By Kim Lemmon, Ohio’s Country Journal
Apparently my friends weren’t the only Ohioans to have large wild canines running around on their property. Not only was my blog about a Coy Wolf sighting widely read, but we also received some interesting new information and photographs from readers.
Unfortunately, Tyler McMillen also has large wild canines causing problems on his family’s farm near Granville and on the hunting preserves and cattle farms where he works in Morrow, Delaware and Knox counties. The cattle farm in Morrow County had coyotes attack and kill livestock this fall.
“They killed a two-day-old calf on Oct. 24,” he said. “Damages that have been done are luckily just the one calf, but we calve year around! I’m getting worried of what might happen in the cold weather when the ‘yotes get hungry.”
It is not surprising that livestock has been killed when you look at his photos from his trail cameras and you see the number and size of the coyotes working together.
“Eleven trail cameras have picked up multiple pictures of the rascals prowling around, and I believe that their population numbers are on the rise,” he said.
To date, Tyler has managed to eliminate five coyotes.
“They are very smart,” he said.
With so many more Ohioans reporting coyote and other large wild canines near their homes and livestock, it might be time to review OSU Exensions fact sheet “Preventing and Controlling Coyote Problems.”
Did you know that coyotes are not native to Ohio? According to the fact sheet, they entered the Buckeye state in 1919.
“The immigration of coyotes into Ohio is part of a natural range expansion into eastern states following the removal of wolves and fragmentation of forests for agriculture,” the fact sheet reads.
More interesting facts from the fact sheet:
“Mating takes place January through March, with a peak in February. During this time coyote packs increase their territorial behavior. They maintain their high degree of territorial defense through April, when pups are born to the alpha pair.
Livestock depredation often peaks during spring because of the availability of lambs and calves, which coincides with an increase in energy demands for alpha pairs raising newborn pups. Studies have shown that resident coyotes usually have little interest in livestock until a litter is born. The alpha pair is usually responsible for most predation events within a territory.
As with all nuisance wildlife problems and damage concerns, an integrated management plan is most successful when it combines tolerance, prevention, and control.”
For controlling the populations and damage caused by coyotes, the fact sheet suggests special fencing techniques, modifying livestock movement to decrease their territorial overlap with coyote habitat during peak seasons, using guard animals, employing scare tactics, and integrating trapping and shooting.
The complete fact sheet can be downloaded in a pdf format at ohioline.osu.edu/w-fact/pdf/0004.pdf. Follow its tips to help ensure your pets and livestock stay safe during the upcoming mating and pup rearing seasons.
Please continue to send us your photos of Ohio wildlife.