Urban hunters are pretty delighted by the coyote takeover. Coyotes very rarely attack humans, but they’re still scary when it comes to Kids and pets. Get within earshot of a pack of coyotes at night, and you’ll know what I’m talking about. Those quavering howls, punctuated by crazed laughter. Spooky. Gray wolves are supposed to keep coyotes in check, but wolf populations in the United States have dwindled because of hunting and habitat loss. As a result, coyotes have started to migrate into suburbs and cities in search of new territory. The highly adaptable mammals have even settled down in densely populated places like Chicago and Los Angeles.
We’ve been giving all sorts of reasons as to why we hunt. We have documented the $2.9 billion that sportsmen contribute every year for conservation. We explain the population control that results in less wildlife disease, starvation, and animal-automobile collisions. We tout the health benefits of consuming wild game. We even convey the relaxation that simply being in the field can provide. These are all great reasons and are all true.
A swift clean kill is what I ask,
Take his spirit swift and fast.
For his last breath should not be,
One of pain or agony.
Coyotes in the Northeast are mostly (60%-84%) coyote, with lesser amounts of wolf (8%-25%) and dog (8%-11%). Start moving south or east and this mixture slowly changes
. Virginia animals average more dog than wolf (85%:2%:13% coyote:wolf:dog) while coyotes from the Deep South had just a dash of wolf and dog genes mixed in (91%:4%:5% coyote:wolf:dog). Tests show that there are no animals that are just coyote and wolf (that is, a coywolf), and some eastern coyotes that have almost no wolf at all.
Researchers now believe coywolves first got their start at the southern end of Ontario, in Canada’s Algonquin Provincial Park, in the early 20th century, when colonizing coyotes from the west bred with remnant populations of eastern wolves or a subspecies of gray wolves.
The animals are now expanding throughout eastern North America, and have become a point of concern among conservationists, who note that hybridization is a major threat to the recovery of wolves.
In addition to having a larger overall body than western coyotes, coywolves also have larger, stronger jaws and bigger skulls, which allow them to better hunt the plentiful white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in eastern North America.
And like western coyotes — but unlike wolves — coywolves can adapt to all habitats, thriving in the countryside, in suburbs and in cities.