Coyotes Are Killers

I don’t understand why our effort to keep the population of coyotes in check is so controversial. We all know that coyotes are killers.

Here is a story about coyotes from my book, A Lifetime of Hunting and Fishing, published by North Country Press.

Coyotes are a controversial critter, for sure, especially with deer hunters who know coyotes kill a lot of deer. But they can also be very entertaining. I see them every so often in and around my woodlot, and hear them howling at night, and we’ve even seen them on the front lawn. Last year coyotes killed a deer right next to the fenced in area holding our neighbor’s horse.

There is a bunch of big boulders on my neighbor’s lot where porcupines typically gathered, but one fall, I found a dead coyote lying in one of the holes under one of the boulders. I’ve no idea what killed the coyote.

Dad, Harry Vanderweide, and I were sitting in the dark one day in Windsor, calling two turkeys in the nearby trees, when we were surprised by a coyote that jumped out of the nearby brush and right onto one of our turkey decoys. He didn’t stay around long, figuring out quickly that the decoy was not going to be anything he wanted to eat. This actually happened twice that year.

One spring I was sitting behind a rock wall, with my turkey decoys out in front of me in the field, when I spotted a beautiful golden-colored coyote trotting down the field toward my decoys. He circled the decoys, realizing they weren’t real turkeys, and then trotted back up the field and into the woods.

I made the mistake of writing about this in my outdoor news blog, and got roasted by some readers for not shooting the coyote.

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.