Thursday, January 27, 2022

Get mange much, Wile E?


The jury is still out to lunch with regard to whether this animal is a domestic dog or a wild coyote.

Looking at the size and the tuft of hair on his forehead, my money is on "Coyote".

He has a tuft of hair between his shoulder blades where he cannot reach and active mange lesions on his left ear.

Contrary to appearance, mange is not a fungus or bacteria. The causal agent is a tiny, parasitic mite that tunnels into the skin and triggers an allergic reaction.

The tiny mites are a normal part of the livestock in an animals pelt. Some individual animals are more genetically predisposed to mange than others. Denning up with multiple animals to stay warm may have triggered this little guy's case.

Underneath that thick pelt, coyotes are pretty slender.

Locally coyotes range from 20-to-45 pounds although I don't know of anybody who harvested one over the weight of 35 pounds.

Eastern seaboard coyotes are significantly bigger. It is hypothesized that they picked up some Timber Wolf genetics as they migrated in from Ontario and Quebec. The only documented adult fatality from a coyote attack was a 19 year-old woman who was attacked in Nova Scotia. Wolf genes, maybe not a good thing.

Western coyotes are significantly smaller. A study in Utah found that the average male coyote weighed 23 pounds and the average female weighed 18 pounds.


  1. I think the reason eastern seaboard coyotes may be larger than their western brethren is because we have better prey for them than they had out west and more of it. They are migrating and reclaiming territory.

    Due to our abbreviated Wild Turkey season, we have or had a lot of them scrounging around. Coyotes love turkey. They also like stray cats and small dogs.

  2. When I lived in PA the PGC gave a talk that said the average weight for a male coyote was roughly 35 pounds and the rarely exceeded 45. The first day of deer season someone in camp shot a 55 pound female which was given to the game warden. In New Brunswick, Canada I didn't shoot one that was bigger because I wasn't sure it wasn't a young wolf. Here in KY the males are about 40 pounds but the last female my neighbor shot was just at 37 pounds.

  3. In the 80s and early 90s I had about 500 angora goats and sheep and dealing with coyotes was a daily affair. I killed hundreds of them which is where my nick-name Coyote Ken came from. About 1992, I don't recall exactly, the mange came through the UP and slaughtered the coyotes, foxes, skunks and racoons. It was terrible to see them out there suffering with it. They lost their fear of people. As much as I hated coyotes I felt sorry for them and the other animals that had it. After the populations were decimated they came back slowly and I hope to never see it again. Incidently treating domestic animals with Ivermectin kept them from getting it. Handy stuff. Better get some 'cause you might run into a mangy critter out there and need a dose. ---ken

    1. I seen what you did there Ken.
      I'm taking my next monthly dose on Tue and last time I looked I wasn't mangy!

  4. Friend of mine in VT got a 50lb 'Yote' last year, the state tested it and it was almost half wolf, so there are mating 'crosses' out there!