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Flearoy
07-13-2016, 11:46 AM
I'm a female in my 60s who hikes alone, always have. I'm returning to backpacking after a number of years away from it. I grew up with bears so they don't scare me too much. I hang my food and try to avoid popular tent sites. What does scare me is coyotes. I've read a lot about modern-day coywolves---enough to take the threat seriously. These guys weren't a factor before, but the Northeastern woods have changed in the last 20 years.

Have you backpackers encountered coyotes in Maine, Vermont, or New Hampshire (in the woods, I mean, not in your backyard)? If so, what was the encounter like? What precautions can I take? I'm not armed and dont' want to be.

dug
07-13-2016, 12:05 PM
Not in the mountains, but I've had some issues with them in southern NH. But, to your point, they scare me more than bears.

DayTrip
07-13-2016, 12:29 PM
Two years ago there was a small coyote in the woods at the Sugarloaf II campground off Rte 302. I was at a site between the campground and Zealand Rd, which has a good buffer of trees. He cruised in between the sites and didn't seem like he wanted to deal with humans. That's the only time I can think of where I saw one in a "hiking" environment in NH.

sierra
07-13-2016, 01:24 PM
First off, I would not make it an issue. While they are around, they are rare to see. I have only seen two while hiking ( two at once). My dog actually alerted me to them, they were standing off in the woods, just looking at us. I just held my dog's leash and told him to "get them" while I held him and he went ballistic, they scampered off. Even without a dog, simple yelling would have worked. Wildlife by nature is not looking for a fight, simply an easy meal.

Hill Junkie
07-13-2016, 02:14 PM
I have never encountered coyotes while hiking, but have encountered them many times while mountain biking after dusk in southern NH and Mass. Kind of spooky with helmet light panning forest and seeing 6 or 8 sets of glowing eyes staring back at you out of the darkness. They always kept their distance. I never felt threatened.

Stan
07-13-2016, 02:19 PM
I've never seen one in the northeast wild but have heard them. On the other hand, I've never heard one in my suburban backyard but have seen a few.

Coyotes in northern New England do have wolf DNA and from what I've seen and heard, they look and sound very similar to wolves. There are isolated reports of attacks on humans, including the fatality of a jogger in Noca Scotia. Here in the suburbs, despite disappearing pets, there have been no notable human encounters. Wild turkeys have shown more aggression! I think your odds of an encounter are very low.

Coyotes are known to decimate wildlife, especially during harsh winters when deer and moose can be weakened and vulnerable. Hunters wishing to destroy coyotes know that it is much easier to scare them off than it is to lure them. Otherwise, I'd say step one is not to be vulnerable ... whatever that means. I'd take it to mean that you should be aware of your surroundings, don't let your body language or sounds express distress and don't activate their chase impulse by running away.

I carry a knife handy but don't kow how useful it would be in an attack ... better than nothing I speculate. My purpose in carrying it, however, is mainly to slice cheese and fruit and prepare my PBJs! ... though it was useful once while benighted.

If you are truly concerned and want to be certain of a possible defense, I'd suggest carrying bear spray. I only carry it in grizzly country out West. Bear spray is weaker than pepper spray and not subject to nearly the same restrictions but it works because of the extra sentive sense of smell of bears and I suppose the same could be said of coyotes. I also feel it can be a good tool to de-acclimate our blacks bears to the human presence.

Bottom line from me: don't worry but if you need peace of mind carry the bear spray

nartreb
07-13-2016, 03:03 PM
I don't worry about coyote in rural areas of northern New England. They tend to be very cautious, due to hunting (no bag limit, year-round season). I've heard them but not seen any.

The suburbs of southern New England are a bit more concerning in the longer term. I've seen a few coyote (though generally don't hear them), and they don't always run from humans on sight. If California is any guide, there's a gradual progression of losing fear of humans before they represent a real danger. Attacks on humans would be preceded by some months of daylight attacks on pets. We're not at that stage yet, as far as I can see.

hikerbrian
07-13-2016, 03:07 PM
I haven't come across any coyotes in the NH back country. But an aquaintance of mine, whom I trust, told me he was followed by several coyotes while hiking solo in NH a couple of years ago. They may have just been curious. He was pretty spooked.

If I'm by myself or with my kids or wife, I carry bear spray now (this is a recent development based on the number of bears I've seen in NH in the past 5 yrs). For you, it's a light weight, non-lethal means of protection against a wide variety of predators. I actually think the possibility of an agressive encounter is remote. But it's pretty good protection for a very modest cost/weight.

bikehikeskifish
07-13-2016, 04:06 PM
ForestGnome reported (with pictures) a coyote encounter in the Gulf of Slides back in 2007

Tim

sierra
07-13-2016, 04:27 PM
I haven't come across any coyotes in the NH back country. But an aquaintance of mine, whom I trust, told me he was followed by several coyotes while hiking solo in NH a couple of years ago. They may have just been curious. He was pretty spooked.

If I'm by myself or with my kids or wife, I carry bear spray now (this is a recent development based on the number of bears I've seen in NH in the past 5 yrs). For you, it's a light weight, non-lethal means of protection against a wide variety of predators. I actually think the possibility of an agressive encounter is remote. But it's pretty good protection for a very modest cost/weight.

Somewhere, I also heard of a hiker in NH being followed by a pack of coyotes for quite some time. Ironically, I believe it was in Waterville Valley where I encountered the two I saw.

iAmKrzys
07-13-2016, 06:50 PM
So far I have run into one coyote on trail in New Jersey and it trotted away from me once our eyes met. Last week we were staying at a campground near Saranac Lake and we got nightly concerts of howling coyotes with voices coming from many directions. They are definitely out there but I haven't been concerned about them nearly as much as about bears for which a large male can easily outweigh me by a factor of 2 - 3. I guess if you run into a pack of coyotes the situation can be scary but as nartreb points out, I hope they haven't lost all the fear of humans to launch attacks yet.

egilbe
07-13-2016, 07:45 PM
The coyote/wolf hybrid have attacked people up in Canada, but down here they are smart enough to stay away from people because they get hunted and there are enough dying moose and deer to keep them all fed.

