By David F. Rooney
Conservation Officers from Golden and Vernon descended on the Selkirk Saddle Club Friday to assess the nature of the coyote problem there and, if they proved to be lucky, perhaps a bag a couple of the predators and “instill a little fear in them.”
After meeting with Angie Threatful who has now had two of her animals attacked by hungry coyotes — her dog Wrinkles on Wednesday and her miniature horse on Thursday — COs Justyn Bell of Golden and Jesse Jones of Vernon said coyotes in Revelstoke have “lost their fear of people.”
“If we’re lucky maybe we can kill a couple of them and “instill a little fear in them,” Bell said.
He said using traps was out of the question because so many people bring their dogs down to the equestrian grounds. Luring the animals, said
to be so hungry they are subsisting on mountain ash berries when they can’t kill neighbourhood pets, in with a Nomad Predator Electronic Game Call might work. However, conditions were not ideal. The fresh, heavy snow dumped on the city over the last couple of days was so deep it would likely discourage coyotes from emerging from their den and the white stuff that cloaked the trees would muffle the sounds of an animal in distress emitted by the game call that Jones brought with him.
But it was worth a try. Unfortunately, the hunting expedition failed to scare up a single coyote.
“The snow is so deep it’s not worth their while to expend a lot of energy for what they think might be a small meal,” Jones said. “The other thing is all the snow in the trees. It muffles the call so we can’t be sure they are even hearing it. They’re probably denned up and either can’t hear it or think it’s not worth the energy.”
And energy is what it’s all about.
“Think of it as their currency. “They don’t want to expend any more than they absolutely have to,” Jones said. “And they want their kill to provide them with more energy than they expend.”
Despite their cold afternoon in the deep snow Friday, the two COs said they’ll try again next week.
But their success can only ensured if they can get accurate fixes on the location of coyote dens in the city.
If you are certain that you know where an active coyote den is located you can contact CO Justyn Bell at Justyn.Bell@gov.bc.ca or include your information in a comment at the bottom of this story.