Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Be Watchful In The Woods...!


Call me crazy, but if something like this were to happen to me I'd be for finding another place to hike!

Don't get me wrong! I like wild life...all kinds of wild life! However, if I know there are meat eating wild critters in a certain area that are NOT the least bit afraid of me, then I ain't going there! At least, not without a shooting iron!

Trustee runs into coyote in Raceway Woods

By Lenore T. Adkins

Some coyotes have been following people with dogs at Raceway Woods in Carpentersville. The Kane County Forest Preserve has posted two signs on the property alerting visitors how to act and what to do in case they encounter one.

Carpentersville Trustee Brad McFeggan did not expect to run into an aggressive coyote during a morning stroll through Raceway Woods, with his young daughter and dog in tow.

But that’s exactly what happened.

McFeggan was walking on the racetrack’s straightaway on a recent Sunday when a coyote kept barking and howling at the party of three almost 70 feet away, “Almost like it was trying to round up the troops,” he said.

McFeggan started to turn around to walk back to the parking lot, and as he backed up, the coyote began to approach the trio. He picked up his daughter and began walking rapidly, but the coyote shadowed the group and continued to bark and howl until they got to the parking lot. McFeggan’s dog Tess, an 80-pound Rottweiler and Border collie mix who doesn’t get along with other dogs, growled and kept her eye on the coyote to make sure it didn’t ambush the group.

“I’ve hiked there at least once a month for years and ... it’s always been very peaceful and this was the first time I had that kind of encounter,” said McFeggan, who was at Raceway Woods off Huntley Road west of Route 31. “If I had to, I would have let my dog off the leash.”

Over the last two-plus weeks, police from Dundee Township, Carpentersville and the Kane County Forest Preserve District have received about a half-dozen combined reports of similar behavior from coyotes in Raceway Woods.

“There’s been no attacks that we’re aware of,” Forest Preserve Police Chief Mike Gillofo said.

The people were usually on the same stretch of pavement as McFeggan and were always with dogs, whether leashed or unleashed. Most of the accounts describe one coyote approaching a dog or following at a distance, while others reported that one coyote was barking, while two to three other coyotes watched or followed, said Bill Graser a wildlife biologist with the Kane County Forest Preserve.

Coyotes are typically afraid of humans, but are very territorial and view dogs as competition and in other cases, maybe even a threat, Graser said.

“Its not normal for (coyotes) to follow people closely,” Graser said. “The people’s dogs are what’s drawing their curiosity in my opinion.”

Right now, everyone’s in awareness mode.

During the trustee reports section of last week’s televised board meeting, McFeggan warned viewers to watch out for coyotes in Raceway Woods.

As well, the Kane County Forest Preserve has put up signs in its portion of Raceway Woods. Dundee Township has its signs on order, Supervisor Sue Harney said.

Any talk that authorities should instead remove or kill off the coyotes is too drastic.

“When you go onto land like that, there’s an acceptance of risk,” Harney said. “It is simply not realistic to think that we can get rid of coyotes.”

Meanwhile, if you encounter a coyote, it’s best to back away slowly and maintain eye contact, rather than turn your back and run, Glaser said. Keep your dogs on a leash and if a coyote approaches you, shout and wave at it, or throw small stones and sticks.

“Basically, you’re trying to re-instill their fear in human beings, if it’s been reduced or lost,” Glaser said.

Read more: http://dailyherald.com/article/20110822/news/708229776/#ixzz1VpBcRO2y

Hey, it's still a free country and you can go hiking any legal place you want, but I'm telling ya, if that so-called "wild critter" is willing to follow you to the parking lot, then you might want to find another hiking place! Especially if you had a Rottweiler with you at the time!

If nothing else, at least leave the kid at home next time, OK?

Let's get some fresh coffee and sit in the kitchen. Too damned hot to go on the patio!

21 comments:

Sixbears said...

Rabbit hunters have lost their beagles to coyotes around here. They can get too bold for my liking.

Dizzy-Dick said...

The news last night told a similar story only it happened in the middle of Houston in a well used park.

Shy Wolf said...

"...if a coyote approaches you, shout and wave at it, or throw small stones and sticks..."
Yah, right- and if you're being attacked and raped, the best thing to do is shout and blow a whistle and tell the rapist you have aids...
We've more wolves around here than I care to think about. At night they wander through the yard and make nice rifle targets when I see them. I carry 24/7 and am always alert when walking the dogs. I'm not too concerned about being attacked by a wolf, but if it happens, I'm not going to give one thought to how illegal it is to shoot wolves.
As to losing fear of man- some will tell you there're no recorded instances of people being attacked by wolves. But google it. Tell that to Canadian singers. Or kids in LA, NY, AZ, and other places.
Good find, Jim.
Shy III

JoJo said...

Strange how it isn't mentioned that this could be caused by rabies or to protect their young. In which case they need to do more investigating. Coyotes will adapt to anything and their numbers are increasing in alarming rates.

