Tag Archives: Coyote

Coyote back to school Gloucester

Before loping through the parking lot and shifting right at the ‘parked bus game trail‘ and straight on to Cherry Street, our wildlife neighbor lingered in the skate park with us.

We were mostly still as..church mice. Did I think that? I slipped in front of three kids which is ridiculous because the kids are my size or bigger . And it was just passing by. Still, it did seem a long time before its distinctive gait resumed.

The photo is Blow Up style– from the point where we were standing comfortable enough to grab a phone shot of the coyote heading out rather than to the Ralph B O’Maley Innovation Middle School in Gloucester .

20160703_08061320160703_080613 (1)20160703_080613 (2).jpg


Eastern Coyote Canis latrans massachusetts Kim SmithFace to face

When out filming for projects, I’d often thought about what my reaction would be if ever again I came eye to eye with a coyote. Many have crossed my path, but too quickly and too unexpectedly to capture. I don’t bring my dog with me any longer because one brazen one had a go at her two winters ago and it’s just not a good idea to tempt fate. I hoped that calmness would prevail, allowing for a non-blurry photo, or two.

Well, I didn’t panic and got some great footage, and when the coyote was too far out of range for my movie camera, took a few snapshots.

Eastern Coyote massachusetts beach Canis latrans Kim Smith

This one appears smaller than what I have typically encountered, perhaps it is only a year or two old, or possibly coyotes are not as plump after the winter months. He/she was very intent upon scavenging in a bed of seaweed that had washed ashore and think it must have been quite hungry to allow me to get so close. He reluctantly left his meal as I moved toward him and then watched me for some time from under cover of beach grass. His shining eyes were easily seen in the fading low light. Mistakenly, I thought that was the end of our meeting and went back to filming B-roll.Eastern Coyote massachusetts Kim Smith

Beach grass provides excellent camouflage

I was losing the light and decided to call it a day. Packing up cameras and turning to go, there he was, a hundred yards away, staring at me. Deftly traveling through the tall reeds he had circled around. I don’t think he had me in mind for his next meal, but I was halfway between him and the scavanged dinner from which he had so rudely been interrupted. Plans on how to weaponize my tripod and camera bag quickly came to mind. He trotted leisurely towards me, changed his mind, and then trotted in the opposite direction. A car came down the road and he again turned toward my direction, making his way along the beach until slipping back into the grass.

If ever you have a close encounter with a coyote, be sure to remind yourself of this story and know that they may indeed still be very close by.


For additional reading, the following is a link to an interesting article that explains clearly why coyotes are thought to be the canid soup that they are, from Earth Sky: “Eastern Coyote is a Hybrid, But Coywolf is Not a Thing”

This map shows the movement of coyotes across North America and Mexico. It is now in Panama and will undoubtedly make its way south and across the canal. The animal is so adaptable I imagine it won’t be long before it colonizes Colombia as well.


Link to Cape Ann TV coverage of the coyote meeting:




FullSizeRender (13)Councilor Steven LeBlanc ©Kim Smith 2016

City Councilor Steven LeBlanc

On Monday night at City Hall a packed audience attended the “Living with Wildlife” coyote meeting. Recognizing the exploding population of coyotes on Cape Ann, City Councilor Steven LeBlanc had requested the forum. Approximately 250 people were in attendance, which is an unusually large number for a meeting of this nature and speaks to the general concern by Cape Ann residents to the growing number of coyotes now living amongst us.

pat Huckery ©Kim Smith 2016Pat Huckery 

The informational meeting was conducted by Pat Huckery, the northeast district manager for the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife and she is herself a wildlife biologist. Pat presented the life history of the coyote as well as a number of methods for lessening human encounters with coyotes, most notably to cut off their food supply. Humans providing food to the coyotes directly and indirectly is the number one culprit and at the top of the list states Pat is bird feeders. She recommends that if you do have a bird feeder, at the very least, clean up the daily mess underneath the feeders. Spilled bird food attracts rodents and small mammals, which in turn attracts coyotes. Unsecured garbage as well as pet food left outdoors are also strong coyote attractants.

