If the animal was obviously very ill, you would be right to take it out of the population. It may carry something that would spread to other species, and may have been suffering. It certainly sounds like it would be. In highly human populated areas, coyotes need to be strictly controlled. They kill thousands of small pets every year, countless young livestock, and occasionally small children. In farming country, most farmers do not want you to kill coyotes because they control other vermin that damage crops. We hunted one ranch in WA for years where we had to sign a form swearing that we would not kill any coyotes.
Skunks are another matter. Skunks carry rabies more than any other animal. In the decade of the 1880's in the Midwest, more people died from rabid skunk bites than all other reasons combined. Skunk populations need to be strictly controlled for health reasons and to protect your pets, chickens, rabbits, and any other small animal or fowl you may keep.
I had an interesting experience with a coyote one time. My partner and I were on our way home from a hunt and far away from any human habitation. We rounded a curve, and a coyote was sitting along side the road. He was a big dog and in perfect health and a beautiful animal. We stopped, and he just sat there. I got out of the truck and he retreated a few steps, but did not run away. I got out a loaf of bread and "frisbeed" the slices in his direction. When I ran out, he carefully stacked up all the slices and away he went with a meal of sandwiches! He definitely was not sick. His coat was in prime condition and he was in good weight. The only thing I could think of that made him so tame is that he may have been a pet at one time, and someone got tired of him and took him out in the boonies and left him. He was obviously doing fine on his own, but was not above taking a handout. I hope no one shot him.
Yesterday Jim and I loaded enough stuff to keep us alive for 4 days and headed to Medicine Lodge for a 1 day drive around and calling set day of enjoyment. Jim has harvested many coyotes and 8 bobcats over the years in this area. This was my first trip there.
Round trip was only 260 miles. 160 miles of it was to and from the area. Welcome to the west.
Took from 0530 to 1900. 3 hours of which were spend digging out of snow banks until we got smart enough to chain up.
Saw over 60 elk. Two of which were spikes. Also saw a golden eagle. Haven't seen one in ages.
Made one calling set.
Parked the truck and headed to where we could see into the valley. We immediately saw a yote going up the other side a little better than 500 yards to our left. Saw another making two. Eased over to a somewhat hidden calling spot. Watched yotes for several minutes. No out of normal actions on their part.
Jim breaks out his favorite call and gives it ago. About the time the sound would reach the dogs without even glancing around up the other side the they head. Then a third one appears. WTH? Over a period of minutes calling simply drove them further away. As they were headed up the hill the big one took a dump. The third one (a female) then went to the spot and took a leak on the dump. Hmmm, my wife would "never" do that.
The was more or less in their favor than ours when we first saw them but wonder if it were really a factor?
At about 760 yards they came across in front of us. I gave a couple of howls. They turned to come across our field of view alternately meandering and sitting and looking in our direction.
Seeing has how we were already busted I stood up and moved around. No visible difference in the yote's activities. They must have been comfortable way out there. Which is specifically why I have the 270 AM. I was carrying a Sig 556 and Jim a 220 Swift. The truck was only a short walk behind us. I could have fairly quickly retrieved the AM.
7000 feet elevation, enough ice crystals falling (7* F) that it was easy to read the 5-6 MPH wind.
When considering the lives of those three coyotes, the vastness of the area and lack of rabbit tracks I got to feeling that there were only 3 coyotes instead of 5 or 6 due to the hard life up there. Just couldn't get up the energy to get the LRH rig. I guess I am old.
I think its nice being old.
Medicine Lodge peak on the left, I think?
I may be the slowest guy on the mountain . . . . but . . . . I'm on the mountain!
Last edited by royinidaho; 12-21-2012 at 12:40 PM..
Heck I'm just a punk kid up against some of you all at 48, but I feel a decade older at times. In fact I was tellin my boss if I had know I was going to make 40 I SURE would not have done a LOT of things I did when I was younger. LOL
That said, there isn't any shame in watching the critters once in a while. That is part of the wonder we all enjoy in being out there. This past Monday I sat on a 10 acre plot my wife and I purchased a few years back. The oldest of three grandsons and I had sat out there Friday Saturday and Sunday in hopes of catching one of the bucks working the umpteen scrapes they have along and through the middle of the little place. Never saw hide nor hair. However I got there no Monday set up just beside a tree nothing else, and watch 5 shooter bucks walk within 30yds of me and never raised my gun. I watched them work one scrape after another up the hill and out of sight and it was TOO COOL to say the least. One was at least an 18" wide 10, and then a VERY nice 8 and the others were mixed down to a spike, but all were wider than the 15" imposed limit.
It's just neat to observe things in a relaxed manner once in a while knowing what you could do if you wanted, but having total satisfaction in the fact you didn't. Tag soup don't bother me either in fact I usually don't even bother with the deer unless it is something that just is a total freak. It is simply nice to take in the scenery once in a while, and enjoy what God has put out there for us to see.
Now had a hog come along, well I would have been all over it like a duck on a June bug. LOL Hogs are ugly, stinky, and tear up more trees and pastures than the deer do, besides there's more meat on them bones anyway.
My partner and I used to hunt about 60 acres of brushland on one of the San Juan islands in the Pacific Northwest. Sixty acres doesn't sound like much, but the estimated population of this island was 11,000 deer. The problem is that it is heavily human populated, and hunters are not popular, for some good reasons. It is shotgun only, but sabots make that kind of a moot point in brush. I personally knew folks with bullet holes in their refrigerators. We just happened to work with a guy who owned the 60 acres and we were they only people he would let on. The myth about island deer being small is just that, a myth. We hunted there for eight years until a 115 mph windstorm leveled the entire area. But in those eight years, we took sixteen bucks. Two things were interesting about hunting there. There are no natural deer predators to control the population, and a lot of inbreeding takes place. The first year we shot bucks with the most screwed up looking horns imaginable. But as the years went by, the quality of the deer increased as did the difficulty in hunting them. We were the "introduced" predators that took out the weak and deformed the first couple years, allowing the good bucks to do more breeding. By the time we had to stop hunting there, we were shooting beautiful deer with perfectly formed antlers, but it was tough to find them. It was Darwinism in action. What was also interesting was that if you chose a good spot on a good run, and stayed very still and very patient, the whole quiet woods just came to life. I had birds land on my shoulders, squirrels running up my legs to get to their favorite tree, and all sorts of wildlife that stayed hidden and silent if we moved through the area stalking deer. It was fascinating and very rewarding. I actually (and this is a true story, I swear) had a doe step over my legs as she went down the run. As soon as she smelled me, she exploded. We were in all camo gear since we were the only ones there. The biggest deer I shot there was a nice 3 point blacktail that dressed 150, and 150 is a nice blacktail. I missed a nice 4 point because I fell asleep, and when I woke up, he was just standing there, 20 yards away. I total blew it and probably missed him by ten yards. They are not very big deer. That was some of the most fun I ever had deer hunting, and only ten miles and a ten minute ferry ride from home.
I hunted in Medicine Lodge, Kansas for 3 days back about 3 weeks ago; saw numerous bucks and some that would have been shot on sight by most hunters here where I live in north Louisiana but I had set a goal of at least a 160+ buck or better and I didn't see anything in that category so I just watched the game and enjoyed the show. Been hunting these dudes since 1950 and taken many. Needless to say....I don't kill many deer these days! I guess I'm already old!!
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