This morning I happen to run into John Underwood, the coyote trapper, and we managed a few minutes of conversation on the side of the road where I got my “cliff notes” education on his efforts.
Some consider his profession cruel to species, but I beg to argue. To a neighborhood, coyotes may seem a remote unseen rare risk. That is until John indicates that “between West Paces Ferry south to the water treatment plants, we’ve trapped over 160 coyotes since September 15th this year…” – thats three months worth.
He suggests they will take cats, small dogs, small deer, and could (repeat could) intimidate a small child by opportunity, particularly in a small pack situation. The pictures he showed me included a couple of brute sized predators in the 40 lb +/- range, as an example of the problem.
John is a retired policeman with an environmental mantra. While you listen to his stories of saving hawks, owls, bob-cats, and red fox encountered, there are a couple of border collies in his backseat leading to another story – he rounds up molting Canadian geese for relocation. The dogs herd them into a trailer, which is likely a show.
His calling is much higher than varmint removal, and its nice to know he’s out there saving and maintaining the distance between people and wildlife.