of making things worse,” she added, pointing to measures like securing garbage cans and keeping dogs on leashes in areas where coyotes may roam.

More than that, the privilege of coyotes moving into your neighborhood is something to be embraced by urban-dwelling humans.

“The coyotes among us provide an opportunity to live next to an animal indigenous to North America whose roots go back five million years,” said Dan Flores, a historian who explored the species’ evolution in his book “Coyote America.”

“This is a gift,” he emphasized, “to be reminded that we still live in a world that’s wild.”


  1. avatar TrueBornSonofLiberty says:

    Yotes make no distinctions between squirrels, rabbits, cats, dogs and toddlers. They aren’t just a nuisance, they are dangerous, apex predators. Almost as dangerous as the Liberal Terrorists™️ that protect them.

    1. avatar raptor jesus says:

      They aren’t an apex predator. Wolves, bears and mountain lions kill and eat them.

      I’m an apex predator.

      1. avatar TrueBornSonofLiberty says:

        Try to keep up. They are when encroaching into urban areas. Which is what the article is about.

        1. avatar Roy says:

          I don’t think you know what “apex predator” means. It means something which predates on everything else, and nothing else predates upon it (in nature). I’m an apex predator, the person who attempted to correct you is an apex predator, a great white shark is an apex predator, presumably you are one as well. Coyotes are not by virtue of the fact that other animals (wolves and bears being the example given) eat them. It’s not particularly germane to the story one way or the other, but they still aren’t apex predators any way you slice it.

        2. avatar TrueBornSonofLiberty says:

          So, you are saying that ONLY humans can be Apex predators, because of course,we have the ability to not only destroy individual examples of any/all predators, but could ostensibly drive any species into literal distinction. If you believe that even one other species can share the label “Apex” predator with humans, then your entire argument fails. What determines if an animal is an Apex predator or not is determined only on what can routinely destroy it. A polar bear in the artic is an Apex predator. In NYC, not so much as a SWAT team will be called and would destroy it in a matter of minutes. The same with a coyote. But without human intervention, there are no other animals higher on the food chain than a coyote, should they infiltrate urban/city areas. Last I looked, there aren’t any great whites, grizzlies or alligators wandering around in Chicago or any other big city in America.

        3. avatar Roy says:

          It’s okay to admit that you’re wrong sometimes, buddy. You’re just making yourself look silly at this point.

      2. avatar Leighton Cavendish says:

        Since most urban areas have no wolves, bears or mountain lions…the coyote is the de facto apex predator at that point.
        Most humans these days are merely hunter-gatherers…at the local grocery store, no less…

        1. avatar Soylent Green says:

          Most humans these days are just gatherers, or stumble-acrossers

        2. avatar Rattlerjake says:

          Humans in urban areas are either buyers or thieves, only apex predators of other humans!

  2. avatar Jack Crow says:

    And this hollow point .223 round, is my “Thank you,” gift to “nature.”

    You’re welcome, pest.

    1. avatar hunterbob says:

      I use a shotgun on them with #2 steel shot

    2. avatar rocketscientist says:

      guy I know in suburban RI hunts them in his backyard at night with 22mag I believe. He said he experimented with the new super-fast projectiles in .17 caliber but switched back. Think he uses deer guts donated from hunting friends as bait. Had over 90 pelts at last count. the sheer success he has had says a lot about coyote proliferation in the suburbs. I see them even during the daytime in my yard, which is odd and a major reason you can’t let your young kids play in the yard without supervision. Think a pack of them in Canada even ran down and killed an 18yo hiker a few years back (country singer?). Never hunted them myself, but curious if folks go for head shots or the usual when using small calibers. they sure look big for coyotes when I see them. curious if that wolf inbreeding was all rumor or legit.

      1. avatar Mark N. says:

        There have been reported instances of inbreeding on the east coast, with the resultant pups as comfortable in the open as in the forest, unlike wolves (forest) or coyotes(open plains, urban areas).

        1. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

          I think it was in Novia Scotia where the interbreeding took place. Coyotes and wolves usually cannot interbreed, which is what makes them separate species. But for some reason they could in Nova Scotia. The whole taxonomy thing borders on voodoo science. The coywolf is generally bigger and more cooperative (pack animal) than regular coyotes. They tend to push coyotes out of the areas they occupy. I know they’ve spread as far as Chicago.

