Den Hunting As A Means of Coyote Control

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Qualifications and Equipment of the Den Hunter

The most essential qualifications of a den hunter are keen observation, persistence, and familiarity with the habits of coyotes.

He can probably become more skilled in den hunting than in any other phase of coyote control.

The denning habits of coyotes are similar in most sections, and the same general methods of den hunting can be applied to humid mountainous sections and to semiarid deserts.

“Den sign” means indications of denning activity and should always be watched for. It may consist of tracks, a well-worn path leading to and from a den, or holes freshly cleaned out.

Holes made by the coyotes in digging out squirrels or rabbits should not be confused, however, with those prepared for dens.

A good hunter will overlook no likely place and should take advantage of every hint, for dens are often found where least expected.

He should look for den signs in every locality where animals are frequently seen. He should keep in mind the places used by pairs of coyotes and visit all old dens known, as signs may often be discovered there at the whelping time.

Holes may be cleaned out in one canyon and the den is just over the hill in another. Sheepherders on a range usually can give valuable information as to the locations of dens.

The equipment of a den hunter should include at least two good, gentle saddle horses, a small shovel, a pair of good field glasses, and a rifle of not less than.

25 caliber, and a dog. Coyotes are not so much afraid of a man on horseback as of one on foot.

A rider, therefore, can get many good shots, and in heavy sagebrush, he can more easily see and track coyotes from his vantage seat upon a horse.

Coyotes do not select denning sites according to any recognizable rule, but many of them return to the same general locality year after year, even though dens are regularly dug out and the pups are killed by den hunters.

If the female is killed, the male may bring his new mate to the same den the next season.

A dug-out den that has not been badly damaged in removing coyotes may remain unoccupied for two or three seasons and then be used again, as was the case with the den in Conejos County, Colo., shown on the title page.

The female continues digging and cleaning out den holes, sometimes a dozen or more, until the young are born.

Then, if one den is disturbed the family moves to another. Sometimes the animals move only a few hundred yards, apparently just to have a cleaner home, leaving many fleas behind.

Occasionally a female that has lost her whelps will clean out several holes before becoming reconciled to her loss.

Barren females sometimes clean out holes, but they are not found traveling with a mate.

Male coyotes also work at many holes in spring but generally dig out dead rabbits.

The tracks of the male will usually be seen in these freshly dug holes, which have a different appearance from those cleaned out for dens, and dried-up rabbit carcasses will generally be found nearby.

When entering the den, the coyotes almost always go around, not over, the mound, if one is present. Dens may have one or several entrances in use, and several passages may branch from the main one.

After the pups are born, small balls of rolled fur and hair from the mother’s belly may be found in the dry dirt in the mouth of the den. Parent coyotes have no set time for being at home and may be found near the den at any hour.

Although they do most of their killing early in the morning, they sometimes visit the den only at night. They are clean about their dens; so there is little refuse or odor.

Author Stanley Paul Young
Language English
No. of Pages10
PDF Size1.6 MB

Den Hunting As A Means of Coyote Control Book PDF Free Download

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