Tim Chitwood: Living the wild, wild life in Columbus

tchitwood@ledger-enqurier.comJanuary 26, 2014 

Sit out under the stars of the Milky Way, and listen while the coyotes howl: It's Monday Mail.

Hoo yip hoo

Today's opening is from the song "Coyotes," written by Bob McDill. It's the song at the end of the movie "Grizzly Man."

Wild wild life

Today we've updates to last week's Monday Mail, which focused on reports of coyotes attacking pet dogs in the Midland area.

We later heard from a dog owner who said coyotes attacked his dog before his wife ran them off. I asked how she ran them off, and he said she just ran outside clapping her hands and yelling, and they fled.

This approach did not work back in 2007, when a resident near Flat Rock Park yelled and swung a shovel while trying to scare three coyotes away from his German shepherd. The coyotes only dodged away when he came close and then looped back. Finally he and his dog retreated, and the coyotes trotted off.

Back in the wood line the coyotes had come from, he found a deer carcass they were guarding.

Rocky raccoon

In response to that column came this email mentioning those coyotes:


The coyote problem in Flat Rock Park a few years ago was handled by bringing in some professionals to kill them. We noticed a decrease in deer sightings at the same time. Not sure if they took the deer also to keep the coyotes from returning. In the last few months I've heard some howling from the park (it's right behind our property). I've also seen a few deer returning lately.

There is a coyote that roams the Billings Road area late at night. I've seen it several times. It has the oddest coloration I've ever seen -- reddish with a tail that is white on the end half.… It's taller than any coyote I've ever seen. Thought I was seeing things the first time I saw it. (I run a hunting club in Talbot County, so I know what coyotes look like.) I have seen this one going down our street in Brittany II in the middle of the night and also saw it one morning as the sun was coming up, trotting down Billings Road.…

There are a lot of raccoons that live in the park (and connected wooded areas). Some of them visit me on my back deck almost daily. There is one mama raccoon that I've known for five years now. She always brings her kits up to eat birdseed off my deck rail. She's known me for so long that I can sit on the deck and talk to her when she comes to visit.…

I am constantly amazed at the wildlife I see and have photos of everything you can imagine (and some you couldn't!). It's all around us. Some of us just notice it more.

Myra Young.

Dear Myra:

I love the wild life, too. I'll live it as long as I can. Still I want to know where my dogs might run into an aggressive coyote pack.

Tim Chitwood, tchitwood@ledger-enquirer.com, 706-571-8508.

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