Series of Coyote Attacks Have Greenville Neighborhood on Edge

As the number of sport hunters in this country continues to decline and urban sprawl continues to encroach on wild areas, people are increasingly experiencing interactions with wild animals that are acclimated to humans. Whereas it was once typical for coyotes to shun areas of human settlement for fear of the rifle’s crack, in recent years more and more suburban areas have seen populations of coyotes that not only have no fear of humans, but have learned that our garbage cans are easy pickings and our pets are easy prey.

Now one Greenville neighborhood is practically under siege by the “American jackal” and residents are at a loss on how to solve the problem:

GREENVILLE, S.C. — Residents of a Greenville County neighborhood say their pets are being attacked and even killed by unexpected predators, and they are warning others to protect their pets from the danger.

People who live in the neighborhood along Crestline Road say they feel like they’re under attack.

The fear began with the death of 15-year-old sheltie named Maggie. She was attacked and killed in her own driveway.

Maggie’s owners said they found their dog’s body covered in puncture wounds just ten minutes after letting her out one night in late February.

Neighbor Ruth DeVorsey said, “The idea that it was killed by coyotes is terrible.”

A border collie up the road was also mauled, but its owners heard the attack and intervened in time to save the dog.

DeVorsey said, “That’s two animals within four houses attacked on the same night.”

Apparently the coyotes are so settled in the area that people have heard the howl at night. Coyotes are not unusual in South Carolina, but our exploding population of transplanted urban folk not used to dealing with these varmints is exacerbating the problems associated with these animals. Trapping and hunting coyotes is necessary to control their populations close to civilized areas. Unfortunately the Disneyfied view of nature Americans now have changed the fundamental understanding of our relationship with predatory wild animals. Even the local experts are giving out bad advice:

Wildlife experts say coyotes are afraid of humans. Small pets are most at risk.

Tell that to Taylor Mitchell, a 19-year-old Canadian folk singer who was mauled to death by a pack of coyotes less than a year ago. Lone coyotes may indeed be afraid of humans and target small animals, but a pack will attack large animals including humans if an opportunity presents itself.  An injured person alone, a person taking a nap by their favorite stream, a couple of teens hiding out in the woods to get high, all of these are targets of opportunity for the increasingly fearless coyote packs. Coyotes fear humans because we kill them, if we stop killing them in a couple of generations we see that fear dissipate and our contacts with these predators become more violent.

The same goes for many animals. Seattle, for example, has had a rash of raccoon attacks on dogs, cats, and people. In a recent case three raccoons came into a woman’s yard to attack her mini-pincher and when she screamed rather than flee one began attacking her. It was not rabid. Seattle has inadvertently created a raccoon population that does not fear humans, largely through so-called animal lovers encouraging the animals to live close to them by banning the harvesting of these creatures.

My advice to the Crestline Road area is to get yourself some dog food, snare wire (para-cord works in a pinch) and a book on trapping animals (like Dale Martin’s The Trapper’s Bible) and handle this problem before one of these coyotes kills one of your children.

At least we don’t have New Jersey’s black bear problem. Scientists there are warning that the population cannot be controlled without hunting, but who hunts in Jersey anymore?


9 Responses to “Series of Coyote Attacks Have Greenville Neighborhood on Edge”

  1. greg williams on April 12th, 2010 10:21 am

    If any of these residents along crestline rd, would like for me to come out and hunt the coyotes I can.

  2. Hogs, Coyotes Now Legal to Hunt at Night : Greenville Dragnet on June 29th, 2010 12:27 pm

    [...] folk singer Taylor Mitchell was killed by coyotes while hiking Cape Briton Island. A few months ago a series of coyote attacks in a residential Greenville neighborhood put locals on edge. On Butler Road there’s a [...]

  3. Gary S. Brackett, Jr on June 5th, 2012 2:01 am

    If anyone can help with some advice, I would be most appreciative. I have had 4 of my cats disappear, and I suspect a coyote. Actually, No,let me rephrase that: I have SEEN it myself. I don’t know if there are more than one in the woods behind my house, but they come out even in the daytime. I need to know how to trap or find someone to trap and kill them. I would also like to know if you can hunt their lairs/dens?????

    Thanks for any help you can give.

  4. Rob Taylor on June 5th, 2012 3:47 pm

    Your state’s Department of Natural Resources website will have rules pertaining to hunting and if you live in an urban or suburban area there will be nuisance trappers listed in the yellow pages who will come out and catch them for a fee. Coyotes frequent areas with easy meals so lock up your garbage tight and don’t let your cats outdoors.

    Dependng on the state you might be able to trap them yourself but dispatching them can be tricky since if you’re in a city limits since it’s illegal in most cities to fire off a gun – unless you’re threatened. Since you’re seeing them alot chances are one will threaten you if you spend enough time out there so grab a small caliber gun and wait them out. If you have neighbors I’d use a .410 or a .22 rifle to minimize the risk of over-penetration. If you have money to burn some of the more expensive air rifles (like the Benjamin Marauder or Discovery) are capable of taking down a coyote – though it’s not particularly humane it is quiet and less dangerous than popping off with a fire arm in the city.

    If the stars align in your favor and you can get a permit to trap them the skins of a coyote can be sold to the fur market from anywhere between $15-40 a piece depending on quality, time of year, supplies etc.

    Good luck.

  5. James DeGaine on May 14th, 2013 5:14 pm

    Food of choice is cat and Yorkies I am sure there are a lot of missing pets.Cayotes are now feeding their young.Kill the Cayotes any way possible they are out of control and DNR will give nothing but lip service.only when a child is killed they will become concerned to community needs.Dont ignore the need to elimate the cayote problem.Good Hunting!

  6. Nathan painter on October 22nd, 2013 9:23 am

    My grandparents live off Anderson ridge road and the guy across the street has a pack behind his property haven’t had contact with them but have seen them chasing deer through the pasture. I plan on sitting up in the old barn in the evenings this season to see if I can get rid of some

  7. Nathan painter on October 22nd, 2013 9:25 am

    My grandparents live off Anderson ridge road and the guy across the street has a pack behind his property haven’t had contact with them but have seen them chasing deer through the pasture. I plan on sitting up in the old barn in the evenings this season to see if I can get rid of some of them before the decide to attack the horse or cafe in the pasture if anyone on crestline rd needs someone to hunt the things I’m not but about 25 min away just let me know

  8. Shanna Phillips on April 1st, 2015 1:16 am

    I clean parking lots for a living . I’ve seen all kinds of animals through the years ,usually driving down the road , or even on properTies in more of a country setting ! Now I’m seeing coyotes on woodruff rd. In city limits . at first I thought it was a cat . Then i t look like a fox I been feeding it every night but the more I see it and the closer I’ve got for a pic I’m pretty sure its coyote ! So keep that in mind even in shopping centers in Greenville city limits !

  9. Bob McCall on August 10th, 2015 9:40 am

    We live off Pelham Rd near Devenger. Our Neighbor accros the street was missing a Cat, and found her fur in a pile behind our house in the back yard. We have a small chiuahah dog that has always been let out by himself to go to the bathoom. Now, we don’t let him out alone, and I always carry a .22 pistol when I’m out with him. Is there a deterrent to keep Coyote’s away? If so, what? Who do we contact to help rid the neighborhood of these wild animals?

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