fig9

Figure 4. Coyote and wolf take of the cooperative animal damage control program in 1950.

In the predatory animal control agency’s 1958 annual report, the status of coyotes and wolves in the Edwards Plateau in the 1950s was reported as follows (Landon 1958):

In those counties where the sheep and goat industry is a major importance the coyotes have been practically eradicated, and they were well under control even in the border counties. The gray or lobo wolf is no longer found in Texas. The Texas red wolf of central and east Texas is no longer numerous where the hog, turkey and cattle raisers show much more interest in control than formerly.

Caroline (1973) cited several reasons why this early control work in the Edwards Plateau was successful:

(1) the wild canid population contained a large proportion of red wolves or hybrids which were relatively easy to capture;

(2) many ranchers participated with professional ADC staff;

(3) the increased use of net wire fencing;

(4) many ranchers kept hounds to remove coyotes;

(5) economic incentives to ranchers; and

(6) extensive use of traps.

Shelton and Klindt (1974) suggested that the success of early control work resulted from a “massive human effort using all of the tools and techniques which could be brought to bear.”

Re-establishment of coyotes

In 1960, 118 coyotes were taken from within the former coyote-free area. Nearly 31,000 coyotes were taken from throughout the coyote’s range in Texas during that same year, double the amount taken in 1958. This very conspicuous upswing in coyote take was in response to the drought-breaking rains of the late 1950s. This increase was even more evident when an unprecedented 34,754 coyotes were taken in 1962. The relative intensity and distribution of the coyote and wolf take by the organized control program during FY1960 is reflected in Figure 5 (Caroline 1960). Thus, with the breaking of what was commonly called the “7 year drought” , the re-establishment of the coyote in the Edwards Plateau was underway in the early 1960s.