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Well-known member
Feb 10, 2005
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Manitoba - At the end of the road
There is an argument going on in the bull session about predators, and it made me think, on the subject of coyotes, just how big a problem are they? How many people here lose calves or lambs to coyotes?

I have a hard time understanding this kill the predators mentality myself, because we have as many coyotes in our neighbourhood as anyone, and yet we have no problem with predation. How come it's necessary to just go out and shoot them? Could it be that they have lost their natural prey because the rodents have all been killed off? Or the deer?

Not trying to start a fight, (that's why I posted this here) but I'd sure like to know why your coyotes are more dangerous than ours. We have at least three packs that I know of within a 5 square mile radius, and they do come to our yard and run on the bale stacks at night looking for mice, and they do follow the baler in the summer, and they do walk through the cow herd, yet don't bother the cows. Perhaps the fact that we have donkeys is an issue, but still, you'd think there would be some kind of conflict with that many around.

I really wish they'd go after Canadian geese though, we can't move 10 feet without tripping over one of those! :wink:
A question

You see I have lost two calves to coyotes this year.
I have never heard and seen so many coyotes.
At one of my homesteads where cattle water not 100 yards from where these calves were killed, there are so many rabbits. I will see at least 20 each time I go there, so how do you justify your stance?
Where I live we've never had a problem with the coyotes. Might help that some of my cows have horns and seem to be pretty good mothers. Had one chase a cow dog off today.

My neighbors to the east of me (2 to 4 miles) have sheep and seem to have to have a trapper in once in awhile and asked me several years ago if they could fly over me for coyotes.

South of us in the breaks I have a friend who has had a problem a few times with coyotes getting calves at calving time. Seems like it's learned behavior.

My grandfather had sheep years ago and they herded them during the day and penned them at night. Whenever he had a coyote start to killing sheep, he would go out before daylight and open the gate for the sheep and then set on the hill above the sheep with his rifle. When the sheep started out to pasture at daylight, the coyote would come up to get a sheep and Gramps would shoot the coyote. End of problem.

Dad said that lots of times he saw a coyote come trotting thru' the bunch of sheep he was herding and never looked right or left and the ewes didn't hardly notice him.

It might help on my place that I very seldom shoot anything, so maybe there is more of a food supply for them.

Over the years we have had several big, horned steers. Anytime a calf bawled, the steer would come on the run. I've wondered if people who have coyote problems would run a few big horned steers with their cows, if it wouldn't solve the coyote problem. Them steers would be laying around with a whole bunch of calves they were babysetting while the cows were off a good distance, grazing.

A state trapper told me quite a few years ago that a good tight net fence was the best protection from coyotes. The coyote digs under the fence to get a lamb and when you see a problem you just set a snare at the hole and you will get the problem coyote.

If you see coyotes and you don't have a problem, don't shoot them as the next bunch that moves in might start eating calves and lambs.

I'm with you. Killing very seldom solves many problems.

We have been trapping and shooting all kinds of varmints for years and they are still with us. Thats why I think politicions and beaurocrats have survived all these years! :lol:
passin thru said:
A question

You see I have lost two calves to coyotes this year.
I have never heard and seen so many coyotes.
At one of my homesteads where cattle water not 100 yards from where these calves were killed, there are so many rabbits. I will see at least 20 each time I go there, so how do you justify your stance?

Well thats easy

"BEEF taste better than RABBIT"
calves are easier to catchy than rabbits?

Sorry, I couldn't help myself. :oops:

What measures have you taken to stop the loss?

Sucks to lose calves, no matter at what price. Doesn't matter if from a spring storm, coyotes or whatever. Hope you get it figured out and don't lose anymore.
Learned behaviour makes a lot of sense. I guess they are like us, some are sneakier than others! :wink:

We must just have a well behaved bunch around here. One old coyote in particular has been here for years. He lives alone, and is the best mouser we've ever seen. Follows the tractor even in the middle of the day when we're baling or cutting hay.