        2. avatar neiowa says:

          “inbreeding on the (north) east coast” Yep can’t argue that

      2. avatar ColdNorth says:

        That attack was out in eastern Canada. In the west coyotes are smaller, but there are some pretty big ones out east. Could even be a hybrid. Too bad she didn’t have a good backpacking gun to go with her hike (and the law on her side when she needed it).

      3. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

        My dad uses the .22mag for coyotes that go after his chickens. He swears by it. However, he is a pretty good shot, so I hear. My dad and I always went fishing and never have gone shooting.

      4. avatar CJ says:

        Well a former governor of Texas can swear by body shots taken with a 380 pocket pistol.

      5. avatar Edward Allen says:

        They are known as Coy Wolves. And they are now considered a separate breed. They are larger and much more aggressive than the coyote.

        1. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

          If anyone is interested, there is a documentary on youtube called “Meet the Coywolf.”

  3. avatar FB says:

    The liberals need to study conservation and how vicious coyotes are in urban areas.
    My favorite cartridge for yote’s is .300 win mag.

    1. avatar Rattlerjake says:

      You like to shoot them and skin them at the same time!

  4. avatar H says:

    Wasn’t that m44 device placed by the State not by a hunter? After this didn’t the State agree to notify landowners when they place these?

      1. avatar Avid Reader says:

        But since in NYT world they can do no wrong, it has to be implied that a hunter did it.

  5. avatar anarchyst says:

    Almost all so-called “wildlife experts” state that predatory animals “are not a problem if left alone”–WRONG…
    Predators are “hard-wired” to hunt their prey and will not distinguish between a mouse or a small child. Hungry predators will go after prey that is much larger and stronger than themselves, even if the outcome is clearly in their prey’s favor.
    Wildlife experts are mistaken when they state that the best course of action is to “leave them alone”. Predatory animals that trespass into human areas must be dispatched by lethal means. There is no other way to insure the safety of humans.–which must take precedence over that of predatory animals.

    1. avatar DrSchmancy says:

      You realize there are 7 billion people on this planet? How many coyotes?

      1. avatar jwm says:

        So you value the dingo more than the baby?

        1. avatar RCC says:

          I owned a dingo for about 5 years from a tiny pup. Very loyal and very dangerous to anyone who came through two locked gates without us being home.

          Probably would rate her above many “humans” I’ve met.

        2. avatar borg says:

          RCC how did your mail man safely deliver mail if that dingo was very dangerous? How many times was your mail man bit by the Dingo? Do you still have the Dingo? If not why not?

      2. avatar dph says:

        Dear DrSchmancy , Please post your address so that we can introduce grizzlies, wolves and coyotes into your neighborhood. Let us know how it works out for you.

      3. avatar MamaLiberty says:

        Rodents outnumber human beings on this planet by an exponential factor of at least 10. Does that mean we shouldn’t kill rats? Mice?

        Should humans never kill germs just because they outnumber us?

      4. avatar Hank says:

        Actually there are a metric Fuck ton of coyotes, and they routinely bother all other life forms. They are pests like feral pigs. They don’t deserve extinction, but the population needs to be controlled, especially when it comes to diseases they carry.

        1. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

          “They are pests like feral pigs.” I’d say they are a completely different kind of pest than feral pigs. I wouldn’t call coyotes an invasive species. Sure, their range has expanded, but that’s only because we killed so many (basically all) wolves.

        2. avatar neiowa says:

          “Some varmints just need killin”

      5. avatar AngryAZ says:

        Even yotes get registered to vote in chiraq! Not sure how many there but can drop that number by 1 at a time hahahahha

      6. avatar RMS1911 says:

        Too many

    2. avatar Peter Wolf says:

      Good luck with that. You haven’t learned that all hunting is bad? Kinda like the leftist mantra, “you should never hunt Bambi,” and if the deer population explodes, they over eat their habitat, and there is mass starvation, well the leftists don’t hunt, they never see it, and it certainly won’t be written about in the NY Times.

      Sorry, but the only way for leftists “conservationists” the facts of life is for that “harmless” coyote to hurt one of theirs. Then you’ll hear screams for the government to do something. Like what is about to happen in “no more bear hunting” New Jersey.