Becca M
07-13-2016, 08:34 PM
I've never seen coyote or had any interaction with them when backpacking or hiking - the only wildlife I've seen/heard has been loud birds, especially at sundown :)

Flearoy
07-13-2016, 09:59 PM
I haven't come across any coyotes in the NH back country. But an aquaintance of mine, whom I trust, told me he was followed by several coyotes while hiking solo in NH a couple of years ago. They may have just been curious. He was pretty spooked.

Oh man, I wish you hadn't mentioned that. Did you hear about this? http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/wolf-bear-bait-joanne-barnaby-nwt-1.3636604 What could be more terrifying than to be stalked by something for twelve hours, at night?

Let's make it clear that we're talking about coywolves here. I don't think there is any debate at this point among wildlife biologists that all northeastern animals are wolf-coyote hybrids; there are no more plain old coyotes left. Whatever we knew or believed about coyotes, their small size, their shyness, 20 years ago is no longer true. The coywolf is a much larger animal that is a predator. I saw one next to my house one night and it was huge.

P.S. I forget to mention that I have a severe allergy to capsaicin, the ingredient in bear spray. Dang.

Barkingcat
07-14-2016, 06:41 AM
We see/hear them frequently on the trails in the Mt. Cardigan area, but rarely during the day and more often at night/in the wee hours before sunrise.

Last fall, I had a small group shadow me for about a half hour while solo hiking on the Vistamont Trail near the AMC Cardigan Lodge, about two hours before sunrise.

Most recently, however, we saw one last week running through the Slim Baker conservation area in Bristol in the afternoon, about 15-20 yards from us.

dug
07-14-2016, 07:08 AM
Curious how well bear spray would work on coyotes? When I've had issues with them, it was never one...it was several (5-6).

To reiterate, this is southern NH in farmland where deer are rampant (and we'd see their kill 1-2 a winter). Only once in the mountains, near Gordon Pond, and it was just one running across the trail. We happened to have lost our dog at the time (gone for 8 hours) so while we were looking, we had the coyote on our mind. Turned out that wasn't the issue at all.

Stan
07-14-2016, 07:54 AM
Oh man, I wish you hadn't mentioned that. Did you hear about this? http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/wolf-bear-bait-joanne-barnaby-nwt-1.3636604

Let's make it clear that we're talking about coywolves here. I don't think there is any debate at this point among wildlife biologists that all northeastern animals are wolf-coyote hybrids; there are no more plain old coyotes left. Whatever we knew or believed about coyotes, their small size, their shyness, 20 years ago is no longer true. The coywolf is a much larger animal that is a predator. I saw one next to my house one night and it was huge.

P.S. I forget to mention that I have a severe allergy to capsaicin, the ingredient in bear spray. Dang.

The wolf DNA has been there far longer than 20 years. Native coyote had been extirpated from New England since the era of colonial farms and have returned by way of migration of canines which are a hybrid. The current and probably growing confrontation with coyotes is due to three factors: 1) loss of habitat not effected or frequented by humans, 2) lack of natural enemies including man who is limited by areas in which to hunt and limited by motivation to hunt them as we've long shifted from an agrarian economy, and 3) the natural instincts of any species to expand their territory as populations grow.

I am not a hunter but I'd say one way to avoid a growing and worsening clash with coyotes is to respect, if not expand, hunting rights. With the current trajectory, it is inevitable that coyote problems will expand from disappearing family pets and livestock.

The use of bear spray is directed several feet away from the user though I can see how someone allergic to it could have a reaction. Can you carry an antidote, perhaps an epi-pen?

Anyone familiar with whether a horn, such as used on small boats, could ward off a pack? They have sensitive hearing, too. Might also be useful for a SAR subject!

Flearoy
07-14-2016, 09:36 AM
. The use of bear spray is directed several feet away from the user though I can see how someone allergic to it could have a reaction. Can you carry an antidote, perhaps an epi-pen?

Anyone familiar with whether a horn, such as used on small boats, could ward off a pack? They have sensitive hearing, too. Might also be useful for a SAR subject!

The danger from bear spray is having it blow back toward you. I don't want to be dealing with bear spray, coyotes, and an epi pen all at once. I have thought previously about the horn idea as this was suggested to me for bears. In fact I have a strong boat horn that I use for kayaking. Thanks for that reminder. It's worth trying.

Rhody Seth
07-14-2016, 09:43 AM
There are plenty of them down here in southern Rhode Island. I see them occasionally (running across the road) and my runner friend said one was following him for a while on his run last week. Scary!

egilbe
07-14-2016, 12:55 PM
There was a netflix documentary on the hybrid's origins. Normally wolves kill coyotes where their ranges overlap. There was a small population of Eastern wolves up in Canada that started mating with coyotes, probably to prevent becoming extinct. From there they expanded. These new hybrids can mate with either coyotes, wolves or another hybrid. They are smart.

Flearoy
07-14-2016, 09:18 PM
There was a netflix documentary on the hybrid's origins. Normally wolves kill coyotes where their ranges overlap. There was a small population of Eastern wolves up in Canada that started mating with coyotes, probably to prevent becoming extinct. From there they expanded. These new hybrids can mate with either coyotes, wolves or another hybrid. They are smart.

