Ten do’s and don’ts for "ki-yo-tees" & "ki-yotes"
by Gwen Petersen
Big Timber, Mont.
In California the coyote problem is becoming really, really serious. Cats, dogs and small children have fallen victim to the aggressive wily creature. And you can pronounce that “ki-yo-tee” or “ki-yote.” Either way, it’s a four-legged pest that’s gotten way out of hand.
According to an article in a Sunday issue of the Los Angeles Times, the reason there are so many coyotes cluttering the neighborhoods is because people are careless.
These slapdash humans have had the temerity to have pets, backyard barbecues and outdoor garbage cans.
Not only that, many of these thoughtless individuals have gone and had children who are allowed out of doors to play or walk to school or the local park. These outrageous human customs draw coyotes out of the wild and onto backyards, porches and parks.
The claim is that back-country wild places can’t support the numerous and ever multiplying numbers of coyotes so they migrate to the urban areas where food in the form of pets and small children is easy to come by.
According to the Fish and Game Department, shooting a marauding coyote is not the answer because it will “just be replaced by another coyote.” Well, duh. Don’t you just love that kind of logic? Here’s a suggestion:
Put a slug in that replacement critter and repeat for the one after that and the one after that and the one after that.
I do not mean to disparage Fish & Game personnel, however. They’re doing the best they can within the parameters of what’s politically correct. They’ve issued a “statewide warning” and are instituting “coyote awareness” programs (funded by tax money). They’ve developed a 10 point list of do’s and don’ts to help the public engage in “Coyote Deterrence” practices.
Now, isn’t that special? We here in predator-friendly wolf country can benefit from these thoughtful directives. (For the word, “coyote,” read, “wolf.”)
1. Never feed coyotes. (Except to wolves.)
2. Cover trash bins and cans. (Make those predators work for their taste treats.)
3. Do not leave pets outside. (Consider all livestock as “pets” and bring them into the living room.)
4. If you take your pet outside, stay with it. (Put a sleeping bag in the pickup and camp out on the south section. That will give you ringside viewing of wolves chomping calves and sheep.)
5. Remove ripened fruit from trees and ground. (Yeah, right. What next, cut down the trees?)
6. Fence yards or brushy slopes: bury bottom of fence at least 6 inches. (How long would it take to sink a fence 6 inches across a 10-mile section of a brushy mountain slope, and who would fence the other side?)
7. If you encounter a coyote, throw rocks, squirt it with hose, yell or do anything to make it uncomfortable. (If you encounter a wolf, it won’t be the wolf who will be “uncomfortable.”)
8. Do not leave young children unattended. (Hire the National Guard.)
9. Older children should use the buddy system when playing outside. (Furnish the kids with a Russian Wolfhound.)
10. Do not leave doors open or use pet doors. (Most folks seldom use a pet door for entrance or exit, but might do so if a wolf were after ’em.)
The next few years will be ever so entertaining as wolf populations continue to explode. Well, at least they’ll cut down on the coyote numbers around here. Maybe California Fish and Game should add wolves to their list of “coyote deterrents.” There’s nothing like a snarling wolf to make a coyote really “uncomfortable”!
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I have been rather preoccupied lately and haven’t been writing my editor’s note. So, for those who have called and emailed to make sure I’m still on this Earth, I’m still here.