Canis Latrans

  • Coyotes are members of the Canidae family, which also includes foxes, wolves, and domestic dogs.

  • On average, coyotes are roughly 44 to 52 inches in length and can weigh anywhere between 25 to 42 pounds.

  • The average running speed of a coyote is 25 mph

Population: In the 1800s and early 1900s coyote population saw a decrease due to extensive hunting in the southern half of the state. Today, the coyote population has increased and can be found throughout the state, though numbers are smaller in northern areas where the grey wolf population is established. It is legal to hunt or trap a coyote without a DNR license if the animal is on your property. A small game license would be needed to hunt off the property.

Habits: Coyotes are smart and highly adaptable animals, which is why they can be found in both rural and urban areas of Wisconsin. Coyotes prefer to live in wooded areas or dry marshes and prairies where enough coverage can be found for protection.

Coyotes are nocturnal animals and are most active before dawn and early evening. They are also highly sociable and will gather in small packs to hunt, feed, and play together. Often considered to be one of the most vocal of North America’s mammals, coyotes communicate and advertise their location with loud high-pitched howling and yapping.

Diet: Coyotes are omnivores and will eat anything that they find, which often includes animal carcasses known as carrion. Coyotes will frequently hunt small rodents, ruffed grouse, and occasionally deer. However, depending on the season or habitat, a coyote’s diet can also include insects, reptiles, fish, fruits, berries, and corn.

Mating and Young: Coyotes mate between February and March and will have a litter of five to seven pups born in April. Before birth, the mother will prepare more than one den in preparation for predator threats. Dens are often made up of two or three tunnels that lead to the main chamber, a 3 to four-foot-deep hole. Once the pups are born, the male will provide food for the mother and pups for the first few months.

Life moves quickly for coyote pups. At roughly three weeks old, coyote pups will start to venture outside of the den to play and by eight to nine weeks they will be fully weaned, and the den abandoned.

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