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Thread: Coursing Coyotes

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Default Coursing Coyotes

    I have spent a good bit of time thinking about ways to effectively thin the coyote population around sheep lambing grounds. One thing that came to mind was using coursing dogs to locate the dens and kill them in the spring.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2

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    Females usually prepare multiple dens. The L48 Govt ground hunters do much of their control by locating active dens after birthing. Locating before birth the female will switch dens. Govt aerial hunters do a majority of their control when calves or lambs are on the ground in spring and fall. You don't see very many from the air during denning.
    I would say any dead dog near sheep area would help. If totally ground pounding both den hunting and when lambs are first on the ground would be very effective. If using aircraft don't go during denning unless you are using to locate a den and then go in on foot.

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    Supporting Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default

    Jon, based on many of your other posts, I wonder how much time you'd really have to put into this. How would you get the coursing dogs to the lambing areas in spring? How would you keep them off of moose and other game? You'd need to of course train the dogs, and house the dogs all year long, a pretty significant commitment and expense.

    Doesn't seem very realistic and I'm not really sure of the legality of it either. BOG has already changed coyote seasons in many areas, can nearly take them all year long. Seems to me the best way to thin coyotes is for every individual hunter/trapper/predator caller to just do their part when and where there are plenty of them and when they see them.

    We're finding that coyotes don't really have as large an impact on lambs as we thought in southcentral, according to the ongoing sheep research being done in Unit 13 and 14. I am waiting for calls for golden eagle control programs <grin>.

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    Default yotes

    Lujon in some areas it would probably work very well. I know in Alberta guys use greyhounds to "catch hold" the coyote. They tell me if the greyhound can see it they can catch it. Dont let Bushrat discourage you, you wouldnt need more than two dogs and they are not hard to train. I would get in touch with someone who does it for advice on the training.

    Bushrat Ive had an interesting season so far, two different bios as clients, no I wont give you their names sorry! one is retired after 34 years so he had a lot of experince in the north. I told him a little of our conversations regarding wildlife management and he told me that I should tell you that Biologists work with a model of the available data to come to conclusions.... if one part of the model or data is wrong or incomplete the conclusion cant be considered reliable. And all to often that is the case. He also said more often than not IHO sample areas were to small to give reliable info. I asked him if he thought the new generation of wildlife managers looked at things differently than the older generation.... he said yes without a doubt, the main reason being most of the new Bios he knows do not hunt or fish and lend no credibility at all to hunters/trappers who live on the land. I know I have had that same experience.
    So I wouldnt say coyotes didnt have as big an effect on the sheep population as thought, they very well might be a huge problem.... I know they are here.... in one small area in the St Elias Mts the pop. has dropped from aprox 1500 in 1990 to around 500 now. Fish/Game will say we dont know why we need a study, the local outfitter will tell you the coyote population has tripled....... you figure it out. I do agree trappers should take a more active roll in management though. Golden eagles..... yea they are a problem here in goat country no doubt about it, not sure about sheep..... the gang ranch used to have a bounty on them as they killed newborn calfs as fast as they hit the ground. Guy would be labeled a true nutcase if he advocated that now.....

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    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Question Coursing Dogs?

    LuJon,
    (right to my point)...I do not understand what you mean by using "coursing dogs" to reduce th lamb eating coyote population. This concept is simple 100&#37; new or foreign to me. So...

    So could you please explain more about this predator-reduction-practice or "coyote-wamper-stomper-sport" so I, and possible other forum members can object, I mean learn more about it. Sincerely.

    Do the dogs locate coyotes?
    Do the dogs locate coyote dens?
    Do the dogs chase coyotes?
    Do the dogs kill coyotes?
    Do the courser dogs locate-chase-kill other canines like Red Foxes and/or wolves?
    Do the coursing dogs chase and/or kill other domestic dogs? Remember that Alasakans love their canine companions, their "backyard parasites". (Well, some are!)
    Will the coursing dogs chase and/or kill house cats? (Which I might find, I mean I know this guy who might prefer to eliminate house cats within Anchorage.
    And what if the coursing dog chases and kills a wolverine within Chugach State Park, where the wolvering population is dangerously low (some greenie wildlife expert reported...)?
    And what if an improperly trained coursing dog eats lambs? Big rams taste great. So little lambs must taste good. One hundred thousand coyotes must not be all wrong about how tasty little baby sheep must be.

    Seriously, do educate me.

    Dennis

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    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Cool Nothing, huh?

