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Posts Tagged ‘West Virginia coyote’

I purchased a diaphragm coyote call a few months ago from MFK. I wanted to liven up the blog with some possible coyote photos and videos, and coyote hunting is one of those things I’ve always wanted to try.

It’s much harder than it looks, especially if the coyotes in your area don’t howl that much and are generally unresponsive to howls and other vocalizations.

However, I eventually did get lucky. I set up about 100 feet deeper down an Allegheny bench. I howled three times and let loose a few bitch-in-estrus whimpers.

I noticed some movement to my right. Something yellow was advancing across the bench opposite mine across a small ravine.

That’s when I knew it. I had a coyote coming in. I just got ready for him to come up from the ravine. What follows is, well, pretty hard to believe. If I didn’t have the photos and the video proof, I still wouldn’t believe it.

This is not a zoo animal. This is backwoods West Virginia, and this is a very wild Eastern coyote from a population that is as pressured as any on the East Coast.

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So calm and relaxed that he stops to scratch an itch!

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He paced around me for about ten minutes. He was looking for the bitch. If he started to wander off, I would just whimper a bit through the diaphragm, and he’d come back.

This is one of those moments when you realize how great it is to be alive.

Too look into those wild yet sagacious brush wolf eyes is to be taken back to a time when the only dogs were wild ones.

It was  my pleasure to have had this opportunity.

I met a wild one.

And it doesn’t seem real.

 

 

 

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Coyote sign

Scat:

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Tracks:

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And the old dog himself:

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I’m always excited when I get a coyote on the trail camera. Coyotes here are elusive, There is no closed season on them, and humans here are armed and hate coyotes. Ever since we met up with coyotes, the selection pressures have been for a sort of cunning paranoia.  This one spent more time sniffing around than the other ones I’ve been able to catch on camera. The Primos camera make so much noise and flash so much light that they quickly scare off more elusive predators. The new Moultrie 1100i did the job well.

I should note that when i first got the thumbnail of this video, I was certain that I’d got yet another opossum on it. Opossums are interesting in their own freaky way, but they aren’t interesting enough to get posted here.

But it’s nice to get a brush wolf, my highest value target.

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I came across some coyote tracks in the snow.

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Their size next to a nickel (US five cent piece):

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One foot stepping where the other was.  This is very common in coyotes. They walk almost without wasted movement.

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And for comparison, here are some of Miley’s:

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There is no hard and fast rule from telling dog tracks from coyote tracks, but in this case, there are no other domestic dogs running loose on this road. Golden retrievers have round “cat feet,” which gives them a pretty compact track in the mud or snow. Coyotes have pronounced center toes on their front feet. There aren’t many dogs that have that particular foot morphology, especially around here where sighthounds really don’t exist (except on the race track).

Miley is also at least 1/3 larger than any coyote that lives here, and because her legs are proportionally shorter, she tends to dig in more when she runs.

That’s how I tell them apart.

 

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I made a little scent post for the trail camera a few days ago. I used red fox urine with a bit of coyote gland lure rubbed on the top.

Miley offed a gray squirrel the same day, so  was put near the post.

And a coyote did come by last night

I think it’s a small female, probably a darker gray one that the big dog coyote I’ve been getting on camera.

Eastern coyotes have wolf and domestic dog ancestry and vary quite a bit in appearance. The one from this summer is a bigger animal, probably pheomelanistic, clear sable.

This one is wolf-colored, but clearly lighter-frame. My guess is this is a bitch.

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If you’re wondering why I removed the camera, last Sunday I was sitting on that rise where the coyote clearly reveals herself in the video.

My sister’s fiance wanted to go out coyote calling from my dad’s new tree stand. I got to play around with the e-caller when I got a response.

His iPhone managed to capture a bit of the cacophony:

Source.

The stand is pretty deep into the woods– maybe 50 yards or so.

I’m sitting on that rise in the old pasture at the edge of the woods.

About two minutes of howling go on, and I start to hear the brush cracking all around me.

There is nearly a full moon out, and it’s clear enough that I can see some things.

But not the thing that is crunching leaves 30 feet in front of me in the access road!

I hear a bark and then something retreating back.

I shine my flashlight into the darkness, and there is a wolfy coyote standing not more then 45 feet from me!

It’s not the one in the video, and it’s not the same one I’ve been getting on camera all summer.

It’s heavily sabled and stoutly built.

It stands there for about 30 seconds before slowly slinking back into the brush.

Yeah. I’m getting on them on camera now.

I’m getting hooked!

 

 

 

 

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I thought it was Miley. It’s clearly a relatively big canid with a robust body.

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If you look closely, though, you can clearly see the tail tip is black, and there is no feathering.

And Miley was inside at midnight last night.

And well, if you look very closely, it’s got a certain organ…

It’s a dog coyote, not a bitch.

 

 

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The trail cam spooked this coyote before it ran off.  If you can look closely and have a bit of understanding of domestic dog body language, the fear and nervousness exhibited here are unmistakable.

Source.

I posted this video on Facebook a few days ago, but Youtube’s resolution is just a lot better. You can tell this is a very typical Eastern coyote, which is a coyote that has some wolf and domestic dog ancestry.

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