Commonwealth Journal

Features

February 15, 2012

Howl About That

Coyotes joining wild hogs as nuisance in Pulaski County

Somerset — A growing population of wild hogs has recently been making news in western Pulaski County while coyotes, a more widespread pest, continue to be a problem in many parts of the county.

Wayne Adams, who lives on Pitman Road off Ky. 192 along Pitman Creek, is totally frustrated with the number of coyotes around his place. He believes one of his dogs has been killed by coyotes, and he killed a coyote Sunday night attacking his other dog.

“I’ve got a night light outside and we feed our dogs out there,” said Adams. “Coyotes come into his yard all the time ... we see them.”

Adams said his little Blue Heeler, an Australian cattle dog, disappeared about a month ago and he is convinced coyotes killed him. His other dog, a mixed Blue Heeler and collie, was attacked by a coyote Sunday night shortly after dark.

“He pushed my dog up against the trailer,” said Adams. “I ran inside and got my gun, a 20-gauge shotgun, and killed it.”

“You’re not going to get me in trouble,” Adams reacted to a photograph of the coyote being published in the newspaper. He was not sure there is an open season on coyotes. Truth is, coyotes are not protected and can be killed anytime.

Adams raises cattle and “ ... we lost a calf ... it was eaten by something. I believe it was coyotes.” He said several of his neighbors have lost calves.

Coyotes are not natives of Pulaski County. The first coyote reported killed in Pulaski County was in the Plato community about 25-30 years ago. During the last 30 years coyotes have gradually spread throughout the eastern United States from an historic range in the plains and mountains of western North America. Except for the eastern mountains, the coyote is now common in all parts of Kentucky.

Coyotes will live in populated areas. Several years ago, before Hail Knob in western Somerset was more fully developed, a family of coyotes had a den in the wooded area at the top of the knob. The animals were often heard howling at night and observed around garbage cans. The coyote, also known as prairie wolf, is a close relative of the domestic dog

Although the bulk of their diet consists of small wild mammals, carrion, fruits, and vegetable matter, some coyotes will kill livestock if given the opportunity. Coyotes’ most common prey is lambs, calves, pigs and poultry.

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