      1. avatar Brian in WI says:

        Even better, the picture of starving deer or other animals will be plastered all over and they will claim they are starving because of global warming or whatever they are currently calling it. Or loss of habitat or some other thing they can leverage to push their agenda.

      2. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

        “Sorry, but the only way for leftists ‘conservationists’ …” The quotes around conservationists is dead on. Environmentalists and PETA types don’t know the first thing about actual conservation.

        1. avatar bobo says:

          Yup I love peta,people eating tasty animals.

      3. avatar anarchyst says:

        …we’ve reverted back to the concept of the “king” owning all wildlife and punishing those who would DARE to defend human life against true predators.
        I blame the “disneyfication” of animals (imbuing human characteristics to animals, a la “Bambi”) and the so-called “endangered species act” for giving animals special “rights” superior to humans. Despite what so-called wildlife biologists and other scientists state, many animals WILL NOT leave you alone, even if you leave them alone, as they are PREDATORS and see humans as PREY.

        1. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

          “we’ve reverted back to the concept of the “king” owning all wildlife” – That’s always been the law in America, so we haven’t reverted back to it.

        2. avatar anarchyst says:

          Not entirely true. Prior to the 1900s and the conservation (hunting) movement, game was freely taken as it was about subsistence…

        3. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

          The statement I made was entirely true. Just because there hunting wasn’t regulated or regulations weren’t enforced doesn’t mean it that the state hasn’t always owned the wildlife.

        4. avatar anarchyst says:

          in pre-1900 America, if the “state” had attempted to restrict one’s taking wildlife, they would have had a big problem on their hands…

  6. avatar Baldwin says:

    “…we must remember that coyotes are people, too.” I’m seriously triggered by this.

    1. avatar Wedge259 says:

      Thought the same thing when I read that! I’m not a particularly philosophical person, but it makes you wonder about the viewpoints of the people of the world when they hold animals to be at the same level as us…

      1. avatar Quest says:

        I take it you are a cat person.

      2. avatar anonymoose says:

        Meat is murder! Stop drinking milk! Carnist scum!

        1. avatar Leighton Cavendish says:

          And I like to say that plants are living things, too…drives them nucking futs…LOL

      3. avatar Rattlerjake says:

        They are at the same level as these do-gooder, animal rights morons. As a hunter, I laugh every time I hear some anti-hunting leftist complain that their dog or cat disappeared. By the same token, it’s equally hilarious to hear all of the b*tching and complaining about the deer eating their flower beds and gardens bare. The coup de grâce is that they forced enacting of laws protecting these animals within their communities so they can’t kill them nor hire anyone to kill them.
        Yesterday my great pyrenees dispatched a gray fox that was trying to get one of my ducks, now that is priceless!

    2. avatar GS650G says:

      Fortunately yotes don’t vote. In NY though…….

  7. avatar Wedge259 says:

    I wonder if these “conservationists” are what they think they are. From my experience conservationists and hunters have always been strong allies. For the most part I’m indifferent to coyotes, if I saw one while out hunting I wouldnt bother it. If I saw one in my backyard though, thatd be an issue. Then it might be time to break out my Savage Mk2 with my SilencerCo Spectre 2.

  8. avatar General Zod says:

    Everyone seems to be missing the oddest part of this article…the New York Times admitted that an AR-15 not only can be used for things that don’t involve killing dozens of people, but that it can be a hunting weapon. Two pillars of the anti-modern rifle belief system refuted by a hard-left rag in a single sentence.

    1. avatar Wedge259 says:

      AND it had a suppressor!

      1. avatar jwm says:

        Don’t want to disturb the muggles at their breakfast.

    2. avatar Peter Wolf says:

      Wow. Missed that. Good catch.

    3. avatar Scott says:

      Yeah, but they also called an AR-15 an assault rifle, and it isn’t.

      1. avatar Mad Max says:

        The coyotes think it’s an assault rifle😀

  9. avatar HandyDan says:

    I do agree that we need reminders that the world we live in is wild. That’s exactly why I carry a gun.

  10. avatar billy-bob says:

    Can just see Mr Hipster in his man bun and skinny jeans trying to mansplain to the coyote how they can all just get along peacefully.

