Coyotes – including big ones – creeping into towns
London, Ohio – Madison County resident Daltonn Knapp trapped a
74-pound male coyote during the last week of December. The size of
the animal was remarkable – as was the fact that Knapp took it
within the city limits of London.
State wildlife biologist Gary Ludwig, of the ODNR’s central
district office, said the average eastern coyote weighs about 35
pounds, with some males ranging up to 50 pounds. Earlier this year,
a 104-pound male coyote was killed in Missouri.
Ludwig called Knapp’s catch “a very, very unusual find.”
Knapp trapped the coyote (along with its mate) along a creek on the
west side of town, near the junior high football field. He had
permission from the landowner.
Ludwig said more and more coyotes are creeping into urban areas,
using railroad tracks, alleys and waterways as their “travel
lanes.” He noted they do well in municipal fringe areas –
especially along stream corridors.
Once thought of as only a “plains animal,” coyotes have adapted to
living in wooded areas and even vacant city lots, Ludwig
There was a time when coyotes were found only in Ohio’s rural
areas. They became more abundant and moved into suburban areas in
the 1980s and 1990s. Like many other wildlife species, they’ve
adapted well to city living, Ludwig said.
The Knapp coyote (along with its mate) is currently at a
taxidermist. It was one of 31 trapped by Knapp this year, along
with 11 fox, 118 raccoons and four mink.
He is currently running a line of 36 traps in Madison, Pickaway and
Fayette counties. He said if his business as a diesel mechanic
doesn’t pick up soon, he may take up trapping full time!