Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 64

Lock, Stock & Barrel The Shooters’ Corner By Jim Romanelli By Don Lewis Yips and Yodels I T STARTS with a few falsetto yips and then blossoms into something resembling maniacal laughter. The yips and yodels string together into chattering howls. It’s an eerie sound: coyotes calling, usually in the evening or at night, but sometimes during daylight hours as well. When I was young we never heard coyotes. Maybe they were around, maybe not. But if they were present they were not bold enough to advertise the fact. Nowadays, coyotes can be heard with increasing frequency throughout the Northeast — and not just in remote wilderness areas but also in towns, suburbs and city fringes. I saw my first Pennsylvania coyote in the early 1990s. I was hunting deer in the Wallace Run drainage, which is part of SGL 103 in northern Centre County. I started the animal out of its bed. The coyote let me get within 10 paces, and then it rose up, took three unhurried bounds, and vanished into the maze of mountain laurel. It was a handsome animal, quite large, gray in color, with big muscular shoulders and a bushy tail held low. While I had no notion of shooting that coyote, it certainly didn’t know that. In fact, I consider it a positive thing for people to hunt and trap coyotes. Those practices help keep coyotes wild and afraid of humans — positive traits in a predatory species that can tip the scales at more than 60 pounds. Although archaeological evidence shows that coyotes lived in the Northeast in past millennia, they were largely eliminated from the region during European settlement. Then, in the latter part of the 20th century, the song dogs staged a comeback. Most wildlife biologists believe that western coyotes worked their way east to reoccupy the vacant habitat. On the way, as their range expanded through southern Canada, they may have interbred with lone wolves who, because of ongoing human persecution, were finding it difficult to locate mates of their own kind. Such crossbreeding would account for the larger size of eastern compared to western coyotes. Coyotes howl not to scare people or prey but to communicate with one another. Howling can call a family group — an adult male and female, plus any grown offspring that have not yet dispersed into territories of their own — back together again after a period of individual hunting. Coyotes howl to advertise their presence to other packs, warning neighboring family groups not to trespass on the first pack’s territory. I was sleeping in a tent one night when coyotes woke me. The yodeling went on for a while, until the coyotes fell silent. Then a second pack commenced calling, so far off I could barely hear them. Many men and women hunt and trap coyotes in Pennsylvania. Despite an annual take of around 20,000, populations have continued to grow, until now there are few areas in the state where coyotes are not found. It seems certain that more of us will hear those spinetingling howls in years to come. 64 GAME NEWS

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008

Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008
Life & Times of the Whitetail
Contents
The Essence of Whitetails
Hunting for a Greater Good
What a Story to Tell
Three Birds, Four Shells, One Grouse
The Sandhill Crane Incidents
Nevada Grouse
Field Notes
Conservation News
Off the Wire
Another View
The Naturalist's Eye
Fun Game
Straight from the Bowstring
Lock, Stock & Barrel
Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - Blowin1
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - Blowin2
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - Life & Times of the Whitetail
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - The Essence of Whitetails
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - Hunting for a Greater Good
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 10
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 13
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - What a Story to Tell
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 16
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - Three Birds, Four Shells, One Grouse
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 19
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - The Sandhill Crane Incidents
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - Nevada Grouse
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 28
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - Field Notes
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - Conservation News
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 37
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - Off the Wire
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - Another View
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 48
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 49
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - The Naturalist's Eye
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 51
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 52
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - Fun Game
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - Straight from the Bowstring
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 56
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 58
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 59
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 60
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - Lock, Stock & Barrel
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2008 - Cover4
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