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Thread: Predators - Coyotes vs. Sheep

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    Default Predators - Coyotes vs. Sheep

    I wanted to know how much impact coyotes have on sheep . Are coyotes sheep # 1 predator .

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    Default Wolves

    I don't know much about coyotes impact on sheep populations, but I have witnessed wolves taking sheep during the winter on more than 1 occasion.

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    It seems it was just a few years back when I read an article in the News Miner about a study that was being done that pretty much stated that the thriving Coyote population in 20 A and D was really putting a hurting on the sheep. I believe that it even stated that the Coyotes were adapting to the steeper terrain and successfully learning how to hunt the sheep during winter. I know one thing, I have seen some big Coyotes in the Black Rapids area, much larger than your traditional Yotes and I have also seen them roaming in packs, can only imagine that they would be pretty good at hunting the sheep in that area whilst they drop elevation during winter.

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    I read a article a few years ago where a pair of coyotes appeared on a golf course and was having a tug a war with someone's pet dog . They ran away with it . The young couple were devastated by the loss .

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    Default yotes

    The only time i've seen a predator feeding on a sheep was a coyote. Speaking of sheep, saturday I sat in the sun for a bit and watched some rams butt heads. Mostly 3/4y olds but there were a couple fullcurls watching from a short distance. Great day to be out.

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    Default News Article

    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaCub View Post
    It seems it was just a few years back when I read an article in the News Miner about a study that was being done that pretty much stated that the thriving Coyote population in 20 A and D was really putting a hurting on the sheep.

    I sort of remember reading something in regards to that to . . It would be interesting to further the search and contact a area biologist . Thanks AlaskaCub

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    Member H20Dogg's Avatar
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    Actually, Eagles are a big predator too! Mostly on the little ones.

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    Default Wildlife News article

    Here's an interesting article on it ultramag. Lujon recently posted that again in the mgmt forum and is working on a proposal concerning coyote predation on sheep.


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    Default sheep shape

    If you want to stay in sheep shape year round, and help grow the population, do some 'yote yodeling up high in the winter! Sounds like a win/win to me!!

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    Supporting Member AFHunter's Avatar
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    Default

    Bushrat,

    That was a very good article you linked too.

    Coyotes can kill domesticated sheep. My mother had 30 some ewes and lambs killed this spring over a two week period. A female coyote was killing the sheep to show her pups how to kill. A fish and game representative came out and investigated the incident. Not one of the sheep was eaten. They stopped the killing by placing a burrow in the fence with the sheep.

    I know dalls would be a bit more of a task.

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    I know during my time spent in unit 20, there are a ton of yotes. Also witnessed a golden eagle going after lambs this fall while sheep hunting, it was quite the scene, something I'll never forget.

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    Default Study on Coyotes vs. Sheep

    I called Fish and Game and found out there was a study on coyotes / sheep . The study was completed last year . They told me that coyotes are a MAJOR predator on dall sheep lambs . Eagles are mentioned in their study as well . The study can be found in Alaska Wildlife Conservation . Try technical publication , then research publication .

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    Default Yep , thats the article and study

    Quote Originally Posted by bushrat View Post
    Here's an interesting article on it ultramag. Lujon recently posted that again in the mgmt forum and is working on a proposal concerning coyote predation on sheep.
    Thanks for posting it Bushrat . .

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    Supporting Member bullbuster's Avatar
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    Question Where did he go?

    Quote Originally Posted by AFHunter View Post
    That was a very good article you linked too.
    Yeah, good article. I wonder if the coyote was asleep in the den? If it is possible, a 'yote would know.
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    Just another unintended impacts of wolf control... Seriously and as noted coyotes are much harder to kill off than wolves.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    Just another unintended impacts of wolf control... Seriously and as noted coyotes are much harder to kill off than wolves.
    Not really following you here AKPM. I will agree that with the literature and discussion it seems that coyotes can have a profound impact on sheep populations, primarily in the spring when lambs are most vunerable. However, as mentioned above, I have seen wolves killing sheep on 3 different ocassions from the air.

    In one particular case, the pack was at the 5000' level in the Chugach in February and had a small group of ewes, lambs and a couple young rams. It was amazing how the pack would take down a sheep, mortally wound it, and then move on to another. All told they killed 5 in very short order.

    I don't have an article or study to cite, but I know that during the winter months, when sheep are on survival mode, wolves are one of their most dangerous adversaries...kill a wolf, save a sheep (it may turn into a 40" ram).

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    Default Will the coyote "switch" when the hare cycle crash's

    Quote Originally Posted by bushrat View Post
    Here's an interesting article on it ultramag. Lujon recently posted that again in the mgmt forum and is working on a proposal concerning coyote predation on sheep.
    Will the coyote switch to more dall sheep lambs when the hare cycle crash's . That's a scary thought . To think that coyote's have learned to hunt and kill dall sheep lambs and are considered a major predator , even while the hare population is high is a big concern . Time will tell .

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    Default Some of the studies

    Actually, of all the studies I've read, it's eagles that are the most significant predator on lambs shortly after they are born. Here's a quote from a Preliminary Study in the AK Range in 20A:
    "Predation by eagles has been the main cause of death of lambs during 2 of the 3 years of this study."

    HERE is the followup to that study a few years later.

    Was gonna list some other studies with quotes but having problems with my Adobe reader this morning. Anyway, all this can be found on the publications page here if you scroll down for the sheep studies:
    http://www.wildlife.alaska.gov/index...g=pubs.reports

    Yes, coyotes take sheep, mainly lambs. But there is a whole host of other things that affect sheep survival and production. Harsh winters, late springs, deep snows, poor forage, hare cycle, wolves, eagles, wolverine, coyotes, fewer trappers, overhunting (sub-legal or illegal harvests) etc.

  19. #19

    Default My Experience

    While out sheep hunting a few years ago, I positioned myself on top of a ridge at daybreak. There was a group of 30 or so ewes, lambs and small rams directly below me on the south side of the ridge and a couple of larger rams below me on the north side of the ridge. All of the sheep were relaxed and enjoying breakfast on a beautiful, cold and sunny morning. After a while, a group of coyotes started yipping and howling down in the brush on the south side of the ridge (the side the ewes were on). Almost instantly the entire group of ewes, lambs and smaller rams came to full attention, focused on the coyotes. The sheep listened for a few moments, obviously concerned, and then the whole herd took off on a run up into the rocks. The larger rams that were on the north side of the ridge also heard the coyotes; they were not as concerned as the large group, but they also beat feet out of the area. At the time I didn't realize that coyotes were a predator of sheep, but it was clear these sheep have had previous experiences with the local coyotes.

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    Default last weekend

    I shot this fatty last weekend on Paxon Lake. I saw him out there in the middle and squealed him in to 217 yds then shot him. He was one of the fattest coyotes I've ever shot. Probably not by feeding on sheep, but he's not that far from Rainbow Mt. and some great sheep country. I've seen plenty of coyote tracks within the sheep range. I know they're killer on the caribou. We shot 6 and saw 9 a few years ago on the Nushagak Peninsula. All in about 2 hours. And the biologists were wondering what was happening to the herd.
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