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Top 3 Myths about Coyotes

Clearing up the top 3 common misconceptions of Ohio's Top Predator.

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Top 3 Myths About Coyotes

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While coyotes are not native to Ohio, they are present throughout the state today. Coyotes are one of the only large predators in Ohio and to keep our ecosystem balanced, we need them. I'm going to clear up three of the most common misconceptions about the coyote.

Myth 1: Coyotes Attack

One of the most common misconceptions about these animals is that they attack humans. This, while extremely rare, is not a common occurrence. Like any animal, coyotes do not attack unless provoked or threatened. The best thing to do is to keep your distance. If you feed your animals outside, clean up when they are finished as to not attract unwanted company. Commonly, stories of coyote attacks involve dogs. If your dogs are anything like mine, they are adventurous and nosey. This can get them in all sorts of trouble. With that said, coyotes are opportunistic scavengers and hunters. If you happen to see a coyote hanging around your yard, you must scare them away. Shouting, clanging pots and pans, or making loud noises are good ways to scare them off. If you do not do this, they will get desensitized to you, which means they are more likely to return or become aggressive.

Myth 2: Pack Hunters

An average coyote stands between one and one-half to two feet tall and weighs anywhere between 20 to 50 pounds. They usually sleep above ground, although during pup season they will use a den. Dens may consist of a hollowed-out tree stump, rock outcrop, or an existing burrow made by other medium-sized carnivores. It is a common misconception that coyotes hunt in packs. They do not. They do, however, travel in families with pups. Female coyotes give birth to litters of one to twelve pups, so the family unit can be quite large. Coyotes are omnivorous and their typical foods include small mammals, vegetables, nuts, and carrion. If unchecked, they will start eating livestock. While they are more active after sunset and at night, they may be observed during the day, especially during mating season or if their prey is active.

Myth 3: Killing Will Lead to Extinction

Here in Ohio, it is legal to hunt and trap coyotes year-round. This was done so that farmers could regulate their land and ensure that the coyote populations do not outgrow their territories and seek food farms. Several people believe this practice will lead to the extinction of the coyote. However, there are no natural predators in the area, so they will continue to repopulate and overpopulate the land if left unchecked.

7th Annual Coyote Hunt

This year Vance Outdoors will hold their 7th Annual Coyote Hunt Tournament. Not only are we doing our part to help control the coyote population, we also give back by having a 50/50 raffle for American Hero Hunt: a non-profit organization that benefits veterans and first responders. If you are interested in participating, please visit www.vanceoutdoors.com/coyotehunt2023/.