Many have argued that coyote populations — which are continually on the rise in many urban settings — aren't a threat to humans.
Try telling that to 22-year-old Andrew Dickehage, who came face-to-face with three coyotes early Monday morning near Niwot, Colo., on his way to work and ended up in the hospital with extensive wounds.
According to Dickehage, he was walking along a stretch of road at about 5 a.m. when he heard a noise behind him. He turned just in time to see one of the coyotes lunging at him.
Dickehage held a wide stance to avoid being knocked down and kept the animals from biting his neck, but the coyotes were still able to sink their teeth and claws into him. When one clamped down on his hand, Dickehage had enough.
"It started to tug on my hand and I could feel it starting to tear through my skin, so I took my flashlight and hit it over the side of the head to get it to let go," Dickehage told reporters. "As soon as I got it to let go then another one went to lunge at me. All I really thought to do was swing and knock it to get it from jumping at me again."
After several exhausting minutes, the coyotes took off, leaving Dickehage alone and bloodied with cuts and scrapes all over his arms, hands and face.
Despite the vicious assault, Dickehage said he was just grateful it was him instead of a little kid or an elderly person, who might not have been able to defend themselves as easily.
Wildlife officials told Dickehage the behavior was uncommon for coyotes; in fact, officials found a dead hawk nearby and speculated Dickehage inadvertently disturbed the coyotes while they were feeding. Nevertheless, two of the coyotes were tracked down and killed by officials as a safeguard.
"They may be small, but you don't want to underestimate," Dickehage said.
Check out the video from KCNC-TV in Denver.
Indeed, these predators — while smaller in size than their cousins, gray wolves — are formidable in packs and are capable of bringing down whitetail bucks, putting the species on hunters' enemies list.
But they can also pose a threat to humans, and Dickehage's encounter is just the latest of many coyote- and wolf-related incidents. In January, a man in Kent, Wash., was attacked by a couple coyotes in his lawn, suffering the same types of injuries as Dickehage. In August, a pack of wolves chased down a flock of over 2,400 sheep, killing 176 of them — fewer than 10 were bitten, one was partially eaten and the rest asphyxiated as the flock huddled in a panicked mass — and in a separate incident, another wolf was bold enough to attack a teenager from behind at a Minnesota campground.
Still think these predators aren't dangerous to humans?
Why We Should Kill Wolves
As Bob Robb wrote back in November 2011, there are a lot of good reasons hunters ought to kill wolves. Despite the fact they're magnificent animals, they're still vicious predators that must be carefully managed.
Therein lies the problem. When wolves are left unchecked, they can, and do, decimate ungulate populations to the point where few animals are left. All those folks who say they only kill the sick and weak have never watched a pack of wolves eat a healthy, mature bull caribou alive as I have. They have never seen the trail of death a pack of wolves leaves behind as it kills to teach its pups how to hunt, or just for fun, eating little of the animals whose lives they have just ended.
"I've seen where wolves have killed Dall sheep rams at the top of the mountain in the deep snow of spring, watched them chase mountain goats along the tree line of a Southeast Alaska forest in August, and shred a cow elk in the Yellowstone basin," Robb said.
Read the full story at Petersen's Hunting.
Wolf Hunting Debate in Minnesota
As Minnesota prepared for opening day of wolf season in November 2012, the controversy surrounding the once-endangered species erupted.
In 2012, the Minnesota Supreme Court rejected an effort by the Center for Biological Diversity and Howling for Wolves to stop the hunt from taking place. Despite their claims that Department of Natural Resources officials didn't adequately consider public opinion in the matter, Chief Justice Lorie Gildea thought otherwise. Read the full story at Petersen's Hunting.
Minnesota Wolf Hunter Gets Death Threats
With a highly disputed wolf season underway in Wisconsin in 2012, the tension between hunters and their opposition is clearly on the rise.
Dennis Nitz, a Wisconsin native and one of five people to kill a wolf in 2012 during the state's first annual season, said he received death threats within minutes of posting his photos of the wolf to Facebook. Nitz was one of over 1,000 people to receive a permit, while over 20,000 people applied for the right to hunt wolves this year. Read the full story at Petersen's Hunting.
Wisconsin Hunting Dog Killed by Wolves
For a lot of folks on both sides of the wolf debate, it's something they deal with from a safe distance. But for hunters like Ron Hill, it's a war being waged in his own backyard.
In October 2012, Hill and his hunting group were tracking a bear in Wisconsin — in an area familiar to them — with the use of their hound dogs, when one of the dogs got separated from the group and was brutally killed by a pack of wolves. The dog was a 1 1/2 year old female Treeing Walker and was killed in Douglas County. Read the full story at Petersen's Hunting.
Idaho Man Takes on Pack of Wolves
Apparently nobody told Rick Pearce that Liam Neeson already laid claim to the title as bloody knuckled wolf brawler in his movie The Grey.
It seems that Pearce, from Idaho, just doesn't care. On an archery elk hunt this past weekend near Clayton, Idaho, Pearce spent almost an hour calling in elk, only to find himself surrounded by a pack of wolves. As at least five wolves circled him, one made it within 40 yards. That's when Pearce decided to turn the tables on the pack. Read the full story at Petersen's Hunting.
Canus Lupus Dingo: The Australian Wolf
Interestingly enough, the dingo is actually classified as Canus lupus dingo — a subspecies of the gray wolf — so it makes sense that the situation in Australia has many similarities to the one in the U.S.
If anything, the alarming dingo problem is a foreshadow of things to come in the U.S. if wolf and coyote numbers aren't effectively managed. As is the case stateside, Australian animal rights activists paint the dingo in an almost exclusively rosy light, even blaming the death of children in dingo attacks on the parents' lack of situational awareness. Read the full story at Petersen's Hunting.
Teen Attacked by Wolf in Minnesota
It's often said by anti-hunters that wolves don't pose a threat to humans. The only problem with that theory, it seems, is that it stands contrary to the facts.
Noah Graham, 16, found that out personally when a wolf attacked him in Minnesota while he was camping with his girlfriend. Real the full story at Petersen's Hunting.
176 Sheep Killed by Wolves in Idaho
Think reintroduced wolves aren't causing a big problem for ranchers and farmers? Think again.
Siddoway Ranch in southeastern Idaho was shocked in August 2013 after 176 sheep were killed by two wolves, according to KTVB in Boise, Idaho. Check out the full story at Petersen's Hunting.