Does it happen to you outside the urban areas or near jungles that you hear a strange sound, and immediately the atmosphere changes? Does that howling sound give you goosebumps and chilled feeling?
You may feel that a wolf pack is near or worse, WEREWOLVES! Though those are mythical creatures and wolves’ attacks are generally rare, chances are you may encounter coyotes or a pack of coyotes.
So, are coyotes dangerous? Do coyotes hunt in packs or single?
In short, they generally do not hunt in packs, but they hunt in packs for more hunting efficiency. Three or four coyotes can chase down a seven-pound jackrabbit more quickly than one coyote. That will be fast, making them able to hop and turn quickly.
What Are Coyotes?
You can call them the relatives of wolves. But they are also related to foxes and jackals. All of them share the same family, the Canidae. With some different traits, coyotes almost have the same characteristics as these animals.
If you look at their body structure, you will find them as narrow and snouts in a lean body. But their bodies are elongated with thick fur and bushy tails. The best part of their bodies is their eyes, as those are of unique yellowish color.
Coyotes can be mainly found in North America. But they also have habitat in Canada, Mexico, Central America, and the United States. However, you will also see them in tropical climates.
Nonetheless, with rapid urbanization and less suitable sanctuary in the countryside, coyotes are moving towards cities to find food. That is why big cities like New York and Los Angeles residents see more coyotes than ever.
What Are The Reasons Why Coyotes Hunt In Packs?
Coyotes are bright, and like wolves, they are also social among them. They are intelligent, and they like to live in family units in a pack. Three or four coyotes can chase down a seven-pound jackrabbit.
After the hunt, the meal must then be shared among them. But coyotes belong to the canines family, and canines, unlike felines, do not use their calories as quickly as felines do. They only have to feed every day or every three days.
Generally, they mostly hunt ground birds, rabbits, feral cats, or other vermin. These creatures are mainly swift. So, if the coyotes have to hunt them in time, they have to be fast-moving.
But coyotes are not that faster than wolves and mostly slower than the other Canidae family members. That is why they hunt in packs, which can lead them to better hunting.
How Many Coyotes Are In A Pack?
A pack of coyotes is mainly a family or reproductive group. Sometimes, they cooperatively hunt along with rearing pups. But in every pack, there is one common rule. There must be one alpha female and a male who dominate the whole pack. They mainly do the breeding. Other pack members may include:
- One or more puppies from the previous year.
- Animals from other packs that have been approved.
- Puppies from the current year.
Others in the pack are subordinate to the pair of alphas. Subordinate pack members also take care of the young pups and help to look for food.
Standard coyote packs that live on natural foods (fruits, mice, rabbits, etc.) have 3-7 adult pack members and subsidized packs. Subsidized packs mainly roam around smaller territories. Areas of continuing coyote subsidization appear to have a higher coyote population density: more coyote packs per unit area and more coyotes per pack.
How Do Coyotes Hunt?
The best is that the coyote population is not endangered, is not on the list of threatened species, and is currently habitant with a stable population.
Coyotes adapt their hunting style according to what food is available nearby. When they chase small prey on their own, they usually stalk it and then pounce. If the target is bigger than the deer, they frequently hunt in close packs and work together to kill the prey.
Coyotes prefer to be nocturnal while they live close to humans but can also be active early in the morning and sunset. In areas with little to no human interaction, coyotes search and pray throughout the day, and when a litter of pups has to be fed, they will have to hunt around the clock.
As coyotes are very adaptable, they can eat nearly everything. They hunt rabbits, trout, frogs, rodents, and even deer. They’re even able to dine on insects, snakes, berries, grass, and carrion.
Recent research gives insight into one way that coyotes have been able to adjust to urban living: they consume a lot of human-related food, including trash, fruit, and domestic cats.
What Do You Do If You See A Pack Of Coyotes?
Usually, coyotes are suspicious of humans, and you don’t have to do much to keep them away. However, they can become very dangerous, especially for pets and kids, when coyotes join together to form packs. Fortunately, such kinds of interactions are unusual.
Keep your cats and dogs indoors or leashed. Avoid early morning or late evening walks in places where coyotes are reported to be, and keep an eye on kids and pets to reduce the danger.
Here what you should do if you see a pack of coyotes:
- Stay at least 45 meters or more (150 feet) from the pack.
- Let the greater threat surface on your own. Stand straight, look into the coyote’s eyes and scream at it.
- Do not turn your back or run. Running can shift the opinion of the coyotes about you from aggressor to prey.
- Haze the coyote until it exits the place.
- The idea to haze the coyote varies from February to July. In pup season, they vigorously guarded their dens. So just walk away from the coyote quietly, without turning your back on it.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
What Time of Day are Coyotes Most Active?
Coyotes sleep in dens during the pupping season, but they usually do not have den-like wolves unless there are pups.
Coyotes are not exclusively nocturnal. They can be seen throughout the day, but after sunset and at night, they are usually more active. You can see and hear more coyotes after the breeding season (January-March) and as younger ones split from family groups (October – January).
Are Coyotes Dangerous to Humans?
You will not always hear about coyote attacks on humans as these incidents are infrequent. Sometimes, coyote attacks can be avoided by changing human actions and training people to avoid habituation. On several other occasions, people get bitten while attempting to save their free-roaming pet from a coyote attack.
Can Coyotes Bear any Disease?
Coyotes can contract rabies, likewise warm-blooded creatures. A coyote that has bitten a human would have to be explicitly targeted and eliminated from the community. The person must do mandatory rabies testing, and that attacker coyote should be killed to prevent the attacks and diseases further.
So, have you got the answer to your question, do coyotes hunt in packs? I have possibly covered all the issues regarding coyotes. Keep in mind the caveats. Though they may be becoming more and more urban, if humans let them be on their own and acquire some safe masseurs, there will be no attacks or sudden accidents.
Let me know in the comment section if you are facing any trouble with coyotes or nocturnal animals.