    1. avatar GS650G says:

      So that’s why coyote shit has bits of clothing mixed in from time to time.

  11. avatar DrSchmancy says:

    Wildlife is running away from the savagery of the rural America. Why should anyone be surprised?

    1. avatar Hank says:

      You’re certainly something special. You’re not even a good troll because your super obvious. 4/10 Troll attempt.

      1. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

        It’s not that obvious. I didn’t read the name and thought it was a pretty good joke. The truth is that coyotes are just excellent adapters, so a city isn’t hard for them to thrive in. But the image of coyotes fleeing the countryside like medieval peasants fleeing to a castle or something is pretty funny.

    2. avatar Jeh says:

      “Savagery”? The good “doctor” ought to stroll around the south side of chicago sometime….might have to reassess his asinine statement

    3. avatar jwm says:

      Way to denigrate those feeding you.

  12. avatar Ralph says:

    I lived in coastal Rhode Island with a yote, foxes, groundhogs, deer and a bald eagle in my backyard (which I left wild). When I rode my mountain bike through the southern Rhode Island woods at night, a pack of yotes would often run alongside me, keeping a respectful distance.

    Most wild things are no danger to humans, but the coyote is a special case. When hungry, they’ll eat your household pets and children, your livestock and maybe you.

    In urban areas, they are a clear and present danger and need to be removed. In the deep woods and other places where they belong, they are generally not harmful. The problem with the coyote is that he will not stay where he belongs, which brings him into conflict with man.

    1. avatar MamaLiberty says:

      “…other places where they belong, they are generally not harmful.”

      Tell that to the sheep herders, cattlemen and other farmers out here in flyover country. Coyotes, wolves and other predators take a terrible toll, and our pets and small children are no safer either.

      1. avatar VerendusAudeo says:

        That’s because you’re putting out a free buffet for them. A ranch without a tall fence is just a buffet.

        1. avatar neiowa says:

          Progs says fences won’t work on Mexicans you actually think a barbwire fence will concern a dam FOUR legged varmint?

  13. avatar PROUD chicano says:

    I once “worked” with a conservation company and I’ll tell you this for a cold hard fact. They must be stopped. Not only do they know they are wrong because the facts and statistics are out there but it’s how they gloss over it which is the scary part. That and they are “non profits” that funnel donor “donations” directly up to local politicians who make a killing of it. I have witnessed the liberals in their natural habitat and they are both moronic and cunning somehow in the same breathe.

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      With some good luck the new tax law with large std deduction/reduction in # of itemized filers will put such bottom feeder leaches out of “business”

  14. avatar anonymoose says:

    “Refugees and immigrants are complex sentient beings with individual personalities,” said Camilla H. Fox, the founder and executive director of Project White Genocide, a Liberal Progressive Social Justice group. “This doesn’t mean that aggressive refugees and immigrants don’t exist, but we need to learn how to minimize conflicts in our cities, instead of making things worse,” she added, pointing to measures like securing garbage cans and keeping supple, nubile children on leashes in areas where refugees and immigrants may roam.

    See how that works? These people really are self-destructive in every way. Hopefully they’ll change their tune pretty quickly the first time a coyote snatches one of their 37 cats or their frou-frou purse-dog.

  15. avatar GS650G says:

    He checked the suppressor on his AR-15 hunting rifle and loaded a few snares into his Ford pickup.


  16. avatar FedUp says:

    A hunt in Pocatello, Idaho, went awry in March when an M-44 device, designed to propel a cyanide capsule into a coyote’s mouth, instead sprayed cyanide onto a 14-year-old boy, injuring him and killing his family’s dog.

    That’s the NY Slimes for you, falsely blaming hunters for the actions of the Federal Government. All The Lies That Aren’t Fit To Print seems to be their motto.


    1. avatar Texas Gun Gal says:

      You can count on Feds blaming a citizen for their screwup.
      Cayotes can be found anywhere. Big cities, small towns, suburban areas, rural areas.
      Cayotes are the Ted Bundy of cat and smaller dogs
      If you have ever heard a cayote kill a cat, you will never forget that sound. It’s hair raising on the back of neck.
      Heard a cayote kill a cat where I pet sitting. Still remember that awful screaming by the cat, years ago
      Don’t have an issue with them, if killing rats, but people’s pet . It’s a “needs killing” thing

  17. avatar Zerplex says:

    I believe it was Dan Flores on The MeatEater podcast was talking about how Coyotes differ from wolves or dogs. When Coyotes packs numbers dwindle from hunting pressure they females of the pack start having larger litter sizes to compensate. Crazy animals, not just wild dogs running around the woods.