The very specific and unique ecology of Cape Ann, in relation to the coyote, was not discussed. Cape Ann’s coyote population has mushroomed in part due to the wealth of food that can be scavenged along our shoreline, marshes, and wooded habitats. One East Gloucester resident attending the meeting reported that she lives with a pack of twenty in her backyard. Hunting as an approved option for reducing the coyote population was discussed and is also believed to help create a healthy fear of humans on the part of the coyote. Local licensed hunter Sam Holmes was in attendance and he can be reached at 978-491-8746. Communities such as Middleton, Rhode Island, have an expanded hunting season to manage the population of specifically coyotes that have lost their fear of humans. Pat also debunked the highly romanticized term coywolf, and disputes the concept that by hunting coyotes, the reverse occurs and the overall population increases.

IMG_0273These photos were taken by Pat Halverson and submitted by Peggy Matlow, our new Good Morning Gloucester FOB . Peggy and her family will soon be permanently relocating to Gloucester, from the Berkshires, and these photos were taken from their new home in East Gloucester.




An Eastern Point resident was attacked by a coyote at 5:15 this morning. She was curled up in an Adirondack chair drinking coffee and watching the stars before heading off to work. The wolf-size coyote leapt on her back. She jumped to her feet and fought it back with her fists. She next grabbed a broom and in the process hit her truck’s key fob, which sounded the alarm. The coyote slunk back into the brush and observed her as she threw rocks at it and yelled loudly, to no avail. It stayed for some time watching her. The coyote could be rabid.

The woman describes the coyote’s drool as smelling like foul meat and the fur as coarse and bristly. The drool was in her hair and took some time to wash out the smell. She does not inherently dislike coyotes and is an animal lover by nature, owns many pets and chickens, and was the former owner of a horse stable. There are several fences around her family’s property, in place to keep her pets safe, including an electric fence.

The woman called the police, who informed her that the animal control officer was not in. She has not heard from animal control.

The Coyote Controversy Continues

Coyote Massachusetts,canis latrans ©Kim Smith 2014

Joey forwarded the following information and links from an editorial that was recently posted on “North Shore Nature News.” We’ll post the first several paragraphs from the editorial, and the comment from Jim Schmidt that Joey found particularly interesting. In fairness to the author, the See More, directs the reader back to the original editorial.

“In Nancy Gurney’s classic children’s book, “The King, the Mice and the Cheese,” a king brings in cats to get rid of the mice eating his cheese. He then brings in dogs to get rid of the cats. Lions to get rid of the dogs. Elephants to get rid of the lions. And, finally, mice to get rid of the elephants.We find ourselves in similar straights with the eastern coyote.

Wolves once occupied the top of the area’s food chain. But we hunted them into near extinction. So, with no wolves in the area, coyotes began to enter the commonwealth in the 1950s as the food chain’s top dog. DNA evidence shows the coyotes mated with what was left of the wolves and with dogs. The cross breeding created the eastern coyote, a larger version of what wildlife experts now call the western coyote.
The coyote is bolder and more adaptable than the shier, more reclusive wolf. So, instead of confining itself to rural areas, as the wolf once did, the coyotes occupy rural, suburban and urban habitats. Add the fact that Massachusetts loses an estimated 40 acres a day of rural land to development and it’s inevitable the human and the coyote worlds will collide.” – See more at: Ipswich Wicked Local


Comment from Jim Schmidt:

“I have 54 years of first hand and face to face experience with coyotes. I retired as a fulltime USDA government coyote specialist recently. I have dealt with coyotes in New York, South Carolina, Kansas, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona. Many remarks in this editorial are very incorrect. Coyote are dangerous wild predators. They are smart, problem solving, professional killers. They kill and eat everything too.

They DO NOT have to be rabid to be dangerous. Look up the “Biting Coyote of Green Valley, Arizona” as an example. This unprovoked coyote attacked and bit 8 adult people. The media and local medical professionals claimed it “must be Rabid” and it was not. How do I know? I was the one that removed him. Coyotes have a very low history of rabies too. I know first hand that coyotes will attack any size animal if it wishes. Three coyotes attacked and killed a large Rottweiler dog while the owner was walking it and another large dog. They killed and ate it-I was there again.

How do they kill a horse you ask? They will run it until it over heats and stops and often lies down and they take them. I have seen it again. They stand at the rear of a cow or horse giving birth and attack and kill the newborn when it hits the ground. Goats, sheep, chickens, cats, apples, water melons, garden hoses, and much more are at risk all the time…basically nothing is safe from the clever coyote. This dangerous animal will never be on welfare as it can take care of itself better than anything I know of or experienced.

