“The problem has been going on since July,” said Langlois, when she noticed some ducks were missing from the free-range flock. “I do a head count when I put the animals in for the night and I was missing three white ducks.
“My neighbour suggested they might have gone to the local pond so I went to have a look. When I came back there was the coyote not 30 feet from the barn with a hen in its mouth. I drove the jeep right up to the barn, got out yelled and it just stood there.”
Langlois said she is not the only one in the Port Lorne Road and Arlington Road area to have coyote problems this summer.
“It’s not just me. Two other neighbours” have also had coyote issues, adding there’s more than one coyote that’s causing concern.
“At least two dark brown ones and a grey one has been seen,” said Langlois. “They are not afraid of me or my dogs,” including a 160-pound Bull Mastiff. “There’s always two dogs outside on guard. They bark and the coyote just barks back. It’s not afraid. The last attack was a couple of days ago.”
Langlois said she has lost ducks, chickens and geese from her flock, which she keeps as pets for the children, as well as meat and eggs for the table. Langlois said she sees the coyote “on a regular basis,” anywhere from early morning to evening.
Langlois said she and her neighbours have called the Department of Natural Resources but felt they just “blew it off.”
“I’m quite upset about that. You would think they (DNR) would at least come out and have a look. You can see their tracks on the trail.”
When contacted, Mike Boudreau, human wildlife conflict biologist with DNR, said if someone has a public safety concern with coyotes, they should report it to the local DNR office. Boudreau said there are things people can do to help deter coyotes from their property.
“It makes it tough when you have free range birds,” said Boudreau, noting coyotes, foxes and even racoons are all predators who can cue in on routines. If for example, a person usually puts the birds out at 7 a.m. and takes them in at 5 p.m., coyotes cue in on that so it helps to mix up the times.
If predators are getting into a barn through a small opening, secure it, said, Boudreau.
Unfortunately, once a coyote has found a meal in a farmyard flock they will likely keep coming back, said Boudreau.
“They know how to find food when food is available. If they see mice in the field then they are going to take the mice.”
Coyotes can be shot year-round with a shotgun, and by rifle during hunting season, which opened Sept. 11, provided it’s in an area where firearm use is permitted. Boudreau said there are people who trap coyote year-round, noting pelts are fetching a pretty good price this year. A nuisance wildlife officer can also be hired to trap the animal and remove it from the property. Boudreau said DNR deals with complaints on a case-by-case basis, and in the event of a public safety concern, would take action.
Tips on deterring coyotes and coyote safety are available online at the DNR website at https://novascotia.ca/natr/wildlife/living-with-wildlife/be-coyote-smart.asp