Coyotes kill and devour 400 pound bison calf, yeh right! says Massachusetts biologist

Livestock owners’ wild imagination about predators not limited to the West-

Here is a little time out from the yarns and tales they spin in the Western United States about the vicious predators’ amazing feats of carnage.  Supposedly a 10-member  coyote pack  came into a bison enclosure where there were 14 bison and somehow drove one out to a swamp to kill and devour it.

State wildlife biologists are not buying the story, and here’s the story in the Boston Globe. Scientists cast doubt on story of buffalo killing
Haverhill man defends account of coyote attack.
By Meghan E. Irons







  1. Larry Thorngren Avatar

    I saw eight coyotes chasing deer in Copper Basin years ago while I was hunting elk. I watched as an adult Bison sank into the mud near Black Tail Ponds in Yellowstone. The coyotes ate its’ face and nose off when it could no longer fend them off.
    If the bison got stuck in the swamp, the coyotes could hve killed it. They also may have found it after it died from exhaustion from being stuck in the mud. The biologist should have looked at the actual carcass.
    Coyotes routinely kill elk that have fallen on ice while crossing frozen reservoirs here in Idaho.

    1. Immer Treue Avatar
      Immer Treue

      Pictures would help with this story.

      1. Larry Thorngren Avatar

        I didn’t come along when until just its’ face was sticking up out of the mud. I have often thought that Yellowstone should do an archeological dig in the mud around Black Tail Lakes. I suspect that bigger game( Mammoths etc.) got stuck in that same sticky mud in times past.

        1. SEAK Mossback Avatar
          SEAK Mossback

          You’re probably right, Larry. I almost became part of the fossil record a time or two walking around and casting in Blacktail Lakes (referred to then by locals as “Shakey Lakes”).

    2. Nancy Avatar

      A few winters ago, I watched a pack of 7 coyotes feed off the body of a dead cow in a neighbor’s pasture just across from me. They were not the cause of this cow’s death but it kept them well fed (in addition to a majority of other scavangers – ravens, magpies, bald and golden eagles) for quite awhile.

    3. Ralph Maughan Avatar

      Larry Thorngren,

      No doubt all true. Small predators can kill very large animals. Doug Smith told of magpies pretty much killing a bison with an non-lethal injury by pecking at it until it was infected. One wolf then finally pushed the sick bison over, but consider the context in ther MA story and the findings of the biologists.

      As Immer Treue writes above photos or a diagram would help.

  2. Jon Way Avatar

    Straight out of right-wing-ville. The farmer must follow the ongoing sage of wolf delisting and hunting and want to feel involved with the stories… It likely died, was fed on by a pack (including 6 month old pups), which howled at night and prompted the man to check out the area the following morning…

  3. catbestland Avatar

    Dire Coyotes of course, like the 190 lb wolves the wing nuts claim are present in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.

  4. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    National Geographic used to show a coyote feeding on a bull elk while it was still walking around. The clip was part of the shows opening sequence and played for better than a year. The bull was obviously injured and not long for this world but it was still walking around at that point.

    Obviously animals, including coyote, do not posses the same concept of life and death that humans do. That is one reason I always get a kick when individuals(fill in the blank) moan about an animal being “eaten alive”. First of all it is an animal, second of all that is what animals do. Some human cultures do also.

    As far as the story about the bison calf it appears to me to be an attempt to be reimbursed by the government, be it state or fed.
    He needs to come out west and learn from the pros looks like.

  5. JB Avatar

    “Supposedly a 10-member coyote pack came into a bison enclosure where there were 14 bison…”

    Funny, a paper was just published (29 Sept.) in the journal Behavioral Ecology that showed that pack size only increased the success of killing up to 4 animals in the pack (the authors looked at wolves and elk). The authors found that adding pack members after 4 just increased freeloading. I was going to write it up for the blog, as I think there are potentially some interesting implications for sport hunting (i.e., killing one or even two members of large packs may not substantially impact the pack’s killing of elk). Any interest?

    1. Immer Treue Avatar
      Immer Treue


  6. mikarooni Avatar

    chupacabras …a whole pack of them, with wings and seething with bloodlust and hatred for farmers, all led by the ghosts of Walter Mondale and a few other deceased leftist enviros.

    1. Carl Avatar

      Hopefully not Walter’s ghost since he is still alive. 83 years old.


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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Ralph Maughan