My Photo
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

I grew up in Ontario and Nunavut, and went to university in New Brunswick. For two years I lived in Ottawa, on the green belt. While I was there I wrote about nature. Then I moved to Montreal and I wrote nothing for a year. We've got nature here too, so I'm going to write about it.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The coyotes have been at it again.

I was out for a walk this afternoon. the sun was setting, and there was a crust of ice and old snow beneath my feet. There's been a warm spell lately. Where there were once drifts over my knees (and I am not a short man), there is now a thin crust that doesn't reach the top of my boot. It isn't easy walking, but it's peaceful. Nobody else goes there when it's like this.

On the main trail, not far from where my path joins it. there was a tremendous mess. blood, fur, feces, and a deer carcass. There are no wolves here, that I know of. there are no vicious dogs. There are, however, coyotes. I've written about coyotes before. My admiration for them. that has't changed. Coyotes are not very big. Unless they crossbreed with dogs, the most they will typically weigh is 46 pounds, though the record is in the mid-70's. In other words, the animals that did this were probably about the size of a border collie. they don't normally prey on animals the size of deer, but they are adaptable, and there are an awful lot of deer in Ottawa these days. I can tell you that the innards, and one and a half legs were completely gone, and the carcass had been dragged some distance, as evidenced by the trail of blood and fur. I'm going to check back in the morning. it's supposed to snow tonight, and if they return to the kill, then maybe there will be some tracks, so I can see where they came from.

My admiration knows no bounds. I love coyotes, I really do. they are masters of their environment, and supremely adaptable.


Blogger Kathy said...

We ski at P2 off Carling near Nortel. We have seen deer legs and rabbit remain recently and are wondering about the coyotes. Can anyone explain to us if the coyotes kill in packs and under what conditions they kill a larger animal?

7:11 AM  
Blogger Gaelan said...

I plain did not notice this comment until just now...I have no idea how long it's been here.

That area is near my old Ottawa stomping grounds....quite probably the same coyotes. I've never seen it happen myself, of course, but my understanding is that in the absence of larger predators like wolves or bear, and the presence of a great deal of of large prey animals such as deer, the coyotes exhibit pack-like behavior, hunting in much larger groups than they normally would. It's a good thing really....keeps the deer population down.

9:01 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home