Common Name: Coyote
Scientific Name: Canis latrans
- Adult body length (without tail): 36 to 45 inches
- Adult body weight: 22 to 50 pounds
- Gestation period: 60 to 63 days
- Litters per year: 1
- Litter size: 5 to 12 young (usually 5 to 7)
- Breeding season: February through March
- Birthing season: April through May
- Age at which young are weaned: 6 weeks
- Activity period: Night
- Range: 4 to 100 square miles
- Primary foods: Small animals, birds, livestock, carrion, insects, fruits, garbage
Coyote Pest Status
In agricultural settings, coyotes continue to cause damage to livestock, poultry and certain fruit crops (e.g., melons). Coyotes will attack and kill sheep, calves, chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, and the infirm or young of other bred animals. In residential communities recently developed from subdivided farmland, woods, hills, prairies and deserts inhabited by coyotes, these predators are known to hunt and kill dogs and cats that are left outside after dark. Coyotes are present in increasing numbers in Ohio
Residents of housing developments that fit the above description should keep their dogs and cats indoors at night or contained in securely-fenced yards, protected from roaming coyotes. Coyote barrier fences should be at least 5 1/2 feet high, constructed of no larger than 6 x 4 inch mesh heavygauge wire, have outward-angled wire overhangs and buried wire aprons. The installation of bright security lights over corrals, back yards and other sites dramatically reduces the frequency of nighttime predation by coyotes to livestock and pets kept in those areas. Also, having two or more trained (large breed) guard dogs on the property is an effective way to keep coyotes away from livestock. Other guard animals that have shown promise (due to their ability to vocalize when predators approach or kick attacking predators) include donkeys and llamas. One electronic frightening device (i.e., Electronic Guard TM) that shows promise is comprised of a strobe light and siren combination. The device has tested favorably when installed around fenced pastures of sheep. The system is activated at dusk by a photoelectric cell and operates on a variable interval timer.
One method employed by Varment Guard technicians to capture coyotes is the placement of Dirt sets using staked leg-hold traps on coyote trails and near den entrances (secured from humans and nontarget animals). This constitutes an effective measure for capturing coyotes in rural and new suburban developments. The strategic placement of snares concealed among tall vegetation and brush along trails is another proven method for taking coyotes.
Although not a method practiced by Varment Guard, where legal and safe, shooting coyotes is an effective way to reduce local coyote populations, if the rural property owner is so inclined. Some firearms of choice for this method are a 12-gauge semi-automatic shot gun for short range shooting and a medium-powered bolt-action rifle fitted with a scope for long range shooting. It is suggested that .223, .22-250 and .243 caliber ammunition be used with the scoped rifle.
Ingested Toxicants and Fumigants
Carbon monoxide- and carbon dioxide-generating gas cartridges are an option for use in fumigating coyote dens. All den entrances should be covered and secured while using this method in order to maximize fumigant penetration and concentration in the dens and to prevent coyotes from escaping.