An aggressive coyote gives reader a scare

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Our story in June on spiraling coyote complaints in Columbia County generated lots of interest, and might have helped at least one reader save her dog.

Evidence continues to mount that coyotes are taking a toll on both pets and wildlife, as evidenced by this April trail cam photo showing a young Columbia County fawn in the jaws of a hungry coyote.    SPECIAL
Evidence continues to mount that coyotes are taking a toll on both pets and wildlife, as evidenced by this April trail cam photo showing a young Columbia County fawn in the jaws of a hungry coyote.

Dianne Dome sent me a kind note Wednesday to let us know she read our story one morning while waiting for an appointment, and took to heart the warnings from Lee Taylor, the state’s regional game management supervisor.

Small pets, Taylor had advised, could be vulnerable to coyotes who often hunt at dawn and dusk.

The very next morning, Dome wrote, she decided to stand at the door to keep an eye on Callie, her 13-year-old miniature Schnauzer, as the pet went outside into the yard.

Less than 30 seconds later, a coyote emerged from the woods moving toward her dog.

“I burst out the door yelling ‘NO!’ and he/she scrambled back into the brush,” Dome wrote. “I have no doubt that your article saved my dog’s life.”

Well, it’s always nice to hear from readers, especially when they’re happy with us.

Coyotes are becoming as unpopular with hunters and sportsmen as they are with suburban pet owners.

I also got an e-mail last week from professional trapper William Hooker, owner of Hooker’s Trapping Service, who spends as much time outdoors as anyone and sees a side of nature few others ever get to explore.

Coyotes, he said, are more aggressive than people realize and are continuing to wear down our whitetail population. He even included a sobering trail camera image, taken in April at his property in Columbia County, of a coyote carrying off a newbown fawn.

“I personally would like to see the coyote populations reduced by 75 percent in Georgia and until it has been reduced, Georgia DNR should reduce the numbers of does that are being harvested,” he said.

THURMOND OR CLARKS HILL? There are lots of well-known choice questions and one of them is perennially as popular as “boxers or briefs?”

Most recently, it was posed to me in a letter from one of our readers, Brian Mulherin, asking whether “the lake” is most appropriately referred to as “Clarks Hill or Thurmond?”

He asked if we could clear that up, especially since this is one of those long holiday weekends when folks visit “the lake.”

What’s the correct answer?

It depends on whom you ask. The official state highway map of Georgia calls the lake Clarks Hill, conforming to a Georgia law adopted in the wake of Congress’ 1987 renaming of the lake after Republican U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond, of South Carolina.

Most highway maps in South Carolina, however, call the reservoir J. Strom Thurmond Dam & Lake, as do the Army Corps of Engineers and other federal agencies.

The fuss erupted when then-U.S. Rep. Butler Derrick, of South Carolina, and other politicians thought it would be a nice birthday present for Mr. Thurmond to rename the lake in his honor.

Although the change quietly cleared Congress, it wasn’t so quiet closer to home, where groups name collected petitions with more than 72,000 signatures – all to no avail.

Almost forgotten in the controversy was the lake’s true namesake – an Augustan named John Mulford Clark, who owned land where the community of Clarks Hill, S.C., now sits.

When Congress authorized the reservoir in 1944, the government’s policy was to name projects after towns or geographic areas.

Thus, the dam was named after the community of Clarks Hill and not Mr. Clark.

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whydothat 07/08/13 - 10:13 am
Many of us LIKE coyotes and wildlife!

Journalist Rob Pavey might try interviewing people who know something about wildlife, rather than trappers and hunters who have a vested interest in killing it. Our ecosystem needs predator animals such as coyotes, which present virtually no threat to humans. We are overrun with rodents, rabbits, deer, opossums, skunks, raccoons, etc. Ms. Dome did exactly the right thing in supervising her dog. We should all do a quick check of our yards before letting pets outside, and clap our hands and speak in a loud voice to clear the area of wildlife.

csrareader 07/08/13 - 10:20 am
Or just shoot the coyotes in

Or just shoot the coyotes in your yard.

whydothat 07/08/13 - 10:43 am
We can only assume that

We can only assume that csrareader is trying to be funny, but for many of us, the humor falls flat. Coyotes are the most unjustly and unethically persecuted large animal in America. While it would be dangerous to your neighbors and other animals to open fire in one's "yard," it is also cruel to kill wildlife just for kicks. And that's usually why people kill coyotes...not to eat; not for their pelts; but just for the sadistic fun of killing. There are no limits on hunting coyotes nationwide, and too many good ol' boys have fun putting coyotes and foxes in pens, so hunting dogs can chase them down and tear them apart.
It's time we speak up and demand protections for coyotes. has good info on these fascinating animals.

csrareader 07/08/13 - 11:19 am
I would think livestock and

I would think livestock and pets might demand protection, if they had a say in the matter. No reason to kill coyotes for fun, and there would certainly be no fun in such action, but there's also no reason to allow a coyote to walk away with Fido.

stevetarget 08/01/13 - 07:44 am
choot em

coyotes are a non native species, that simply means they don't belong here. It s the reason DNR does not have a closed season on the critters. Shoot them all, ASAP.

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