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  #1  
Old 04/24/07, 08:56 AM
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Coyote attack

What do a pack of coyotes sound like if they are taking a calf? In the field on the ridge across the road last night I heard an eerie, unearthly chorus of yipping and .....other sounds. Mixed in were very unhappy bawling from many cows. I cannot stress the eerie and unearthly sound enough. The guy who owns the cows thinks I am ....a woman. and doesn't really have any respect for the things I tell him about missing calves, injured bulls etc.. I told him about the coyotes..against my better judgement, just wanna make sure I didn't make a fool of me. He makes me feel foolish.

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  #2  
Old 04/24/07, 10:32 AM
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Even though you say you can't explain it, I understand exactly what you are reffering to, I think anyone who has heard it will agree, it needs no explanation! I would say that a coyote attack is probably accurate. DH and I were standing on our deck one Summer night last year and heard exactly what you describe, I still get the shivers thinking about it. No cattle near us, but there is still plenty of coyote prey.

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  #3  
Old 04/24/07, 10:48 AM
 
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I know what you mean too. While I don't have cattle too close to me I have sheep, a horse and rabbits and the family right next door has horses and even though they have never attacked any of my livestock I hear them and it is the eriest sound ever. There have been a couple times lately when they are really, really close to my property, just over the railroad tracks. I think they have a den down there somewhere. Someone told me when you hear a whole bunch of yipping and howling they are on the hunt. My sheep are normally quiet when they come around. Usually if they sound really close I'll go out on the back deck and yell and they it gets quiet for the rest of the night. The other day I saw a fox in broad daylight running through the field toward the road. He didn't even try to get to the sheep.

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  #4  
Old 04/24/07, 10:53 AM
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Here is the sounds of a single coyote, I am trying to find the old WAV file I had with a pack calling...

http://www.extremezone.com/~swref/sounds/coyote1.wav

Here is a page with 54 different coyote calls, the very first one is a pack calling, might be like what you heard it is what I hear around my place most nights. You need RealPlayer to hear these calls.

http://www.coyoterescue.org/sounds.html

Peace,
Margie

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  #5  
Old 04/24/07, 11:05 AM
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If he ain't worried about the coyotes, I wouldn't be. I've never heard of coyote predation on calves. Are the calves alone? If there are other cattle out there, not much to worry about. If they're there alone, there 'could' be problems... but if he's willing to risk it, so be it.

I hear em tearing up on a nightly basis around here, and yes, the cattle, and dogs, and other livestock make a ruckus, but the 'yotes are usually just communicating with each other, telling about a rabbit seen over the hill, or whatever 'yotes talk about...

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  #6  
Old 04/24/07, 11:10 AM
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I've heard that eerie pack yipping before--I think it calls family groups (coyotes don't have true packs) to the fact one has made a kill.

Upon going to areas where I've heard such noise on a previous night, I've most commonly found a pile of turkey feathers.

They run cattle in part of the park where I do volunteer work and I've never heard of the cattlemen losing any of their calves to the coyotes, or even the mountain lions (I guess there's more than enough deer for the lions).

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  #7  
Old 04/24/07, 11:17 AM
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It's like texican says, the coyotes yip to communcate with each other. I'll hear them at night very often. One group might do some yipping and yapping to another distant group, and it goes on in the quiet of the night of the remote fields of the northland. Cattle nearby do their mooing and wooing, or whatever sound it is they do. If there is a calf attack, a lot more commotion would ensue, but with the adult cattle around, the yotes aren't much 'contest'. My LGD dog does like to listen to the yotes go on about their business, but if their yips are getting closer, she takes notice to bark back, and that keeps the coyotes their distance in the bush where they belong.
I don't know what's really 'eerie' about yote yapping, but sometimes gray wolves howling back and forth can raise a neck hackle or two, even on the human neck.

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  #8  
Old 04/24/07, 12:14 PM
 
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The coyotes will kill the calves as soon as they hit the ground. Some keep mama busy while others attack from the rear. Our neighbor lost several this way. He finally put a poisoned carcass out in the pasture. It helped.

We are in the middle of calving right now and the sound of a pack yipping makes me cringe. I usually get up, get my shotgun and spotlight and head out to the pasture to make sure everything is ok.

Edited to add.........I also believe that coyotes act different in different areas of the U.S.. depending on what is available for them to eat. There have been several ranchers around here that have lost new born calves to coyotes. It is a common thing.
Here is an older link that you might want to check out. http://www.homesteadingtoday.com/sho...ghlight=coyote

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  #9  
Old 04/24/07, 12:36 PM
 
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Shouldn't there be tracks if there were coyotes in the pasture? If the ground is too dry to leave a good print, perhaps this is why the farmer doesn't believe there are coyotes taking his calves.

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  #10  
Old 04/24/07, 12:54 PM
 
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Our neighbor lost a newborn calf to coyotes. It is possible. Seems the first time mother dropped the calf back field, came back up to the barn. Little one didn't have a chance.

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  #11  
Old 04/24/07, 02:20 PM
 
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I know that "eerie yipping sound" very well, but I always thought it was just a coyote den--a bunch of pups welcoming their mom or something. I never dreamed it was a kill.