I encourage you to learn the truth about coyotes not fantasies. They are a marvel of nature and they are in your state and community now. This is a professional dangerous killer for sure.” Jim Schmidt – See more at: Ipswich Wicked Local


Chickity Check It!- Kristy Asaro’s Coyote Photos From Her Parents’ Back Porch In East #GloucesterMA


Check Out Way More Photos Of The Coyote Up Close And Personal (Click On The Photos On Her Site For The Larger Sized Versions)and Subscribe to Kristy’s Blog Here- http://www.imaginekristy.com/w2/coyote/

Sorry Paul, but Coywolfs, Wolfoties, Coyotes Do Not Shit in the Woods

coyotes do not shit in the woods

Well I’m sure they sometimes do, but on my morning walks along East Main Street and Eastern Point I quite often see coyote poop in the middle of the road. I always wonder what that is about. I agree that most wild animals do their doo in the woods, which is natural for them to do. Does anyone have any thoughts on why the coyotes seem to prefer the middle of the road? I think they do it to spite us – sort of a coyote’s way of saying: “FU humans for taking over and destroying my habitat and then trying to run me away when I eat your tasty little cats and dogs that you leave out unattended as easy prey.” Or maybe they’re saying: “If you humans are going to mess up my bathroom with your dog poop in plastic bags, I’ll just go out here in the road.” What do you think it means, if anything?

Any Scat Experts Out There?

coyote scat in the road

I’m actually pretty sure it is coyote scat. I have been coming across these piles recently (pretty large dog poop size piles) in the road and on the sidewalks along Eastern Point. At first I thought they were left behind by very inconsiderate dog owners, but then started seeing them out in the road, where I can’t imagine any conscientious dog owner would allow their dog to do their do. If you look close, you can see berries or something in there that I don’t think of as typical dog diet stuff. Anyone have any other ideas?

E.J. Lefavour

Drama on Niles Pond

niles pond drama

While walking very early by Niles Pond one morning recently, the peace and serenity of the place was suddenly shattered by the persistent distressed crying of a duck at the far wooded end of the pond.  I looked for her and the cause of her distress, but it took some time to locate her in the reeds.  Then I saw the reason for her mournful cries.  This coyote had apparently gotten her mate and possibly her babies as well.  I couldn’t see what he was feeding on, but her cries made it obvious that it was something very dear to her, and since there was no mate at her side, I assumed he must have been watching the nest while she went out to feed and was caught unawares by the coyote.

When I started photographing, both he and the duck looked in my direction.  He seemed to know I was too far away to be of any concern to him, so he yawned and went on about his business.  The duck however kept looking in my direction and crying, as though pleading with me to do something.  My heart went out to that poor devastated creature.  I know coyotes need to eat, and it is better for him to feed on a duck than someone’s pet cat or dog, but it still made for a sad start to my day, and a much sadder start for her’s.  The coyote however was satisfied.

E.J. Lefavour


Diabolical New Coyote Defense Technique For Deer

Adapt or Die Baby.  Flat Out One Of The Most Brilliant Defense Mechanisms On Display I’ve Ever Seen.

I don’t care how hungry that coyote is that’s creeping up on the deer.  Deer lets one rip like this and the pack of coyotes are like “We out man.  I don’t want any part of that stank ass!”  Diabolical!!!

I’m guessing that was a three day old chili fart.  Had to be right?  I just hope the deer had some toilet paper laying around so it could do a wipe check.  Don’t want any poop remnants that might have snuck out making your deer butt all stanky.  Gotta at least give it one or two test wipes to make sure it’s all clear back there.

That deer in West Gloucester that got surrounded by the coyotes last year could have learned a thing or two from farting deer.  Would have saved itself a whole lot of time and aggravation during the standoff.  Shoulda just let one rip and that pack of coyote would have high tailed it back to Canada STAT!

BTW this post is for new subscriber Bill.

Tonight is “Meet The Coywolf” 8PM on PBS

Meet The Coywolf on PBS Tonight at 8 PM.  Find out where all that howling at the moon on Cape Ann is coming from.


Six Week Old Coywolf.

