Local News

Coyote population steadily rising in N.C.

Posted October 6, 2009
Updated October 7, 2009

The coyote population has steadily increased over the past decade, with all 100 counties now reporting having the animals.

Although state wildlife officials do not track the specific number of coyotes in the state, they say the number of reported sightings is on the rise in both rural and urban areas.

Coyote All of N.C. seeing more coyotes

Ten years ago, the animals were known to be only in the western part of the state.

State biologist Joe Folta says the reasons for the increased sightings have to do with natural territory expansion and the animals being brought illegally from other states to be released.

In Wake County, there have been 17 reported sightings this year near homes in north Raleigh, downtown Raleigh and Raleigh-Durham International Airport, where two were hit last week by planes on a runway.

The animals are also causing problems for farmers, like Tracey Gardner, who says he has lost as many as 20 cattle in one week. He usually loses at least five cattle every year to coyotes.

"When you lose a baby calf and you expect to sell it for $400 to $500, and you lose four or five, you're losing $2,000 to $3,000," he said.

Folta says people should be aware of coyotes but not afraid.

"As far as attacking people, it's rare," he said. "If (people) do see coyotes in their yards, certainly, they do need to be a little concerned, if they have small dogs or cats that they leave outside unattended."

Folta also recommends securing trash cans and grills and cleaning up bird feeders to help keep coyotes out of yards.

Coyotes are not protected animals, meaning hunters can legally trap and kill them, depending on where they live.

41 Comments

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  • ncguy Oct 7, 3:45 p.m.

    You can shoot them- problem is- they are very elusive!!

    Hard to get!

  • rhoda_penmark Oct 7, 3:24 p.m.

    "The coyote population has steadily increased over the past decade...So have sales of rocket propelled roller skates at the Acme Co."
    Thanks for this, hppyhourhero. The humor wasn't completely lost on everybody. :-)

  • Professor Oct 7, 3:16 p.m.

    The farmers should simply kill them.

  • cary1969 Oct 7, 2:22 p.m.

    they were introduced to help control the deer population...they will continue to grow until someone allows hunting of them

  • Coach K is still GREAT Oct 7, 2:18 p.m.

    ....maybe they will eat the deer that keep eating my garden!...
    chargernut69

    I suggest you hire a deer hunter... ME!!!!!!

  • EyesintheSkies Oct 7, 2:15 p.m.

    @HJRVS
    "With the demise of the wolf population in NC and the growth of the coyote population, wouldn’t it make sense for NC State to change their mascot to the “coyote pack”? It couldn’t hurt!"

    Been there, done that. Back in the 70's, we had a mascot that turned out to be a coyote. The students picked up on the fact and began the slogan "Koyotes are Kool".

  • gopack07 Oct 7, 1:48 p.m.

    I'm more nervous taking my dog out at night after Jessica Simpson's dog was grabbed by a coyote..haha..well, it's not really funny. It actually happened to some friends of my parents.

  • vote4changeASAP Oct 7, 1:11 p.m.

    Arthur In The Garden, a day old calf does not have the strengh and vigor to fight off one coyote or a pack of wild dogs. Angus cows or most breeds you find in NC are not as capable to defend calves agaist preditors as Brahman cross cattle in the mesquites of Texas, nor are those cattle as desirale in NC because of their bad disposition.

    Young and defenseless calves are the "cattle" mentioned in this article. Not older calves or mature cattle.

  • HJRVS Oct 7, 1:07 p.m.

    With the demise of the wolf population in NC and the growth of the coyote population, wouldn’t it make sense for NC State to change their mascot to the “coyote pack”? It couldn’t hurt!

  • chargernut69 Oct 7, 12:54 p.m.

    ....maybe they will eat the deer that keep eating my garden!...

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