Thanks Egilbe. Found the link: http://www.movies-net.com/nature-meet-the-coy-wolf/12726

CaptCaper
07-17-2016, 05:07 AM
They worst I've been around with Coyote's was in Yellowstone... and outside of LasVegas.
I would get a concealed carry license and get a small caliber handgun ..1 because your hiking alone. 2. Coyotes.. I Love NH. $10 per license for years. Ma use to sock it to me for one either money or paper work 11 yrs ago when I lived there.
If your not into that maybe fireworks..if they are like my dogs of past they will run.

Breeze
07-17-2016, 08:49 AM
I live very rurally in far western Maine, almost on the NH border. Been here for 26 years. It is a regular occurrence to hear a pack of coyotes in the evenings when windows and doors are open. We are pretty darn close to a WMNF forest boundary, I can get to it in 10 minutes on foot from my back door. We also are close to a Natural Gas pipeline, which is an animal corridor year round. Deer. Moose, Bear, and all the small critters abound.

I've also worked in Pinkham Notch for 15 years.

In all that time, I have never heard of a hiker being harassed, bothered or threatened by a coyote. I've never heard of Coyotes bothering campers, or camp sites, and there are plenty of them. I've seen .. maybe 5.. coyote in 26 years, all of them on their own mission and not in the least interested in me.

Coyotes at least in the Northern WMNF area have not become habituated to human food sources, nor to humans AS a food source. They aren't in garbage cans or dumpsters although Bear, Skunk,Raccoon and Fox certainly are widely notorious for that behavior. They don't molest chicken coops, and the sheep farmers I know in Oxford County Maine have not experienced flock predation from Coyote, but do from neighbor's domestic dogs.

As close as they are to me, I sometimes wonder why we have so many woodchucks. I did lose a cat to coyote about 15 years ago, that was a grisly discovery.

Coyotes are the LAST critter on any list to give me pause about being out and about in the woods or on trail. I've had a vixen fox den up and have her kits under my granite block front steps. She quickly moved her family when Spring came and that front door became used daily.

Coyotes are not an issue for humans in this part of the woods.

TDawg
07-17-2016, 09:10 AM
I've woke up to the calls of a coyote pack 100 yards away while camped above Shoal Pond in the Pemi. I suspect they were following the trail down by the pond around first light in the AM.

I was solo and it was a little unnerving only armed with a 6 inch Buck knife, never forget it.

skiguy
07-17-2016, 01:37 PM
Thanks Egilbe. Found the link: http://www.movies-net.com/nature-meet-the-coy-wolf/12726
Thanks for the link. Very informative Documentary.

iAmKrzys
07-17-2016, 08:52 PM
Thanks Egilbe. Found the link: http://www.movies-net.com/nature-meet-the-coy-wolf/12726

I watched this movie today and I started wondering if I should now install a wildlife camera in my backyard...

Kyle D
07-18-2016, 11:31 AM
Required listening while reading this thread... "Coyotes" by Don Edwards. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPl6-dbIkiU

CaptCaper
07-19-2016, 12:46 AM
I watched this movie today and I started wondering if I should now install a wildlife camera in my backyard...

we have one installed... we catch all kinds of critters..had a moose go by our back door yesterday..early am .. I got one at cabelas's..a good one with infrared. We catch Bear all the time...Bob Cat's etc. Now I know why my dog barks all the time..in the woods were we are..no neighbors..so...

Flearoy
07-19-2016, 06:59 AM
I live very rurally in far western Maine, almost on the NH border. Been here for 26 years. . . . In all that time, I have never heard of a hiker being harassed, bothered or threatened by a coyote. I've never heard of Coyotes bothering campers, or camp sites, and there are plenty of them. I've seen .. maybe 5.. coyote in 26 years, all of them on their own mission and not in the least interested in me. Coyotes at least in the Northern WMNF area have not become habituated to human food sources, nor to humans AS a food source. They aren't in garbage cans or dumpsters although Bear, Skunk,Raccoon and Fox certainly are widely notorious for that behavior. They don't molest chicken coops, and the sheep farmers I know in Oxford County Maine have not experienced flock predation from Coyote, but do from neighbor's domestic dogs. . . . Coyotes are not an issue for humans in this part of the woods.

Very helpful information from your personal experience, thank you. After reading your post and seeing the documentary referenced previously, and taking into account the lone female hiker killed by coyotes in Nova Scotia, it seems like coyote behavior varies by region. The urban coyotes in Chicago and Toronto behave very differently from what you describe in western Maine. In Chicago, Toronto, and Maine the coyotes aren't aggressive toward humans, apparently. But the Nova Scotia incident must mean something---unusual one-time event? A sign of a trend that we need to be aware of? Learned behavior of a specific pack? (Like dogs that chase deer once and get a taste for the chase?)

There are definitely reports of coyotes stalking humans (purpose unknown) and of attacking small dogs on leashes.

I really want to believe you, Breeze. I do believe you. But it's also clear that this is an animal that is in transition in its numbers, range, behavior, and relationship to humans. Another factor is how humans interact with coyotes, in ways that change their behavior---like feeding them, as the documentary stressed. So what is true today about coyotes might be different in 10 years.

CaptCaper
07-19-2016, 07:21 AM
Very helpful information from your personal experience, thank you. After reading your post and seeing the documentary referenced previously, and taking into account the lone female hiker killed by coyotes in Nova Scotia, it seems like coyote behavior varies by region. The urban coyotes in Chicago and Toronto behave very differently from what you describe in western Maine. In Chicago, Toronto, and Maine the coyotes aren't aggressive toward humans, apparently. But the Nova Scotia incident must mean something---unusual one-time event? A sign of a trend that we need to be aware of? Learned behavior of a specific pack? (Like dogs that chase deer once and get a taste for the chase?)

There are definitely reports of coyotes stalking humans (purpose unknown) and of attacking small dogs on leashes.

