American Bushman

"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing." —Benjamin Franklin

Thursday, March 01, 2007


Walking the perimeter of the house to inspect the work the carpenters and roofers are doing has led me to discover a number of coyote trails right in the back yard. This is troubling to me as I was planning on getting my daughter to spend the night under a tarp (basha or hootchie for my overseas friends) right in the back yard.

Coyotes here in Illinois are considered nuisance animals and have no bag limit and the season is open all year with the exception of deer season. In the suburbs of Chicago it has gotten to be such a problem that trappers have been called in to handle aggressive animals that are appearing on the playgrounds at local schools.

I'm not going to get on my soapbox and preach about wildlife management here but be assured that I am fully aware that trapping a few aggressive animals will not have a noticeable impact on the coyote population here. While the deer population remains mostly unmanaged (they're cute you know) old and sickly deer will continue to feed the predator population which will continue to thrive despite harsh winter temperatures and dry summers.

The result of this is coyotes in residential areas absolutely unintimidated by the possibility of human encounter. As a licensed trapper I am able to legally set traps for the coyotes but have a real problem doing so as neighborhood dogs look just like coyotes to a trap. I don't want to injure an animal that has escaped from his/her yard while trying to remove an actual nuisance animal.

Anyway, it adds a new degree of difficulty to introducing my kids to the joys of tarp camping and bushcraft...for now.

Thanks for reading,



At 2:11 PM, Blogger sam_acw said...

there is a similar problem with foxes in England. Because the traditional method got turned into a political issue when it didn't effect 99.9% of the population it is now almost all down to shooting. Shooting has led to a couple of accidents so now they want to control that more.....


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