Coyotes closer to town

September 02, 2007 at 09:09 AM

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was published Sept. 1, in the Canton Daily Ledger.

Watching a coyote run across the road in front of you is an exciting sight, but not one that is out of the ordinary. But when one runs in front of you while driving through town, well, that’s a different story.

This happened to me earlier in the week. No, it’s not the first time that I have had this happen to me, but it seems lately that it has been happening a little more frequently.

No, I am not trying to say that coyotes are invading our town and that our children are at risk (your pets could be, however), but there are more coyotes running through town at night than you might imagine.
Illinois Outdoors

Why do I think this is happening, more this year than ever? First, it has to do with our ever-expanding coyote population. These animals are survivors, and it takes an awful lot to get rid of them. Illinois is exploding with coyotes. Coyotes then need to eat and finding a meal out in the true wild is becoming more difficult. Habitat destruction has caused a population decline for a number of species, many of which are on a coyote’s diet. Coyotes are expanding their range to find food, and that expansion gives you these city-dwelling coyotes.

I can go for a walk in the woods and surrounding fields and be lucky if I spot a few rabbits. I then can go for a walk in town and see four rabbits in the neighbor’s yard. I finish out a two-block area and see nearly 50 rabbits.

Rabbits have had the easy life in town, until now.

That is why I think more coyotes are moving into town. They have easy pickings on an enormous rabbit population. Throw in a few cats and street garbage, and you have a smorgasbord for the coyote.

Do we have to worry about this? Probably not. Most of us will never see this animal prowling our neighborhoods. These animals are nocturnal, so we have nothing to fear. If they ever become so brave that they begin prowling our neighborhoods during daylight hours, then and only then will we have something to be concerned about.

So what can we do about this? Tell your hunting and trapping buddies to take more coyotes. Allow a hunter or trapper to access your farm fields or woods to take a few coyotes. Coyote populations need to be controlled and the only way to do that is through hunting and trapping.