Coyotes look very much like small German Shepherds. They usually weigh between 20 and 40 pounds. Supposedly, one way to tell is that coyotes travel with their tail down (not between their legs, just down) while dogs usually carry their tail up. But don’t worry too much about trying to identify them. Coyotes are rarely seen. Even living in the southwest for 15 years, I only ever saw a handful of coyotes, even though I heard them many times. However, another way to know that coyotes were in your neighborhood in
Coyotes are rarely a threat to humans unless they become conditioned getting food through either garbage left out overnight or pet food left outside. Even then, they usually skedaddle at the sight of a person. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency website says that in “recorded history there have only been 30 cases of coyote attacks on humans, while 30 million children are bitten by dogs each year.”
My wife Nancy and I were lucky to see two in Fairfield Glade last winter. We were walking along a back road near our house one morning about 10am when two deer ran across the road in front of us. I was curious why the deer were in such a high gear. I knew the answer when 2 coyotes appeared on the road a few minutes behind the deer. They stopped and looked at Nancy and me for 5 or 10 seconds, and then they were off. Coyotes probably don’t often catch healthy adult deer, but like all predators they will always look for a weakness. These two either knew something about the deer they were chasing or they were hoping to get lucky.
We hear a pack near us several times a week in the summer when we have our windows open at night. Sometimes we hear them twice a night, sometimes just once a week. They yip and yap more than they howl, but there is no mistake when a whole pack sounds off.
Coyotes! They are here in Fairfield Glade and just about everywhere in the U.S. even though you may never see them. Step outside at night and listen or better yet, sleep with you windows open in the summer and you just might be lucky enough to hear one of the great sounds of nature.
By the way, my chances of getting a picture of one of these elusive canids is pretty darn slim. Most of the pictures in my blog are ones that I have taken. But in this case, these pictures are ones that I found on the internet.