Varmints

This report comes out of Florida, but we face the same issue:

Coyotes have learned to thrive in the same urban development that has caused other predator populations to decline. They can cross bridges, swim canals, and navigate sidewalks while hunting for food.
A coyote’s dream home, though, would be in a suburb like Bloomingdale, where densely packed developments are surrounded by farms and pastureland — a small taste of the open range prairies they used to roam.

In Plano, there’s an abundance of wild rabbits about the place, so where there’s food, there will be predators.

My apartment building lies less than a hundred yards from a heavily-wooded creek, and I must have seen coyotes crossing the road bridge about half a dozen times since I moved here.

This is somewhat problematic because I go for walks along a trail which follows said creek bed for over a mile.  Needless to say, I never walk unarmed — I never leave home unarmed, period — and even though coyotes prefer to be out and about at night time or at least dusk / dawn (when I don’t walk), I like the feel of the S&W Airweight in my pocket anyway.

I have a .38 Special shot shell lined up for trigger-pull #1, and hollowpoints for the other four.

  

(The shot shell is in case I get close to a snake — we have rattlesnakes, cottonmouths and  water moccasins in the creek area, and I hate the bloody things.)

Of course, it’s illegal to discharge a firearm in city limits, but I’d rather argue with a judge than be bitten by a rabid coyote or fucking snake.  Don’t even mention the chances of encountering some choirboy who might imagine that this fat old man is a ripe target for a little involuntary financial redistribution.

14 comments

  1. Coyotes, raccoons, possums, whitetail deer, armadillos, snakes and so forth have all adapted to the suburban life. If you feed your dog or cat in the back yard, you can be sure a coon or possum will come sniffing for scraps. I have to watch out for deer while riding my motorcycle through a heavily residential area on my way to work in the morning. On night shift we always spot coyotes patrolling the back of the plant looking for rabbits. Animals are highly adaptable.

  2. As a fellow fat old man, I remind you that choir boys come in choirs. Load hollowpoints in all your cylinders. You’re using 20% of your already limited ammo capacity (and 100% of your immediate action capacity) for a lesser threat.

      1. Good point. I think I’ll also carry my NAA mini-revolver loaded with .22 Magnum shot shells, for the worms.

        1. I was going to suggest this as that is what I do but I didn’t want to tell you to buy another gun. I have seen people carrying a real gun plus a derringer loaded with snake shot if you have one of those.

  3. Joe Rogan did a fascinating interview about coyotes. Human beings have tried to exterminate coyotes for about as long as we’ve been trying to exterminate wolves. Wolves have a social structure which makes them much more vulnerable to this… but coyotes have behaviors which have helped them not just survive but thrive.

    It turns out that when grey wolves (which evolved in North America, headed east across the land bridge into Asia and then Europe but, by the fossil record, vanished from NA) returned to North America, they found their ecological niche had been occupied by coyotes and proceeded to kick coyote ass… which resulted in coyotes evolving some social triggers for reproduction which have served them well when confronted with heavy hunting from us.

    When not heavily hunted, coyotes tend to develop small (in comparison with wolves, which form larger, more socially complex groups than do coyotes,) stable packs with fixed territories, and breeding females have smaller litters. If enough coyotes fail to answer roll call (one of the purposes of the chorus) breeding females begin cranking out more pups, which when they mature, enough and more to reoccupy (if possible) the now vacant coyote territories and leaving enough of a surplus to light out for the territories and set up shop wherever they can. Hence coyotes in Florida.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LH1RUk1w_xk&app=desktop

  4. I agree with Richard. If I’m carrying a gun I’m carrying ENOUGH gun. I never shoot living things just because. If a living thing is going to harm me then all bets are off. There are hundreds of coyotes around here and they have never let me get closer than a few hundred feet away. It’s very rural here so their internal barriers have not been skewed, yet. Their sound is haunting, 2 of them sound like 4. I think certain indian (feather not dot) tribes could do that.

  5. Well, don’t forget the tried and true method of dealing with dangerous coyotes. Leave out multiple copies of an ACME catalog along with a storehouse of anvils, and the problem will take care of itself eventually.

  6. The local pack hunts the cattle ranch across the road, on a fairly regular schedule. At least once a week, sometimes twice. Had a female that used to enter the rear yard to eat fallen figs. She also used it for napping. She was okay with me in the yard, as long as I stayed about twenty feet away. She could climb a wood fence like a cat, and would walk along the top rail. She stopped visiting a few years ago. Last week, I got a good look at a group of 4 males moving across the ranch, not far from the fence line. Really big, easily 100+ lbs. It’s obvious that they have some German Shepard mixed in. Nasty looking animals. Wouldn’t want to encounter them unarmed, especially since they travel in groups. This was around 2am. However, another, smaller one was killed by an SUV next to the house a couple weeks ago, at dusk. That female used to show up around noon for figs. Lots of walkers and joggers use that road.

    1. Coyotes top out at 40-45 pounds for big ones, around here. 100 pounds sounds more like a wolf to me, although they reportedly interbreed and get larger on the east coast. Sneaky bastards regardless. My birds wake me up with a commotion at 2 AM one night I’m out the next night waiting. The coyote comes back the following night at 11:00. I’m out at 11 next, he’s back at 03:00. If I stay out all night he won’t show until the following morning. He seems to be much smarter than me… He has patience.

      1. They looked like top of the scale Shepards with the coyote brown coloration. The color just doesn’t look right on them. Never seen the big ones in daylight, only 2-3am.
        When they do their hunt/drive routine across the ranch pasture, they aren’t visible, just LOUD. It’s a hillside with draws, and some trees along the fence, so it’s easy for them to remain hidden. The foursome looked like they were just heading home, sort of cruising.
        The one that got hit in the road was a normal/average size for a Shepard. I used a snow shovel and solid head rake to slide him to the gutter. I called 911 to advise them of the carcass, and it was gone early the next day. I’m sure they were getting calls about the “dog” laying in the road. Little more gray in color, but had that distinctive tail.

  7. When we had dogs I’d walk them at a nearby park. For a couple of years we saw coyotes, singles and pairs, several times a week. They did not try to approach and were quite skittish. Of course I’m fairly big and the dogs were 50-70 pounds so doubtless didn’t present a likely target. Which is nice because this was pre-concealed carry here in ill-annoy and in any case can’t carry in parks…

    I once drove off a pair that were stalking a beagle some idiots left leashed in their unfenced back yard; the poor thing was practically screaming as they circled in. Bright flashlight and big barking dog gave them second thoughts; then the owners finally came out and I told them what almost happened.

    1. My dog (60lbs) seems to be able to intimidate coyotes even in packs. A group of 4 tried their encircle trick on her. I was gimping up to get in range but she solved the problem herself. Saw the set up, charged the smallest coyote which was the one directly behind her, broke the ring and then turned around and ran the whole pack off.

  8. Kim, in my section of Plano, we’re also seeing reports of bobcats. I know they’ve been around a while; our 2 doors down neighbor had a 4 chicken coop in the backyard and a pair climbed the 9 foot privacy fence. She got one with a pistol and the other one left.

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