I think the donkeys help a lot too, the coyotes seem to know where the fence is, and that chasing something will get them chased. A few years ago a bunch of young ones learned they could howl outside the fence, and they would be safe, so they did it just to tick the dogs off, I think. Then one night in the spring we left a gate open and the donkeys had access to the 'howling spot'. The coyotes didn't know it though. We heard the jack nail one late one night, and then heard it yelping away off into the distance. That was the end of howling by the yard for that bunch. They never came back. :shock: Learned behaviour. :D :D
Coyotes have never really been a problem for us. Living in the boreal forest, timber wolves are a bigger problem, although we haven't had a wolf kill for probably ten years. Last wolf kill near our place was about 5 years ago. Suspected cougar kill took place at the same neighbouring farm at the same time. We and our neighbours have cut a good portion of our timber land in the past few years, so the predators have moved further north and into singles in the 'islands' of forest.

Also good to have gun-toting neighbours who love to shoot anything that moves on four legs and eats meat :D :D One of our neighbours loves to go to the nearby creek crossing and sit in the bed of his pick-up in a lawn chair and blow beavers away with his 30-30. :lol: :roll:
Coyotes are only a problem here sometimes when calves get sick and down before we find them. I have chased coyotes off of calves that they had already eaten on, and the calf wasn't completely dead. I think ravens and magpies are just as bad though. Seems like the best protection is to find the downer calves before the critters move in.
Wolves are a whole other problem though. It's not just the fact that that eat beef, but that they teach their young to hunt without actually killing. Nothing worse that finding a hamstrung yearling, or a cow with her intestines hanging out. The wolves in Yellowstone came from this general area, I figured they shoulda taken them all.
You fellas should have charged more for 'em, then they'd have taken more!

I figured you all were rolling on the ground laughing at us dumb Yankees for taking your wolves. I would have been, if I'd have been in your shoes.
It was the height of lunacy.
Well, there were a lot of us ranchers thought it was a pretty good joke. Some of us had a pool going to see how long it would take before the first American rancher shot one of the little darlings.
Here, some people have more problems with coyotes than others. I think if you are near canyons, breaks or brushy country you have more problems. This could be that there are a few there that are killers though.

I have never had much of a problem with them, can only remember about two calves that I know were lost to coyotes. One was a twin, that was to far from it's mother, the other was on a stormy night a coyote slipped out of the tree grove and got one. The cows must have seen it as they raised a fuss, I thought perhaps it was a skunk, it must have came back later as in the morning a calf that was along the fence was gone. We found blood and a few remains the next morning in the grove.

I have seen a lot of interesting things with coyotes and farm dogs. Coyotes like to antagonize dogs, my dogs have cornered and killed a few. I think coyotes can count. Have had them come up to my dogs, then go back and get a buddy to even the odds. A coyote with its back to a fence or a bale of hay can pretty well stand off two or three dogs, but if they run, or get their back turned they will get nailed.

It seems that cows and coyotes sometimes have a compact. They will allow a coyote come in the herd and pick up dropping and seem hardly aware of it, but let the dog out of the pickup and they go nuts.
gee in teh black hills now they are having mountain lion problems with them coming out of them thar hills and getting shot when the game and fish can confirm it is them. Just killed on that had been prowling in Deadwood at 2 in the morning as the word was the cop got it on tape and then the game and fish killed one a day later and said it likely was the one.
I know they can't have them in the towns but some of them have been around the peoples places that feed deer and turkeys and they come down for that.
Speaking of jack rabbits we have lots of those also and have wondered why they aren't getting eaten by the coyotes so am wondering if they are still as thick around here as they used to be. Will have to ask teh sheep man east of a us a ways if he still is having trouble with them.
Don't have my small band of sheep anymore as the sister-in-law and i ahd some and when she passed in 99 then they went by the wayside and the men decided to run a few more cows. The price was really bad then. Would be good to have some now ezcept i am older and dont want the work of that,
Ok take care everyone. :)
I live on the nioboara river bottom. Over the years there have been two times (years apart) we have had problems with coyotes. soultion was war untill we got the right one. when they started going after calves they don't stop. Get the trouble makers and then we don't worry about them untill we have more problems which is several years. I think it is a learned behavoir. If they are killing then there is only one solution. If they are behaving their self I leave them alone.

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