Coyote Not Seen, yet Not Gone

Gregory Vellner

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Have you seen a coyote lately like this one?Unsplash

More than a month after a coyote frightened Bucks County, Pa., homeowners as it roamed backyards and possibly killed a pet dog, there have been no additional sightings of the wild animal.

But don’t think it’s gone, says the Pennsylvania Game Commission, because the coyote knows how to move about undetected.

“It might be rumor due to low or no sightings that there are no longer coyotes in Bucks County,” said Thomas Keller, Furbearer Biologist, state Game Commission. “That’s certainly not true. Coyotes are very adaptive and quickly learn how to live among us.”

During the first week of February, a coyote was seen in Langhorne Borough, where it might have killed a pet dog in a backyard, and in Northampton Township. Spokespersons for both municipalities, as well as for neighboring Upper Southampton Township, said no coyote sightings have since been reported.

“I handle all the phone calls here and there have been no sightings,” said a spokesperson, who did not want to be named, at Northampton Township’s main office. Added a Southampton representative who did not want to be named: “There have been no sightings.”

Game Commission biologist Keller said coyotes in Bucks County and other counties throughout the state move about unnoticed for the most part, and live around abandoned properties and hunt small animals for food.

“One thing coyotes are very good at is staying out of our sight, operating primarily at night,” he said. “Not all folks report sightings, but we do keep track of complaints within our game warden districts throughout the state. Bucks County has its fair share, and the most frequent complaint is when someone sees one and is afraid of it.”

Coyotes have been a source of concern in many Pennsylvania communities – like in Lancaster County, where Game Warden John Veylupek said he prosecuted a property owner for attempting to kill coyotes by putting poison on a deer carcass on his property. It resulted, however, in the death of five migratory birds, including a bald eagle, said the warden. The individual paid more than $4,000 in fines.

The coyote population steadily has risen over the past few decades and today outnumbers black bears, bobcats and river otter, according to the state Game Commission, noting the wild animal now lis as common in suburban

It is legal to hunt coyotes in Pennsylvania, the commission said.

“During most of the year coyotes may be hunted with only a general license, 24 hours a day,, seven days a week,” it said. “However, during any open big game, you will need to be lawful to hunt the appropriate big game or have a furtaker’s license.”

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As a professional journalist for several years -- reporter, editor, feature writer, columnist -- I handled a range of subjects. Breaking news, investigative series, government action, feature events, and staff feature writer with national entertainment magazine interviewing stars including Tom Selleck, Mel Brooks and Danny DeVito. No matter the topic, certain ingredients are key: truth, facts, objectivity, balance.

Bucks County, PA
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