Friday, September 7, 2012
|Coyote scat on crushed gravel trail at Draper Twin Lake Park|
Oakland Township, Michigan September 2012
photo by Jonathan Schechter
The apex predator of Oakland County, the often elusive and wise to human ways eastern coyote is very active in September. Coyotes are very much at home in Michigan and are found in every county and even wander in SE Michigan cities; Flint, Detroit, and Pontiac included. They thrive in the more rural areas of Oakland County, meandering though suburbia and are ever present even if most humans never see one. Golf courses, Oakland County Parks and the Huron Clinton Metroparks are all part of the world of the coyote.
During the month of September the now large pups are exploring their landscape as the adults continue to teach hunting skills. Now and then a deer falls prey, mostly fawns or deer injured by cars. But the great majority of food consists of small mammals. Rabbits, mice, squirrels, road kill and voles are favorites But September is also berry season and this highly adaptable creature of great intelligence consumes fruits and berries too. Note the pit near the bottom of the scat.
Coyote scat is twisted and full of hair, fur bones and even teeth.
And why did this coyote leave his scat right in the middle of hiking trail?
The scat is a message to other coyotes to stay away and defines territory.
Should you by so lucky as to encounter a coyote on the trails of Oakland County there is one rule to remember:
NEVER ever run away from a coyote. Running tells the coyote you are afraid and acting like a prey species.
And of course it goes without saying do not try to feed a coyote and always keep your dog leashed.
Leashed is the Law.