ABOVE: David Allen, of the North Carolina Trappers Association, helps promote trapper education. To the left of Allen, Scott McNeely, owner of McNeely Pest Control, answers questions during Tuesday's workshop.
Got coyote problems? Here's some help
Todd Menke, assistant state director for USDA Wildlife services, gives a trapping demonstration outside the Iredell County Extension Center Tuesday. He also answered questions like how much bait should I use when trapping a coyote? The answer, he said, no bigger than a pea size.
By KARISSA MILLER
It’s not unusual to see a coyote in Iredell County or know someone who has.
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, N.C. State Cooperative Extension and USDA Wildlife Services met with local residents at the Iredell County Extension Center on Tuesday to discuss ways to remove problem coyotes that target livestock and offer non-lethal preventative methods for reducing conflicts.
Coyotes are “getting used to people” and rarely attack or act aggressive towards people, explained Geriann Albers, NCWRC assistant black bear and furbearer biologist..
She shared the following information:
• The animal has a unique ability to eat and live anywhere, including towns and suburban areas;
• They are established in all 100 counties in North Carolina and can roam long distances;
• They are known to reduce the population of rodents, squirrels, raccoons and rats;
• It’s rare for coyotes to have rabies;
• They are scared of their own shadow. However, they have been known to prey on cats and small unleashed dogs.
Residents who are experiencing run-ins with coyotes should call private trapping companies or contacting NC Wildlife for guidance.
Coyote Safety: Advice for homeowners
Scott McNeely, owner and president of McNeely Pest Control in Winston-Salem, who was among many wildlife specialists at the workshop, regularly handles a wide range of coyote situations.
McNeely said that homeowners in urban areas spend a lot of time researching how to trap a coyote when more time should be spent on prevention.
Pet food, bird feeders and compost piles will attract a coyote to a homeowner’s yard and shouldn’t be left outdoors, he said.
In North Carolina, once a coyote is trapped it must be euthanized since they are territorial animals, according to the rules outlined by NCWRC.
Managing Livestock Predation
Young lambs and calves can be vulnerable to predator attacks, and many farmers know that it’s hard to catch a problem coyote.
For Lucille and Charles Carter, owners of Car-May farms in East Iredell, the land is their calling, and their livestock is their livelihood. They raise chickens, cows and calves.
Coyote attacks are a reality and a major concern for the couple.
Lucille said that the information about trapping was useful.
“I didn’t have any ideas about traps, and it’s not something I think will use at our farms. I learned there is a humane way to trap. Look at the different carcasses to see if that’s coyote, dog or vulture,” she explained.
During the workshop, each attendee was given a book that contained procedures and graphic close-up views of various livestock carcasses to help walk farmers through the steps of evaluating predation on livestock.
Legal Trap Types for Coyotes in North Carolina
“Trapping can be very controversial. We find that there’s a split reaction,” NCWRC black bear and furbearer biologist Coleen Olfenbuttel said.
“The other half (against trapping) isn’t supportive because they have the image of Wile E. Coyote and think of a big bear steel trap with teeth that will cut the animal in half,” she explained.
In North Carolina, coyote hunting is not restricted. It can be done day or night.
Olfenbuttel recommends foothold traps, which do not close all the way on an animal’s foot. The trap jaws must be smooth edged, without spikes or teeth.
“It lessens the impact as it closes in,” she said, which makes it less likely to restrict blood flow to the animal’s paw.
Visit www.ncwildlife.org/Trapping/LawsSafety and click “Local Laws” to find the local laws in the NCWRC Regulations Digest.
Coexisting with Coyotes
The coyote conflict management workshop began this summer and has been successful, organizers said.
NCWRC extension wildlife biologist Jessie Birckhead, who coordinated the event in Statesville, said the event sold out in less than three weeks.. As a result, they will hold an additional workshop on Aug. 23 in Statesville to accommodate the 60 people who were put on the waiting list for the event.
The cost is $10. The 195-minute workshop included a hands-on trapping demonstration, resources to take home, an opportunity to ask biologist and trappers individual questions and a snack break.
Birckhead said they are excited about a “Coexist with Skunks” workshop in the future. She said this will include a skunk smell remover recipe, which some attendees picked up at Tuesday’s workshop (as skunks and sometimes other animals get caught when in traps intended for a coyote).
Skunk Smell Remover secret
Ever get sprayed by a skunk? It’s a smell you will never forget. In order to help relieve the stench, this recipe will help.
1-quart hydrogen peroxide
1 cup baking soda
1 teaspoon liquid dish soap
Mix all ingredients together in an open bucket or spray bottle. Use a sponge or cloth to wash the animal or spray the affected area. Reaction is immediate, so rinse thoroughly after applying. Keep out of eyes! Do not pre-mix.