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Coyote reports on the rise in the state

Posted August 21, 2008

— Coyote reports are on the rise in North Carolina, state wildlife officials said Thursday.

The animals have been reported in all 100 counties. Officials said there even have been reports of coyotes in downtown Raleigh.

In Wake Forest, Ed Schwerin said coyotes have set their sights on an apple tree in his backyard. Schwerin took photos of the animals.

“I looked on the Internet and looked at pictures and realized, indeed, it was a coyote,” Schwerin said.

The coyotes visited his yard four times in one week, which made Schwerin afraid for his nine-pound poodle, Sammy.

“At first I was real concerned because of the dog and not really knowing how aggressive they are,” Schwerin said.

Sammy roams free and has chased after the coyotes, however.

“I’m sure they could snatch him in an instant and be gone,” Schwerin said.

Wildlife officers investigated Schwerin’s property on Thursday and found a trail leading them to a coyote den.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if we’ve got several of them in the Wake Forest area,” N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission biologist Joe Folta said.

Folta said the coyotes in Schwerin’s back yard are probably looking for fruits and berries.

Economic growth has interfered with the daily routine of these animals, wildlife officials said.

“Just a little bit of vibration in the area or a lot of noise in the area may scare a coyote,” Folta said.

Schwerin’s back yard is surrounded by woods, but his house is a few hundred yards from a shopping plaza and a daycare.

“If they see one, it’s not necessarily something to fear,” Folta said.

Coyote attacks on humans are very rare, Folta said. Officials advise keeping pets, like Sammy, away from coyotes. Food should not be left outside because it could attract the animals.


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  • WF Zookeeper Aug 26, 2008

    timbo - I have a cat suit you should wear!

  • ifcdirector Aug 22, 2008

    The ones I see look to be around 30-40 lbs. They are a good size and probably eating better in the city than their more rural cousins.

  • cavscout Aug 22, 2008

    I apologize, you are correct. The averages are about the same, around 30lbs, but the larger ones that have been recorded are believed to be the norther coyote that has cross bread with the eastern timber wolf. Some of them have reached weights of up to 60lbs.

    The fact remains, these are still very dangerous animals and their presence should not be taken lightly.

  • batcave Aug 22, 2008

    the statement about eastern coyotes being larger than western is NOT INCORRECT, AS A MATTER OF FACT they are almost twice the size of western coyotes N H STATE FISH AND GAME REFERENCE.

  • Timbo Aug 22, 2008

    "They look kind like scrawny dogs...they need feeding in my opinion!"

    I'm tellin' ya, they need to head down to Pinehurst. They have a surplus of cats.

  • ifcdirector Aug 22, 2008

    I see a coyote or two nightly on Capital Boulevard near downtown. I stopped and looked at one from about 3 feet away last year on the Wade Avenue exit ramp that was just walking down the sidewalk like a dog.

  • medic_441 Aug 22, 2008

    Coyotes have been seen in all 100 NC Counties. I don't think it is possible for that many to have escaped from foxpens.

    Also, before folks are so quick to blame things on hunters please consider the good done by hunters. There is a fox hunt this weekend in VA. It is a benefit for the local Cancer association. They have raised tens of thousands of dollars over the last few years. Many hunts are held each year for Relay for life, and more than I can count for Fire Depts and other civic organizations.

  • Justin T. Aug 22, 2008

    I hope that CoYoda doesn't show up and teach the other coyotes to use the force.

  • cavscout Aug 22, 2008

    The stetement that they are not dangerous was a foolish one. They can and will attack humans, even full grown men, if the conditions are right. If you are smart and not in the city limits, you will shoot to kill any one of them you see.

    The statement about eastern Coyote being larger than westerns is incorrect and the statement that they will not pack up is also incorret. Our coyote are A LOT smaller than the westerns. They are also have a lot lighter coat and are a darker in color, more of a red. If you think these animals will not cause a problem, you are wrong. In our area, they have NO other enimies other than man. They can and will take out deer. Their favorite is the young ones, but they will also feed on adults.

    There is no closed season on them for hunting, but the trapping laws very by county.

  • amyrn Aug 22, 2008

    After our outside cats started disappearing, I only let my mini shnauzer out on a leash to walk. I have seen coyotes crossing the road. They look kind like scrawny dogs...they need feeding in my opinion!