I really want to believe you, Breeze. I do believe you. But it's also clear that this is an animal that is in transition in its numbers, range, behavior, and relationship to humans. Another factor is how humans interact with coyotes, in ways that change their behavior---like feeding them, as the documentary stressed. So what is true today about coyotes might be different in 10 years.

Great post..I was thinking the same... I bet Coyotes in urban areas are used to people have food sources unlike rural one's... When I walk the dog while traveling early AM in the dark and in heavily populated Coyote areas like Yellowstone I carry a firearm just to keep things on an even field.

egilbe
07-19-2016, 07:50 AM
Theres a section of the Eastern Trail here in Biddeford that I walk that has a warning sign to small dog owners about the presence of coyotes in that area. I have never seen, or heard a coyote in this area. I've heard, and seen them in Turner, where I grew up, down on the cape in MA and in the desert outside El Paso. Their calls and yips are spine tingling when they are close by. Never been attacked by them. They tend to avoid humans, we are dangerous to them. We kill them.

egilbe
10-11-2016, 07:09 AM
Sunday morning, my gf and I couldnt sleep, we were both awake at 4:30 am. We decided to go for a walk in the rain. I'd been wanting to walk through the Scarborough Marsh on the Eastern Trail for awhile, so we grabbed our rain gear and headed up to the parking area on rt9. It was just starting to get light enough to almost see when we got to the section of the trail near the golf course. I looked out across the fairways and next to a tree I saw what kind of looked like a dog, but it wasn't moving. I decided it was a stump since there was absolutely no movement whatsoever. I asked my gf what she thought. She said it kinda looked like a face looking at us, but she confirmed it was probably a stump, too. We stood there looking at the stump for a few seconds longer, when it turned and loped off. The stump turned out to be a fairly big coyote. It made me wonder how many times we've walked by coyotes and never saw them because they don't move.

Stan
10-11-2016, 11:04 AM
The stump turned out to be a fairly big coyote. It made me wonder how many times we've walked by coyotes and never saw them because they don't move.
Ahhhh. The pervasive stump. Like blowdowns, in dim light they often disguise themselves as bear, moose and maybe even freaky clowns. Never seen one walk away, though. Something else for the bucket list. We did once see a large colorful turtle sunning on a rock in Nesowadnehunk Stream in Baxter Park. Eventually it flew away. It was the rare merganser turtle.

buddy
10-12-2016, 06:25 PM
More likely to be slapped silly by a pack of beavers than have any problems with coyote's. I have encountered them many times in western Mass at very close range and have never felt that their interest in me went beyond curiosity. On one occasion the dog I was with and a coyote hung out together for awhile in a grass hopper rich field. It was kind of a parallel play event, very cool. Aside from some domestic dogs, crazy people, moose and deer in rut, I can't think of any animal to be feared in the Northeast, assuming proper food management. Of course there is always the situation that proves the rule but the risk is truly insignificant.

skiguy
10-12-2016, 06:38 PM
More likely to be slapped silly by a pack of beavers than have any problems with coyote's.
ya never know. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/may/29/beaver-kills-man-belarus

egilbe
10-12-2016, 09:26 PM
ya never know. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/may/29/beaver-kills-man-belarus

I have a sneaking suspicion that vodka may have been involved with his death.

skiguy
10-12-2016, 09:46 PM
I have a sneaking suspicion that vodka may have been involved with his death.
Must be lots of good Vodka to go around. :D
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beaver_attack

Raven
10-13-2016, 04:04 AM
More likely to be slapped silly by a pack of beavers than have any problems with coyote's. I have encountered them many times in western Mass at very close range and have never felt that their interest in me went beyond curiosity. On one occasion the dog I was with and a coyote hung out together for awhile in a grass hopper rich field. It was kind of a parallel play event, very cool. Aside from some domestic dogs, crazy people, moose and deer in rut, I can't think of any animal to be feared in the Northeast, assuming proper food management. Of course there is always the situation that proves the rule but the risk is truly insignificant.

Seems like these days you can't pick up a paper anymore without reading about coyotes killing someone again.... :rolleyes:

Coyotes are one of those animals I feel lucky to have seen when I do. They are so quiet and quick to disappear like a shadow into the woods. Hearing their yips in the woods reminds me nature still exists and animals still roam freely.

Mosquitos and ticks are far more of a health concern I think in terms of "dangerous animals," unless of course you're a house cat out for a stroll at dusk.

The real question here I think is whether "coyote" has a silent "e" or not. Two syllables or three?

egilbe
10-13-2016, 05:47 AM
The real question here I think is whether "coyote" has a silent "e" or not. Two syllables or three?

I think either/or. Its like potato. Different local pronunciations of the same word. In Maine, I grew up knowing them as Coy Dogs. Now, I guess it is more like Coy Wolf, but DNA sampling shows they have domesticated dog Genes, so Coy dog is probably just as accurate.

Stan
10-13-2016, 01:15 PM
More likely to be slapped silly by a pack of beavers than have any problems with coyote's. I have encountered them many times in western Mass at very close range and have never felt that their interest in me went beyond curiosity. On one occasion the dog I was with and a coyote hung out together for awhile in a grass hopper rich field. It was kind of a parallel play event, very cool. Aside from some domestic dogs, crazy people, moose and deer in rut, I can't think of any animal to be feared in the Northeast, assuming proper food management. Of course there is always the situation that proves the rule but the risk is truly insignificant.
That's probably comparable to the experiences most of us have had with northeastern wildlife but I think it a mistake to underestimate the danger of any animal if it feels cornered, it's young are threatened, or a food source challenged. A pack of coyotes can be unpredictable and even more dangerous than just one, no matter the size. Awareness, respect and preparation for such possibilities should not be taken lightly as with any other aspect of safety in the outdoors.

