Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Saturday, December 10, 2011: Just got in from some after-dark woodsing – non-hunting. Damn it got cold fast. All this ultra-mild weather makes it hard to take even modest cold, like the 38 degrees I hit right before I departed the outback.
I was in a wildlife area in an effort to confront yet some new “coyote everywhere’ claims. It also had to do with dubious claims of after dark “nonstop howling yipping.”
It is fairly well documented that eastern coyote do NOT bay. However, they’re not hush-hush either, especially the pups and young. Fire sirens can get them into nearly baying but nothing like the famed protracted calls of western coyotes.
Anyway, right before dark I found the tracks of two similarly sized coyotes leading into swamp lands. They were at least half a day old.
Swamps and marshes are very often the daytime haunts of NJ coyote. These soggy, oft impenetrable (to humans) areas offer coyotes not only undisturbed terrain but also include a variety of wildlife and plants to munch on before dusk and dawn forays into civilization, to raid garbage cans, outdoor cat food dishes and, in a couple instances I know of, food left out specifically for them. People places also offer the coyote its most consistent source of foodstuff: roadkill. And, yes, humanity’s table can even include cats and the occasional smaller dog.
An coyote expert writes: “… above all (coyote) loves ample food, and people provide regular windfalls. Human development - with its accompanying refuse and disruption of habitat makes surprisingly good coyote habitat. If, in a northern forest, a coyote might claim a territory as large as 62 square miles, a suburban coyote can thrive in a territory that measures a scant five square miles.”
I spent a couple hours in amazingly beautiful semi-darkness, lit by a full moon worthy of every moon poem ever written. Nary a sound, short of a couple birdcalls I did not recognize whatsoever. Of course, those calls and on onslaughts of shivers sent me on one of my freaky flights of imagination when I envisioned the coyotes having worked out a system of birdcalls to secretly communicate. I did hear some dogs barking in the distance but no one could mistake domesticated dog barks for wild dog yelps.
Yes, coyotes are wild dog. A recent study to genetically differentiate eastern coyotes from western coyotes from wolves wound up reconfirming the DNA is all the same.
Sidebar: It’s been scat city out there of late. Coyotes are not immune from fattening up in the face of an approaching winter. The accompanying increase in dropping – easy to find atop leaf litter – is mighty obvious.
While coyote scat virtually always has the hair of just about any mammal the canine can conquer, I’ve never once found coyote scat containing bird feathers. This might simply be a reflection of canines and felines instinctually plucking birds before eating. However, I cross-reference that with one of our largest and tastiest birds: turkeys.
If you do much outdoors time, you have to know the wild turkey population in Jersey has, well, taken off. I’ve seen hen brood flocks numbering upwards of 100 birds. I kid you not. Even the summer family brood flocks have seemingly gone gonzo, numbers-wise. Anyway, despite this near glut of huge surely feast-quality wild turkeys, I’ve never seen a coyote killed turkey. And it sure as hell wouldn’t be hard to find a turkey kill. They have one of the thickest and most complex feather structures of any bird.
Bizarre tale: A wild turkey was hit recently on the Parkway and the feather-flying aftermath literally slowed traffic down, as the feathers flew to the point of distraction.
I bring up that odd disconnect between always ravenous coyotes and tons of tasty turkey on the hoof since the area I was at for this evening’s coyote listen has an insane wild turkey population. I once had to stop my truck for a single-file flock that took longer to cross than a Midwest freight train.
My final guess is a wild turkey is not only always aware as all get-out, hangs with other turkeys equally aware but can be fast as greased lighting and, most of all, can take flight in a heartbeat. Ben Franklin felt the national bird should be the turkey.
Tough email question:
A situation and a question. It is really a delightful sight to see shoulder to shoulder beach casters, and marvel at how that many people with that much stuff can leave so little behind. Enjoying nature, respecting nature. Except for the anomaly.
Three times this week on the same beach I have found the abandoned camp of The Odd Fisherman. Plastic bags,food wrappers,coffee cups, discarded bait, by catch (rays,shark) and oh yeah- numerous pairs of blue disposable gloves. Seems as this fellow wants his pickup clean, but not the beach.How do I know it is a he and a pickup? Last night I went back for a night session and saw him in all his glory in the same spot with the same MO This morning it was deja vu all over again.
Now the question. What would you do? I do not ask what I should do, because from experiences no number of niceties, cajoling , shaming or pleading does anything but inflame these oinker's. I won't even confront the fishers using my neighbors shower for a latrine because of the abuse I took last time. I'm not a wimp, nor am I looking for confrontation.Oft times situations like this do not have a solution, you just put up with it.
Regarding The Odd Fisherman. I suspect I will do nothing besides keep grudgingly pick up after him. But Jay, I respect your opinion and would simply like to know - What would you do?
Thanks, Walt in H.C.
I feel your frustration, Walt. Been there and did that – clean up part. My answer is likely not what you might expect. Let it be. I kid you not. You already hit the nail on the moronic head: “… from experiences no number of niceties, cajoling , shaming or pleading does anything but inflame these oinker's.”
I’ll even add to that by warning some dirt bags play dirty in other ways. You confront them just once and it becomes a revenge match. Imagine having to worry about some shit-for-brains possibly lurking every time you beach it. Not frickin’ worth it.
Face it, scum-tossers may be in the dirty driver‘s seat.
News wires: [Associated Press] by Mari Yamaguchi - December 9, 2011
Japan is spending 2.3 billion yen ($29 million Canadian) from its supplementary budget for tsunami reconstruction to fund the country's annual whaling hunt in the Antarctic Ocean, a fisheries official confirmed Thursday.
Tatsuya Nakaoku, a Fisheries Agency official in charge of whaling, defended the move, saying the funding helps support Japan's whaling industry as a whole, including some whaling towns along the devastated northeastern coast. One ship on the hunt is based in Ishinomaki, a town hit badly by the March 11 tsunami, he said.
The budget request was made to beef up security and maintain the "stable operation" of Japan's research whaling, he said, which has faced increasingly aggressive interference from boats with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
Conservationist group Greenpeace blasted the funding move, claiming it was siphoning money away from disaster victims.
The Japanese government has passed supplementary budgets totalling 18 trillion yen ($230 billion) for reconstruction after the March 11 tsunami. Nearly all the items are rebuilding projects, including nearly 500 billion yen for fisheries projects directly in the region, but some, including the whaling expedition, appear less directly related.
Media reports said Japan's annual whaling expedition left Shimonoseki in southern Japan on Tuesday with plans to cull 900 whales, mostly minke whales, which are not endangered.
Coast Guard spokesman Masahiro Ichijo said this year's fleet is carrying "the biggest protection ever," including Coast Guard officers and a Fisheries Agency patrol ship.
Each year, protesters try to harass the whaling fleet into stopping the hunt.