Coy­otes plagu­ing Port Lorne hobby farmer

‘The last at­tack was a cou­ple of days ago’

The Amherst News - - REGIONAL - By Kathy John­son The Spec­ta­tor

The con­stant pres­ence of coy­otes this sum­mer has Port Lorne hobby farmer Amy Lynn Lan­glois con­cerned and scared for the safety of not only her farm an­i­mals, but her two small chil­dren who are two and five years old.

“The prob­lem has been go­ing on since July,” said Lan­glois, when she no­ticed some ducks were miss­ing from the free-range flock. “I do a head count when I put the an­i­mals in for the night and I was miss­ing three white ducks.

“My neigh­bour sug­gested they might have gone to the lo­cal pond so I went to have a look. When I came back there was the coy­ote not 30 feet from the barn with a hen in its mouth. I drove the jeep right up to the barn, got out yelled and it just stood there.”

Lan­glois said she is not the only one in the Port Lorne Road and Ar­ling­ton Road area to have coy­ote prob­lems this sum­mer.

“It’s not just me. Two other neigh­bours” have also had coy­ote is­sues, adding there’s more than one coy­ote that’s caus­ing con­cern.

“At least two dark brown ones and a grey one has been seen,” said Lan­glois. “They are not afraid of me or my dogs,” in­clud­ing a 160-pound Bull Mas­tiff. “There’s al­ways two dogs out­side on guard. They bark and the coy­ote just barks back. It’s not afraid. The last at­tack was a cou­ple of days ago.”

Lan­glois said she has lost ducks, chick­ens and geese from her flock, which she keeps as pets for the chil­dren, as well as meat and eggs for the ta­ble. Lan­glois said she sees the coy­ote “on a reg­u­lar ba­sis,” any­where from early morn­ing to evening.

Lan­glois said she and her neigh­bours have called the De­part­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources but felt they just “blew it off.”

“I’m quite up­set about that. You would think they (DNR) would at least come out and have a look. You can see their tracks on the trail.”

Nat­u­ral Re­sources

When con­tacted, Mike Boudreau, hu­man wildlife con­flict bi­ol­o­gist with DNR, said if some­one has a pub­lic safety con­cern with coy­otes, they should re­port it to the lo­cal DNR of­fice. Boudreau said there are things peo­ple can do to help de­ter coy­otes from their prop­erty.

“It makes it tough when you have free range birds,” said Boudreau, not­ing coy­otes, foxes and even racoons are all preda­tors who can cue in on rou­tines. If for ex­am­ple, a per­son usu­ally puts the birds out at 7 a.m. and takes them in at 5 p.m., coy­otes cue in on that so it helps to mix up the times.

If preda­tors are get­ting into a barn through a small open­ing, se­cure it, said, Boudreau.

Un­for­tu­nately, once a coy­ote has found a meal in a farm­yard flock they will likely keep com­ing back, said Boudreau.

“They know how to find food when food is avail­able. If they see mice in the field then they are go­ing to take the mice.”

Coy­otes can be shot year-round with a shot­gun, and by ri­fle dur­ing hunt­ing sea­son, which opened Sept. 11, pro­vided it’s in an area where firearm use is per­mit­ted. Boudreau said there are peo­ple who trap coy­ote year-round, not­ing pelts are fetch­ing a pretty good price this year. A nui­sance wildlife of­fi­cer can also be hired to trap the an­i­mal and re­move it from the prop­erty. Boudreau said DNR deals with com­plaints on a case-by-case ba­sis, and in the event of a pub­lic safety con­cern, would take ac­tion.

Tips on de­ter­ring coy­otes and coy­ote safety are avail­able on­line at the DNR web­site at https://no­vas­co­tia.ca/natr/wildlife/liv­ing-with­wildlife/

Con­trib­uted

Amy Lynn Lan­glois loves her farm at Port Lorne, but coy­otes have killed some of her an­i­mals and she feels her chil­dren are threat­ened. It started back in July and oth­ers in the area have also ex­pe­ri­enced prob­lems with the an­i­mals.

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