The correct pronunciation of coyote? I've wondered that myself ... maybe it has to do with what you're rhyming it with.

skiguy
10-13-2016, 01:42 PM
That's probably comparable to the experiences most of us have had with northeastern wildlife but I think it a mistake to underestimate the danger of any animal if it feels cornered, it's young are threatened, or a food source challenged. A pack of coyotes can be unpredictable and even more dangerous than just one, no matter the size. Awareness, respect and preparation for such possibilities should not be taken lightly as with any other aspect of safety in the outdoors.

The correct pronunciation of coyote? I've wondered that myself ... maybe it has to do with what you're rhyming it with.
ahhh yup! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-4p9be2sR4

sierra
10-13-2016, 04:49 PM
I think having hiking dog, keeps a lot of wildlife away. As a soloist, I used to see a lot of wildlife, but since I got my dog, it's actually rare that I see animals. I see my dog go on alert, but I don't see anything. I'm assuming whatever was close, scattered. I have thought about coyote's and would not like a pack to come near us. Not really sure if they would come after my dog, I tend to doubt it. that being said, I'm ready if they do.;)

Stan
10-14-2016, 10:12 AM
ahhh yup! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-4p9be2sR4

So idiotic to harass a moose like that. When the ears of any animal are back like that, back off. Every moose we've encountered, with or witout calf, gave us a wide berth and if that nincompoop had backed up a bit rather than edging on, I'm certain she would have soon disappeared with her twins into the woods. The guy could've gotten pinched if a game warden had witnessed it.

sierra
10-14-2016, 12:44 PM
So idiotic to harass a moose like that. When the ears of any animal are back like that, back off. Every moose we've encountered, with or witout calf, gave us a wide berth and if that nincompoop had backed up a bit rather than edging on, I'm certain she would have soon disappeared with her twins into the woods. The guy could've gotten pinched if a game warden had witnessed it.

I agree. Me and my dog ran into a big bull coming off Osceola about half mile from the trailhead. He was just 20ft off the trail and my dog was going ballistic. Thank god, I leash my dog. The Moose showed signs of aggression, probably in reaction to my dog, I'm sure. I grabbed my dog's harness and marched into the woods in the opposite direction, bushwacked a wide birth to get back on the trail. When I turned to check, the moose was walking in the opposite direction at a calm pace.

miehoff
10-20-2016, 10:24 PM
I was sitting on the Cohos Trail just north of the end of Nash Stream road; I was silently watching a bear eat berries in Cathedral Meadow, and a coyote ran right up to me, maybe ten feet away, saw me and ran into the woods. No problems. The deer snorting by my tent all night was much more disturbing.

I rode my bike around the entire Cabot Trail in Cape Breton where the girl was killed by the hybrid wolf/coyote, and I heard the coyotes at night while camping in the Highlands. They were intense. If I were a smaller person, I wouldn't run down a trail in that area alone, but other than that, I think the animals just want to be left alone. Here in New England...no problem.

miehoff
10-20-2016, 10:26 PM
That's probably comparable to the experiences most of us have had with northeastern wildlife but I think it a mistake to underestimate the danger of any animal if it feels cornered, it's young are threatened, or a food source challenged. A pack of coyotes can be unpredictable and even more dangerous than just one, no matter the size. Awareness, respect and preparation for such possibilities should not be taken lightly as with any other aspect of safety in the outdoors.

The correct pronunciation of coyote? I've wondered that myself ... maybe it has to do with what you're rhyming it with.

Ah, you have to write some songs, I am guessing.

BISCUT
10-21-2016, 05:28 PM
I had 2 of them follow me for over 20 minutes while hiking Bunnell Notch Trail August 2015. First time i've seen any in NH or VT. I don't live far from Fahnstock Park in NY. A decade ago they were not noticeable but were around. Now they are a tremendous burden. I would get 14-16 deer in my back yard on most evenings....now its a few here and there. Coyote's have really tore up the deer population around me. And there are no outdoor cats left. When they mate, OMG its crazy how loud and crazy it sounds.

DayTrip
10-24-2016, 08:17 AM
I did Gale River Trail and the Twinway to Guyot (well almost to Guyot) SAT and there was a quite a pack of something howling not far from me in the relocated section of Gale River Trail that winds up and down the hills from the river crossing to where it rejoins old trail. The barks had a very deep sound to them, much lower in tone than coyotes (which I hear all Summer near my house in CT and am very familiar with). At first I thought they might be wild dogs but then there would be intermittent howling that sounded like coyotes. Then I wondered if there are wolves of any sort in NH. I'm sure they were probably coyotes but they sounded big whatever they were. Was doing a lot of stopping and checking to make sure nothing was running up on me. I think they were on the opposite bank of the river from where I was. Pretty creepy in the mist and drizzle.

weatherman
10-24-2016, 01:17 PM
Guessing it was non-wild dogs. Any chance there were people hunting or camping near you? Good old Canis familiaris is a lot noisier than wolves, that's for sure.

DayTrip
10-24-2016, 01:48 PM
Guessing it was non-wild dogs. Any chance there were people hunting or camping near you? Good old Canis familiaris is a lot noisier than wolves, that's for sure.

I have no idea what type of hunting is allowed in the Gale River Rd area. Doesn't look like much of anything on the map in the area I heard them. Closest thing would be Gale River Rd a few miles back. What would you hunt with dogs - birds? Hunting deer with dogs is illegal isn't it (not to say it doesn't happen)? Whatever they were it was quite a few of them, not just one or two, and there was plenty of howling in between the barking.

dug
10-24-2016, 02:25 PM
I passed a bear hunter several years ago on the Gale River. His dogs were missing overnight, and he was tracking them with a hand-held radio. Not sure what type of dogs he had, but often they'll use coonhounds and those will bay and bark while chasing what they are after up a tree.

