Coyote Everything I know about coyotes 

Coyote Information

Coyote (barking dog)
Canis latrans
- Aztec Indian word (coyotle)
Also called: Eastern coyote, brush wolf, little wolf, prarie wolf, American jackal

Pennsylvania: canis latrans latrans

Length: 46"-54.6"
Tail: 12.7-15.8"
Weight: 25-50lbs

Population density: 1-2/mi(2)

Home range: 1976-19760 acres (5-10 square miles)

6-8 years wild
18 years captivity


- long, narrow pointed nose
- erect, pointed ears
- round pupils that shine greenish-gold at night
- both sexes colored alike
- adult males slightly larger
- largest reside in northeast

- gray to yellow-gray pelage
- middorsal band of long black-tipped guard hairs
- bushy black-tipped tail
- head grizzled gray w/ rusty or yellowish tint along neck and sides
- throat, belly, back of ears, top of nose, legs, feet vary from orangish red to cinnamon
- molting begins in late spring and is completed in summer. Pelage is prime between early December and February


- highly adaptable (marshland, open grassland, dense hardwood forest)
- prefers brushy, disturbed edges of woodlands

- Omnivorous (rabbits, rodents, birds, livestock, poultry, reptiles, amphibians, fish, fruit, insects, plants, carrion, antelope, opossums, garbage, birdseed, doughnuts, berries, watermelon)

Mortality causes
- humans, fleas, ticks, lice, chiggers, mange, tapeworms, roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, pinworms, heartworms, lungworms, flukes, spiny-headed worms, tularemia, canine distemper, rabies, Q fever, bubonic plague
- Canine pests and diseases
- 11 year old boy developed axillary bubonic plague and plague meningitis 3 days after skinning dead coyote near Albuquerque, New Mexico. Yersinia pestis in spleen and marrow risk is minimal

- active throughout the year
- principally nocturnal - peak in early evening. May forage during daylight in summer
- hunt singly, in pairs, packs of 3 to 8
- travel single file - if pairs - along game trails and road cuts
- hunting alone - takes small mammals
- hunting in packs - may hunt deer of elk. Two or more may chase large animal 400m
- fastest canine - 40MPH
- leap 14 feet in the air
- holds tail between hind legs while running
- strong swimmer
- territorial
-- body postures
-- Facial expressions
-- scent marking
--- rocks, bushes, stumps, bases of trees. Defecates on small ridges and elevated sites along hunting trails. Scent gland on top of tail about 2" from base - rubs secretion on trees and bushes as individual recognition.
-- vocalizations
--- yip, yelp, howl, growl, bark, woof
--- Canine communications
- commonly rests in a concealed spot on brushy hillsides
- large carcass - will eat organs first and pick bones clean


Reproduction and development
- does not mate for life, but may stay together for several years
- monestrous (breeds once per year)
- usually February
- 4 to 5 day period of estrus
- gestation is 58 to 65 days
- 5 to 7 pups
- birth in April or early May
-- blind, helpless
-- brownish-gray wooly fur
-- weigh 9 oz
-- gain 10.5 oz/week until weaning
- both car for young
-- male brings food for nursing female
- whelps
-- able to crawl when 2-3 days old
-- walk @ 8-10 days
-- eyes open by 2 weeks
-- venture outside 1 week later
-- parents provide partially digested food
-- weaning occurs @ 8-9 weeks
--- group abandons den
--- young taught to hunt
- family disbands in autumn
-- young disperse up to 120 miles from den
-- hunt alone from autumn to winter
-- may pair and breed (most wait until 2 years old)
- achieves adult weight around 9 months old
-- breed when a year old (2 years for wolves)
- close relatives of dogs - will mate with them
- better food supply = larger litter
- for rearing young
- brush covered slopes
- rocky ledges
- hollow logs
- may excavate own den or renovate abandoned woodchuch, fox or skunk den
- well concealed by brush
- have several entrances about 1' in diameter
- tunnels range from 5 to 30 feet and terminate at nest chamber
- nest chamber about 3 feet in diameter

