May 14, 2009

2 coyotes in my (Ohio) front yard.

Gnawing on a groundhog.

IN THE COMMENTS: Fred4Pres said:
I had just had a quarrel with my girlfriend and I was driving her home late one night. As we rounded the bend to her parents home we saw a dead possum in the road and its mate standing over it.

She started crying and said "Look how sad he is that his mate died."

At that momemt, the possum ripped a chunk of meat from the dead possum, tilted its head back like a crocodile and wolfed down the chunk.

I replied, "Yeah, he seems really torn up about it."

We broke up the next day.

44 comments:

martha said...

THANK YOU for not posting a photo of the event! you must be in an extremely rural environment.....I hope.

Bissage said...

Well, it’s a sad thing what those coyotes did to that groundhog but at least it's not a woodchuck.

Ann Althouse said...

@martha, no thanks are appropriate. I received a phone call informing me of something that happened while I was serenely gnawing on toast. Had I seen it, I would have photographed it, and had I photographed it, I'd have posted the best picture.

And this is *not* and "extremely rural environment." It's the exurbs.

ricpic said...

There's nothing quite like the feral snarl of a killing coyote combined with the baby wail its victim makes outside my bedroom window at night. Really sets me up for a good night's sleep.

MadisonMan said...

They need sharpshooters to kill them varmints. What if the coyotes were gnawing on a child?

Please, Think of the children!

Palladian said...

"2 coyotes in my (Ohio) front yard gnawing on a groundhog" is definitely a euphemism for something...

Ron said...

...and? I was waiting for a punch line!

al said...

Isn't nature wonderful?

I see coyotes daily at work. You don't realize how close they can get till you're in a remote area of the site and the emergency sirens go off which causes the coyotes to start howling. At that point you realize they are in the tall grass 20 feet away.

As for

They need sharpshooters to kill them varmints. What if the coyotes were gnawing on a child?Personal responsibility dictates a firearm in the house being used to dispatch the coyote gnawing on your child.

EDH said...

Has the LAT demanded that you post the photos?

Bissage said...

Isn't it funny how you never hear of a coyote gnawing on a roadrunner?

Big Mike said...

@Bissage -- there aren't any roadrunners in Ohio.

Nasty, Brutish & Short said...

We didn't used to have them here in Southern Ohio at all, and then about 10 years ago, they arrived en masse.

They do appear in areas that are even more urban than the exurbs.

Usually our wildlife is quite boring.

Do make sure you drive carefully, and not hit any deer. That's the other wildlife hazard (not that the coyotes pose much risk to humans).

Pogo said...

Is the groundhog part of a heart-healthy diet?

Are those coyotes registered and licensed hunters?

So much bureaucracy to accomplish, so little time.

Fred4Pres said...

I had just had a quarrel with my girlfriend and I was driving her home late one night. As we rounded the bend to her parents home we saw a dead possum in the road and its mate standing over it.

She started crying and said "Look how sad he is that his mate died."

At that momemt, the possum ripped a chunk of meat from the dead possum, tilted its head back like a crocodile and wolfed down the chunk.

I replied, "Yeah, he seems really torn up about it."

We broke up the next day. And yeah, I would have photographed it if I had a camera with me.

goesh said...

In these parts, a pack of coyotes would grab a small child if they could...nothing wrong with posting pictures of nature

Saint Russell said...

How much ground could a groundhog grind if a groundhog could grind ground?

PatCA said...

Jeez, they're everywhere. Everyone I know has lost a pet to them. Time to cull the herd.

Jen said...

Time to stop the urban sprawl.

traditionalguy said...

The grounds keeper in the movie Tin Cup needed to use coyotes ( prarie wolves )instead of dynamite. But then the ending would have been torture instead of blowing the cute little prarie dogs up with a predator drone fired hellfire missile.

Ann Althouse said...

@PatCA Seems like the coyotes are culling the groundhogs.

RobertL said...

I have my own two coyotes roaming about our Westchester, NY neighborhood, also. They both have radio collars. I have watched them for extended periods either just sitting quietly waiting for deer (which are more than plentiful) or jumping about after woodchucks or rabbits. Last summer, I even found the entire rear legbone of a deer (completely cleaned) in the backyard.

Welcome to Suburbia!

rhhardin said...

I get groundhogs and rabbits, with only evidence of raccoons and skunks.

Sometimes an unharmed but surprised garter snake turns up on a scythe.

Turkey vultures take care of the cleanups.

PatCA said...

Well, if they would stick to groundhogs and leave the cats and dogs alone, I would be okay with that.

And, yes, in Ca they stalk toddlers as well.

Paddy O. said...

Where I lived until the end of last year:

LAKE ARROWHEAD - A 2-year-old girl had been left alone on her front porch for just moments when a coyote attacked her Tuesday, her father said today.We had coyotes go by just about every day. Heard them at night when they were gathering. Also was always surprised how close they were. Take the dog for a walk and they'd stalk you.

Had a lot of coyote encounters over the years. They're not cowards as much as pragmatists, bold but not willing to risk anything for no gain.

I'd chase after them every so often so they would get to know not to stalk around my house.

My mom, who still lives in the area, had kept cages of doves in the car overnight during a fire danger, in expectation of having to do a quick evacuation.

I happened by late that evening, noticed the door of the car open. I go up to shut it. A coyote comes out of the car. Two doves dead, eaten from between the bars of the cages. Another had totally lost its tail feathers. They were cooing. I was absolutely assured the doors had been shut tight. A neighbor told me a bit later that coyotes in the area had learned how to open car doors--they had had a whole bag of dog food eaten up.