    Well after 12 hours Lujon, who started this thread, has made many new posts in other forums. Clearly, he has decided to ignor my request for insight and additional information concerning the coursing dog deal. Nothing...is the best ya got?
    Which is about what i expected.
    Seriously.
    Dennis

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaTrueAdventure View Post
    Well after 12 hours Lujon, who started this thread, has made many new posts in other forums. Clearly, he has decided to ignor my request for insight and additional information concerning the coursing dog deal. Nothing...is the best ya got?
    Which is about what i expected.
    Seriously.
    Dennis
    Dennis,
    This may come as a surprise but I don't monitor all 58 individual forums constantly. I hit the "new posts" button and if it is on the first page and looks interesting then I will click it. If I don't check the board for a while and it drops back I probably won't see it.

    I clearly said in the opening post that the use would be to locate dens and kill them.

    I assume that this could be done w/ leashed tracking dogs and then possibly use a coursing dog like a gazehound to catch the adults or another cur to kill them while they protect the den. The use of decoy dogs is also possible. There are lots of options and since it is not legal that I am aware of currently and no one seems to have attempted it in the past then I would imagine that it would take some time research and training to find out what works. There are already places with similar programs in effect now.

    Here is a report on the subject from the university of Nebraska:

    http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/vi...ontext=gpwdcwp

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    Default education

    Dennis you sound like you are already against it before even being "educated" The way dogs are used that I have been with get coyotes by sight. The greyhound sees the coyote and no matter how far away the coyote is he will catch it. The guy I was with used 2 dogs a greyhound and a border collie. The grey hound was the catch dog and the border collie would hold the coyote. This was in farming country with lots of livestock including sheep and the farmers were paying him to hunt coyotes so the dogs must not have killed many sheep/calfs!! It wouldnt work in all areas but I know some sheep country where it would.
    I hunted sheep near Kusawa Lk last fall and the coyotes were thick as fleas. When i took my ram in to get plugged the fish/game asked me about the coyotes so they must be aware of the coming problem.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Default

    I hike in the chugach mts and find plenty of sheep hair in the coyote crap up there. Between them and the burgeoning bear population it is little wonder why the population is down.

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    Supporting Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default Jon, you didn't reply to my questions...

    And regarding your last post, there are a variety of factors that have caused declines in the sheep in the Chugach, like weather, disease, and human hunting.

    No doubt coyotes (and bears and wolves) contribute to predation, but with all due respect to flat-out assume that coyotes and bears are the primary cause of lower sheep populations in the Chugach is intellectually lazy on your part, Jon.

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    Default Bios

    Mark there is a private company out of Alberta, I think its ACLES or somthing like that (i will find the website if you are interested) anyway they employ biologists and do a lot of work for private companys as well as different governments. You might want to look into some of their work. They were in Yukon this spring and had a totally different idea of how hunting effects populations. You might not agree with them but it would be worth a look.
    As far as Lujon being intellectually lazy.... come on Mark, most of us here are on to you with that BS. If you dont agree with someone you attack them personally. Sounds like Lujon has boots on the ground experience in that area to base his opinions on..... how about you??? Do you have any experience with sheep at all?? Ever hunted them or spent time in the country the inhabit?? Lujon is basing his thoughts on HIS experience not something he read in a book or on the net. That counts for something in my book.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Mark, I have a dog for hunting birds, you have plenty of dogs for dragging you around when the rain turns all white and fluffy. Lots of people keep dogs for lots of purposes.

    Obviously care would need to be taken to train the dogs. It isn't like there aren't people already doing it.


    You and I have a massive rift on this issue based on one simple fact. You believe that Coyotes belong in AK and I do not. They weren't here 100 years ago and wouldn't be here now if it wasn't for our changes to the environment that led to their expansion. I view them as invasive and feel they deserve the same approach as other invasive species. That said there is simply no way we are going to be able to eliminate them as it would be too expensive or too dangerous to do it effectively. The only alternative is to "unleash the dogs" so to speak. No limit, no closed season, so salvage.

    I really don't care how one gets dogs into the mountains. Hike, fly, bike, I don't even mind using one of the R22 whop whop birds for the purpose of removing an invasive species, though I expect that to be too expensive for most.

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    Supporting Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default Don't think we have massive rift, Jon

    Jon,

    For years now some have tried to get the BOG to label coyotes as an invasive species. I don't think we have a rift per se on how we view that, just in how we interpret what really constitutes an invasive species.

    For example, in lakes that pike could never reach, but where they are now by the hand of man, either intentionally via buckets or unintentionally by various means, they are truly invasive and labeled as such.

    Coyotes following the newly created Alaska highway, or for that matter climate change that is creating an environment conducive to the spreading of newer conifer and plant life and a northern migration of differing deer species...I just don't define that as "invasive."

