Farmer snares monstrous coyote

Staff ~ The Truro Daily News
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HILDEN - A local sheep farmer is becoming increasingly concerned about the growing presence of coyotes, especially after snaring an oversized male on his property.
"I had to use both hands (to lift it) and normally I can hold on with one hand," he said, of the animal he estimates weighed between 31 and 36 kilograms (70 to 80 lbs.)
"I mean, that is a monstrous animal. You can just imagine a couple of those devils walking down a trail and you walking towards them."
The coyote is the 14th such animal Perry has disposed of since mid July and there is no shortage of kin to take its place, he said. During the same time frame, he has lost more than 45 sheep to the coyotes, which are becoming increasingly brazen and harder to keep at bay.
And, from Perry's perspective, they are also getting larger.
"For 30-odd years the electric fence has worked fine for us (in keeping coyotes away). This year it hasn't," he said. "I guess the more coyotes that are around, the more food they need to eat so they are going to come to my place to get an easy picking on sheep. And I don't know how high a fence a fellow would have to put up to keep the likes of that rascal out."
Perry has used both llamas and a donkey in the past to discourage coyotes and while they seemed to help a bit, it didn't solve his problem. He now is in the process of spending thousands of dollars putting up higher fencing and increasing the power flow to his electric fence.
But Perry believes the problem has
reached the point where other measures
may be required to reduce the coyote population.
"I think they are a pretty smart animal and they will work their way through any sort of protective device you put up," he said, adding that Nova Scotia should consider implementing a bounty such as Saskatchewan recently imposed.
"Maybe if the same thing was done here it would thin the population out," he said. "For me to catch that many in that little place out where I live is just unreal."
However, Department of Natural Resources forest technician Jim McNaughton is not certain a bounty-driven cull is the answer.
"The province tried it a few years ago and it didn't really have a lot of success," he said, of a coyote bounty implemented between 1982 and 1986. "The coyotes are very adaptable."
In 1982, only 70 coyotes were recorded taken by fur harvesters, he said. By 1986 the annual harvest had grown to 407 coyotes. Last year's fur harvest saw 1,900 coyotes culled from Nova Scotia woods.
"Obviously, they didn't have much effect," McNaughton said, of the previous bounties. "We still have coyotes."

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan

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Recent comments

  • flogger
    March 01, 2010 - 14:40

    Would putting dead coyote carcasses around the perimeter of the property deter them from coming near? Or would they possibly eat their own dead and go away less hungry?

    If DNR feels that 1900 'harvested' coyotes has had no effect in one year, I would hate to imagine the current numbers if harvesting had not been going on for the past number of years.

  • Paul
    March 01, 2010 - 14:40

    Before anyone gets too scared, did anyone bother to actually weigh the animal? It may have seemed larger than normal but by how much?

    Further, by this continual killing, people are just ensuring the coyotes are having even more young as this is a basic part of their biological drive when the population is stressed. On top of that, the killing is likely splitting mated pairs causing the remaining parents to seek the easiest prey to feed their young which often is domestic livestock. In the long term, killing neither reduces the population nor teaches the remaining population to fear humans. They cannot pick up their local paper to find out their mate has been killed. Instead, proper fencing and other deterents including making sure all biological waste and deadstock is immediately cleared and disposed of and allowing the population to stabalize are your best defences against coyote conflicts.

  • Concerned
    March 01, 2010 - 14:40

    I think the Perry's would like any input that may help with their problem. This is not just a this years problem. This is an on going problem. They have tried many things to try and stop this problem.
    With the resent attack in Cape Breton. This could happen closer to home with the size of the coyote getting larger. We as a society of rural people need to work together to come up with a solution. Sheep farming is the Perry business. Each sheep lost is cutting into their profit. The last article that appeared in this paper, the comments to the Perry's was not very nice. If this was happening to the people with nasty comments maybe they would understand what the Perry's are going through.