There was some good coyote debating going on at the Spring Lake Estates board meeting at our house last night. Laurel and I appreciated the concerns of the sheep-raisers, but we weren't convinced that shooting coyotes is the solution. Tim Jaskoski correctly pointed out that much research shows that killing coyotes does nada to reduce the coyote population, long-term or even medium-term. Some people have the anthropomorphic attitude that coyotes go up to the body of Joe Coyote, shot by an angry sheepowner, and say, "Ooops. We've got to get out of this neighborhood. Look at what happened to good ol' Joe."
Actually, research suggests that the more likely inner dialogue is, "Oh boy, Joe is finally out of the way. Now we can all move up a level toward the Alpha Coyote status we've been hankering for." At least, this is the male attitude. The females think, "Oh my, I've got to have more coyote babies now to keep our numbers up. Better get breeding."
Tim made a nice mini-speech about the seriousness of killing wildlife just because they inconvenience a few people. Heck, deer inconvenience our garden plans. Does that mean we should feel free to kill them whenever they eat a flower in our yard? People move to the country, then they expect it to be as tame as the city. Look around, people. There are deer, and coyotes, and poison oak, and things that go bump (and hoot/howl) in the night. It's wildness that makes rural life different than city life. As someone who likes nature to be natural, I just can't understand why anybody would move out to Spring Lake Estates, and want to keep everything mowed, trimmed, sanitized, and wildlife free. Doesn't that sound like the city, which we all wanted to escape from?