    Seeing the number of proposals over the years regarding this, trying to get the BOG to label or view coyotes as invasive species, I think the Board has taken a pretty pragmatic approach really. They have extended the seasons greatly, allowed for no salvage of meat or hide etc. They have also understood that many enjoy hunting/calling/trapping coyotes, and that to eradicate them likely isn't possible and isn't going to fly among the majority.

    Hey, I love dogs and I'm all for using dogs for hunting when and where it's legal. You asked for thoughts...I gave you some <grin>.
    Allbest,

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    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Bushrat and Yukon,
    Thanks for contributing your thoughts and knowledge to this, Ummm, topic.
    Yukon...I can clearly understand why you commented "you sound like you are already against it before ever being educated". But perchance within the sarcasm I was truely asking for guidance...that I knew would not be answered, based on about 5000 previous post/contributions that have said exactly nothing. So, yukon, thanks for providing the most imformative explanation of what a "coursing dog" is. Thanks for having the cohones to say something of substance, whether I agree or really want to be educated.
    And of course thank you LuJon for eventually contributing to this thread that you started.

    So, after gleeming some gems of knowledge from two of you, the entire topic appears to me to be impractical, not legal, and of no known value of substantially reducing the possibility of coyotes preying upon dall sheep lambs. Nobody is ever gonna train dogs to "course" or chase coyotes. Not ever in Alaska. The benefits are nonexistent and the liabilities are hugh from within the "green" groups.

    And by the way, the dall ewes and lambs that were in the most rocky areas of the Chugach State Park "front range" traditional lambing areas, have all moved back up into the traditional summer range, making them much labor intensive to observe. While I have observed a hundred (?) ewes and a hundred (?) lambs this spring, along with very few young rams, I observed no cannine of any species. Which, of course, means exactly nothing. Also, the numbers I have observed this spring are consistent with my observation for the last twelve years. In addition, this was the first spring in 21 springs, that I have not found any winter killed sheep remains (hornes, bones, white hair), yet. Hard to figure......

    Bushrat...I enjoy, some might say love <grin>, dogs also. Almost as much as ram hunting and year-round sheep observing.

    ...as usual, now that I'm out of work, going hiking for the next few hours...

    Dennis

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    Default lambs

    Dennis if the ratio of ewes/lambs is that high I would think the population would be climbing pretty fast. If it isnt something is killing them be it lack of food predators or whatever. I only spent a short time in sheep country last year but saw more young rams than anything else. I didnt see any canines either and even when I guided sheep hunters full time didnt. I did however see a lot of sign, and here at least coyotes hunt at night more than during the day.
    Be thankful you only have wolves, coyotes, eagles and wolverine to deal with. We have all of the above plus Elk!

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Default

    dennis? ever seen all dogs go to heaven?( animated just like you) Burt Renolyds plays a good part
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

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    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Question Waz-up

    Vince...a movie?, All Good Dogs Go To Heaven...starring Burt R.
    Is the movie gonna teach me, edju-ma-cate, on the on the qualities of an effective coursing dog? Any info in that movie concerning dall sheep ecology? It would have to be very simply of course. Anything on the predator-prey dymanics 'tween lambs and 'yotes? I'm very open minded, Vince.

    But to answer your question...Nope, never saw it, although the title was in some dark archive in "the vault", my mind. So....Waz-Up?

  18. #18

    Default greyhounds

    A guy I know in SD has two as pets that run freely around his cattle ranch. He says they ride around with him in the pickup and if he sees a yote, he let's them out and these two will run down catch and then kill the yote in seconds. No traing, just natural instinct.

    I would think it would be effective in some parts of AK. Yotes are some of the most adaptible creatures in the US. They affect sheep and cattle young way more than most realize. To the tune several hundred million dollars per year in the US.

    If you see them in sheep country, they are affecting lamb numbers. Yotes don't usually eat something they don't kill.

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    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Default 'Yote notes

    ....More coyote notes that may not even be relevent to anything...

    When wolves had been reintroduced in Yellowstone, and had just began to be re-established, one ALFA FEMALE WOLF hated coyotes and was adept at running them down and killing them....but the entire pack there in the Hayden Valley did not contribute to the effort.

    Southern Wrangel mountains, 2001 (?), while guiding sheep hunters we watched two coyotes harass, nip and chase after a wolf for many (10?) minutes...which defies logic to some extent. While Im not an expert at interpreting wildlife physical behavior, the coyotes appeared to be having fun. The wolf appeared shy, defensive, and beat. And oh yeah, rams were visible up in the rocks during the entire display.

    Time to go rafting...

    Dennis

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