Coyote attacks on livestock are reported by East Texas ranchers

Published: Jan. 9, 2023 at 7:12 AM CST
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Although we rarely see them there is a a healthy population of coyote’s in East Texas, and they are now believed to have been responsible for recent attacks on livestock and pets.

Over the past two weeks some cattle ranchers in Upshur county say they’ve had calves taken by coyotes.

“There’s more coyotes this year, the incidents or occurrence of that is more prevalent. Some coyotes will key on killing calves. It’s not uncommon, it’s not hugely common. This time of year a coyote is a true omnivore, which means he’ll eat meat and plants, but this time of year there is nothing else but meat,” says professional coyote trapper Byron South of Big Sandy.

Parts of those calves were found a short distance away, partially eaten.

Though calves are not normally on their menu, South believes coyote are targeting them because of the increase in the coyote population.

“We have a lot of coyotes. This past summer I didn’t get much fishing in because of a bumper crop of coyotes,” he says.

Though they’re not apex predators, coyotes are very opportunistic hunters. And calves are not quite as agile and fast as wildlife, and could be an easy meal.

Coyotes have often been captured on video going after smaller prey, even dogs and cats in suburban areas.

“They’re really crafty, a coyote is efficient at what he does, especially when they’re hungry. They are more of a pack oriented animal, and they will hunt together to take down larger game,” Byron says.

South says the attacks are becoming more frequent.

“There’s more this time of year, or this year. The reason I’m in my truck is I just got through setting traps at a place that was losing a bunch of animals,” he says.

South says there’s not much to be done to stop the attacks other than an electrified fence, or calling a professional trapper.