Originally found in central and western North America, the coyote has expanded its range eastward to all the Atlantic Provinces.
The male coyote stands 55 to 70 cm high at the shoulder and weighs 15 to 25 kg. Females are slightly smaller. The coyote’s ears are wide, pointed and erect. The muzzle tapers down to a black nose.
The long, soft fur is generally tawny-grey and darker on the hind part of the back.
Legs, paws, muzzle and the back of the ears are more yellowish in colour; the throat and belly are whiter. The coyote is dark in summer and lighter coloured in winter.
A pair of coyotes may remain together for several years. Mating takes place during February and March. Two months later, the female gives birth to three to twelve pups.
Though hares and rodents make up the main part of the coyote’s diet, it will eat almost anything including insects and berries in summer, deer fawns in spring and adult deer when snow conditions are right.
Sarcoptic mange, an infestation of mites that causes loss of hair, sometimes leads to the coyote’s death. Coyotes are also subject to distemper and rabies.
Bounties and other methods used to exterminate the coyote have been unsuccessful.
The coyote has highly developed senses of hearing and smell. It is capable of reaching speeds of 64 km per hour. Swift, tough and intelligent, the coyote provides great challenge to any hunter. When fleeing, coyotes will stop to look back at their pursuer. If the hunter is ready and quick, this could be a final look by the coyote.