Benefit is that between the coyotes and the bobcats, I've only once seen a house cat in the neighborhood, and that one only once.

PatCA said...

"Time to stop the urban sprawl."

Who should leave first, Jen?

Bob From Ohio said...

traditional guy: Caddyshack, not Tin Cup

Just saw part of it again this weekend. Had to turn it off because the 12 year old came in.

Elliott A said...

A couple of years ago, I happened upon a fairly large, dead varmint on the ground near my gas grill behind my house. My area is totally suburban, with perhaps two miles to the nearest undeveloped land. Anyhow, I was really too tired to mess with the dead varmint (about 2 feet long) and since the next day was Saturday, I figured I would get rid of it in the morning. Well, the next morning at 7 AM it was gone without a trace! Needless to say, there was a bigger varmint who carried the dead varmint away. I had never seen one of the dead one and certainly have no idea what carted it away for a nocturnal snack.
I think there is quite a plethora of animals who have learned to find a livable niche in our suburban and exurban areas, right under our noses. They get in and out of fenced yards, often with a trophy, and they usually don't leave any trace of their visits. Really rather fascinating to us biology types.

traditionalguy said...

Bob from ohio... Thanks for the correction. I took last week off in Amelia Island and I haven't got the brain rebooted yet.

Penny said...

"Seems like the coyotes are culling the groundhogs."

Which explains why I got a picture of a groundhog sitting in the tree right out side my window here in the suburbs.

After I snapped the picture and closed my gaping mouth, I went straight to Wikipedia. Who knew groundhogs were tree climbers?

Penny said...

Since I love nearly all animals, and because we might hear some negative things about coyotes here today, I have to share this with you.

http://www.dailycoyote.net/

(Sorry for not knowing how to link appropriately, but it is worth a visit for those who love to "Awwww".

AlphaLiberal said...

My dog also enjoys gnawing on groundhogs. Especially the wee tasty ones.

Cedarford said...

Fred4Prez - Great story. Some animal loving girls need an education in real life, like that....Probably blamed it on the messenger - you...

We have entered into a new period where we have lost control of wildlife management in some areas of the country thanks to misguided animal rights activists lawsuits, and overly restrictive anti-gun discharge, anti-hunting ordinances. And lifestyle changes.

Especially a boom in deer and now, wild pig. Tough enough to fend off coyotes, untroubled by apex predators that the Native Americans wiped out...and by insistance For the Children! The Children!.
that we do not introduce remaining apex predators - wolf packs, grizzlies, mountain lions - back into well-settled regions of America.

So we live with a high death rate from deer hits, more disease like Lyme, and the impossibility of having a garden or some very desired landscaping vegetation in many sections of the country without expensive deer fencing installed.

MadisonMan said...

From Paddy O's linked article (and apologies in advance to cat lovers):

She said she has lost two cats and has seen coyotes approach residents, including one animal that she said howled and growled at a small child next door.

"This was an accident waiting to happen. Something has to be done. This is pretty serious," Mitchell said. "We're being inundated with coyotes and there's not enough food for them here."

Well, supply more cats then. I know this woman is trying, but she's not doing enough to feed the coyotes.

Coyotes have taken small dogs in Madison, and probably cats as well. You let your pet run free outside, and bad things can happen. Cats belong inside and dogs on a leash.

From what I've read, the coyote-approaching-human problem in California is in part due to a long drought that is pressuring all the animals, including the predators.

John Lynch said...

Yeah, I've seen prairie dogs eat one another.

Animals are not nice.

Meade said...

I'm an animal.

I can be nice.

John Lynch said...

You better be or I suspect the thousand nations of the blogosphere commentariat will descend upon you.

PatCA said...

"From what I've read, the coyote-approaching-human problem in California is in part due to a long drought that is pressuring all the animals, including the predators."

On what science is that based?! Coyote numbers everywhere have exploded; they approach prey that don't fight back, and humans now don't fight back. After all, as a Field and Game person said, "they were here first."

So whose side do you choose to be on? Humans.

John Lynch said...

The funny thing is in a lot of places the coyotes were not there first. We were.

Coyote numbers and range have increased since the European settlers showed up.

Why? Wolves. Wolves had a much larger range than coyotes, but we killed all the wolves. Coyotes are much better at surviving around people than wolves are, so they moved into a lot of areas that used to be wolf country.

So, coyotes benefited from humans wiping out their competition.

Revenant said...

Time to stop the urban sprawl.

Killing the coyotes is a better solution for humans.

Fred4Pres said...

I do not mind some wildlife in the yard. The deer are brazen where I live and the biggest nusiance. We have occasional coyotes and bobcats, lots of foxes, and once in a while a bear or a cougar. I can tolerate that provided that any big predatory animal that starts losing its fear of people has to be culled and culled quick.

Personally, if the coyotes, bobcats and cougars worked on the deer a bit more I would appreciate it.

srfwotb said...

A coyote killed and ate my cat. The depth of my too-late, protective anger took me by surprise. For a period of about 3 mos post-mortem, I think if it had shown its varmint face, I could and would have killed it with my bare hands - or with the help of any nearby rock.

rhhardin said...

I don't see the YouTube of the coyote a woman raised from near birth as a pet, that had settled in with the other family pets.

I don't know if she's headed for trouble at puberty with coyotes or not, but she was doing great so far.

David said...

AlphaLiberal said...
My dog also enjoys gnawing on groundhogs. Especially the wee tasty ones.
What's the dog's name, Alpha? Cheney?

John Lynch said...

James Carville would be a better name.