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Coyote pups

coyote studies

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Coyote pups

Postby Tim Anderson » Fri Apr 10, 2009 11:28 am

This is for educational purposes.. I've always been interested in the fox and coyotes in my area as well as other places. By looking at there scat or stomach contents i could tell what they where feeding on that time of year. I also like to examine the bullet wounds under the skin to see how a certain bullet performs from different cal.s and use this info to help me decide on what bullet or Cal. i should use for harvesting fur..
A few years ago a ADC trapper showed me how to check to see how many pups a coyote was haveing that year. We examined a female coyote and found that this particular coyote had 8 pups by counting the scars left on the tubes. The reason for finding out how many pups a coyote has in a given area gives a caller a good idea on whats out there so he has a good idea on how many he can take per year without knocking the population down to low and it also gives the ADC trappers a idea of how many they may have to remove from a certain area. There is more to it but this is all i can remember at the time..LOL
There has'nt been a whole lot of studies done on coyotes in my area so i was anxious to find out how many pups this female i shot the other day had and how far along they where..
After i removed the skin i placed it in a plastic bag and put in the freezer to sell next year. Then i placed the coyote on the ground and made a cut in the lower stomack area about 12" long and then removed the insides.
I removed the intestines and then found the tube that held the pups. On the outside of the tube where each pup was located there was a large scare or ring around the tube. This scare is what you would look for later on in the year to determin how many pups a coyote had. I ran the tube through my hands and counted 6 pups and then i made a cut and removed one of the pups to see how far along it was. The pup measured at 3 1/2"and from what i was told it had about 15 more days to go before being born. That would put the drop time for here around the 20 th. of April.
In S.D. the avr for pups dropping is around April 7. But its not uncommon to see pups that have dropped at different times. On a hunt last spring i saw two different age groups of pups, one group the pups where about the size of a big prarie dog and the other group was almost as big as the adults...
Here are a few pic's of the operation i performed and to give the members a good idea of what to look for if they decide to check there coyotes for pups or to see how many a female may have had that year..
Others may add to my post cause i don't have all the facts and i don't read to many studies so i may have missed a few points..


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Last edited by Tim Anderson on Wed Apr 15, 2009 8:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: Coyote pups

Postby LeviM » Fri Apr 10, 2009 11:43 am

Great Post!! Very good info!
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Re: Coyote pups

Postby Tbush » Fri Apr 10, 2009 1:26 pm

Great post Tim ..info we can use ourselves... you can go a bit farther with YOUR study, count how many male verse female pups, take the females times 3.5 ( average pups living to adult breeding age) and half of them males or females and that should be your start of a graph to help figure future populations. I have a scale somewhere used to help with figuring out a return of breeding stock verse selling stock for the fox and mink farming industry.........just looked where I thought it was ???? no luck. its based on how soon your population can increase with average losses and stuff, Just thought you might be interested, I'll keep an eye out for it or search the net!! anyway's cool stuff
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Re: Coyote pups

Postby bucksnbears » Fri Apr 10, 2009 1:37 pm

when i went to NDSU-BOTTINEAU. in mammology class we learned that a female fox and coyote can have as many pups as they prey base spiecies population dictates. if the prey spiecies is low there will be less pups born. not sure if this theory holds water, but i do remember reading some studies on the subject
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Re: Coyote pups

Postby Tim Anderson » Fri Apr 10, 2009 5:00 pm

in mammology class we learned that a female fox and coyote can have as many pups as they prey base spiecies population dictates.

I read about the same studies and if this was true then the litters here where i live would be double compared to other regions, but its not the case. On another board they claim the coyotes in one part of AZ have a very small litter 2-5 and another area in AZ has a litter size of 8-12 pups.. I'm sure the ADC guys could add more to this subject. I think mother nature installed a trigger to allow the coyotes to have more or less pups due to the surronding population for a given area rather than food availability.
Something around here i noticed in the deer and their fawns is the number of fawns per doe is up compared to years ago. On a normal year it was one fawn and sometimes two per doe, and now its 2 or 3 per doe..


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Re: Coyote pups

Postby Prairie Ghost » Fri Apr 10, 2009 8:19 pm

BNB very confrintational theory everyone has there own opinons on if that one really holds water i'm still in the air being stuck on one way or the other until I have more females and den that I have taken under changing times to make a decision but i know Scott H has made some arguments with some average litter sizes in SD against it.

Tim April 7th? That seems a little early do you know how many years that average was taken over?
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Re: Coyote pups

Postby Tim Anderson » Fri Apr 10, 2009 11:21 pm

I'm not sure. I got the info from Paul for his area, but he also told me there is nothing etched in stone.. I think i stated in another post i was out there last spring and we saw two different groups of pups. One group was the size of prarie dogs and the other group was almost as big as the adults.. I read some where that they are seeing pups in Colorado and Texas also
Last edited by Tim Anderson on Sat Apr 18, 2009 8:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: Coyote pups

Postby lyonch » Sat Apr 11, 2009 6:17 pm

Great post and topic TA!! I am looking forward to hearing everyones opinion on this one :D
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Re: Coyote pups

