GLEN ROSE – Coyotes don't only prey on lambs and kid goats; they also find Tom and Fido quite tasty, thank you.
For example, there was the case of the woman jogging with her small dog on a leash near Fort Worth. A coyote intercepted the dog, yanking the leash out the woman's hand, and took off.
"It ran across a street and was hit by a car. The coyote survived; the dog did not," said Steven Meek, assistant district supervisor with Texas Cooperative Extension – Wildlife Services.
In Farmers Branch, coyotes were seen prowling along a fence at a daycare center, watching toddlers play at recess.
"The coyote is an adaptive animal. If his primary food source becomes scarce, he'll take the next best thing," said Meek, who has plenty of such anecdotes to tell.
Management of coyotes, bobcats, feral hogs and other similar predators will be the subject of the Predator Awareness Workshop July 7 in Glen Rose at the Somervell County Expo Center off U.S. Highway 67 North at 202 Bo Gibbs Blvd. in Glen Rose.
The program is designed mostly for ranchers and farmers. But anyone who lives in Bosque, Erath, Hood and Somervell counties and has an interest in predators should find the program worthwhile, said Ken Cearley, Extension wildlife specialist, and workshop coordinator.
Of course not all coyotes cause problems for humans.
"At the onset, we'll help them find out if they have a predator problem by interpreting the physical evidence, much like a ... detective would, and then determine which species might be the culprit," Cearley said. "We'll also talk about predators in the context of wildlife management, including their potential benefit in some situations."
From there, Cearley and personnel from Extension Wildlife Services will tell how to identify predators by tracks, damage done to crops, and wounds inflicted on livestock or pets.
They will also tell how to choose the method of control that is most effective and humane – either lethal or non-lethal – for specific predators.
"Sometimes you can save yourself some money and get the job done just as well with non-lethal means," Cearley said.
Several educational videos will be shown, including "Coping with Coyotes" and "Coping with Bobcats." There will be presentations on the biology of red foxes and feral hogs too.
Control alternatives will be covered in actual demonstrations of non-lethal approaches, setting foothold traps and snares, and calling. Other sessions will cover use of M-44s (sodium cyanide ejection devices) and livestock protection collars.
Aerial gunning, "one of the most effective control methods for feral hogs," will also be covered, Cearley said.
The program will conclude with a presentation by Extension's Wildlife Services about the types of assistance they offer to those experiencing problems with damage caused by predators, Cearley said.
Registration for the event is $10 in advance or $20 at the door and includes a barbeque lunch and refreshments.
At-the-door registration will start at 8:30 a.m. The program will start at 9 a.m and should be over by 4:30 p.m.
To pre-register, contact the Extension office in one of the four participating counties: Somervell County, (254) 897-2809; Bosque County, (254) 435-2331; Erath County, (254) 965-1460; and Hood County, (817) 579-3280.
Participants attending the entire day will earn six continuing education units toward their pesticide applicator license re-certification, including three in the general category, one in laws and regulations, and two in integrated pest management.