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January 3, 2014

Coyotes specialize at disturbing peace

Cállate translated from Spanish means shut up.

That’s where our name for the coyote originates. The early Spanish settlers in the southwest grew tired of hearing the wild dogs’ yodel and howl all night, so they would yell, “cállate, cállate.”

I hear them quite often at my house. It doesn’t bother me. I like listening to them.

Back in the early 1980s, I saw my first coyotes while driving along East Road out of Speculator back into the International Paper Company land. We heard them singing and calling to one another many nights while in camp but hadn’t seen one yet. That is, until a pair of large dark gray coyotes crossed the old road a couple hundred yards in front of us. We heard them again that night.

Later in the week I harvested a big male while hunting near Rock Pond. He weighed about 70 pounds. It was raining and I was heading back to camp with the collar of my hunting coat pulled up around my neck. I was heading down the trail and he was coming up. The old dog had his head down, dealing with the weather, but I had the gun.

Today I don’t bother with them. I see them on my hill quite often. I just let them pass. They’re out hunting the same as I am.

Thursday I was on my hill and couldn’t believe the number of coyote tracks in the snow. They’re everywhere. I’m sure that a few coyotes will make a lot of tracks, but there must be several of them in the area.

The coyote is a very resilient animal. Ranchers out west would certainly agree. They’ve shot, trapped and even poisoned them and yet there seems to be just as many around as the year before. Around here, guys hunt them with dogs and take a significant number every year. Still, there seems to be just as many this year as last.

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