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 Coyote? 
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Peak Bagger
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 Coyote?
This morning I found myself walking through the woods behind my house looking for a neighborhood kid who had gone missing yesterday morning. I only mention this to relate the state of awareness I was trying to maintain. Anyway, about an hour into the search, I saw a rather large animal walking I would say about 75 yards away. To me, it appeared more canine than feline mostly because it didn't slink. It moved more like a dog. I would estimate it to be as big if not a bit bigger than a large-ish german shepherd. But again, I am not the greatest by any means at judging size or distance.

Now, I know we have had coyotes in the area in the past because we would hear them at night, though I never actually saw one. This is the first year I can remember not hearing them at all which my wife and I were talking about the disappointment if they have left. And then I started seeing a bobcat in my yard and figured maybe that was why I hadn't heard the coyotes. So, can coyotes get to the size of shepherds? I would love to find out what it was I saw. Definitely not the bobcat. Big tail and I am pretty sure canine.

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Mon Nov 12, 2012 2:40 pm
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The official profile says no they are not that big but I saw one very close up (5 feet away) in the Whites once and it was definitely German Sheppard sized, bigger actually, which made me think it was a wolf, except officially wolfs are not here. :? Bet that was a big help! :D

So I don't know what you saw. This might help you more...

http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Wildlife/Wildlife_profiles/profile_eastern_coyote.htm


Mon Nov 12, 2012 3:13 pm
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Peak Bagger
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Granite Guy wrote:
it was definitely German Sheppard sized, bigger actually, which made me think it was a wolf, except officially wolfs are not here. :?


Which is exactly what I thought! One of those, "Could that be a.... nah." moments. Letta is a decent sized shepherd/lab mix and this appeared to be bigger than her. I'm going to have to investigate. :)

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Mon Nov 12, 2012 3:27 pm
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Peak Bagger
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I was out hunting a saltmarsh one day saw a coyote doing the same. We both froze about 50 yards from each other. I couldn't get over how large it was...actually the first size comparison that popped in my head was a german shepherd.

But that said, their winter coats ad a LOT of size to them. Coyotes tend to weigh a lot less than they look. Most people (myself included) tend to over estimate size of animals too (ever been right up close to a white tailed deer? Usually much smaller than the typical image in our head).

Eastern coyotes do have a healthy amount of wolf DNA in them though, and they are much larger than their western counterparts. The coyotes I see in NH are consistently much larger than what I saw living back in the midwest.


Mon Nov 12, 2012 3:52 pm
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I saw a healthy size one in Bear Brook back in the early 90's. I thought it was someone's lost German Shepard when I came upon it on the trail passing through. But when I stopped about 10 ft from it (it just stood there staring at me), I quickly realized it was a coyote.

I've seen quite a few on my road running in front of my truck, but they were the smaller variety.


Tue Nov 13, 2012 1:43 am
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Ironically enough I was catching up on reading some AMC magazines and there was a 1-page article about Eastern Coyotes in it (July/August issue I believe). It basically theorized that the mid-west coyotes cross-bred with wolves in Canada before ending up in the Northeast. This all based on them being significantly larger in the East and with plenty of wolf traces in them (as much as 80% if I recall the article correctly). I guess the short version is that yes, it does sound like German-Shepherd sized coyotes are certainly around in the NE.

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Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:18 am
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Oddly enough, just last Thusrday, Marlie and I had to cut our nighlty walk in the woods short due to a coyote howling from the area where we were heading. I could only hear one but it ws definately near part of the trail where we were heading. I hear them all the time out there but usually as a group. It creeped me out even more when it stopped making noise. How was I supposed to keep tabs on it? Marlie has chased one off before, near dusk, but I would not want an encounter in the dark. The one we saw before was maybe 50 pounds. A 75 pounder could cause some issues.

Midstate- Has the kid been found? Scary situation.

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Tue Nov 13, 2012 1:06 pm
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Ian, yes he was. He was found safe at a friend's house. And it is a good thing he was not in those woods because the police had just ok'd search parties and instructed those that were there to not carry him out. Which was my intention. Who knows how many other things I would have done wrong. :)

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Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:12 pm
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madmattd wrote:
Ironically enough I was catching up on reading some AMC magazines and there was a 1-page article about Eastern Coyotes in it (July/August issue I believe). It basically theorized that the mid-west coyotes cross-bred with wolves in Canada before ending up in the Northeast. This all based on them being significantly larger in the East and with plenty of wolf traces in them (as much as 80% if I recall the article correctly). I guess the short version is that yes, it does sound like German-Shepherd sized coyotes are certainly around in the NE.


Wouldn't 80% wold and 20% coyote make it a wolf with coyote in it and not a coyote with some wolf?? Just wondering. Maybe they do that so they can still say officially we have no wolfs.


Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:28 pm
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Granite Guy wrote:
Wouldn't 80% wold and 20% coyote make it a wolf with coyote in it and not a coyote with some wolf?? Just wondering. Maybe they do that so they can still say officially we have no wolfs.


Yea, I'd tend to agree on the 80%-20% thing, but whatever. Apparently there was some study of 100 collected coyotes in Maine, 22 had more than 50% wolf DNA (one 89%).

It was the Sept/Oct 2012 AMC Outdoors for the record, page 23. "Not Quite Coyotes".

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Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:19 pm
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madmattd wrote:
Granite Guy wrote:
Wouldn't 80% wold and 20% coyote make it a wolf with coyote in it and not a coyote with some wolf?? Just wondering. Maybe they do that so they can still say officially we have no wolfs.


Yea, I'd tend to agree on the 80%-20% thing, but whatever. Apparently there was some study of 100 collected coyotes in Maine, 22 had more than 50% wolf DNA (one 89%).

It was the Sept/Oct 2012 AMC Outdoors for the record, page 23. "Not Quite Coyotes".


I find that funny that they can say with a straight face "This canine is only 89% wolf, so it's a coyote." :D


Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:39 pm
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Not to get bogged down in scientific semantics, but the 80%-20% thing is not really what it sounds like.

Fact of the matter is that most DNA is shared between complex organisms. No organism's DNA is 100% unique to that species. Heck, human beings share 50% of our DNA with a banana!

The genetic variability between a wolf and a coyote is extremely small....and it's likely that coyotes share well over 90% (probably >99%) of their genetic makeup with wolves...and vice versa, so it's impossible to say that animal is 80% wolf and 20% coyote.

The importance is not in percentage of overall DNA, but rather the genetic makeup that differentiate the two and most importantly, how those genes are expressed. Gene expression is almost as important in speciation as genetic makeup.


Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:03 pm
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Science!

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Thu Nov 15, 2012 6:08 pm
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mojo wrote:
Heck, human beings share 50% of our DNA with a banana!


This explains much ...

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Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:47 pm
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We often hear coyote and have seen them frequently. The ones I have seen, on MDI, Maine, do look the size of a small German Shepard. Simon ( my yellow english lab) has rousted a few and they seem a bit taller than he is. Fortunately, they have always run quickly away or if curious, have maintained their distance from me. I do tend to see them more during late fall and early spring... But that could simply be coinciding with the start of the summer tourist season.

While their call is eerie, I do love to hear them!

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Sat Nov 17, 2012 5:26 pm
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