    So i guess if you are going to start killing them you had better kill them all, quick. Or they will come back with larger numbers than before.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      The conservationists in the NYT article made this point, and I wondered if it were true–but it certainly makes sense. As long as there is a source of food, the pack will continue to grow, and coyotes are smart enough to know when they are being hunted.

    2. avatar Texas Gun Gal says:

      Cayotes don’t run in packs. Doesn’t mean there are not a lot in same areas. Cayotes are solidarity predators.

      1. avatar Leighton Cavendish says:

        It is highly flexible in social organization, living either in a family unit or in loosely knit packs of unrelated individuals. It has a varied diet consisting primarily of animal meat, including deer, rabbits, hares, rodents, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and invertebrates, though it may also eat fruits and vegetables on occasion.
        per Wiki and other sources

      2. Coyotes might not run in packs, but up here in Oklahoma they surely like getting together for a group yodeling session before heading out to dinner. Hunting in pairs isn’t uncommon for larger prey.

        1. avatar FedUp says:

          My neighbor quit going for walks when she met up with a pack about a mile from home. Said they weren’t one bit afraid of her, but she was more than a little afraid of them.

          Her story made me less lazy about carrying. Reminded me of the Texas governor who shot a solitary ‘yote with a mouse gun while walking his dog.

      3. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

        The coyote-gray wolf hybrids do run in packs. They are also generally more successful than coyotes where they both have been. I wouldn’t be surprised if the coywolf, as they are called, spreads out over my lifetime and pushes coyotes to extinction, or the brink thereof.

  18. avatar Mark N. says:

    It’s kind of funny to me that, although I’ve lived for thirty years in far northern California where coyotes are common, I’ve heard them on occasion at the edge of town, but I’ve only seen one in the wild–along the coast 100 miles west. My daughter in Cleveland however has seen a number in the local parks along the river.

    1. avatar DrewN says:

      I live in coastal Orange County and they are routinely on my street in daylight and prowling the yards at night. last year was a down year because it was so wet, but dry years really bring them out. If your cat routinely stays out from dusk to an hour or so after dawn it won’t last long.

      1. avatar Retro says:

        If the coyotes killed the feral pigs, I’d give them a thumbs up. Until then, they are a predatory pest.

  19. avatar Parnell says:

    “This doesn’t mean that aggressive coyotes don’t exist, but we need to learn how to minimize conflicts in our cities, instead of making things worse,” I guess if we just sat down and talk to them everything would just straighten itself out.

  20. avatar Leighton Cavendish says:

    I saw a coyote crossing a VERY busy stretch of road here near the airport in Orlando, FL.
    Wild pigs…deer…coyotes…
    gators love them all…LOL

  21. avatar Keith says:

    Coyotes are pack animals and if you have ever had to deal with domesticated dogs that have been “set free” by their city dwelling owners only to pack up with other free balling dogs you know what kind of damage they can do to farm animals! Have had to frequently hunt packed up dogs which I presume to be similar to coyotes and it is scary because they circle their prey and attack from behind! Why don’t we bait up a Liberal and stick ‘me out in an urban parking lot at night and let ‘me sweet talk the critters!!

  22. avatar HealthyKuriosity says:

    One of my favorite albums, Unida’s “Coping with the Urban Coyote”

  23. avatar former water walker says:

    Well coyotes and herds of deer are very common here in Southern Cook co. And it’s illegal ro hunt either. I run into the retarded bunny hugger types especially on local fb pages. Too stupid to understand coyotes are VERMIN and not a doggie. God’s creatures and not critters. Needless to say they’re anti-gun…

  24. avatar Max Havoc says:

    on his AR-15 (assault) rifle – Seriously – Who is this Dan Zimmerman character some Liberal anti gun propagandist?