HermitJim said...

Hey Sixbears...
Guess the wild critters are starting to take over again!

Shame about the Beagles getting taken!

Time to be aware, that's for sure! Thanks for coming over!


Hey DD...
I think it's happening all over, especially with the lack of water!

I appreciate you coming by today!


Hey Shy...
I'm with you! I am NOT going to stand there and shout at some wild thing coming at me with bad intentions! As far as yelling...it would sound more like a yell for help coming as I ran!

Desperate measures if you are not carrying!

Thanks, buddy, for coming by today!


Hey JoJo...
Whatever the reason, I don't think it was rabies. Rabid animals have a tendency to stay alone and not hunt or run in packs!

I'll make a deal with them! They leave me alone and I'll leave them alone!

Thanks, sweetie, for coming by today!

Mechanic in Illinois said...

When out hunting I remove all the coyotes I can. Here in the Communist State of Illinois we don't have concealed carry so I carry bear spray and a substantial walking stick. Thanks for the info and have a great Tuesday.

HermitJim said...

Hey Mechanic...
You gotta take all the precautions you can while out and about!

Bear spray sounds like a good thing to have handy! Guess it should work on coyotes!

Thanks for coming over today!

judysquiltsandthings said...

Any predator around this neck of the woods that stands still or approaches is assumed to have rabies and is history.

HermitJim said...

Hey Judy...
I'm afraid that would be my reaction as well!

I have to figure that if they are stalking me, it's with bad intentions!

Sure am glad you could come over today!

2 Tramps said...

We had a strange acting coyote at the cabin the last year. It came down into the meadow near dusk and barked and yipped off and on for over an hour. We decided that something spooked it - probably a wolf or a cougar. You have to use all your senses when out with Mother Nature.

TROUBLEnTX said...

Our gov,,Perry, was running on the hike/bike trail in Austin about a year ago, had a coyote standing on the trail, he pulls out his pistol and shoots it. Had worn it always, might need it for those, and snakes. Thot that was really cool. Was lots of hoopla about it.

HermitJim said...

Hey 2Tramps...
Gotta pay attention to Mother Nature if you know what's good for ya!

I thank you for coming by today!


Hey Trouble...
That's why we carry...just especially for those coyotes, two legged and four!

Good for the governor!

Thanks for coming by today!

thecottagebythecranelakeolof1 said...

Strange when they start to behave like this! I guess it has to do with the draught and therefore less pray to catch, but nasty just the same!

We don´t have coyotes over here so I really don´t know how big they are, but if I understand things right they´are bigger than a red fox but much smaller than a wolf?

We´re getting the same problems with wolves now days but they don´t care about humans but they do kill dogs if they can.

Have a great day!
Christer.

Bob Mc said...

I've been away, and this is the first blog post I've read since returning.

Coyotes have been known to get over the top aggressive in many places, especially where small children and dogs are concerned. They have bitten children and even attacked and killed small dogs while the dogs were on leash. A sure cure for an aggressive coyote is a load of 00 buck delived from a 12ga!

HermitJim said...

Hey Christer...
When any wild animal becomes overly aggressive, it's time for extreme measures.

Your idea of their size is just about right and they are big enough to cause some problems!

I'm glad you don't have them there.

Thanks for the visit today!


Hey Bob...
The 00 buckshot does sound like a good solution to me!

It's a shame when they get more mean and pushy, but you can't take chances with the dogs getting harmed.

I really appreciate you coming by today!

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ain't for city gals said...

Ususally this comes into play when they are second and third generation coyotes born into a controled environment...my parents live on a golf corse in Phoenix...they see them every evening...they don't fear humans.

Sp00k said...

Jim,
Last year when my Bro' & I were making our way out to our respective hunting spots for the day (deer season), had a coyote stalking my Bro'. Freaked him out to say the least. lol.
As for myself, after spending time in S.Cal in the Navy & hearing & reading stories every month about coyotes carrying off small pets & infants, I decided that any critter that considers my species as their prey makes them my prey. I'll shoot a coyote anytime I see one. Always open season on coyotes.

HermitJim said...

Hey Sheryl...
What ever generation they are from, I don't like it!

Maybe it's time to try and make them a little more aware of just how dangerous we can be!

I'm all for getting along with them, but I don't want to wind up on the menu!

Hey, thanks for coming by today!


Hey SpOOk...
I hear ya, my friend!Time to turn the tables, I think!

I know I would be a little freaked out myself!

Wonder how they taste on the BBQ?

I really appreciate you coming by today!

Sp00k said...

Jim,
A mite too scrawny & gamey for my tastes. lol.But, if you're in the right parts of the country, a set of ears & a tail will bring you $50. (My retirement plan. Won't lose value like your 401K.lolol)

Bob Mc said...

"Wonder how they taste on the BBQ?"

According to a fellow I know, who isn't the least bit picky about what he eats, it can't be done. He claims they taste just like they smell; and yes, he did try it.