Coyotes in Niagara Region

by Mary Lynn Horton
(Beamsville, Ontario, Canada)

For the past 15 years I have walked with Coyotes.

Going to a number of parks and Conservation Areas while walking my dogs near Beamsville and Grimsby I have constantly encountered many Coyotes.

Sometimes a Coyote (a big blonde) would parallel my dogs and I as we walked. He was probably about 2,000 yards across a field from us, but he would stop when we stopped and begin walking with us, keeping pace, when we walked.

I watched him through my binoculars - he was absolutely gorgeous.

One day, I was walking my Bull Mastiff, my little Staffy Pit bBull and their son, a Bull Mastiff / Bull Terrier cross, when two Coyotes came up out of a gully and stared at us.

The Bull Mastiff and the Bull Mastiff cross pretended not to see them,(total denial) but my little Staffy howled her head off and went after the male Coyote who led her on a merry chase which she lost - which I knew would happen.

Always, I would encounter these intelligent, resourceful animals on my walks in this area and still do, but now, our encounters have been much diminished since the great howl to ¨get rid¨ of the Coyotes was thrown up by new homeowners (those same people who come to Niagara to get away from Toronto and ¨live at one with nature¨).

They live in subdivisions encroaching the foot of the escarpment where the coyotes live and when they see a Coyote
they freak out.

So, sadly, I do not see as many Coyotes as I used to, but they are still here and I still do see them.

I have come face to face with them (about 10ft.) and they always simply turn around and slowly walk away. They never run away, and they never seem very afraid of me or my dogs.

Their composure is so calm that my dogs simply stare at them in, I dunno, utter disbelief (I now have two English Bull Terriers).

I am just very sad that Coyotes are maligned and misunderstood and that stupid Nova Scotia has put a $20 bounty on them.

I think if we took a count of how many people are killed and injured every year by deer running in front of our cars, people might understand that Wolves, Coyotes and the Coyote/Wolf crosses are keeping the deer herds down and actually saving lives.

Not to mention eating tons of mice and moles. (read: Never Cry Wolf)

Town and city people know nothing of wild animals, their habitat or their role in nature.

Makes me very sad.

But, sometimes at night when I hear the Coyotes howling that crazy chorus of high yipping wild delight - I have hope and share in their wild joyous song.

They were here before us and I fervently hope they will carry on.

Thank you for such a lovely and well-written article Mary Lynn, I know our readers will enjoy this very much!

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Niagara Region Coyotes
by: Anonymous

I have come across them while walking my dog in Shorthills Park in St. Catharines, Ontario, where she always seems to come across deer bones that the Coyotes must have left behind.

One day last fall we were walking at the reclaimed Glenridge Quarry site near Brock University, when we came across a lone Coyote.

It was was moving up the hill in the tall grass and reeds as we were heading down. It must have been searching for mice and was as surprised as we were as we were about 30 feet apart. My dog (a large 77lb golden retriever) chased after it.

Fortunately while off leash, she wears one of those static-shock collars that emits a chime like noise or shock so she returned immediately or else she might have kept following the Coyote to who knows where.

The two I have seen at Shorthills were quite large and healthy looking. From the number of deer I have seen there, I'm sure those Coyotes have an abundance of food.

Thrilled to hear Coyotes last night
by: Darlene

I hope humans don't try to hurt these creatures. We've ruined enough nature as it is... let the Coyotes be.

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