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Coyotes in Utah (Diet, Lifestyle, Habitat..)

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Utah is home to several species of wildlife which have adapted to urban and rural settings alike, including the coyote. Despite their small size, these wide-ranging predators are capable of thriving in many environments. In Utah, coyotes can be found in urban and suburban neighbourhoods, as well as in rugged mountain terrain. Coyotes in Utah generally cause little trouble for humans unless they become habituated to being fed by people or develop an affinity for domestic animals. 

coyotes in utah

Habitat

Coyotes in Utah live in a variety of habitats, including deserts and mountain forests. They have adapted well to the changing climates, with many dens being located on riverbanks where they have easy access to food and water. Many make their homes in abandoned burrows dug by other animals, such as foxes or badgers. It is also common for them to pick up shelters near farms, where cows and sheep attract the rodents that coyotes like to eat.

Coyotes will establish dens in the marshy areas common to the state, avoiding oppressive summer heat by seeking shade during the day and hunting at night. In mountain forests, they use rocky outcroppings or deep gulches for dens to remain safe from predators like bears or mountain lions to access. 

Diet

Coyotes generally consume a very varied diet. They feed on small mammals such as mice and voles, but also enjoy eating fruits like berries and apples, insects, reptiles and ground-dwelling birds. Plant matter such as grass or even corn may also be taken advantage of when the opportunity arises. Deer carrion can be an important food source for these opportunistic animals. The diet of coyotes largely depends on the season and availability of different food sources.

As they are nocturnal animals, coyotes are known to scavenge pastures at night as well as hunt during both day and night depending on their needs in order to survive.

coyotes

Colour

Coyotes living in Utah are predominantly furred in shades of grey and tan. Some individuals have an entirely beige coat, whereas others can also appear to have reddish patches on the sides of their bodies or faces. There is much variation in colours due to coyotes’ intermixing with other species, such as wolves, foxes and even domestic dogs. Although the colours of a coyote’s coat may appear to be solid from a distance, it is actually composed of many individual hairs that are each uniquely hued.

Also, each coyote will be slightly different no matter where it’s located whether that be Utah or elsewhere in its natural range which extends all the way north into Canada and Alaska.

Size, Lifespan and Weight 

The average size of these creatures is between four and six feet long, depending on their age and gender. These animals live anywhere from ten to thirteen years but some can reach nearly fourteen years in age. The average weight of an adult coyote is only 30 pounds but this varies again depending on the sex of the animal and which specific breed it belongs to. 

Predators

Coyotes have been seen in Utah for centuries, but due to their tendency to scavenge for leftovers or hunt small animals, they are not always welcome. For that reason, a number of predators have evolved to help keep the coyote population in check. Mountain lions and bobcats are among the most effective of these predators.

It is common knowledge that mountain lions will hunt coyotes whenever given the opportunity, while bobcats prefer smaller prey. Cougars and bears have also been known to act as predator species against the coyotes of Utah, though less often than those previously mentioned. 

coyotes in open

Reproduction

Coyotes are capable of reproducing throughout the year, with a peak in births during Springtime. Female coyotes typically give birth to their litters of offspring within a den. Litters usually consist of 5-6 pups and both parents are involved in raising and protecting them. As they grow, the family unit begins to search for food together but will separate from each other at around eight months old when the pups become independent. 

Hunting Coyotes in Utah

Hunting coyotes in Utah is an exhilarating experience. From the beauty of the landscape and the adventure of tracking down your prey to the thrill of finally harvesting a coyote, you’ll find that hunting these incredible animals can be both rewarding and enjoyable. With diverse terrain ranging from rugged mountains, to dry desert plains and everything in between, hunters in Utah have many different options when choosing where to hunt.

Coyotes in open feild

Trapping Coyotes in Utah

Trapping coyotes is a method of managing their populations that has been used for generations in Utah. This age-old practice helps mitigate conflicts between coyotes and humans, allowing us to peacefully coexist. Trappers typically use spring-loaded snares or foothold traps, baiting them with various lures like urine, feathers, or animal carcasses and hides.

When these traps are correctly set and legal regulations followed correctly, coyotes can be caught without serious injury or harm. Trapping helps keep the state’s growing population of coyotes under control while protecting livestock and even predators like birds that might otherwise be affected by the competition over food.

Hunting Coyotes in Utah laws

Utah state laws allow for coyote hunting from mid-August through mid-March, though dates vary depending on the region and local wildlife management authorities. Hunters must obtain necessary permits for firearms or bowhunting and it is important to check updated regulations at the beginning of each hunting season, as changes sometimes occur. Safety regulations are strictly required and enforced, such as the mandatory use of blaze orange hats and clothing during certain parts of the year. 

References:

https://www.wildawareutah.org/wildlife/coyotes/#:~:text=They%20can%20be%20found%20throughout,typically%20weigh%2025%E2%80%9345%20pounds.

https://www.draperutah.gov/1928/Coyote-Awareness

https://www.kpcc.org/2018-03-15/what-happens-when-a-coyote-bites-a-person

https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/why-there-coyote-my-yard-food-lures-and-other-answers

Author Profile
Jeevan Kodiyan
Zoologist | Wildlife Conservation at Animals Research

An animal enthusiast with an interest in zoology, studying the behavior and activities of animals in the wild habitat. I work on research projects related to species conservation and endangered species protection. I also leverage zoology to become an educator, educating others about the importance of protecting our natural environment and the beauty of animals in their natural habitats.

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