I don't believe they were hunting right off the trail, just using it to get closer to finding wherever they were. Typically hunting off a hiking trail is pretty poor due to the activity.

DayTrip
10-24-2016, 05:48 PM
I passed a bear hunter several years ago on the Gale River. His dogs were missing overnight, and he was tracking them with a hand-held radio. Not sure what type of dogs he had, but often they'll use coonhounds and those will bay and bark while chasing what they are after up a tree.

I don't believe they were hunting right off the trail, just using it to get closer to finding wherever they were. Typically hunting off a hiking trail is pretty poor due to the activity.

I'm gonna say that is probably what I heard then. Noise was probably 1/4 mile or so off trail on opposite bank of river (or at least it seemed that way - always hard to judge distance of sounds in the woods). Didn't realize dogs were used to hunt bears.

sierra
10-24-2016, 06:20 PM
I'm gonna say that is probably what I heard then. Noise was probably 1/4 mile or so off trail on opposite bank of river (or at least it seemed that way - always hard to judge distance of sounds in the woods). Didn't realize dogs were used to hunt bears.

Yes, bear dogs are used and the woods in that area are prime deer and bear hunting grounds. I know a guide in Twin Mt. and have hunted in there myself. Just for your information, the dogs tree the bear, they hold him there until the hunter catches up, then he is shot out of the tree.

egilbe
10-24-2016, 06:40 PM
Bear season is kinda weird. Can bait them and shoot them over bait, but not whenyou can hunt them with dogs, and cant use dogs during the concurrent dear season, but bear hunting is still legal during dear season, at least in Maine.

DayTrip
10-25-2016, 08:36 AM
Yes, bear dogs are used and the woods in that area are prime deer and bear hunting grounds. I know a guide in Twin Mt. and have hunted in there myself. Just for your information, the dogs tree the bear, they hold him there until the hunter catches up, then he is shot out of the tree.

That kinda makes me sick. Not very sporting. But I'm not a big fan of killing stuff for entertainment either.

richard
10-25-2016, 02:33 PM
That kinda makes me sick. Not very sporting. But I'm not a big fan of killing stuff for entertainment either.

I feel the same way. I couldn`t have said it better.

egilbe
10-25-2016, 03:53 PM
I feel the same way. I couldn`t have said it better.

To each his own. I dont mind other people hunting bears. Keeps them away from my campsite.

CaptCaper
10-26-2016, 07:34 AM
If there wasn't any hunting the roads,etc would be dangerous to drive and living in Bear country would be tough with the way they get.. Have them in my yard often as it is..... Living here in NH I hope I never hit a Moose...friends have and have been lucky not to have been hurt... Deer have taken out my truck a few times.. each time I was lucky ( on the interstate going 65mph...) cost $500 deductible each time and no work truck for a couple of weeks.
Let the hunters have good luck..

Stan
10-26-2016, 09:30 AM
I'm with you Capt. Hunting=Harvesting. Without the proper balance, nature will balance itself out and that means wildlife, most noticeably when it becomes a nuisance, expands territories to where it clashes with our species. Wildlife/fish and game commissions generally, but not always, have a good handle on how to keep that balance. Flatlanders, though perhaps well intentioned, generally do not.

Back to the coyotes. They are a means of achieving a natural balance but with no natural enemies, devastate their prey and then seek territories and prey which eventually, as predators rather than prey, clash severely with us. They can devastate a Harvest, a way of life, food in the larder and a rural economy. Open season on coyotes, I say, before they come to a back yard ... pets and children a draw ... near us. ... and, FWIW, I love seeing wildlife, it is a reason for me to hike, but in the places that are most suitable to the species.

sierra
10-26-2016, 01:03 PM
I'm with you Capt. Hunting=Harvesting. Without the proper balance, nature will balance itself out and that means wildlife, most noticeably when it becomes a nuisance, expands territories to where it clashes with our species. Wildlife/fish and game commissions generally, but not always, have a good handle on how to keep that balance. Flatlanders, though perhaps well intentioned, generally do not.

Back to the coyotes. They are a means of achieving a natural balance but with no natural enemies, devastate their prey and then seek territories and prey which eventually, as predators rather than prey, clash severely with us. They can devastate a Harvest, a way of life, food in the larder and a rural economy. Open season on coyotes, I say, before they come to a back yard ... pets and children a draw ... near us. ... and, FWIW, I love seeing wildlife, it is a reason for me to hike, but in the places that are most suitable to the species.

It is open season on Coyotes all year. There is also a 5month trapping season, but as far as non trapping, you can take them whenever you want.

Peakbagr
10-27-2016, 04:33 PM
With so many people hiking, there's always the chance of an encounter and even a scary one. But they are smart, wary, and hunted. Unless rabid or starving for a medical reason or age, highly unlikely anything will happen to you.

Flearoy
10-31-2016, 08:39 PM
Unless rabid or starving for a medical reason or age, highly unlikely anything will happen to you.

Great quote. Love it. :-)

Mac
11-01-2016, 10:41 AM
Unlikely, yes, impossible, no.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/coyotes-kill-toronto-singer-in-cape-breton-1.779304

egilbe
11-01-2016, 01:51 PM
Unlikely, yes, impossible, no.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/coyotes-kill-toronto-singer-in-cape-breton-1.779304

7 years ago and millions of miles hiked since then. It's one of those statistics that aren't worth bothering or worrying g about.

Stan
11-02-2016, 09:15 AM
7 years ago and millions of miles hiked since then. It's one of those statistics that aren't worth bothering or worrying g about.