Heh. I evidently have a "gentle" imagination.

One of my dogs will listen silently and start to bark if they get too close. The other one will howl whenever he hears them.

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  #12  
Old 04/24/07, 02:27 PM
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My dog howls when he hears them. Will coyotes attack a medium size dog if the dog is with a person on horseback? I'd like to take my dog trail riding with me but the WMA has coyotes and it sounds like they're running in packs.

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  #13  
Old 04/24/07, 02:57 PM
 
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I really have to differ on much of what has been said here about coyotes, based on my own experience living and farming around them.

1. The yipping of coyotes and their high-pitched howls are just their form of communication. They also do it for fun. We often listen to them on the back porch at night.

2. Coyotes rarely (if EVER) attack a healthy calf. They are much more likely to try to get a newborn separated from its mother (very hard to do with most cows I have owned, which will stand there and defend the calf knowing the coyotes cannot bring mama down). Or they may attack a calf that is weak or dying. Most "coyote kills" of calves are actually calves that died on their own and were then scavanged. The rest are weak calves, unrecognized by the farmer or rancher. Especially on larger or loosely managed farms, calf health is not always monitored as well as it should be, I know that for a fact. Even domestic dogs will attack weak calves and newborns, and many, many dog attacks in my area are blamed on coyotes.

3. The chief components of coyote food are, in order: bugs; scavanged meat; small animals like voles, rats, mice and rabbits; larger animals like groundhogs. 80-90 percent of a coyote's diet is made up of the first three. This is why coyotes do not attack larger animals much at all -- all this other food is available to them at much less exenditure of energy and much lower risk of failure.

There are a lot of misconceptions about coyotes, generated by fear and by lack of knowledge about them. I think their howls are beautiful, and I have successfully raised calves and goats in their presence. I have never lost a calf or kid to a coyote. I have had far more trouble with bobcat and domestic dog attacks (so very frequently knee-jerk mis-attributed to coyotes in my part of the country) than I have with coyotes. The method of attack and how they begin to eat the carcass differs markedly between bobcat, coyote or dog. If you know what you are looking at when you spot the carcass, you can tell who did it.

But most people just condemn coyotes outright, which in my mind is a darned shame. I think they are beautiful animals. Far more livestock is killed by domestic dogs that are allowed to run wild "because we are in the country" than is killed by coyotes. Folks just don't realize how completely Precious turns into a pack animal when it gets with 3 or 4 other loose pet dogs and out of sight of the house.

I have shot, killed and buried numerous domestic dogs on my place, some while in the process of killing. I have tracked and shot bobcat after attacks. But I have never needed to kill a coyote yet.

Now, I know people are gonna say this is all wrong, because I know how driven by fear they are. But those are the facts of my 20 years farming with coyotes in the area.

Yet every year, an ad appears in the paper: "WANTED: Someone to hunt and kill coyotes." I wonder, when I see that, whether they have the forensics to back up that it is a coyote attack, or whether they are just lashing out on guesswork.

The hilarious part to me is, they must not know much about coyotes if they advertise for someone to come kill them. That's because coyote litter size is variable. It is usually attuned to the natural rise and fall in the small rodent population, but it actually increases as hunting pressure increases. Net result is MORE coyotes out of those missed in the hunt, not fewer. Studies have shown that populations that are heavily hunted actually have more animals per square mile than those under lesser or no hunting pressure. That's scientific fact.

Also, I will never support baiting, because it is an environmental disaster. The coyote (or other unsuspecting animal that was not even targeted) eats the poisoned bait and crawls off and dies. Then OTHER animals scavenge the poisoned carcass, including but not limited to: birds, small and medium rodents, and pet dogs. They die, and still OTHERS scavange and are poisoned. There is a bloom of death that travels from the one poisoned carcass.

It is best to learn first before lashing out blindly.

UNDER EDIT: Far as coyotes attacking dogs, they are much more apt to MATE with them than attack them. They would never approach a dog with a human in a threatening way. So much of the fear of coyotes is based on irrational hearsay.

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Last edited by Jim S.; 04/24/07 at 02:59 PM.
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  #14  
Old 04/24/07, 03:12 PM
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I agree with you about roaming dogs. I was myself nearly attacked by a band of
'housepets' roaming loose in an orchard next to a stable.

Had not the stable's Basset hound responded to my calls and correctly assessed the situation, and then from a distance bayed until his buddy the stable's English Mastiff arrived, I might have been seriously injured or killed.

When the Mastiff turned up, the pack's tails all went underneath and the dogs all slunk off low to the ground.

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Last edited by suburbanite; 04/24/07 at 03:13 PM. Reason: add 'English' to 'Mastiff'. I had to verify breed with a pic search.
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  #15  
Old 04/24/07, 03:55 PM
 
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suburbanite, you will never be so sad as the day you walk out intending to go to work that morning, and instead have to put a bullet in a nanny goat's brain to end her suffering after finding a dog pack on her doing their work in the barn. Then you call in to work, and you start to bury a third of your goat herd.

