Date of this Version
Published in Proceedings of Great Plains Wildlife Damage Control Workshop, December 10, 11, and 12, 1973, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas. Edited by F. Robert Henderson.
Professor.E. K. Faulkner, Extension Sheep Specialist from the University of Wyoming, stated that fencing the range was too expensive to be practical. He indicated that flares, pop-guns, color painting on sheep, and dogs have been used to cut down losses to coyotes but these methods have not been nearly so effective as the use of cyanide guns and 1080. He also indicated that losses to coyotes along with labor problems are the number 1 and 2 reasons for 200 sheepmen going out of the business the past 5 years in the range country. He said that shed lambing or lambing in confinement would cut losses to predators but this involved a large investment in buildings which would be questionable from the standpoint of economics handling large bands of ewes from 3,000 to 5,000 head. Professor Faulkner indicated that when the food supply for coyotes becomes short and they get hungry, they will kill and eat.
Dr. Robert Hyde, Extension Specialist in Range Management at Colorado State University indicated that fencing was effective in cutting coyote damage to flocks but it was expensive. He indicated that the coyote population has been increasing at a rapid rate in Colorado and with the decrease in sheep numbers, the coyotes have turned to cattle. The main losses in cattle were in the calving season when the cow was in the process of calving or the calf was extremely young and was not able to protect itself at that age. He also indicated that losses to coyotes were higher from first-calf heifers which were not as protective of their offspring as older cows. He indicated that trappers were a help in reducing coyote population and, also, certain areas have given some sheep producers relief but the cost of trappers and the availability of experienced trappers was a problem. He also indicated that when the reduced natural food supply for coyotes occurred, they had turned to cattle in the State of Colorado. He pointed out that coyotes travel great distances in search of food and that the rotation of pastures or areas was not practical from the standpoint of the rancher indicating that the cost involved in transporting livestock to another range, even though it would be effective in helping to control predator losses, is not economically feasible.