Chances are pretty slim for being hit by lightning, too, but responsible hikers don't ignore it. Chances of being attacked by a grizzly are slim, too, but ignore it in grizzly country at your own peril. Awareness and preparedness ... expect the unexpected ... let's see, any more cliches on avoiding being the statistic.

Amusing how we'll whistle past the graveyard yet make other plans during black fly season.

egilbe
11-02-2016, 01:11 PM
Hmm...comparing lightning strikes to attacks by coyotes is a bit disenguous, dontcha think? One is a real risk, and one isn't.

dug
11-02-2016, 01:41 PM
I don't know about not being a real risk. Every animal I've come across in the woods (not acclimated to humans and looking for a handout) has run, except for one: coyotes. Having watched them stare down my dog for several minutes, I don't think there wasn't much of a chance if I wasn't standing there honking the horn they would've gone after her. And, if that had happened...I'd be in the middle of it, too.

Judging my the amount of freshkill bones found in the woods nearby over the last few years, it's worth it to at least not ignore them. Basically, my rule is if it can eat me, I'll be weary.

Mac
11-03-2016, 11:00 AM
More recent data (up to 2016)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coyote_attacks_on_humans

Interesting in that many of these attacks involve the western coyote, although there are a number of eastern north american examples. I don't usually refer to wikipedia, but this seems to be a pretty comprehensive list, and provides attribution to government agencies in many of the examples.

Tom Rankin
11-04-2016, 01:17 PM
There are lessons to be learned from all deaths involving animals.

The bear that killed a young man in NJ a while back, there were 5 people who split up and ran, 2 big mistakes.

The young woman killed by the coyote ran as well, right?

I've never been attacked by a bear, but having read up on it, at least I might have a fighting (or not depending on the species) chance.

DougPaul
11-04-2016, 02:15 PM
I don't know about not being a real risk. Every animal I've come across in the woods (not acclimated to humans and looking for a handout) has run, except for one: coyotes. Having watched them stare down my dog for several minutes, I don't think there wasn't much of a chance if I wasn't standing there honking the horn they would've gone after her. And, if that had happened...I'd be in the middle of it, too.
Meeting a coyote with and without a dog present are likely to be two very different events--the coyote is likely to be more interested in the dog than the human...

Doug

skiguy
11-04-2016, 02:18 PM
There are lessons to be learned from all deaths involving animals.

The bear that killed a young man in NJ a while back, there were 5 people who split up and ran, 2 big mistakes.

The young woman killed by the coyote ran as well, right?

I've never been attacked by a bear, but having read up on it, at least I might have a fighting (or not depending on the species) chance.

Reading up is a good thing actually doing it is another in the heat of the moment. Whatever the animal and what ever the risk any animal has the potential to act aggressively given the right situation. Better playing it safe than sorry. Educating oneself is a step in the right direction. IMO given all the cross breeding that goes on among Wolves, Coyotes, an canines the potential is there for a negative outcome. Denying the inherent risks of the animal population in general is ignorant.

dug
11-04-2016, 02:30 PM
Meeting a coyote with and without a dog present are likely to be two very different events--the coyote is likely to be more interested in the dog than the human...

Doug

Of course. That's the same with any wild animal I would assume. Doesn't mean I shouldn't be wary of the encounter, nor disregard their presence.

DougPaul
11-04-2016, 08:25 PM
Of course. That's the same with any wild animal I would assume. Doesn't mean I shouldn't be wary of the encounter, nor disregard their presence.
Sure, but your experience with a dog may not tell us much about the threat to a human.

In my first on-the-trail experience with a coyote, it simply walked across the trail ~100 ft ahead of me and did not react to my presence in any way that I could see. (It was almost certainly aware of my presence.) I have also read accounts where a wolf simply followed the human at a reasonable distance for a while (probably to the edge of its territory).


Non-canids may react to your dog as if it is a wolf or coyote and may attack the dog and perhaps you as well. (Such has happened with bears.)

Doug

sierra
11-05-2016, 12:14 PM
Sure, but your experience with a dog may not tell us much about the threat to a human.

In my first on-the-trail experience with a coyote, it simply walked across the trail ~100 ft ahead of me and did not react to my presence in any way that I could see. (It was almost certainly aware of my presence.) I have also read accounts where a wolf simply followed the human at a reasonable distance for a while (probably to the edge of its territory).


Non-canids may react to your dog as if it is a wolf or coyote and may attack the dog and perhaps you as well. (Such has happened with bears.)

Doug

I agree with both your points. The only exception I have found, was an encounter I had with a mountain Lion, (I did not have a dog at the time). The Lion followed me for quite some time, gaining ground by the minute. I ran into a Bull Moose with my dog here in the White's and the Moose got extremely agitated. He showed signs of what looked like either aggressive traits or defensive traits ( hard to tell) but he did advance towards us. By grabbing my dog and retreating into the woods quickly, I was able to defuse the situation. I ran into a few a Moose, before I owned my dog, not one acted in such a fashion.

dug
11-05-2016, 02:15 PM
Sure, but your experience with a dog may not tell us much about the threat to a human.

In my first on-the-trail experience with a coyote, it simply walked across the trail ~100 ft ahead of me and did not react to my presence in any way that I could see. (It was almost certainly aware of my presence.) I have also read accounts where a wolf simply followed the human at a reasonable distance for a while (probably to the edge of its territory).


Non-canids may react to your dog as if it is a wolf or coyote and may attack the dog and perhaps you as well. (Such has happened with bears.)

Doug

Since I'm not that concerned about the threat to a human without a dog, I only reference myself. They were constantly in my yard and not really interested in leaving without a racket. I always have a dog with me, I will be wary of them.x

iAmKrzys
11-05-2016, 11:07 PM
The only exception I have found, was an encounter I had with a mountain Lion, (I did not have a dog at the time). The Lion followed me for quite some time, gaining ground by the minute.
That sounds scary! I would to hear more about this. Did the mountain lion stop following you on its own?

