Wolves and Coyotes are Ever the Scapegoats

(The following excerpt from the chapter, “War on Coyotes an Exercise in Futility and Cruelty,” in the book, Exposing the Big Game: Living Targets of a Dying Sport, parallels points I raised about wolves being incriminated in yesterday’s post—just substitute wolves for coyotes and sheepman for cattle rancher)…


In removing weak or diseased animals from a given gene pool, coyotes, as well as wolves and cougars, secure healthy traits for future generations. Furthermore, although introduced livestock (their wariness bred out of them through the domestication process) are far more vulnerable, it’s been documented that predators like coyotes would prefer to stick to their usual prey—yet they are ever the scapegoats.

As Jack Olsen, author of Slaughter the Animals, Poison the Earth, put it:

“By simple dint of pounding over and over on the same points, the sheep industry has succeeded in characterizing all predators as deadly killers that would rather dine on lamb than anything else that lives on the range. In the sheepman’s demonology of the coyote, every fallen sheep is brought down by coyotes. If Canis latrans comes across a dead sheep and plays his natural role as carrion-eater, the rancher shows teeth marks as proof of murder. If a sheep falls dead and the coyotes ignore the carcass, the sheepman charges an even more heinous crime: killing for pleasure. No matter what the predator does, a diabolical explanation is provided, and grandiose overstatement becomes the rule. Two lambs dying at birth are transformed into twenty lambs killed by coyotes.” 

Ordinarily a writer of true crime books, such as Son, a Psychopath and his Victims and I, the Creation of a Serial Killer (about a murderous trucker whose violence continuum began with a long history of cruelty to animals, including coyotes), Olson did not have to stray far from that genre in addressing the mentality of the kind of nutcase who would victimize coyotes.

Wildlife Photography Copyright Jim Robertson


6 thoughts on “Wolves and Coyotes are Ever the Scapegoats

  1. Ranchers are so adept at the “blame game”. Do you suppose there are ANY ranchers out there with a normal mentality regarding predators?

    • Thanks Gail,.I saw this on FB and commented: Even with all the good news for wolves the past few days, this news is terrible. Wyoming’s plan is practically genicide..
      Also, the Washington wolves have had a reprieve, but aren’t in the clear yet. Keep those calls coming to the Governor and ask the state to spare the Wedge pack…

  2. Coyotes have filled a gap where wolves used to roam. Since humans decimated the wolf population, coyote populations continue to grow. Wolves are their natural enemy, and without wolves, they thrive. Coyotes are nature’s rodent control, without them we would be complaining of too many rodents (rabbits, mice, rats, moles, squirrels, and more) that quickly can populate out of control when predators are eradiacted from an area. attempts to eliminate coyotes always fail because after the initial kills, the rodent populations boom, and more coyotes move in. They are there because food is plenty. They do us a great service by keeping rodent populations in check.
    The rare attack on a small dog or cat is always over publicized simply because it is a coyote and a good story to talk about. In cook county, IL for example, a small dog or cat is 99% more likely to be attacked by a dog than a coyote. This is based on statistics, on reported cases. Just think of how many times someone’s dog bites another person or another dog and it is not reported. the statistics could double. Truly, it is not hard to believe that it happens every day. A dog attacks another dog or attacks a cat, or bites a human. These cases are not publicized on the news unless it is a child that is injured fatally.
    Little dogs are killed by larger dogs every day in the city of Chicago. But the media prefers to publish embellished stories about coyotes.

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