Battling the wily coyote

Wow this talk about coyotes and livestock, coming out of Wyoming just doesn’t stop.Battling the wily coyote.” By Jeff Gearino. Southwest Wyoming Bureau Casper Star Tribune.

The article is written from the viewpoint of “predator management supervisor” Rod Merrell.

In the article Merrell keeps saying the coyotes are incredibly smart. That’s because we have spent 120 years making them that way with high human mortality driving natural selection for the smartest coyotes at avoiding getting killed by humans.

Whitney Royster has an another article today too. Coyote control success demands precision. Casper Star Tribune.

How important are sheep in Wyoming compared to the money generated by the energy industry there? Ten times less? A hundred times less? Maybe a thousand?

Update . . .  more. Lethal predator control [the many ways to kill these “bad animals”]. Casper Star Tribune.




  1. Jon Way Avatar

    Indeed, I am back in 1907 – 100 years ago…
    They talk about selective control then mention in a similar article that 6,500 coyotes are killed per year just in Wyoming just by Animal Control Agents (sorry Wildlife Services) – that doesn’t seem terribly selective to me.
    I wonder how many of the mainstream conservation groups know that the U.S. taxpayers pay for 30,000 coyotes per year to be killed by airplane. Many groups are doing national boycotts of the roughly 200 wolves needlessly killed by the same method in Alaska (by private citizens, not using tax $). Add 2 zeros to the end of that and you have what we pay for to kill coyotes in the lower 48….

  2. Eric Avatar

    Fascinating stuff. I’m a city dweller and night shift cabdriver in Chicago at present and I can tell you that the Coyote is in fact an incredibly smart creature as I’ve had numerous occasions to see. One time last winter a coyote taunted me as I was on a 3 am jog. It was hilarious. The creature seemed to be communicating to me that it was superior by looking back and then making several vertical pirouette style leaps before dissappearing — because I was in pursuit. They inspire me as a city dweller. Also, Peter’s post about the Grizzly confrontation in Yellowstone and the photographer who got mauled again is a lesson to me about how to respect mothers and their young. I had a similar situation with a racoon last night (haha) but I left them after getting only a few photos when I realized I was putting the “chaparone” under too much unnecessarry stress.

  3. elkhunter Avatar

    It seems everyone opposes killing the wily coyote until it runs into someones backyard in suburbia CA and eats their poodle. Then all of a sudden the coyote is something that needs to be controlled and taken care of. I guess the old out of sight out of mind plays true, until obviously it effects you, then theres problem.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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