Thursday, October 14, 2010

Wild America

A. and the MiL took the dogs on a walk up back yesterday evening after dinner. They returned in almost full darkness, with stories of a coyote pack that A. had more or less run into in a copse of trees when he heard the dogs fighting one of them* and went searching for the dogs. He was standing there in a little thicket, in almost complete darkness, watching shadows moving through the trees that he thought were our dogs. It took him a minute to realize that they weren't our dogs. That he was standing in the darkness with a pack of coyotes.

Coyotes in the east are no joke. My experience with coyotes in Arizona led me to believe that all coyotes are scrawny, cringing creatures that avoid people at all costs. Coyotes in the east, however, are genetically part wolf**, and they look and behave accordingly. They're large--50 or 60 pounds--they move in packs, and they are aggressive. A. told me he had a knife with him that he could have used if necessary, but that he wasn't in any danger because coyotes only attack small women and children.

Well, THAT makes me feel better.

I'll tell you one thing: When Cubby is older, he is never going into those woods without one or more dogs at his side.

* The dogs are fine. They appear to have only engaged a single, relatively small coyote, thankfully avoiding the rest of the pack.

** Go here for a really interesting
New York Times article about this very subject.


Sara said...

Even coyotes are aggressive east coasters! Yikes, that sounds pretty scary. Glad they made it out of the woods unscathed.

jive turkey said...

WHAT?! I had no idea coyotes were so mean (or even common) in the northeast.

I'm sure the dogs will never let anything happen to Cubby.

Alicia said...

Coyote attack!!!!

We have cougars. The cat, not the desperate women.

tu mere said...

Unlike your dogs, Riley chased after a pack in Sabino Canyon with the hope of joining the group. The ones I've seen here just sit and stare until they get tired of the inactivity and leave. Guess life is a bit harder in your neck of the woods for all living creatures.

Mia said...

I HEAR ya, i've seen coyotes in my own backyard which is why i don't go out after dark.

FinnyKnits said...

Is it weird that my reaction to this post was, "COOL!"?

Probably because I'm used to the pansy West Coasty type coyotes that are small and scare real easy. And because I have always had a fascination with wolves, but whatever.

Glad everyone's AOK and that the dogs were watching over A and the MiL.

Anonymous said...

You do know how to shoot, don't you? Just in case. Beth

homegrown countrygirl said...

Kristin, thanks for (as always) another entertaining post and for the NYT link. I have been wondering for a long time now why the Ohio coyotes of today are so big and brave and healthy looking... not at all like the scrawny scabby characters I remember from the past. They are not afraid of anything. (And to annonymous, right before my comment... true that. You don't even go outside without protection.) Although I have to admit that there's something kind of haunting, yet comforting, about listening to their howls at night.

Anonymous said...

The coyotes in Minnesota capture small pets and make off with them.

Unknown said...

I live about 4 miles from the City of Pittsburgh border, mom lives less than 2 miles. My brother and his friend each shot a coyote behind mom's house last year during hunting season. The weights were 48 and 52 pounds. I've heard them around my house and heard of them in some of the parks within the City of Pittsburgh.