Coyotes get a real bad rap they don't usually deserve, and it is ignorance that causes that. Ignorance is not stupidity, it is not knowing the facts. It is very easy, for example, to identify which animal killed your livestock IF you know what to look for.

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Old 04/24/07, 04:19 PM
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True, I have never had a problem with coyotes attacking my goats or chickens. I have had numerous problems with domestic dogs allowed to roam attacking and killing livestock. There is a lot of talk about coyotes baiting domestic dogs. They say that one coyote will act as a lure and then the whole pack will attack. What are the things to look for when trying to determine whether livestock was attacked by coyotes or domestic dogs?

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  #17  
Old 04/24/07, 04:49 PM
 
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Livestock attack:

Bobcat/cougar: You will find on the shoulders or nearby two sets of claw marks on opposite sides of the back. You will have to move the skin around to open the wounds and find them, the claws are like scalpels and they are not usually easily seen. A bobcat attacks by making the animal run, then leaping on its back and grabbing ahold with its front claws. It sinks its teeth in at the top of the neck just ahead of the shoulders and kills by severing the spinal cord there with its incisors. The bite often can't be located. A bobcat will feed on prey starting with the abdomen, from the back forward. The belly is opened and the viscera are eaten first, back to front. Then the muscle meat is consumed, also usually back to front. Bobcats are target hunters who work alone. They usually kill one animal only, though I have experience multiple kills when cubs are in training. Effect on the herd is minimal, though behavior will be subdued after a kill. A bobcat will attempt to carry off smaller prey or to cover up larger and heavier prey. In the case of kids or lambs, they often simply disappear without a trace. They go to feed the young, or are cached for later. When the kids disappear, coyotes get the blame, but coyotes do not move their prey.

A coyote attacks by two methods. In the first, it attempts to grab a rear leg by the hock and cause the running animal to break it. The animal dies by internal bleeding or the coyote pack finishes it off by breaking the neck or crushing the windpipe. In the second, it runs up alongside the animal and rips out the windpipe, taking the animal down and creating a hole and crushing the windpipe area, whereupon the pack falls on the victim. Coyotes eat their prey from front to back. You will see evidence that the carcass was opened at the chest or sernum area. The vicera are usually eaten first, followed by muscle meats, again front to back. There is a pack pecking order to coyote feeds. There may be several chewed areas if a pack has gathered, but always present is the front to back removal of viscera, eaten by the dominant coyotes. Coyotes do not move or attempt to cover the carcass. They gorge as much as they can, and regurgitate for any young. They do not cache meat, but will make numerous trips back to a carcass over a period of days if they can do that. Coyotes will not attack larger animals unless there is no other easier source of meat (they are starving in harsh conditions), the animal is weak, or it is a fresh newborn as-yet unable to stand and run or at least get behind its mama. Coyotes are opportunists, killing the weak. They usually kill one larger animal only, but will kill in succession if there is inadequate meat for the entire pack and the opportunity arises (very important that the opportunity arise). Effect on the herd is minimal, though it will appear subdued after a visit.

Domestic dogs usually attack by attempting to break the foreleg or hind leg, as a pack member at the same time comes alongside the slowed animal and rips out the windpipe. Death is eaither by internal bleeding or windpipe crushing. Sometimes, the neck is broken. Domestic dogs will kill as often as they can, moving from one victim to the next as soon as the last one has died. Often, only animals that have managed to hide in some way can avoid attack, and the entire herd is often severely traumatized. Domestic dogs usually eat very little -- if any -- of their larger prey, chasing and killing more for the sport of it than the need. The carcass will be either unharmed except for the throat wound and/or the broken leg(s), or it may have random areas where muscle mass has been chewed on and meat has been removed. Often the abdomen is unopened and undamaged. Domestic dog attacks are marked by the LACK of any methodical way of eating the carcass, unlike bobcat or coyote. The coyote usually gets the blame.

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  #18  
Old 04/24/07, 05:37 PM
 
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We had a cow and calf chewed up pretty badly once during calving. This happened on government flood control land for a lake, a ways from any house. Luckily they both survived the attack. The Vet. gave us strycnine to put on the afterbirth the next night. We did not kill any coyotes, but all our neighbors within a mile had their pet dogs die on our property that night.

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Old 04/24/07, 06:01 PM
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Its the chopping of the bones that get me to shiver after the attack when its all quiet then they start to eat what they have killed used to sit outside at my grannys farm and listen half the night to the attacks,then all quiet and bones breaking.She lived in the Ark.River bottoms,paula

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  #20  
Old 04/24/07, 10:23 PM
 
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I had a pack of coyotes come under the fence to kill and eat 5 blue slate turkeys one morning at about 2 AM. There was no howling or yipping, no sound at all that I could hear from the house, just my American Bulldog going crazy trying to get out there to get them. I put up a hot wire on the top and bottom of the fence. One night a few months later my AB started raising hell again, and I went out with her. From the other side of the paddock I could hear a little shuffling, and every 20 seconds or so a yipe as the coyote burned its nose on the hot wire. Then they all went about 50 feet away and started howling. In my case they sang out after a failed hunt, not when they succeeded.

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