Shrub-Steppe Ecology Series Coyote info
The Coyote
Coyotes are like people
Overview of the canids
C. lupus tail positions picture
Gross (really) anatomy of the wolf
Skeleton - Ostaeology of the wolf
Coyote Skeleton
The body of a dog
Dog to Dog communication
- Young, Stanley P. and Edward A. Goldman. "The wolves of North America". Dover Publications.
- Kays, Roland W. and Don E. Wilson. Mammals of North America. Princeton University Press. p.230, 164
- Fox, M. W. "The wild canids - their systemics, behavioral ecology and evolution". Van Nostrand Reinhold Company. 1975
- Gambaryan, P.P. How mammals run anatomical adaptations. Halsted Press. 1974. p207-208, 244




- locate travel routes
- locate scent posts
- trap size: #3 or 4 double longspring, jump trap, or double underspring
- favorite spots: high hills, isolated land features, isolated bales of hay, trail and stream crossings, fences, roads through pastures, deer trails, dry or shallow creek beds, border of fields, tree groves, pond dams, brush piles
- set traps to one side, not in trail


Have you done your fur homework?
Other useful items
Coyote Doctors equipment list
Up close and personal
Predator Hunting tactics
Coyote hunting tips
- Phillips, John E. "Where and how to hunt coyotes". Black-powder hunting secrets. Larsen's Outdoor Publishing. 1993. 0-936513-38-1. pages 127-136.

Dinner time!
Varmint Al MP3 sounds
Nodak Outdoors Homemade E-caller
Nodak Outdoors making your own E- caller
Predator Masters wireless remote speaker MP3 caller
Predator calling sequences
Types of coyote calls
Howlers of heritage
How to call coyotes
Calling coyotes
Thomas Neuberger On Coyotes: How To Call And When To Shoot
- Kayser, Mark. "5 dastardly, deadly, and downright dirty tactics for calling winter coyotes". Field & Stream.
- Clancy, Gary. "The coyote crying game". Outdoor Life. Dec 1994 v194 n6 p60(4).
- Gese, Eric M. and Robert L. Ruff. "Howling by coyotes (canis latrans): variation among social classes, seasons, and pack sizes". National Wildlife Research Center. 1997.


What do I do with a dead coyote?
Stretching frame
Skinning the coyote
North Dakota Furtakers Educational Manual - care of pelts
-Churchill, James E. "The complete book of tanning skins and furs". Stackpole Books. 1983
- Churchill, James E. "Field dressing small game and fowl. Stackpole books. 1987.


Coyotes and humans interacting...
The call of the not so wild


My gear
-Allen compact shooters rest
-- walmart clearance $7
-H.S. Strut box call chalk
-- walmart clearance $1
-H.S. long cuff gloves
-- wm clearance $4
-Primos Ki-Yi model 315
-Cedar hills diaphragm predator
-- wm %5.35
-HS Hammerin Crow call
-Lohman mouth yelper
-Stanley Scruggs cottontail rabbit model PR-1
-Thompson calls coyote howler
-Quaker Boy mouse sqeaker
-Primos trophy grunter model 707
-Quaker boy bleat-in-heat
-Quaker boy hands free hammer
-Western rivers predation mini-caller Predator distress II
-H.S. strut friction call Li'l Deuce & Carbon striker combo kit
-H.S. strut Barred Owl hooter combo kit
-H.S. strut Double D diaphragm
-lohman gold series Goose call
-Camo Ridge packable rain suit in mossy oak obsession
-Underbrush 3-d Bugmaster suit
-- Dick's clearance $49.99


Ambush tactics 101
Cover:  protection from fire
Concealment: protection from observation
  •  Try to match the general colors of what you are wearing to the general colors of where you hunt.  Dull earth-tone colors work, if you don't have "regular" camo.  Movement in shadows is less noticeable than movement in daylight.
  • Stay low.  Don't skyline yourself.  A wild animal could spook if it catches sudden movement coming over a ridge.
  • Avoid reflections.  Isn't it annoying when someone's watch catches the sun and flashes in you eyes.  That could spook an animal.
  • If you must communicate with a partner, whisper, use visual signals, or use muted radio signals.  Note that radios aren't legal in all areas.  Try not to sound like a herd of buffalo trampling through the woods...  Take a few steps, then stop.  Repeat that so you sound more like a deer browsing through.
  • Have patience, grasshoppa.  Stay still until it is time to move on.
  • Be flexible.  Don't stay in the same location all day - it may be empty...
  • Concentrate on your surroundings.  Try to notice the animal before it jumps over your feet.


Ambush Tactics 201
  • Set up against a tree (preferable) or thick bush that is as wide as your shoulders.  The tree provides cover against incoming fire and bobcats/bears/mountain lions jumping directly on your back.