DayTrip
11-06-2016, 07:45 AM
I agree with both your points. The only exception I have found, was an encounter I had with a mountain Lion, (I did not have a dog at the time). The Lion followed me for quite some time, gaining ground by the minute. I ran into a Bull Moose with my dog here in the White's and the Moose got extremely agitated. He showed signs of what looked like either aggressive traits or defensive traits ( hard to tell) but he did advance towards us. By grabbing my dog and retreating into the woods quickly, I was able to defuse the situation. I ran into a few a Moose, before I owned my dog, not one acted in such a fashion.

Years ago I did Gale River Trail with my dog and we saw three separate moose on the way up. The first two we came over a rise and it was right in trail close. My dog starting freaking out and barking and it bolted into the woods. The third time I had my dog tied to a tree while I was urinating and realized there was an enormous moose on the other side of the rock I was using for cover. That got me freaked out but he slowly walked off. The only time I've ever had moose encounters where they showed no interest in running away was at Baxter this year. I had one encounter on that little nature discovery trail near Roaring Pond Campground where I literally almost ran into the ass end of a huge moose (the biggest I'd ever seen) as I was rounding a corner. I stopped cold, he looked at me and made it clear he wasn't scampering off anywhere. I very slowly backed away to about 75' or so behind a nearby tree and then I spotted a calf coming out of nearby swamp. I just stood there and waited (and took a few pictures and videos :) ) for probably 15-20 minutes before they finally decided I wasn't a threat and slowly walked away.

All of my wildlife encounters in NH (deer, moose and bear) have generally involved the animals running off as fast as they can. I've only seen a few coyotes up there and they just generally continued cruising around and ignoring me. I would wager that a lot of the actual animal attacks we read about were precipitated by the victim doing something stupid. I believe in the case of the NJ guy mentioned above he actually went up and approached the bear to try and get a picture when he was attacked and then his friends all bolted. People do dumb stuff trying to get selfies for Facebook. Not to say you couldn't stumble into the right circumstances and get attacked (rabid animal, between mother and young, etc) but I think in general there isn't huge cause for concern. Coyotes would be the only animal that would give me pause when I'm out hiking.

sierra
11-06-2016, 12:23 PM
That sounds scary! I would to hear more about this. Did the mountain lion stop following you on its own?

Actually no, he was in full stalking mode and it was very scary. The cat was pretty big. I was high above treeline on the Crags route to the summit of Pikes peak. I was solo, which didn't help and it was pure luck, I saw him. While he was following me, I wasn't sure what to do, ( this was pre-carry day's for me). I had a good knife but, that was a joke as they will basically jump you going for the neck, from what I understand. After careful deliberation, I decided that he thought of me as prey and that's what I was acting like. I stopped, raised my trekking poles over my head, then charged him, banging my poles together and yelling like a madman.:eek: He rose up, perked his ear's and turned on a dime, bounding off as fast as he could. He was gone in seconds, they are so fast. I took a breath and summited. On my way down, I was singing my way through the woods, like a choir boy.

TCD
11-06-2016, 03:59 PM
Sierra, that's solid work in a scary situation. Nice. I do the same with dogs. When I encounter a dog, I am friendly, and get down to the dog's level. 95% of dogs come running over to be my friend. The other 5% that stand back snarling, blocking my path, I treat the same way you treated the lion. I charge them, growling loudly. Almost all of them flee when I do that. Once or twice, I have met a dog that stands its ground when I charge. That's a problem dog, and I back off and select a different route.

weatherman
11-07-2016, 01:42 PM
Great advice. I live where there are always a bunch of coyotes, see one on a run about once a week, more often this time of year as food is getting scarcer. I ignore them except to keep an eye out, and once in a while they follow me. When that happens I look as big and ugly as I can and charge briefly (10 steps) with lots of noise. They take off and are >1/4 mile away within a few seconds, and I feel superior. :) If I'm ever solo in lion country I try to keep up constant noise and have poles ready to go, but I almost never hike solo anymore. Never saw a lion.

iAmKrzys
12-20-2016, 10:05 PM
I went hiking in Sterling State Forest today, and for about half a mile I was following paw prints that I think might be of a coyote:
5729
As I was doing a loop hike I later saw more prints crossing the trail on the other side of the loop.

weatherman
12-21-2016, 12:28 PM
Could be. Biggest difference between dog and coyote prints is the pattern: coyotes typically trot in straight lines, back foot print falling exactly in the front foot print to minimize work in the snow (how do they DO that at 10-15 mph??). Dogs get distracted and their prints are more all over the place.

iAmKrzys
12-21-2016, 09:18 PM
Could be. Biggest difference between dog and coyote prints is the pattern: coyotes typically trot in straight lines, back foot print falling exactly in the front foot print to minimize work in the snow (how do they DO that at 10-15 mph??). Dogs get distracted and their prints are more all over the place.
I always learn something new, and this is pretty interesting! I thought that it would be surprising if that was a dog since the animal ran quite a long distance (at least few miles) through open woods without an owner. I have only one picture with multiple paw prints:
5730

weatherman
12-22-2016, 06:46 PM
Looks like coyote, though a larger sample would be more reliable. The closest 4 prints look like two in one spot.

buddy
12-24-2016, 10:00 AM
I believe these are coyote tracks as well. Pic taken on knoll above the hunters camp South Fork Boquet River.5735

iAmKrzys
01-11-2017, 09:56 PM
Man in New Jersey attacked by possibly rabid coyote: http://www.nj.com/morris/index.ssf/2017/01/man_attacked_by_coyote_while_walking_beagles_in_wa .html