Well looky there!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Canis latrans.


I'd seen plenty of the toothy lil' suckers while living in the Colorado foothills some many years ago.

I was a bit skeptical about reports they'd been eating folks pocket dogs and young babies here in coastal, central NJ suburbia. I ain't skeptical no more. There it was, pretty as you please, smack dab in the middle of the road near what passes for a wildlife preserve in these parts. No doubt about it.

6 comments:

Stephen said...

These guys have been marauding around Sussex County for years and years.
BTW I've crossed paths with about a dozen of them - these are not the same as the ones I saw when I lived in Glendale, CA. 80+ pounds. I saw one that had the same silhouette as a 100 pound German Shepard I owned years ago.
For a surprise you won't want to believe Google "mountain lion" + vernon nj. My property backs up against Wawayanda State Park. I have not seen one but I've spoken to hunters I believe. Those cats are out there.

chuck said...

I read somewhere that coyotes are interbreeding with wolves.

That is a handsome, well fed looking specimen. Where did the picture come from?

Knucklehead said...

stephen,

yeabut... you're up there in the NJ hinterland wilderness. You got bears and such. We're civilized down here!

Oh, and yeah, the one we saw (there were 4 of us in the car) seemed large for a coyote. I wouldn't go 100 lbs but it was 60 or 70. I'd guess the ones we typically saw in CO were more like 40-50 lbs.

Chuck, the picture is from wikipedia - the coyote entry. But its a dead ringer. The road we were on is a bit off the beaten path. It was night. We came around a corner, brights on, and there it was right smack on the yellow line. We slowed to get a good look, it looked back and then ran down the line right past the car.

Beautiful, very much so. But they have a menace about them that is unmistakable.

chuck said...

But they have a menace about them that is unmistakable.

The only one's I've seen up close are pups and youngsters. One of my roomates was raising a pup, sucked the snot out of its nose when it was sick. Yuck. Guess growing up on a farm can give you a strong stomach. The others we kept for a friend cause they had raided a chicken coop and the cops were trying to take them. I'll admit, it was probably the wrong thing to do. It did lead to one good story, however. One of the police got a bit tipsy and was going to finish the job, got out his shotgun, leaned over the hood, and blew the antenna off his car.

Yeah, I've had some strange friends. Another had a full blown wolf, a scary pacing bugger who sent his girlfriend to the emergency room with a bitten foot. The wolf finally got loose once too often and got itself shot dead by a farmer down near Salt Lake.

Stephen said...

Knucklehead,

Yeah the coyotes I saw in Glendale/L.A. were the same 40-50 pounders you've been seeing in CO. A 60 pounder would have been quite large in SoCal if I'd ever seen one.

Chuck,

I've been close enough to 80+ pounders (pretty common here in Jersey) to know they were pure coyote - just big. But that 100 pounder, yeah could have been a wolf mix I suppose. I wasn't all that close and he was moving through foliage at a good lope. But Park Rangers are useless about such questions. Their training tells them there are no wolves in NJ.
Which may be so. Or maybe that wolf mix was not a mix at all.

Oh and Knucklehead,
We've got those parasites that come trailing along after the black bears - activists.
Horrible people. Someone's going to get hurt.
Woman's got a yard full of kids. Bear starts owning the yard. Woman asks for help. Gets a live-trap in her yard. Activist pours gallon jug of his own urine on the trap. Bear avoids that yard but snoops two doors down.
There's a protocol which keeps snuggly, nosy bears alive by relocating them. Before they enter a home, which action even if the home is vacant, is a death sentence for the bear.
Greybeard hippies - yuk.

Knucklehead said...

Stephen!

The hunting activists are none to bright, are they. I don't hunt but a buddy who does was coming out of the woods after an unsuccessful bear hunt and was accosted by two VERY angry and aggressive anti-hunting "activists". According to his telling of the story he got concerned enough for his physical safety that he shoved a round in the tube and explained that they might want to reconsider making the guy with the gun afeared for his safety.