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Written By Andrew Krutz.

Posted on August 2nd, 2023.

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In late August, on my way back from walking a bit of the rail trail that parallels the West Branch of the Delaware River, I had an encounter with a coyote.

A coyote crosses Route 10 in the middle of the day in late August

Before the video, we spotted each other while it was in the brush just off the road. At first, it seemed hesitant around me, but as you can see it got over that quickly. I estimate I was about 20 yards from it when I took that video.

It was unusual to see it in the middle of the day like that, but in all likelihood it was healthy. It is possible it was being bold in its hunting practices to help feed some pups. Coyote pups are born in early spring so these would’ve been fairly large, but they would still need to be fed by their parents. Coyotes are considered full-grown at 9 months.

The subspecies of coyote that we have in the Northeast are Eastern Coyotes. They are thought to have come from the Midwest about 100 years ago, breeding with wolves and domestic dogs along the way.

On average they are 24-45 lbs, about 10 lbs heavier than Western Coyotes. They are very opportunistic and flexible and can live in anything from wild country to suburbs. They are omnivores that feed on small rodents, raccoons, nuts, berries, carrion, and deer. When they do kill a live deer, it is usually young or unhealthy.

When coyotes howl it often sounds like many individuals. However, it is likely it is just a pair or small family. They seem to suddenly and deliberately change their howling tone and style. This makes it close to impossible to determine how many individuals there actually are.

Coyotes are rarely a threat to humans, but if you find yourself in a questionable encounter you should make yourself seem as big and loud as possible by waving your arms, yelling, and throwing objects in the coyote’s general direction.

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