Postby Prairie Ghost » Mon Apr 13, 2009 7:35 pm

If this theory is correct (changing litter sizes for different prey/pop patterns) then when the mange hits an area hard the litter sizes should go up considerably correct? There is a lower population of coyotes so they should fluctuate to a higher number. My area is just having mange take hold in pockets and numbers are down so we will have to see if i get a general trend in litter sizes this spring.
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Re: Coyote pups

Postby Tim Anderson » Mon Apr 13, 2009 9:01 pm

In a area that i call in it got hit hard a few years back by mange and alot of callers. It seemed like every year i was seeing less and less coyotes or coyote sign. The rabbits where alot fewer to then, but last summer they had plenty of rainfall compared to most years and this year the rabbit numbers and porkypines was up along with the coyotes. Not sure if its a food thing or a survival thing. I had Tom along for some locateing and he said i sure have alot of coyotes, oh sure but it was'nt like that the year before. I never bothered to locate before so sure i may have missed some, but like i mentioned there was'nt much sign around the year before. We would get on a two track and i would say look at all the scat.LOL I know there has been a change just don't know what caused it..
Last edited by Tim Anderson on Sat Apr 18, 2009 8:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: Coyote pups

Postby Prairie Ghost » Tue Apr 14, 2009 7:24 pm

Did that area have larger litter sizes or did the pups just not disperse as far due to there being ample prey supply? Did coyotes disperse to that area due to the prey supply? It will never be a cut and dry answer there is just no way of telling unless you are out there 365 days a year checking dens and watching the trends and even then it's tough.

Great discussion though
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Re: Coyote pups

Postby bucksnbears » Wed Apr 15, 2009 2:02 pm

whats the average breeding dates for coyotes??. also do they lock up with each other like red fox do. ?? i have actually walked up to locked-up breeding fox within shotgun range in plain site. sometimes thev've been unable to get apart as they are each pulling in different directions.i've seen lots of reds breeding but never coyotes.from what i've noticed where i'm at the mean breeding date seems to be about feb.10-20
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Re: Coyote pups

Postby Prairie Ghost » Wed Apr 15, 2009 2:10 pm

Steve Allen said his numbers showed that the average breeding date in ND was Feb 15th and the average birth date was April 15th I don't remember what his numbers consisted of but steve knows his stuff and has a lot of years studying fox and coyotes in ND

Yes coyotes hook up just like a red.
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Re: Coyote pups

Postby Tim Anderson » Wed Apr 15, 2009 6:14 pm

I willbe going out to my area in July forsure to do some calling and filming and then i can get a general idea of how many pups they are haveing.. I may also have time next week for a short trip depending on the weather and if work starts up..
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Re: Coyote pups

Postby RandyRoede » Sat Apr 18, 2009 7:33 am

Beings my name and facts and figures are being tossed around I guess i should clarify.

Average born date here April 7th to 10th.

Average litter size 4-5 pups, I have been seeing a 1-2 pup per litter increase the last two years with low numbers and less control in my district. Some first litter coyotes showing 8-10 pups!!

I do see later litters in areas I do a lot of control in the Jan. and Feb timeframe, I believe it is due to the fact that I kill the existing bred females and others replace her that normally would not have been bred.

On a side not TBUSH, do you see a male dog consistantly producing bigger litters in dogs, various females. Could this be a contributing factor in coyotes?? We are always looking at the females, BUT are we bringing younger male coyotes into the breeding world sooner than normal, are we seeing older coyotes breeding younger females and that scenario producing more pups vs. a younger male with young female????

I do not believe the prey has anything to much to do with anything but the survival rate of pups born, I believe the studies being quoted here showed an increase in the number of bred females in an area when populations were hit hard and allowed to recover naturally. Coyotes never go hungry here!!! Possibly coyotes in areas with a more cylical ,sp??, prey species that they are more dependant on could effect it more????

Anyhow, much is speculation or second hand info, right TIM!!!

That stuff up on the res. it has had virtually the same populations the last 3-4 years according to my pilot who flys it every spring for coyotes, it is just the fact that until you actually get out in it, or locate it under prime conditions you will never know for sure what is or isn't there. I will say it has a very healthy and thriving population, it is called hard and often and is some very tough country to get into and work. Much of it is only accessable by foot and most only hunt close to the roads or trails, right TIM!! Very hard to get a true feeling of what is there that way. Like every other part of the state is has mange etc. but it's coyote density is very high compared to outside the lines of the res.

The migration or dispersal there Brad happens for the most part Brad when the river that borders it to the south and east freezes. Otherwise any dispersal puts coyotes in the fringe areas, along the road and trails as it seems to be pretty well occupied in the good drainages. It also seems to be holding fairly large groups of coyotes in close quarters late in the year, IMO this may be to hold those areas. It wasn't uncommon to hear 3-4 groups on a 2-3 mile drainage. Those close to river take advantage of the ice to hunt east or south and then return to the res side where they rarely get bothered, occasional boat hunters before the ice and that's about it, most guys just won't put forth the effort to get to them. The coyotes are notorious for pushing deer to the river ice and killing them. I am almost positive that denning in that country, running a dog, would produce some incredible action with multiple adults defending the dens!!

These studies that we are referring to are to a specific area and specific coyotes, the findings should not be based to all coyotes everywhere because of all the varying factors in each region change certain things. Read 10 studies on anything and see how much they differ, you will see similarities but none will be the same. The person doing the study has to interpet the findings and right down what he or she thinks it means.
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