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Coyotes were first spotted in the state during the late 70s quickly and they drifted toward central and southeastern regions of the state within a few years. With no natural predator, except man, they have flourished statewide.

These animals were initially found mostly in prairies and deserts but they are able to adapt to almost any environment.

These mammals are omnivores and very opportunistic, eating almost anything. Known to kill deer, rabbits, livestock and even small family pets, they have become a notorious and destructive pest in Kentucky.

They also possess  keen vision and sense of smell. They also have the ability to run up to 40 miles per hour, making them a formidable challenge for any local hunter.

Experts maintain that coyotes were able to migrate eastward by crossing the Mississippi River when it was frozen. It was noted that during the late 70s the midwest experienced back-to-back hard winters that possibly allowed them to advance into the eastern states.

It is also rumored that a small number of the animals were introduced into Madison County to control a pesky groundhog population near the chemical igloos.

Despite these allegations, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife has denied all reports of transplanting coyotes into the state.

With no natural predator, they were able populate and spreading throughout the state, often remaining unchecked except when caught in an occasional trap.

“Coyotes in Kentucky have co-existed with man for the past 40 years, people just weren’t aware of their existence” said Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Spokesman Mark Marraccini. “There are a few isolated incidents of coyote problems, but overall pets and livestock have some minor risks”.

One person who is helping thin out the local coyote population is nationally recognized predator hunter Al Prather.  

Prather, a native of Central Kentucky and former Lexington Fire Fighter, is currently a field staff member of FOXPRO, a national manufacturer of hunting game calls. An avid hunter/outdoorsman throughout his life, Prather started predator hunting when a family member asked him to tag along and help after having issues with a pack of coyotes harassing some local farmers

It only took one time, and since that eventful day, he’s dedicated himself to hunting only coyotes.

“I was really intrigued how smart an animal a coyote can be. They can really humble even the best of hunters” Prather said. “In order to hunt coyote, you have to have a different mindset … you have to think like a coyote or you will come home disappointed”.

Learning by trial and error, Prather has perfected his strategy to out-maneuver the clever predator by using his FOXPRO ecaller, often accented with mouth calls, scents, decoys and camouflage. Armed with a Browning .243 rifle, he prefers this caliber due to its flat shooting trajectory, which allowed him to post his best kill shot at 511 yards.

Although Prather’s hunting efforts are well-known from the thoroughbred racing farms of the bluegrass to small farms situated throughout the state, he admits shooting individual coyotes actually hasn’t made a dent in the population.

Recently, a Lexington man was having a coyote nuisance on his farm. Prather hunted five-straight days only to bag two animals. The following week the landowner placed traps and snares yielding 14 coyotes in only five days, which was a big improvement in the name of predator control.

Generally coyotes will avoid human contact and reports of being attacked by the predator are extremely rare. This is no longer the case in Kentucky.

They are a wild predatory animal and very dangerous and VERY unpredictable.

One thing to remember is these animals can become more aggressive at time when food sources become limited. If you do have a coyote problem in your area here are some tips to help reduce/eliminate these conditions.

– Remove pets food sources — If you feed your pets outside, remove the food when you leave

– Eliminate other food sources — Coyotes will eat almost anything, so use metal trash cans with tight-fitting lids to remove an easy/consistent food source.

– Clear brush piles — Coyotes use low-growing shrubs/brush piles to hide, with proper trimming this can eliminate an area in which the animal fells safe.

– Keeps pets safe — Small animals, such as a cat or dog are the predator’s No. 1 food source. Keep the area well-lit and supervised.

– Respond aggressively — If you see a coyote on your property, shout, make loud noises and throw rocks or whatever to drive them away. Do not let them feel comfortable on your property.

– Call a licensed professional (Including Hunters)— If you should encounter a coyote problem, contact an animal control expert who can fully assess/address the problem this will ensure a humane removal of the animal.

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312 thoughts on “Coyotes are big a problem in Kentucky”
  1. The faculty software essay is your possibility to talk straight to the Admissions Committee and enable them to appreciate you as being a man or woman.

  2. When walking my cockers I carry a 22 magnum pistol. I have a small wooded drainage ravine behind my home and have seen coyotes and heard them yelping near by.

  3. Someoy needs to come to Letcher County and Knott County on Kentucky. They are coming right in our yards. Pets have been taken and I really believe they killed the little 13 year old in Knott County. I have grandchildren and my son has killed 4 in his yard. Scares me to death.

  4. The powers to be need to get the hunting laws changed so hunting coyotes night hunting is allowed with a night scope and a air rifle . Its legal to kill coyotes during the day with a air gun but as of today not at night . Today’s modern Air guns are virtually silent and are very powerful. A 22 caliber airgun can produce 30 fpe and more. It only takes 12 fpe to kill a coyote . For shots from 0 to 50 yards are lethal to coyotes. Shot guns are legal to use at night with no restriction on the shot size only that it holds more than 1 shot . Meaning you can use at night a 00 buck shot that is spraying 9, 33 caliber balls out of the barrel at 1350 fps and deadly to humans 100 yards away . But for some reason the fish and game officials feel the 22 cal pellet from a airgun that is only deadly out to 50 yards is not safe . Besides waking up the neighborhood and scaring of every coyote in a mile radius off and possible death to humans within 100 yards or more who might catch one of the sprayed 9, 33 cal balls in the head by the shotgun is legal to use , this makes no since at all . Other states that allow coyotes to be taken at night with a airgun are killing 6 coyotes one right after another because the airguns are silent and when equipped with a night vision scope its a one shot one kill because of the extreme accuracy of the modern high powered air rifles . They are not scared off because they can’t hear anything . They stay close to the just shot coyote that allows all the coyotes to be killed in one place in short time . Good luck doing that with a shotgun blast . If you want to get rid of the coyotes in KY make it legal to use a airgun at night to kill coyotes so people can put away the shotgun and use a gun that is silent but deadly to the coyotes . People need to call the Kentucky fish and game department and ask them to get their heads out of their asses and allow airguns to be used at night for coyotes . The only thing they have to lose is coyotes eating your dogs and cats ,and having deer being run off your property you were going to hunt .

  5. I have killed roughly** coyotes since ive lived here over the last 15 years, most of them in the last couple of years, and it seems like the packs are only getting bigger, theyve killed several calfs, and it seems as they are only getting worse, there are 4 seperate packs around here, they howl from all different directions at daybreak, on trail cam one pack was 30+, and lynx are starting to populate our area as well, one trail cam caught a small pack of coyotes attacking one, it backed them down, I dont mind them as bad because they havent been killing our calfs or hurting the wild turkeys, but the coyotes have killed most of the small game around here, I’ll bet in our area we have 200 or more,

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