As the dog days of summer begin to wane, the Coyote pups that were conceived this past February and born the last of April are now approaching adulthood.
Beginning in September, the population will be entering the phase known in our industry as the "Dispersal Phase." This is when the mother Coyote runs off her young male offspring and they must disperse and find their own territory to start their own family group. A young male coyote may move 10-50 miles before they find a location that is not currently inhabited by another Coyote family group.
During this time, Coyote sightings should increase as the weather cools and the family groups begin to move more and more. Mortality among these juvenile coyotes is highest this time of year due to the dispersal urge for they are roaming, crossing roads and highways and many die due to car/coyote collisions. Others die invading other more aggressive adult Coyotes' territory for these established family groups will defend their territory against all other trespassers even if it leads to the death of the offender. There are 3 major "Dispersal Routes" that Coyotes utilize during this timeframe. Railroad tracks, Highways and major Riverbottoms and Watersheds.
As Fall transitions into Winter, food becomes much more scarce. Coyotes who might have only had to travel a mile or two each night during the Summer months to find enough food to satisfy their hunger now have to cruise up to 5-10 miles per night to locate a food source. If a large cow dies in a pasture from sickness or disease, you can bet that every coyote within a 5 mile radius will know where the carcass is within one or two nights. If the Juvenile Coyote makes it through it's first winter, it will have acquired the survival skills to live between 5 and 8 years in the wild.