Coyotes a Bothersome Varmint
Dr. John Woods 10.19.15
Eleven year old Dallas Rustin from Laurel, Mississippi stepped out the front door of his rural home to spot two coyotes lounging out in the pasture not far from the house. He was alarmed by that. He knew the family had been having issues with coyotes coming close to the house and even taking down newborn calves. They had just lost two more new ones.
Quickly back in the house, his mom gave permission to gather up his hunting rifle to dispatch the yotes. His main weapon of coyote population control is a Remington bolt rifle in .243 Winchester using Remington ammunition. Being his primary deer hunting rifle, it was also topped with a Bushnell 3x9x40 scope. A perfect combo for coyote busting.
When he yelled at the pair of coyotes, one sort of yawned, got up, turned around and laid back down. Dallas ranged them at about 75 yards. One shot cleanly ruined that field dog’s day for good. The other varmint slipped off out of the field.
It’s anybody’s guess how many times this happens in rural farming and ranching communities across the country on a daily basis. Now, it is not uncommon to spot coyotes near residential communities and even right in town. They have definitely expanded their populations and accordingly have broadened their territories in search of an easy meal.
Used to be that wildlife biologists would talk about coyotes as just part of the wildlife food chain with a cycle of presence that came and went over the years. Some years the woods and fields are covered up with them, then all of a sudden for several seasons hardly any would be seen. That cycle trend seems to have vanished. Now they are everywhere all the time.
Also in times past biologists, particularly those doing wildlife management work on white-tailed deer, did not think that coyotes adversely impacted deer. Now that philosophy has changed with new research being done on coyote scat proving white-tailed deer are apparently part of their diets. I highly suspect that coyotes are like any other wild animal that will take full advantage of any available food opportunities. Young deer and fawns would be high on their list.
Accordingly varmint hunting is still very popular in many parts of the country. Coyote hunting in particular fills in when other hunting is lax. It is one way to help try to control the population of a very bothersome varmint.