John J. Woods
Magnolia Outdoor Communications
HUNTERS BEWARE OF ZOMBIE COYOTES
Reports have been circulating in Illinois of mangy looking wild dogs or coyotes roaming the woodlands and even coming into towns. Locals have labeled these sick looking animals as zombie coyotes. Hunters headed to Illinois or any other hunting locations for the fall deer hunting seasons should be on the lookout for such animals.
It is not particularly unusual for certain species of animals from time to time to fall victim to illnesses, malnutrition, dire diseases and other calamities that can produce sick looking specimens and even population die offs. It is not shocking to see such ill animals when out in the wilds especially during the annual hunting seasons that kick off soon.
Consider if you will as well, that even our most desired game animal the white-tailed deer is suffering now from a series of diseases that are causing harm to the deer populations across America. These include HD or hemorrhagic disease, EHD, bluetongue, and perhaps the worst yet CWD or chronic wasting disease that is now known to exist in deer in many states.
So, to see a zombie coyote may not be all that surprising. However hunters, particularly deer hunters who will be spending a lot of time in the woods over the next few months should be on the lookout for sick or usual looking animals including the white-tailed deer they are hunting. What are you supposed to do if you encounter such an animal?
Under normal circumstances landowners, ranch managers, lease holders, outfitters and even some state wildlife biologists would prefer that sick animals be taken out prudently, judiciously, and effectively. Then these should be disposed of properly so they do not infect other animals in the area.
Many landowner-hunters take out coyotes as a usual course of business whether sick looking or not. Coyotes are known to be tough on young deer and packs can even take down an adult deer. Coyotes are predators no matter how you define that. Individual hunters have to make their own call in this regard.
Zombie coyotes? If you see one, put it down. Inspect it, but avoid handling it. It would be good to report such animals to state wildlife officials so they can keep track of such things. It is the same for sick deer especially sightings of potential CWD infected deer.
Identify a zombie coyote by a mangy look, loss of hair, and patches of raw skin showing. They should look starving, thin, and emaciated. You’ll know one when you see one. Dispatch these animals and dispose of them. Do not ever fool with a live one.
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