With the invention of the Internet, anyone can go online and find "general information" about any topic under the sun. Coyote trapping is no exception. However, as most of us understand, book knowledge is no replacement for the reality of "real world experience." When a potential customer calls me about a pet being killed or a livestock owner contacts me concerning a calf killing coyote, they will sometimes say.."but if you take some out won't more just fill in the void?"
The honest answer to that is if there is a large coyote population in an area it is possible that others will move in to the vacant area. Here is what the general public needs to understand.
Coyotes are here to stay. Most of us are co-existing with them whether we realize it or not. They are in every state and city in the nation. In some areas, depending on the topography and amount of food, they are just cruising through. Others, especially the females, find a suitable area to raise their young and decide to move the family group there.
Here is the point I want to make.....as long as the population of the prey species that the Coyotes feed on is adequate (deer, voles, mice...etc), these predators "tend" to go about their business without attacking and killing pets. Unfortunately, the more that coyotes are around humans and the more they become habituated to human contact, they begin to lose their innate "fear of man." This is when they become embolden and dangerous. Many pets killed by coyotes are crimes of opportunity. The owner lets the cat or dog out in the morning before daylight and it is never seen again.
The customer that I met with yesterday stated that all that they found of their cat was hair and blood in the back yard. Most coyotes mind their own business, staying hidden just out of sight in cover, moving only at night to feed. The small percentage that make the choice to kill pets are the ones that cause problems.
Let me use the analogy of a serial killer. Most humans are law abiding citzens. However, a very small percentage make the choice to kill other humans and do so until they are stopped. The same with Coyotes. Once a single or pair begin killing pets, they will not stop until they are trapped and dispatched.
Another important fact is that if it is a female doing the killing, it is possible that she will pass this behavior to her pups. When we trap for Coyotes in these types of situations, we are targeting the killers, which are typically the most aggressive of the pack. We as Certified Wildlife Operators use this aggressive behavior to their downfall. We set traps, place bait and lures in strategic locations as "chemical triggers" to invoke curiosity, territorial, food, sexual and several other responses to draw them to the traps where they can be caught. Once we scout, evaluate and place the traps we have done all we can. The ball is then in the Coyote's court to work the traps. Hopefully, we will catch the killers. And hopefully, the ones that move in later will be more "civil."
If you are having issues with Coyotes, do you make the choice to have a professional trapper come in and remove the offending animals, or do you make the choice to do nothing? Remember, Coyotes are predators, very intelligent and cunning. They must kill to survive. The problems arise when they choose to take our pets instead of their normal diet of wildlife and fruit.