Several times this fall I have encountered coyotes.
In the mornings while climbing up my hill to get ready for the Mt. Marcy hike, I’d see one. He’d be in the meadow searching for mice or wandering along one of the many logging roads.
One day a doe and her two fawns were feeding in our old pasture. I watched as the big brownish-gray canine circled around and started his stalk. But before he got close enough the old deer spotted him and all three were off into the woods with their white tails waving. Obviously, venison was not on the menu that morning.
Twice more I saw that same dog in the woods while deer hunting. I easily could have shot him, but anymore I only shoot what I eat. Trust me, I’ve skinned a bunch of them when we had the taxidermy shop. They stink! I certainly wouldn’t eat one even if I was starving to death. And so he disappeared into the underbrush and we continued our hunt.
Years ago I was hunting in the Siamese Ponds area of the Adirondacks. Late in the day as rain fell steadily, I made my way back to camp. As I wandered down the Rock Pond trail with my old wool coat pulled up around my ears, a coyote approached. That big predator weighed nearly 70 pounds, but that’s because these big canines aren’t true coyotes.
The western coyote is a smaller version. A big coyote in Colorado or Arizona only will weigh 35 pounds, but the eastern variety is a cross between the coyote and the eastern red wolf. They are nearly twice the size of their western cousins.
There is a lot of misinformation about the eastern coyote. I’ve heard people say the DEC released them to control the deer population. It’s not true. Over the years they moved in from Canada and some more westerly states. They filled a void in the predator chain. It’s similar to the moose moving back into the Adirondacks or the bears moving into this area.