The coyote in this trail cam photo was visiting one of the only remaining watering holes in the stream during the drought of 2012.
Coyote populations have varied considerably during our time at Chert Hollow Farm. During our first few years here, coyotes were fairly scarce. The population seems to have spiked in 2011 and remained high into 2012. Perhaps this was a result of a general boom in prey populations following the heavy oak mast of 2010?
As predators, coyotes have the potential to be both beneficial and problematic on the farm. The benefits are mostly from the perspective of vegetables, since coyotes eat critters that eat vegetables, particularly rabbits and rodents, thus helping to keep those populations in check. They are also a potential threat to domestic animals such as goats and chickens, though electric fences, well-maintained infrastructure, and sensible precautions such as locking animals in at night have prevented problems so far.
In late November 2012, someone shot a coyote across our property line without our permission & left it on our land to rot. We do not approve of or appreciate such uncalled for & wasteful killing of predators.