Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Sports columns

January 29, 2012

Coyotes part of our natural landscape

February is one of the best times to see the elusive animal

This winter’s weather has been different, to say the least. The majority of the hunting seasons are now history and fluctuating temperature swings have made local ice fishing opportunities sketchy at best.

Staring out the window at the snow-covered landscape, I yearned for something to do. Then came a welcome phone call from my friend Jim Baker.

“Want to make a stand this evening?” he asked.

He was referring to making a short trip hunting coyotes. An hour later, as the sun silently kissed the horizon, we took our positions next to a dense stand of underbrush. Paying particular attention to the wind, we were careful to place ourselves with a good view of the open weedlot surrounded by woods. Pushing the button on the remote control the Foxpro electronic call came to life. The woeful sound of a rabbit in distress echoed in the cold air.

Five minutes had barely passed when I noticed a silhouette cautiously making its way through the dried foxtail. It appeared ghostlike in the waning light. It wasn’t long before it too joined the growing list of coyotes taken this season.

The area surrounding Kokomo is no different than any other town in Indiana or across the United States for that matter. Once considered the “song of the west,” the coyote’s hair-raising wail is now considered the song of the north, south and east. They have become a natural part of life in urban America and have carved out a healthy existence in many rural and metropolitan areas.

The boom in Indiana’s predator cycle was boosted, in part, by low fur prices and corresponding lack of trappers. This is bad news to our small-game species, livestock growers and certain homeowners. However, this glut of wild canines has attracted more hunters to wintertime predator calling. This helps fill the void when other seasons close.

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