  25. avatar FrmrDave says:

    Probably 25 years ago, we lived in a house where the front porch had one of those picket fence looking railings around it. We had a really pretty white cat that slept on a chair out there at night. In the middle of a summer night with the windows all open we heard the damndest goings on down there. The next morning, I found the cat in the attic of the old garage, minus her tail. Coyote must have not been fast enough to get the whole cat as she made it out between pickets. She was thereafter known as Bob.

  26. avatar RCC says:


    I had her back in the 80’s in a very remote area where mail delivery etc did not happen. You picked it up in town.

    Family with five very girls took her when I was transferred back to city. The parents loved the idea of having such a protective animal as dad worked away and their farm was isolated. They had her until old age.

  27. avatar 7mm08 says:

    Well where I deer hunt in Western NY, I often see groups of them, neighbors report seeing a pack of 10-12 . Its not uncommon for me to see 3 or 4 of them move through together .

    Most years I kill one or two from my deer stand and pass up many more . This year I dropped a 7pt in its tracks , 5 minutes later a couple coyotes came in after it , one left …..

    My understanding is their group has a dominate male and female, and they keep those not of the pack out of the area .

  28. avatar Adam says:

    “This is a gift,” he emphasized, “to be reminded that we still live in a world that’s wild.”

    Yeah, screw that. If I wanted to live next to animals I would move to a rural area. I live in a city cause I want to be surrounded by easy to access amenities, not wild animals. Bring on the urban hunters, I hope they kill every last animal in my city.

  29. avatar JeffInCa says:

    I live in sunny southern california. I live in a small city north of san diego. I can’t legally discharge a firearm inside the city limits, so I get to live with all the vermin that patrol our sleepy little town. Where I live, we have:
    Feral housecats
    And that’s just in my yard. The coyotes kill at least one domestic dog per year in my neighborhood, most years, many more than that. I’ve never seen the full group, but every other night, when a train rolls through an intersection about 3 miles away, and toots its horn, the whole group starts howling. This is usually around 1 or 2 AM. Not bad ( for me ) when they’re half a mile away. Loud and unwanted when they’re wandering through my yard. My dog ( a chihuahua, don’t laugh, best dog ever ) has been targeted by hawks, owls, and coyotes for years. More than once, I’ve seen a coyote peering through the sliding glass door into my game room, a few feet away. Many times I’ve interrupted something they were up to in my front yard. I look out the door to see 5 or 6 coyotes just kind of walking around each other in the moonlight. I don’t see them every night, but I see at least one a week in my yard. I smell our friendly skunk every night, as he migrates from his feeding grounds to his sleeping grounds. I could really live without that! Still better than 2 years ago, when he and his family moved into the space under my shed. I was outside every night with the garden hose, convincing him it was time to move to a different neighborhood. The possum lives in the pepper tree, and he’s never threatened me or my dog, so we have an uneasy truce. The raccoons lived for a while in the tree next to my garage, and would plop onto the roof and scurry to the other side of the house, then climb down the gutter drain to do whatever they do at midnight. We trimmed the tree back far enough that they can’t get to the roof now, and I think they’re annoying someone else now.

    I guess my point is, I think they’re pests. They certainly don’t seem to perform any function other than terrorize my neighborhood and make noise all night. They don’t seem to cull the rabbits, cats or skunks to keep them from harassing me directly. They do help my “less considerate” neighbors remember to bring their barking dogs indoors, instead of letting them yap all night, which is an indirect bonus. I’d really like to shoot the skunks. Really. But with no predators, the coyotes go where every they please, and holy cow I need to stop ranting.

    1. For skunks and possums, use a “humane” live-trap baited with tuna, peanut butter, etc. Collect occupied cage with a (disposable) tarp or shower curtain, dunk cage and all into a 20-30 gal. water barrel, retrieve cage after a suitable interval, and dispose of contents accordingly (Hint: Coyotes love skunk). Rinse, bait, and repeat as needed until problem is gone.

      For coyotes within city limits, try a noise-suppressed break-barrel or PCP pellet rifle, preferably .22 cal., or larger. Your neighbors might outwardly disapprove, but will secretly thank you when no one’s watching.

    2. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

      “I can’t legally discharge a firearm inside the city limits.” That’s pretty true everywhere. In Texas, we have a law that specifically allows shooting coyotes and dangerous dogs. It’s a bit narrow though, and I have never qualified under the law. One must witness an attack or own animals that were attacked by that dog or coyote.

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