The coywolf, a mixture of western coyote and eastern wolf, is a remarkable new hybrid carnivore that is taking over territories once roamed by wolves and slipping unnoticed into our cities. Its appearance is very recent — within the last 90 years — in evolutionary terms, a blip in time. Beginning in Canada but by no means ending there, the story of how it came to be is an extraordinary tale of how quickly adaptation and evolution can occur, especially when humans interfere. Tag along as scientists study this new top predator, tracking it from the wilderness of Ontario’s Algonquin Park, through parking lots, alleys and backyards in Toronto all the way to the streets of New York City. -PBS

In 56 minutes I doubt they will even scratch the surface of the interesting parts. If they say “evolution” more than twice, “mitochondrial DNA sequencing” even once, I will eat my lab coat. But it is the Nature show on PBS and they might be even handed about the subject and they might even spice it up with some real science from real scientists instead of “scientists say …”

[edit] Looking for coywolf cameltoe to toughen up this post and there is no Rubber Duck at all. She has locked herself in her room crying.



Rockport Reader Submits Coyote Photo

Thank you so much Sandra for sending your photo.

Note to readers interested in submitting a locally spotted coyote: Please don’t be concerned about the quality of the image. I think it is very helpful to collect documentation while we are learning as a community how to address the growing coyote problem. Please provide location and time of day.

Send photos to: kimsmithdesigns@hotmail.com. Thank you!

photo0440_001 2

Hi Kim,

Saw your coyote post on Good Morning Gloucester, with note to send photos.

We woke one morning early in December to see this coyote not 50 feet away,under our neighbors’ apple tree, having breakfast!  South St., Rockport.  We are newcomers to the area, had heard about and heard coyotes at night, but this was something we did not expect to see during the day. Not the greatest picture, but at least documented!  

Today! The Eastern Coyote in New England Sponsored by Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary Sat, Jan 11, 2014

I hope Kim Or Paul or both go to this and get some interesting info to share.

This is what I know about coyotes:
If there was a child attacked by a coyote the news media would blast it all over the place but you don’t hear about those incidents so that gives me a little comfort.

On the other hand if you have a pulse and can see then you have most definitely seen an uptick from no coyote sightings 10 years ago to weekly sightings today.

I understand there are people who would rather see people’s pets eaten rather than take some type of action. I just hope that the current trends of seeing them more and more during the day and seeing them more often doesn’t end up turn into something where people can’t even go for a walk.

Maybe the answer is to walk around with a tazer? “Don’t taze me bro!”

The Eastern Coyote in New England
Sponsored by Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary
Sat, Jan 11, 2014 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, Topsfield

Christine Schadler – Wild Canid Ecologist and New England representative for Project Coyote, a national group promoting coexistence with coyotes.


Adult $8.00

Adult $10.00
The howling in New England has returned! Since 1900, when the eastern wolf retreated into southern Ontario, our woods have not known a top predator. Since the 1940s, however, the bark and howl of the eastern coyote has resonated from pasture to mountain. Today, thousands of coyotes occupy New England, but unlike their smaller western cousin, our coyotes are part wolf, can hunt in packs to take deer, and are filling the niche of the wolf. Come learn about the natural history of this adaptable mammal and get answers to any questions or concerns you may have from an expert. How we rethink our woods as a domain to be shared will ultimately determine our success in adapting to life with this amazing predator.

Make it a day – bring a bag lunch and sign up for Tracking Predators with Bob Metcalfe in the afternoon from 12:30-4:30 pm.

Instructions and Directions:

Meets in the Barn.
Registration is required.
Call to register 978-887-9264.
Register by mail: program registration form (PDF 66K)

For your own security, DO NOT send credit card information via email.
For more information, contact:

Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary
87 Perkins Row
Topsfield, MA 01983


While filming along the berm between Niles Pond and Brace Cove at 11:30 today, my dog Rosie had a near death experience. I was crouched down on a lower rock and Rosie was sitting on the rock above me waiting while I was photographing. Suddenly all the birds took flight. I didn’t think too much of it because that happens seemingly at random sometimes. Rosie was engrossed in watching the birds, too. I stood up and charging toward her, not ten feet away, was a coyote. Upon seeing me as I stood up, the coyote hightailed it down the path towards the scrubby, wooded area between the pond and the sand.

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